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us roaming drains battery


I have a new to me iphone 5 and I travel to the US a lot. I've noticed that in Canada my phone is perfect but in the US the battery drains super fast. It will go from 100% to dead in 4-5 hours. In Canada it lasts 2-3 days. I often see it display 'no service' in the US and am wondering if maybe it is constantly searching for Canadian towers? It is locked to the telus/koodo network, my last phone did not have this problem and was unlocked, could the lock be the issue?

9 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Being locked is not the issue. It will select a roaming partner network to connect to automatically and that's that. I would say that you are in a locations where the roaming partner has a very poor network, and the phone is using a lot more energy in order to maintain the connection. Last time you were likely in another area I presume where the signal strength was much better.
Goran wrote:

Being locked is not the issue. It will select a roaming partner network to connect to automatical...

That's a fair assumption, but I'm always in major cities all throughout the NE with the same problem no matter the location. These are the same locations where I had no problem with my last phone.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Goran wrote:

Being locked is not the issue. It will select a roaming partner network to connect to automatical...

Have you restarted the phone, toggle network on and off, pull the sim card? What network are you connected to? Does it say 4g/3g or lte or anything of the sort? It could be trying to connect to the "Better" network that's not as reliable as the "older" 3G one that perhaps before your old phone would default to. You could go manual and see what exactly is available and try to connec to 3G/WCDMA.
Then you can try resetting network settings:
http://support.bell.ca/Mobility/Smartphones_and_mobile_internet/Apple-iPhone-5.how_to_reset_the_netw...
It will also wipe all saved wi-fi and bluetooth credentials.

Goran wrote:

Being locked is not the issue. It will select a roaming partner network to connect to automatical...

It was connected to t-mobile. No indication of 3g LTE or anything. I'm resetting the network settings now, standby...
Goran wrote:

Being locked is not the issue. It will select a roaming partner network to connect to automatical...

So after the reset and about 1.5 hours it's down to 75% with zero use. Can you tell me about the other option- go to manual?
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Goran wrote:

Being locked is not the issue. It will select a roaming partner network to connect to automatical...

Settings; Carrier; Automatica Network Selection OFF; wait 1-2 minutes for the list to populate. See if there are multiple T-Mobile options and try the 3g/WCDMA for a period and then the LTE/4G one and see if either are better.
Userlevel 6
Goran wrote:

Being locked is not the issue. It will select a roaming partner network to connect to automatical...

Hey Joe! Did Goran's suggestion help? Keep us posted! 
Goran wrote:

Being locked is not the issue. It will select a roaming partner network to connect to automatical...

I tried turning the carrier settings off automatic in Raleigh, Nashville and Washington DC. It didn't seem to do anything until just now after re-reading Goran's post, you're right it does take literally 1-2 minutes. I just selected T-mobile, it seems to have the strongest coverage. I'll give it an hour and see how my battery is doing #feelingoptimistic 🙂
Goran wrote:

Being locked is not the issue. It will select a roaming partner network to connect to automatical...

Ok, I am very happy to report that this seems to be the fix I've been looking for! My phone has been on all night here in Detroit and it still has lots of battery. Thank you so much Goran!

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