TracFone CDMA Development: No longer roaming?

It has recently come to my attention that TracFone has changed its policy with respect to certain CDMA handsets. In the early days of TracFone’s CDMA coverage, phones were assigned a “home” area based on the ZIP code in which the phone was activated. Calls made within that home area were charged at the normal rate of one airtime unit per minute talked.

If the phone was “roaming” outside of that home area, however, a phone call would cost twice as many units. Note that this applies only to older models, including the Motorola v120 and Nokia 1221, 5100, and 2285, as well as the popular Nokia 2126, which is not to be confused with the follow-up 2126i.

Within the last few months, though, users have been reporting that these older models no longer deduct double minutes for calls made from “roaming” territory. Apparently this is something that has happened without any action from the owners of these phones: they simply started working in this manner one day.

This probably won’t affect most people, but I figured it was worth mentioning either for those that do use one of those phones mentioned, or for people that used to have one of those models and really liked it, but switched to a new model to avoid the roaming chargers.

If you fall into this latter category, you may want to consider switching back to your old phone. Keep in mind that if you do, though, you’ll want to make sure you’re not switching from a phone WITH double minutes for life (DMFL) to a phone WITHOUT. In that case, you’d have to carefully consider whether making the switch will save you money.

5 thoughts on “TracFone CDMA Development: No longer roaming?

  1. I now have a LG200C that is CDMA….. as my three other LG Tfones with SIM cards never worked properly!!

    It has no roaming charges. However my question is at home, I normally have only one or two bars. May look again at another time of day still at home… and it shows roaming, with full five or six bars. Not sure they are so small.

    Just wondering why this is. Always works fine… just wondering.

  2. Rick – I don’t know why it shows roaming, but I guess as long as you can always make and receive calls when you need to, let’s not sweat the small stuff, right? Sorry that’s the best I can do, but as long as it’s working now, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Is there anywhere that it does NOT show as roaming?

  3. Hey, This doesn’t really have anything to do with CDMA or Roaming; but I just saw some new `09 TracFones on the TracFone website. Here’re the new TracFones: LG 100C (open-faced/candybar), LG 220C (flip-phone), LG 290C (slider), Samsung R451 (possibly a QWERTY-slider-from rumors), and Samsung T401G (looks to be either reg. candybar or slider phone). Just thought I’d say something about it…unless you’ve already figured it out. :-)

  4. The R451 looks like a QWERTY silder based on the pictures in the battery change instructions.
    It’s not on the Samsung site, though the R450 looks the same externally. It has a QWERTY keyboard, Bluetooth, camera, and MP3 player w/ microSD slot.
    http://www.samsung.com/us/consumer/mobile/mobile-phones/more-carriers/SCH-R450NBACRI/index.idx?pagetype=prd_detail&subsubtype=cricket

    Looking at the battery change instructions for the T401G it looks like a slider too, probably with a QWERTY keyboard.

    I was considering the LG600G, but a QWERTY slider would be nice, as I mostly send text messages.

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