Roaming changes in the USA

Find out how changes to 3G networks in the USA may affect your service

As they upgrade their networks, the major operators in the USA are closing their 3G services. AT&T has already switched off its 3G services, and from 1 July, T-Mobile will also be doing so. This means you may notice an impact on your roaming experience, depending on your phone.

Will my device be affected?
Now that T-Mobile is switching off its 3G network, the 2G network will become more congested and this could affect the quality of service when making calls.

If you have a:

  • 4G or 5G phone – you’ll still be able to enjoy your normal 4G data service in the USA, with only a temporary change to your service for calls. This means you may temporarily experience lower call quality while using your phone.
  • 3G device – your phone will switch to USA 2G networks instead of 3G. This means you may experience lower call quality while using your phone.
  • 2G device – you may have issues connecting to the network and experience call drops as the 2G networks become more congested.

Will Vodafone be launching a solution?
We’re proactively working with operators in the USA to reduce the impact on customers and aim to launch our 4G Calling Abroad solution later this summer.

Why is this happening now?
For countries where Vodafone doesn’t operate, we partner with other mobile networks to make sure you can keep using your phone abroad. This year, other operators are upgrading their networks to expand existing 4G coverage and new 5G services. To free up the capacity for these changes, they need to switch off older networks like 3G.

Unfortunately, we can’t control other operator networks – but rest assured, once our 4G Calling Abroad is live, the upgrades will result in improved call quality for the latest devices.

How can I stay connected?

  • If your phone can’t connect to T-Mobile, you’ll automatically be switched to AT&T – you’ll still be able to use data in the USA but won’t be able to make calls.
  • To make calls in the USA, make sure you’ve selected the T-Mobile network in your roaming settings.
  • Many popular messaging apps like WhatsApp and Messenger offer voice calling features too – so if you have access to WiFi or 4G data, you can use these to make calls instead.

Upgrade your phone
Upgrade your phone so that it’s compatible once 4G Calling Abroad is live

Check out our device list to see if your phone is compatible.

Choose a new phone on Pay monthly
If your phone doesn’t support 4G Calling Abroad, and you’re on a Pay monthly plan, you could consider switching your device. You can have a look at our different phones online.

Upgrade my Pay monthly phone

Choose a new phone on Pay as you go
If you’re not able to use 4G Calling Abroad, and you’re on a Pay as you go plan, considering a new device could help. Have a look at our phones online, then pop into your nearest store to discuss.

Find my nearest store

If you’re a Vodafone business customer, head over to our page for Roaming changes in the USA (business customers)