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US Roaming Add ons : Decommissioning of US 3G (HSPA) Networks

Mayor / Maire

US Roaming Add ons: July 2022


Edit: January 10th 2023 

Please see updated info on US Roaming and new links later in this thread to complement this post.



As reported by many pm customers using pm's US Roaming add ons for the last few months AT&T appears to no longer be a roaming partner with pm. Please only try connecting to T-Mobile. However if you do successfully connect to AT&T please report your findings and location to this thread. Thx! (12/28/22)


Public Mobile's roaming partner's AT&T and T-Mobile began the decommissioning of their 3G (HSPA) networks this year (2022) with AT&T starting on February 22nd and T-Mobile on July 1st 2022. This affects the voice services in the US when Public Mobile customers purchase and use 10 Day US Roaming Add ons. Public Mobile posted the following notice on the add ons page at earlier this year once AT&T began decommissioning their 3G network.


Important: As of February 22nd, 2022, some United States (U.S) carriers will begin turning down certain 3G/HSPA networks in the U.S. As a result, some customers using U.S. roaming add-ons may be impacted by differences in coverage or service quality (including 9-1-1 calls) when roaming in the U.S. This shutdown will not impact your service in Canada.


But how does this impact your services when roaming in the US? Public Mobile customers will still connect automatically (with the autoconnect setting in your phone) to AT&T's and T-Mobile's 4G LTE networks to send/recieve SMS/MMS texts and use mobile data (depending on the 10 Day US Roaming add on purchased). However US Roaming talk add ons and/or talk components of US Roaming bundles will be impacted. Until VoLTE is enabled for Public Mobile customers the ability to use their voice services will be dependent on the remaining network connectivity with its roaming partners.


AT&T is virtually unusable at this point for voice services with their 3G network decommissioning nearly complete. Going forward US Roaming Talk add ons can only be used by manually choosing T- Mobile. In areas where the 3G network has not been decommissioned customers will still connect to the 3G network for voice services. In areas that no longer have access to the 3G network customers may be able to connect to T-Mobile's 2G (GSM) network. In the coming months connectivity to T-Mobile's 3G network will also disappear until only access to their 2G network will be available.


2G networks have been maintained by some mobile network providers as it was the fallback option for voice services before VOLTE was developed for the 4G LTE network and still plays an important role for certain technologies and provides better signal coverage over long distances and building penetration.


T-Mobile has not confirmed a date for the decommissioning of their 2G network. Updates will be posted on their website. Your phone will automatically switch to 2G to send or recieve a voice call. You will be unable to text or use mobile data during a voice call.


This map shows T-Mobile's 2G network coverage.....


**Localized 2G network coverage can be found by using the link at the bottom of this post.


The best workaround for these issues would be to download a voip provider like textnow that offers free calling and texting on WiFi and mobile data. Purchase a 10 day US Roaming data add on. You can receive incoming pm SMS texts. You can send and receive MMS texts. You can send SMS texts on text now along with send and receive voice calls. MMS texting works but does count against your roaming data. Calls and outgoing SMS on textnow will only use your mobile data while away from WiFi. A US Roaming data add on will provide you with all of your services on your phone albeit in a slightly round about way.


For basic info on 10 Day US Roaming Add ons and how they work read the spoiler below....


  1. While you have to have an active plan to purchase and use US roaming add ons the type of plan you have does not affect the roaming add ons features.
  2. US roaming add ons start the moment you confirm and submit your purchase in your self serve account and expire 240 hours later (10 days×24 hours).
  3. You can pre-load the funds needed to purchase the add ons in your self serve account so you only have to log in, select the US roaming add on and then confirm and submit your purchase.
  4. Wait til late as possible to purchase since they are immediately valid so on free wifi at the destination airport or stopping shortly before the border at mcd's or timmy's to buy the add on while on free wifi.
  5. If you are staying longer than 10 days you must wait a minimum of 24 hours to purchase the same US roaming add on or contact the moderators to add it before the waiting period ends.
  6. If you have two US roaming add ons with a talk feature that overlap the talk feature basically gets disabled. This is the issue if you hear 3 beeps and your call disconnects after 1 minute and 53 seconds. Avoid this....but you will have to get one removed by a CSA to get your calling feature back if this happens.
  7. After purchase reboot your phone and manually select either at&t or T-mobile to get better reception. Some areas have better coverage by either provider so when travelling around the US you will be better served by choosing the provider with better signal strength by locale.
  8. You will recieve incoming texts without any US roaming add ons. 
  9. All US roaming add ons have either unlimted text, talk or both. Only data has limits depending on your purchase 250mb/500mb/1gb. Once the data is consumed it will just stop you could then purchase different roaming add on, wait 24 hr to buy or contact customer support to buy the same US roaming add on again. (* except talk as previously mentioned.)

    After purchasing a US Roaming add on and once stateside ensure you enable roaming on your phone, reboot and manually choose either AT&T or T-Mobile as your network provider.


Removed info related to the old self serve account layout. And added new link to the 611/IVR map.


To visually navigate the 611/IVR system (or 1 855 4PUBLIC and enter your 10 digit phone #) rather than follow the prompts use this map/diagram here .

You will need to enter your 4 digit account pin # for all access beyond basic account info and loading payment vouchers (press 1 and 1 again to load vouchers).


Please note:

Public mobile has limited roaming coverage thru its partner AT&T in Alaska. T-Mobile does not work for roaming in Alaska. Better service may be best obtained from Alaskan mobile provider GCI depending on the purpose of your travel.


To see 2G network coverage for specific areas use the link below...





To contact customer support : Submit a support ticket via SIMon the chat bot Click here 

Or if you cannot submit a ticket via SIMon then Click here   ....for additional member supplied info.


HI @Scott14 

VoLTE is voice over LTE.   It is a technology for voice

Your issue is about data.  So, it is not related with VoLTE

with your problem, try to connect manually to both AT&T and T-Mobile, leave the network with 4G or LTE and see which network works

Great Neighbour / Super Voisin

What is "VoLTE" & how does it work?  I have the US add on, & my text & calling are working fine, but not my data, i.e. I'm not able to access the internet outside of a WiFi area.  I'm in the Orlando, Florida area

Mayor / Maire

An update: So we're checking out the north east coast of Oahu. Solid LTE reception. I was not watching reception all the way from Honolulu. Oh well.

The experience I had with roaming is that the automatic drop down did NOT happen. Calls didn't work. Unlike the Honolulu area. So I manually set to 2G and all was well. Texting too. Texting worked on LTE anyway. So I'm leaving the roaming phone on 2G for talk and text. We will be returning to the Honolulu area and I will set it back to LTE then.

As we know, this is going to be more of a problem as more phones remove 2G capability or being able to switch to it in settings.

Red Pocket Mobile still solid as a rock. 🙂

Model Citizen / Citoyen Modèle

Great info and updates on US roaming. I will keep this bookmarked for future use. Thanks!

California, and sometimes Washington. That would be great! Just roaming though eh? That's interesting. 

@DennyCrane   which state and city you were in?


rumours is that PM will enable VoLTE for roaming soon.  Let's hope it is true

No ability to make calls where i was. Text and data was fine. This won't be improving until Public Mobile gets VoLTE.

Town Hero / Héro de la Ville


That cell mapper coverage map rocks!! Very cool!!

Town Hero / Héro de la Ville


Thanks. It's probably not til late summer or fall. Booking vacation time off is a PITA at my job. But will do.

@treefrog whether you are going to have data or voice roaming, please report back for your experience


and most important thing.. ENJOY your trip!!!

Town Hero / Héro de la Ville


It's been a while since I've read through this thread. Great update post I didn't even realize that the length of us roaming add-ons had changed as well as what public mobile offers? The price is pretty good especially now that they increase the data amount. I will be planning a trip later this year I hope and your updates will be useful. Thanks for all your research.

Town Hero / Héro de la Ville


Thanks for all those updates and testing you have done in the US. Honolulu sure sounds nice this time of year!

Town Hero / Héro de la Ville


Is Southern California still a problem when you try to make phone calls? I may be planning a trip down the coast and would like to know what the coverage is like?

Mayor / Maire

A couple updates:

1. I have confirmed that T-Mobile does not need to be manually selected. It being the only provider that will allow us to connect, we don't need to turn off automatic networks. Two phones, set to automatic, turn off airplane mode - get welcome text. One also has roaming talk/text. Leave the phone on automatic. It's only a problem for people close enough to a US tower while in Canada that it takes over the connection because it's stronger. Then they'd want manual.

2. With the talk roaming add-on, call forwarding from the phone to a US number does not work.

3. Talk on 2G works just fine in the Honolulu area. Otherwise getting plenty of good bars of reception sitting on LTE.

Mayor / Maire


I agree that eliminating the standalone talk and text add ons is short-sighted. Maybe pm has fixed the 24 hour wait period? We won't know until someone tests that out? Still even if that is fixed there are still customers that would rather have or only need one or the other and having them bundled will lead to customers who travel to areas in the US without 2G network coverage will still end up asking for credits or refunds for the inability to use that feature of the bundle ( despite the no refund policy).


I will be interested to hear your feedback on your next trip south if the cell mapper cell tower map helps you find 2G network coverage in an easier manner? It does appear when you zoom in really close up to give you the directional coverage of each tower's 1900mHz signal in addition to the tower info listed (ie.N 355° on the 3rd image above). I hope this proves to helpful to you when roaming in the US?

Thanks for sharing this. The new bundles are overall a better value, but im disappointed that they don't have standalone talk and standalone text. Reason being is I used to use those interchangeably with the talk+text bundle to get around the waiting period for a re-buy of the same add-on. It was only $1 more ($8x2=$16 vs $15 for the bundle).

@darlicious   the T-Mobile coverage you posted is about overall T-Mobile coverage (LTE/2G) ?

Mayor / Maire


It took awhile to find a good map showing 2G coverage. It might be a bit technical for some but at least it should put most of the speculation to rest.

Mayor / Maire

Update: US Roaming Add ons.       (January 10th 2023)


Public Mobile has changed its US Roaming add on offerings and no longer offers 10 day Roaming add ons rather they have increased them to 15 days (240 hrs>>>360 hrs expiry). 

Reminder: US 15 day Roaming add ons are immediately valid upon purchase meaning the 360 hour "clock" begins once purchased and expire 360 hrs later. Currently (until reported otherwise) its assumed that a 24 hrs waiting period from the time of expiry is required before the same add on can be purchased again. Contact customer support to repurchase the same add on during the 24 hour waiting period.


New US 15 Day Roaming add ons:


Unlimited Talk+Text Bundle=$15        (Public Points redemption=10 points)

Unlimited Talk+Text+3GB Data=$30  (Public Points redemption=25 points)

3GB Data (only) add on=$25.              (Public Points redemption=20 points)

1GB Data (only) add on=$20.              (Public Points redemption=15 points)

250mb Data (only) add on=$10.         (Public Points redemption=5 points)


US Roaming data and text (SMS/MMS*) will work on T-Mobile's 4G LTE network while US Roaming talk (voice calls) will work on T-Mobile's 2G (GSM) network where available with 2G capable devices with (GSM) Band 2 (1900Mhz) compatibility. (There is limited Band 5 (850Mhz) on the eastern seaboard.)

Edit: coverage updates (01/11/23)

(*MMS requires a US Roaming data add on to send/recieve on T-Mobile's network and does count against data usage)


T-Mobile Network Coverage


T-Mobile boasts it's 4G LTE (+5G) Networks reach 99% of Americans however this is mainly in urban and densely populated areas with extensive coverage in the east but less so in the west and poor coverage in rural areas. Before it decommissioned its 3G network in 2022 its coverage was a mere 21% compared to its 4G LTE network coverage of 62% just behind At&t's 68% and Verizon's 70%. However its 5G network coverage at 41% (not applicable for pm customers) is far ahead of At&t's 21% and Verizon's 11% 5G network coverage.


Statistics for T-Mobile's 2G network coverage are much harder to find if not non-existent but the GSM coverage map in the original post of this thread does show good coverage in most states compared to the eastern US the west has significant areas of little or no coverage. In particular North and South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Wyoming and large portions of Kansas, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and West Virginia and Maine in the east. 2G network signals can cover a distance of up to 35 miles when unimpeded so connectivity is possible even if the cell towers transmitting a 2G signal are not nearby. Public Mobile customers can check the 2G coverage in their locale or US destination by using cell mapper's cell tower map in the link below.


Once you use the interactive map to find the location you would like to research use the map key to choose the provider (T-Mobile) and the 2G network (GSM) and leave the defaults for the rest. The maps will show all the towers carrying the 2G network Band 2 (1900mHz) signal in red and limited Band 5 (850Mhz) in green. Zoom in for individual cell towers and and click or tap on them for their particular details.


Tap or click on 《A》Provider.


Choose "T-Mobile" and "GSM".


Click or tap on each tower for individual info.


T-Mobile's 4G LTE Coverage by State


The cell mapper coverage map can also be used for 4G LTE cell tower locations if you are in an area with poor coverage or signal especially if you are in the west. Below is the T-Mobile network coverage by state note that there is no coverage in Alaska (CGI has the best network coverage in Alaska) and Nebraska is nearly devoid with just over 14%. Maine, Idaho, Oregon, West Virginia and Wyoming also stand out as having poor coverage.


T-Mobile Coverage by State

State Percentage Covered Mile Covered (mi²)
Alabama81.84%42,362 mi²
Alaska0%0 mi²
Arizona58.80%67,267 mi²
Arkansas89%47,384 mi²
California72.69%112,804 mi²
Colorado60.38%62,951 mi²
Connecticut98.44%4,957 mi²
Delaware96.83%2,009 mi²
Florida88.14%51,178 mi²
Georgia90.65%53,450 mi²
Hawaii63.06%4,311 mi²
Idaho50.36%41,792 mi²
Illinois86.11%48,518 mi²
Indiana95.87%34,724 mi²
Iowa65.35%36,871 mi²
Kansas86.07%70,823 mi²
Kentucky86.43%34,901 mi²
Louisiana92.31%43,142 mi²
Maine25.49%8,516 mi²
Maryland93.34%10,187 mi²
Massachusetts94.26%7,870 mi²
Michigan84.64%50,470 mi²
Minnesota87.60%78,171 mi²
Mississippi68.5%32,667 mi²
Missouri81.04%56,434 mi²
Montana57.56%84,830 mi²
Nebraska14.38%11,200 mi²
Nevada58.95%65,646 mi²
New Hampshire76.75%7,405 mi²
New Jersey97.85%7,565 mi²
New Mexico88.59%106,322 mi²
New York84.29%41,270 mi²
North Carolina83.20%42,103 mi²
North Dakota83.59%47,103 mi²
Ohio95.13%39,189 mi²
Oklahoma94.45%66,012 mi²
Oregon47.27%45,949 mi²
Pennsylvania92.94%42,110 mi²
Rhode Island91.44%1,078 mi²
South Carolina96.29%30,060 mi²
South Dakota76.21%58,602 mi²
Tennessee75.29%31,704 mi²
Texas85.92%229,252 mi²
Utah66.12%55,161 mi²
Vermont60.92%5,858 mi²
Virginia81.55%33,277 mi²
Washington62.86%43,012 mi²
West Virginia42.17%10,214 mi²
Wisconsin72.61%40,672 mi²
Wyoming52.28%51,832 mi²


More updates or the results of testing by willing volunteers from the community when roaming in the US are welcome and will be posted either in this thread by members or this post if requested. Thx! 📱🇨🇦☎️🇺🇸📱

Mayor / Maire


Thanks for all the testing and updates on the US Roaming add ons it's not something I would likely be able to do since I don't travel that travels usually go east and back west.


Interesting that you got another text but the reply didn't work? One more account to reactivate before Xmas unless someone is traveling south and wants to rent a plan? Or takeover a plan? BTW....I noticed it got a mystery promo....a 4gb bonus data add on! Equal to what it cost me to reactivate and save it? 🤔

Mayor / Maire

So yesterday just after 4pm pacific the talk/text add-on expired. It went to 0/10 days. I noticed on the previous re-buy that that stayed around for a while. I was finally able to log in after midnight, still 0/10. I get up this morning and it's gone. So I'm supposing it drops off at 12 hours. I'm supposing that at this time the same add-on can be re-bought.

What I found disturbing was that the same add-on was visible to be purchased before expiry. I think this is very wrong and would easily confuse customers.

I did finally get support to add the freebies yesterday. I even got a new text but the reply didn't work.

@darlicious- lol Sure. Why not. Tried it. Interestingly, got the invalid response response from Public. So Public somehow saw it. It wasn't the sorry your plan does not include texts response I would otherwise get. I anticipate needing support on the 16th.

Mayor / Maire


Have you tried replying? 4911 may be set up to recieve replies outside of Canada? Worth a try anyways? Thanks for all the testing so far....most appreciated.

Mayor / Maire

So some time overnight the 0/10 add-ons dropped off. Stupid Public had yet another downtime when I wanted to see what would happen at midnight eastern. So one might deduce that the expired add-ons disappear at midnight. For all I know maybe 12 hours after expiration. No wonder people get so exasperated at this place.

The new talk and text are still merrily plugging along. But I get that the old 2G may not be everywhere T-Mobile is.

Adding - I just noticed that the Public sim I have here got the freebie text on the 3rd. Of course I can't reply to it here. Not sure why the one at home did not get forwarded to textnow if it got it.

@softech- Yes, I proved out the idea of buying the different add-on (bundle). I didn't want the hassle of dealing with support over this and messing up all the observations. But I got impatient and decided that I would be willing to hassle if this idea didn't work. It did.

I seem to think I've seen past attempts by customers at re-buying the same add-on and somehow showing 11/10. I didn't want to deal with that mess. The previous add-on re-appears after expiration so that, I think, is what messes people up. Additional problems were that they also paid the money and it stayed in balance but somehow listed as purchased in payment history. A mess. I didn't want that. So I wasn't going to test it.

It might be worth testing someday if buying two texting add-ons, say, at the same time, gives you 20 days. I doubt it. But if anybody wants to blow money it might be interesting to see.

@dust2dust wrote:


Adding - expected...I got impatient. Bought the 2 parter. I get 2 new items showing 10/10 days left with the others still there showing 0/10. No reboot necessary. They both work.


@dust2dust   so no 24 hours wait?  but just because you buy a different one, right? you didn't try to buy the exact same one without the wait?

Mayor / Maire

I added more edits to the previous post.

More about add-ons:

The add-on list is sorted by data first, then texts (obviously only the roaming ones), then minutes. Then they're sorted chronologically. So I had the previous roaming bundle. Then the freebie minutes were added under the roaming minutes. Then I got the new roaming minutes and they're after the freebie. The 2gb data is after the roaming data of previous. The new roaming texting is under the previous one.

@softech- I had very little expectation that it was true. I've been trying to login for over an hour. Different browsers, different cell service data too.

Adding - Just got in. So, interesting... I see the 3 parts say 0/10 days left. hmm. I wonder how long that stays around. The bundle re-appears to purchase though. I wanted to buy the 2 parter. But now I think I should wait. But I don't know how long. Should I wait for midnight? 24 hours? grr..

Adding - expected...I got impatient. Bought the 2 parter. I get 2 new items showing 10/10 days left with the others still there showing 0/10. No reboot necessary. They both work.

@dust2dust  the earlier comment about roaming stopped at midnight was not true then


as to login to My Account, some of us tried again and we got in. Couple still saying they cannot login. So, try again, and again, and again..  🙂


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