Roaming mobile data option: does it need to be activated to read data when abroad or the app will read data usage anyway?

I was wondering if you could please help me to clarify this option.

My plan allows me to use the same data plan when I am abroad. In few words I have 12G that can be used in my country or abroad in roaming. Since the limit for roaming is the limit of my allowance I won’t bother to set up a specific alert.

Now, do I need to activate " Roaming mobile data only" to allow the app recording the roaming data? What I am trying to say, is the app tracking the roaming data even if that option is not selected? if I select the option, at the end of the montly cycl, the app wil ltell me you have used XYZ amount of data, of which XYZ in roaming ?

thank you

Thank you.

The plan is not tracking roaming data even if that option is not selected. There are some limitations with the Android OS, so you should make a secondary plan just to track roaming data completely separately.

Thank you.
The problem is that if I create another plan just for roaming, the data that will be used will be removed from the roaming plan ( which does not exist) and not from my main plan. So when I am going back home, the data used while in roaming will be not removed from my plan and the app will understimate the real usage.

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Our plans don’t remove data from other plans, so if you create two plans (where one is roaming only) it should count all data for both plans.

But perhaps I’m not understanding what you’re saying. If so I apologize.

I will try to explain me.

I have set up my monthly plan (12Giga). I have used for some time while at home and I went down to 11Giga.
Now, I go abroad and I set up a new plan just for roaming, let’s say 4Giga and I use 2Giga.
The app will count 2Giga from the roaming plan or will count from the main plan or for both? because if does not count from the main plan, when I go back home it will keep showing 11Giga available, but in reality they are 9Giga, because 2 were used while on roaming.
Sorry if I sound confusing :slight_smile:

what does happen if I go abroad and I use roaming and I do not set up a roaming plan?

You should set up a secondary plan, then tap the box “additional options” then tap “Roaming Mobile Data Only”. You now have a second (or third) plan that only tracks mobile data.

Now your original plan for 12GB should continue on with no issues since it’s a separate plan.

You could then make a third plan to count 4GB while at your other destination. This would count non-roaming data in case you were able to use data that was NOT roaming.

You can create a lot of plans and they will not interfere with each other. One thing that can be confusing is that due to the Android API we use we can only track roaming data by creating a data plan with that option under “additional options” and that plan will only show roaming data and no other data. So the solution to go around this is to create a second non roaming plan, or multiple non roaming plans.

The point is since I can use my whole allowance both in my country and abroad I don t need a specific counter while I am abroad. Some plans give you 12G for month and you can spend 4 on roaming. I have 12 in a month, it does not matter where I am.
What I need is that when I am abroad the data will be counted from my main plan.

If I leave just one plan

  1. Will my data be counted while I am abroad in roaming and deducted from the main plan?

  2. Will be sufficient to enable the option ““Roaming Mobile Data Only” in my main plan to deduce data from it?

Sorry for all these questions

First of all, here is how to make a plan for anyone reading in the future.

    • No. You should make an additional plan for roaming only. Make a plan and tap “additional options” then choose roaming only. Due to the system we use for counting data we cannot count roaming data easily. Also you should consider in many countries “roaming” no longer exists, for example most parts of the EU and USA.
    • No, this will cause issues with your main plan if you check this box, because when this box is checked the plan will ONLY count roaming mobile data and no other data.

Perfect and thank you for all the info you gave me and unfortunately is not what I need.
yes roaming costs do not exist, but your connection is on roaming service.

If I create a plans just for roaming and those data used while in roaming are not deducted from my main plan, when I go back home the leftover data on my main account will be more data than I actually have it.

Sorry for any confusion, but I think your main plan should still be correct because your main plan will not count roaming at all. We can only count roaming in a separate plan.

Perhaps you could try roaming somehow before leaving to confirm this.

That is what I want, that my plan counts data when I am abroad in roaming.

Let s see if I am we are saying the same thing since you mentioned Europe before.
If I am based in UK, and I go around Europe (Italy, Spain,France) that is roaming because I am using lines provided by other companies, but I do not pay.
Does the app count it as roaming?

Some plans are (for example) 10 G plus 2 in roaming (total 12)
other plans are 10G of which 2 in roaming (total 2)


Roaming is slowly going away with most mobile providers, but this page has details about roaming.

I guess it would depend on how your mobile provider defines roaming.

For GlassWire, we define roaming as it is defined by the Android operating system. We use an API to count the data on your phone and that API can pick out roaming data from other data usage.

But some mobile providers can use the word “roaming” in non-technical ways so I’m not sure with your situation. I recommend asking your provider how they count roaming, then ask them if they have a custom way to keep track of roaming directly with their own website if you’re very concerned.

If it was me and I knew I had to use roaming I would make one plan for total data usage, then a second data usage plan just for roaming. Then I’d watch both plans, along with checking with my mobile provider every once in awhile.

We have to see how the app reads the data when I am in a country where roaming is included in my plan.
yes I was thinking a similar solution. I will set up another plan for roaming and keep an eye on both plans to see which one " is moving". Eventually, when back home, I will add manually the difference, editing my plans in data plan section.

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A possible solution could be to add manually list of countries where your data are not considered as roaming, and you do not ned to pay for such service.

Would be the app able to detect country-based roaming?

No, the API we use for data counting has no ability to do that, sorry. Also, roaming is slowly going away in most countries in the world due to government changes.

For example in the EU charging for roaming was banned in 2017.

In the USA roaming is also rare these days if it even exists at all anymore with the major mobile providers. I travel to remote locations with limited service in the US fairly often and I have never seen roaming on either of my phones that use different major mobile providers.

Perhaps MVNO services still have roaming, but I searched the web out of curiosity I couldn’t find anyone talking about roaming in any recent posts in forums, etc… in the USA. Perhaps I did not look closely enough though…

May I ask what countries you will be traveling to? “Roaming” may not even exist there anymore.

People I know who travel sometimes just get to their country, then buy a new sim when they get there and use that until they leave. The new sim provides better service usually and since they are usually pre-paid you shouldn’t have any problems with unexpected overages.

If it was me I’d just buy a new sim card when I get there and swap them out until I leave. If you need to make some phone calls with home numbers for business, etc… maybe just temporarily use a separate VOIP service, then cancel it when you get home.

You can still use our Android app to keep track of your data usage on the sim to stay under your pre-paid limits, but you don’t have to worry about weird and complicated “roaming” issues with your mobile provider you use at home.

Unfortunately with Brexit coming we still don’t know what will be the deal with data roaming ( I am UK based).

I am going from UK to Italy.

We should try to make clear what mean roaming for you and me :).

For me roaming means that you go abroad and you use local providers to get signal ( very basic concept). For my prospective, roaming can be free (EU countries) or I have to pay ( let s say Armania, but no idea). In EU roaming is available, but is free.

If for you the meaning of roaming applies just to a service that you have to pay, that means that in EU countries there won’t be roaming. In EU there is no roaming.

If it is the second, yours point, that means that in EU there is no roaming , and that the app will read data from my basic plan. Correct?


Very interesting info about roaming and Brexit, thank you for sharing. I also found this article in case it’s useful for others in the future.

To be honest I don’t know the answer to your question about the EU and roaming. If the Android OS detects roaming it will show it, and if you aren’t roaming it won’t. So it’s up to how the Android OS counts your data. The API we use comes from the phone data usage stats itself so it should be 100% accurate.

If it was me traveling from the USA to Italy I’d probably just buy a sim when I get there but you may have different needs than me.

I recommend calling your mobile provider to be 100% sure how it would work for Italy. Good luck on your trip and I hope we were able to assist you some way. I wish roaming was not so complicated!

For me was just a way to keep trcack, becasue I am sure that till 31/01/2021 won t be extra price for roaming if you have an EU or UK sim.

As you suggested I will set up a second roaming plan and see how it goes. If data are moved from the origianl plan, so we know that is not detecting data as roaming. If data are moving from data roaming plan, we know that is recognising them as roaming.
I will let you know how it goes and eventually you can decide how to move further with your app.

thank you for sharing all those messages and very well done for your amaing app !

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I’d like to revive this topic because I’ve run into the same issue. Currently, I seem to have two options for a data plan. Either I leave “Roaming Mobile Data Only” unticked. In this case, only national data is counted in the data plan. Or I tick the box. Then, only roaming data is counted:

But my plan has a shared data volume for local data and roaming (at least within the EU). So what I’d want is a third option “National AND Roaming Data”, in which the above graphs are combined. Would it be possible to add this option?

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Thanks for your feedback. I’ll share your request with our Android team.

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