Filed Under: iPhone

Understanding Data Roaming: What It Is and How to Avoid Extra Charges


Written by Jason Lin

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What Is Data Roaming On Your Iphone

Are you struggling with the question, “What is data roaming?” then you are not all alone. If you have noticed options like cellular roaming and data roaming on your iPhone and panicked about why they are turned on, there is nothing to worry about.

Most people who are new users of the iPhone face the same issue. So, this article will tell you about “what is data roaming“.

Data roaming is not something alien, as you might have heard of this term several times. Data roaming is a service that allows you to continue your data service when you travel outside the range of your network carrier.

Basically, this feature allows you to access the internet even when you are not under the network range. Unfortunately, data roaming comes at a hefty price you must pay to enjoy network services.

When you turn ON the cellular data on your device abroad, you can access the internet but at a huge price. So, read further below to avoid this cumbersome problem.

Here, you can learn what the option “cellular data” functions and what the option “data roaming” means. Along with that, you will get acquainted with some useful tips that you can make use of not to get burned with extra data charges.

So, let’s move on to it without further delay.

Part 1: What is Cellular Data?

Cellular data is the internet connection that connects your phone to the internet when Wi-Fi is not working on your device.

If the option “cellular data” is not turned ON on your smartphone, then you cannot access the net on your device when there is no chance of Wi-Fi connectivity nearby.

How to Turn the Option “Cellular Data” ON?

To see whether this option is turned ON or not, you have to visit the settings on your phone. Firstly, go to Settings and then locate the option “Cellular.”

After that, tap on the option “Cellular Data.” From here, you can switch off or on the option of cellular data.

Turn the option "Cellular data" ON

If the option is turned on, then you will see the option “LTE” on the left side of your phone’s screen. Here, LTE elaborates on Long Term Evolution, which is the fastest internet connection available for your device except for Wi-Fi.

If the option “Cellular data” is turned off, you will see some signal bars on the upper left side of your device.

However, it is best for all to leave this “Cellular data” option turned on. It allows you to access your social networks, email, internet, etc., on the go when you are not at home.

In case you do not leave this option ON, then you will not be able to do all these activities unless you are connected to some Wi-Fi network.

On the other hand, it is absolutely fine to leave the option of Cellular Data OFF. It is fine to do this if you are short on data or do not need the internet.

So, on turning off this feature, you would not be able to connect to the internet, but you can easily send messages and make calls on your device. But for doing other activities, you need a strong internet connection.

Besides, in this article, we will provide you with all info regarding the error network-locked SIM card inserted error and how to fix invalid SIM card properly.

Part 2: How to Enable LTE on iPhones?

LTE is the greatest and latest data technology, which allows you to connect to the internet in a faster way without Wi-Fi. Sometimes, LTE works faster than a Wi-Fi connection.

To check whether this option is turned on or not, you need to visit the settings on your device. For this, go to Settings and then, Cellular. From there, look for the option “Enable LTE.”

On the other hand, if this option is not enabled on your device, then you have to work with a slower internet connection, such as 3G or 4G.

If you have a small plan, you can turn this option OFF to avoid overage data charges.

Enable LTE on iPhone

Nowadays, our phones use an internet connection to perform various activities. As you know, phone calls are even performed these days with the use of LTE for crystal-clear and better sound.

In case you just want to use LTE for data connection only and not for calls, then you can enable the option “Data Only” to connect your device to the internet connection.

With this, you can use email and other applications on your device effortlessly, which all require internet connectivity.

On the other hand, if you are finding problems while making calls via LTE, it is better to choose the option “Data Only” in that case.

Part 3: Do LTE Calls Use Your Data Plan?

The answer is surprising “NO” because LTE calls do not use an internet connection. AT&T and Verizon are two companies that use the LTE network to make phone calls.

The best part is both these companies do not use data plans to place calls using LTE. Meanwhile, other companies, such as T-Mobile, are planning to add the option of VoLTE (Voice over LTE) to their network.

AT&T has come up with the option of HD Voice, while Verizon offers Advanced Calling. Both these networks use LTE Voice but have not been deployed worldwide due to their newness.

In order to make LTE work, both users need phones that come with LTE technology, or you can say, support voice over LTE.

For further information, you can visit the official websites of AT&T and Verizon to learn about HD Voice and Advanced Calling, respectively.

Besides, here is everything about how to unlock SIM Cards for your reference.

Part 4: What is Data Roaming?

Data Roaming” is a kind of familiar term for almost everyone. It makes people worried as nobody takes delight in paying extra charges for no reason. Initially, you have to know what data roaming actually means and how it actually works.

During data roaming, your phone connects to networks or towers that are not operated or owned by your network carrier, such as T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc.

To access the option “Data Roaming,” you have to visit the settings on your device. So, go to Settings and then, Cellular. After that, follow up with the option “Data Roaming.”

Turn on Data Roaming

If the switch is green-colored, it means data roaming is turned ON on your device, and in case the switch is gray-colored, data roaming is turned off.

By the way, it will not affect your bill in the United States of America, whether data roaming is on or off.

In earlier times, it used to cost a lot, but a few years ago, all network providers agreed to abolish roaming charges. It was certainly a big relief for all.

However, you have to keep in mind that network providers like AT&T and Verizon charge a huge amount of money when you use data on your iPhone abroad.

Your phone requires an active internet connection to make all applications work, such as checking emails or updating your news feed on Facebook.

Though, it is really safe to turn the option “Cellular Data” off when you are traveling overseas all the time. You do not have to be disheartened about this as you can perform all these online activities with the help of a Wi-Fi network.

This way, you do not have to deal with massive bills when you return to your place after spending a great time abroad.

Now, you know “what is data roaming” and how you can turn off the option of data roaming on your phone. Hopefully, this article has cleared all your doubts related to data roaming and cellular data.

In case you are thinking of traveling abroad, it is better to turn off your cellular data instead of just turning off the option of data roaming.

Still, you can use applications on your device or access the internet with the help of a Wi-Fi network. So, make an awesome trip abroad without worrying about data roaming.


  1. Can I use data roaming without activating any specific plan?
    • While it’s technically possible to use data roaming without a specific plan, it can result in significantly higher charges. It’s recommended to check with your service provider and activate a suitable roaming plan to avoid excessive costs.
  2. Are there any free alternatives to data roaming?
    • While data roaming charges are common, some service providers offer free roaming options or add-on packages. It’s advisable to inquire about these options and see if they align with your travel needs.
  3. Do all smartphones support data roaming?
    • Yes, most modern smartphones support data roaming. However, it’s essential to ensure that your device is compatible with the frequencies and technologies used by the foreign networks you plan to connect to.
  4. Can I receive calls and texts while data roaming?
    • Yes, you can receive calls and texts while data roaming. However, it’s important to note that these services may also incur additional charges, depending on your provider and the specific roaming plan you have.
  5. Is it possible to disable data roaming on specific apps?
    • Yes, many smartphones allow you to disable data access for individual apps. This can be useful in preventing certain apps from using data while still allowing other essential services to function.


Data roaming is a valuable service that keeps us connected even when we’re away from home. However, it’s essential to be aware of the potential extra charges and take necessary precautions to avoid bill shock. By following the tips mentioned above, you can enjoy the benefits of data roaming while keeping your expenses under control.


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