Navigating Cellular Roaming: Overcoming Signal Challenges and Troubleshooting Tips

Cellular roaming has revolutionized the way we stay connected while traveling abroad. However, even with advancements in technology, occasional hiccups can occur. We’ll delve into a personal experience with cellular roaming in Japan, where signal fluctuations and unexpected network transitions left me without data service. We’ll explore the potential causes of the issue, including multiple SIM cards, and discuss the simple yet effective troubleshooting technique that saved the day.

The Roaming Experience in Japan:
During my recent visit to Japan, I had the opportunity to experience cellular roaming firsthand. I was using SoftBank as my service provider, while my daughter’s phone was on Docomo. Initially, both phones provided seamless connectivity. However, I encountered an unexpected obstacle when I lost signal inside a train station, and my phone switched over to the AU network. To my dismay, despite having full signal bars, I found myself without data service or any functionality.

Two SIM Cards, One Phone: Unraveling the Mystery
Initially, I suspected that the presence of two SIM cards in my phone—a physical SIM card and an e-SIM—might have caused the connectivity issue. With this theory in mind, I promptly removed the physical SIM card, leaving only the e-SIM active. However, to my surprise, this did not resolve the problem. Even with the e-SIM as the sole active SIM, my phone remained unable to establish a connection on the AU network.

Exploring Cellular Options: Undeterred, I delved into my phone’s cellular options, hoping to find a resolution there. I experimented with different roaming providers listed in the settings, including unfamiliar names like KDDI and NT Docomo. Despite my attempts, none of these changes had any positive impact on my connectivity. The frustration of being unable to establish a data connection persisted.

Rebooting: The Troubleshooting Hero
Frustrated by the lack of connectivity, I decided to reboot the phone. To my relief, this simple action proved to be the solution. After restarting the device, it automatically reconnected to the available network, and I was once again able to access data services. It’s important to note that rebooting your device can often resolve various software-related issues, including those affecting cellular connectivity.

Understanding Signal Strength and Network Transitions:
The scenario described above highlights the importance of signal strength and network transitions in cellular roaming. While my phone displayed full signal bars on the AU network, the lack of data service indicated a weak or unstable signal. Network transitions occur when your phone automatically switches between different cellular networks to maintain connectivity. These transitions depend on factors such as signal strength, network availability, and agreements between your home network provider and the roaming network. In this case, the network transition to AU resulted in a temporary loss of service until the device was rebooted.

INTERESTING UPDATE: I noticed the phone roam into AU again during the day and it worked just fine. I’m guessing that I could’ve probably just rebooted at the time and it would’ve fixed it also.

Tips for a Smooth Roaming Experience:

Research and Preparation: Before traveling, research the available network providers in your destination, their coverage areas, and the agreements your home network provider has with them. This information will help you select the most suitable network option for your needs.

Enable Roaming and Check Settings: Ensure that your phone’s roaming settings are enabled before your departure. Additionally, periodically review and verify your network settings to ensure they are correctly configured for roaming.

Network Selection: Some phones allow you to manually select a preferred network. If you encounter connectivity issues or wish to prioritize a specific network, exploring this option might provide a solution.

Troubleshooting Techniques: In cases of connectivity issues, try simple troubleshooting techniques such as rebooting your device. Restarting can often resolve software-related problems and restore connectivity.

Cellular roaming offers incredible convenience, allowing us to stay connected when traveling abroad. However, occasional signal challenges and network transitions can disrupt our connectivity. By understanding the factors influencing cellular roaming and employing effective troubleshooting techniques like rebooting, we can overcome these obstacles and enjoy a seamless roaming experience. So, stay informed, be prepared, and roam the world with confidence!

OPS1 – VMware Management app for the iPhone – Fantastic!

I’ve been using this app for quite some time, but haven’t found the time to write about it.

If you use an iPhone or iPad and manage a vSphere environment, you’ll want this app. You can get it here: OPS1 – VMware and Amazon AWS Cloud Management for …

It’s made by a company called Spragos based out of Santa Clara, CA. You can find their website here:

It’s pretty awesome that I could manage my vSphere hosts and VMs without having to power on the laptop. Since I’m on a Mac, I don’t enjoy bringing up the vSphere thick client and even the web client takes quite some time to load. Most of the time, I just need to power on or off a VM or shutdown a host anyways. This app has allowed for me to do these things without having to power on my laptop or even if I’m on the laptop, I don’t need to start up Fusion for the client and I’m loving it.

Here are some screen shots. You can configure a single or multiple hosts – connect to vCenter or an ESX host directly. It will also cache credentials. Since I’m not necessarily in a super secure environment (my home lab), I don’t care much about security. I hate having to type my password in over and over just to log in or even my user name for that matter.

After logging in, here’s my home screen. From here, I usually head over to Virtual Machines or Hosts, depending on what I want to do.


I’m I’m interested in what’s going on overall, I would navigate to Status. Here, I could see at a high level that everyone’s going just fine with my host.


It’s not always this way though – see, it pulls events and alarms from Corporate Event Planners.


If you go into VMs, you can see a nice list of the VMs:


Then, you can drill into the properties of the VM and see what’s going on, make changes, power on or off, etc



If a VM was suddenly unresponsive for some reason, maybe the CPU stats could give you a clue as to what was going on. In my case, I just had a couple of spikes.


I think you get my point. It’s a great app! Download it free and try it yourself. I honestly feel that the value of the free version is well worth the measly $10 for upgrading to the Enterprise version. It’s probably saved me hours of time if you aggregate the couple of minutes it takes to start up the mac, start up fusion, start up the vSphere client and then logging into the ESX or vCenter server.

Here’s a few other screenshots just for eye candy’s sake.