Some hapless soul traveling to the UK with his G1 reports a data roaming bill of $102.85 in spite of jumping into the phone settings and disabling data sync, data roaming and 3G. When pressed, the T-Mobile supervisor "revealed that the G1 always accesses the internet whether you are sending text messages or calls—even when the data roaming features are off." Scary stuff if true.

Read the whole article by Sean Fallon of Gizmodo here. Has anyone else racked up any data roaming charges while traveling abroad with a G1? If so, tell us your tale in Comments. A special thanks to James for sharing his experience!

[Photo and story courtesy of Sean Fallon @ Gizmodo]

 
There are 23 comments

Matt says:

Sounds like a Google thing. Very scary stuff.

MESSD says:

THANKS LRRR IT WORKED =DD

Lrrr says:

My understanding of the problem is that even with Data Roaming disabled, sometimes your G1 thinks it is on its home network when it is actually roaming. Let's assume you are a T-Mobile USA user. The problem occurs when your are on, say, the UK T-Mobile network. The G1 thinks it is your home network (because they are both T-Mo) and thus disabling Data Roaming has no effect.

There does seem to be a solution: Disable all data connections on your G1:

  1. Use Anycut to create a shortcut to "Testing"
  2. Click on Testing.
  3. Click on Phone Information
  4. Hit Menu button
  5. Click on More
  6. Click on Disable data connection

This turns off all data access. Note that GPRS service switches to "disconnected". Now you should have a phone that does voice calls, but no data access.

Tom Deckers says:

Thanks Lrrr!

[...] via G1 Data Always Connected = Roaming $$$ | Android Central [...]

Lrrr says:

Follow-up: After disabling the data connection, you can, of course, use your wifi without incurring data charges. However, when you turn off your wifi, your G1 will automatically re-enable the data connection. So, after you use wifi, don't forget to re-disable your data connection.

Mephisto says:

I always get the message "com.android.phone crashed" when I click the testing link -> Phone information, but only if there is an active EDGE/GRPS connection. After that the sim is locked again and I have to input the PIN again... no way for me to turn off that stupid data connection? :( can't believe it crashes for me and nobody else.

Adam says:

Thanks. Works and vastly improves battery life!

[...] I've decided to close the 2g-3g connection while I'm not using it, following the guidelines in this post, and now the data consumption and the battery levels behaviour is finally [...]

canopus says:

Thanks a lot, It was driving me crazy. But, why is the G1 always maintaining an open connection, either in your own network?

smount says:

LRRR, this is what I want:

"After disabling the data connection, you can, of course, use your wifi without incurring data charges."

I just want to be able to use my phone for email over wifi. No phone calls, no IMs, no apps. Can you review what exactly I do to make this possible without roaming charges? How do I get to "testing" without Anycut?

uwgandalf says:

memphisto, I have the same problem as you, have you figured it out yet?

joe says:

what is anycut??, im trying to use the g1 with at&t but i do not want the data charges too, plz specify how to disable the data sync, because i do not know what is anycut is

todd says:

THANKS. I have lost all the credit on my sim. Huge help.

todd says:

The best solution I have found is to remove the APN's, if you don't want Data connections. With no APN defined, it won't make a GPRS connection and saves you the connection costs. Only works if you don't use the GPRS for connections, just the WiFi

romz says:

todd, i tried your method and i felt yours is the simplest method, but just like you said, works only if you use don't use GPRS. thanks todd! you're a life (and money) saver! =)

Kevin says:

Just got a 1,048 data roaming charge. Had NO idea I was supposed to turn off data! On the phone now...

tallboi says:

If I disable data connection, that means no 3G right? hence signal and speed goes down?

smount says:

What is the resolution to this? It sounds like one can eliminate roaming charges and have a Wifi (NOT 3G) phone most easily by removing the APNs. How do you do that? Can they be restored easily?

After 5 days in Italy, I came back to receive a bill for $182 in roaming charges for downloading nothing more than text messages and doing my best to keep roaming turned off 95% of the time. Customer service was unwilling to compromise at all on charges, and T-Mobile has no international plan options. Next time I'm leaving this stupid phone at home. If you travel internationally with any regularity, T-Mobile is not the service you want, and you should probably think about getting a Blackberry instead of a G1. I can't wait to switch services...

Anonymous says:

i had a similar experience after spending 15 days in France. However, I called before going on the trip and followed their instructions on how to disable data and had them notate it in the account. When I got back there were data charges--who knows how it happened. But t-mobile did reverse the charges, thank God.

Jurjen says:

Disabling the connections is not why I bought the device. Maps and internet have more value abroad then they have around home, so I don't want to disconnect really.

I think the question should not be how to disable the connection, but why the connection has to be so bloody expensive when you are abroad.

Anonymous says:

On Droid, I can neither mangle the APNs nor create any AnyCut link to 'Testing' as it is not installed. APNDroid and all similar apps are all equally useless.

Looks like Verizon is still fricking evil.