If you’re a Sprint customer with an Android phone it’s a good bet that you sometimes find yourself in places where the Sprint signal is so weak that it’s unusable, yet just strong enough to prevent the phone from roaming, even when there is a strong roaming signal available. And if you’re like me, you don’t like it one bit.
In times past most Sprint phones had a setting that would allow you to force the phone into Roaming-Only mode in situations like the one above, but current models no longer have this feature. Why? Because Sprint doesn’t want to have to pay other carriers for allowing you to use their cell towers. Forcing their customers to remain on the Sprint network unless there is no Sprint signal available whatsoever saves the company a lot of money over the course of a month.
There is a way to force your Android phone into Roaming mode however by using a great little app called Roam Control. It works by basically restoring the “Roaming Only” option that is now missing from Sprint’s Android phones. If you’re a regular reader of this blog you know that I’m all about FREE downloads, but Roam Control is one of the few non-free apps that I recommend paying for.
Roam Control costs $3.99. You can purchase and download it directly from the company’s website, but not from the Google Play Store.
All of that being said, there are a couple of things you need to be aware of before purchasing Roam Control:
1 – If you roam too much (in Sprint’s opinion) Sprint will terminate your account. This shouldn’t be a problem however if you only roam when you absolutely have to.
2 – If you have any HTC Android phone besides the EVO LTE you can use Roam Control without “rooting” the phone, but all other Sprint Android phones will have to be rooted before Roam Control can work its magic. The folks at Lifehacker have written an outstanding post explaining the advantages and risks of rooting your Android phone along with step-by-step instructions for doing it should you decide to proceed.
If the ability to force your phone into Roaming Mode is worth having to spend $3.99 and root your phone, then by all means give Roam Control a try. You’ll find complete details about the app as well as the purchase and download pages at www.roamctrl.com.