Question related to Cellular Data and restrictions..

Joshua Goldbard j at
Wed Dec 4 22:18:12 UTC 2013

TL;DR: peering is not free in wireless.


So as you may or may not be aware, most operators do not, in fact have nationwide networks, just as you, as I assume you're an operator, do not run last mile connectivity to all your customers (or every intervening interconnect for that matter). The same is true in wireless.

Sprint (arbitrary example) has coverage in most of the top 100 metros but supplements this coverage with domestic roaming agreements (usually with Verizon or a group of independent tower aggregators). Sprint pays Verizon for the traffic they send to their network.

The pricing you receive as a consumer is based upon the majority of your traffic hitting sprints towers (and not being ferried over a more expensive channel, like a roaming agreement). When you send your data over a partners network it raises your wireless company's cost of delivering service, in some cases so much so that you become unprofitable. Sprint isn't a charity and therefore cuts you loose.


Sent from my iPhone

On Dec 4, 2013, at 2:06 PM, "Warren Bailey" <wbailey at> wrote:

> All,
> I realize this is not exactly relevant to the usual topics on NANOG, but I thought this list was a decent place to ask a question related to cellular data usage limits.
> Have any of you experienced or been subjected to a "domestic data roaming policy"? I am a customer of a carrier who advertises "Unlimited Nationwide 4G data", but limits their customers to 50MB per month while traveling in an area they do not have coverage (Alaska, for example). I've never heard of such a policy in regards to a "Nationwide" plan.. I thought the entire idea of saying nationwide was to represent you were covering the ENTIRE NATION.
> Happy to receive replies on or off-list.
> Thanks!
> //warren

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