February 10, 2022
In some areas where GCI does not yet have coverage, we partner with other networks to offer Alaska’s largest mobile network.
How it works
When you travel outside of GCI’s network areas, your phone* automatically switches to use one of our wireless network partners where available when you have data roaming enabled.
- These areas are shown on GCI’s coverage map as Talk & Text Only
- GCI coordinates with these partners to give our customers connectivity outside of our network. GCI does not charge an additional fee for this service, but because we do not own these networks, there are limitations to data use.
- There may be times when your device still attempts to roam on a partner network, even when you're within the GCI coverage area.
*Your smartphone must be VoLTE capable to automatically connect to our partner networks. View VoLTE capable phones and how to turn on VoLTE ➔
How to know if you're roaming domestically
The best way to see your active network is to go into the phone settings and look for the mobile network or phone status options. The process varies by device. View our online user manuals ➔
- When roaming on these networks, you'll receive free usage alerts via text message to alert you if you approach/reach your available domestic roaming data.
- You can review the GCI coverage map prior to traveling to determine if your destination is within a GCI or partner network area.
How much partner roaming data do you get?
Apex, Summit, Peak, Explore, No Worries Mobile, and Lifeline Mobile Plans
Your mobile plan includes 200MB of partner roaming data coverage per bill cycle at 2G speeds and unlimited voice and text. If roaming on a partner network, you will receive data at 2G speeds until you return to a GCI coverage area. This additional amount of data is provided as a courtesy, and may change or even be removed at any time. View GCI’s wireless service terms and conditions ➔
Prepaid FastPhone and Simply Share Plans
At this time, partner roaming is not available with these plans. Please contact GCI for information on how to switch to a qualifying plan.
Tips to reduce data use
You will receive a free usage alert via text message to notify you when you’re approaching the end of your partner roaming data for that area and a second alert when you reach it. Your unlimited voice and text service is not affected by reaching your partner roaming data limit.
To reduce data usage when roaming:
- Use Wi-Fi whenever possible, especially when streaming or downloading.
- Adjust the settings in your phone to disable data roaming, and then turn it on only when you need it. Visit our online user manuals, select your device, and you'll find steps to change these settings.
- Avoid using apps that use a lot of data when roaming, such as streaming video.
- Turn off background data sync for apps. Set email and other social networking apps that sync data to "manual" mode instead of "automatic" or "push," so you can control when they use data.
What happens when your partner roaming data is used
GCI does not charge for partner roaming data. You will receive a free usage alert via text message to notify you when you’re approaching the end of partner roaming data available for that area, and a second alert when you reach it.
Once you've used all of your partner roaming data in a bill cycle, your data services may not be available until you return to a GCI coverage area or until your next bill cycle, but you will continue to receive unlimited voice and text service.
- If you have a Wi-Fi-capable device, you can still connect to Wi-Fi to access the internet while roaming.
How do I know how much partner roaming data I’m using?
When you are roaming on partner coverage, you'll receive a free usage alert via SMS to notify you when you have used 80% of your monthly domestic roaming data on standard networks and another when you reach 100%.
My mobile network shows LTE, why can’t I stream video?
If roaming on a partner network, you will receive data at 2G speeds, and voice service will be provided through VoLTE. Learn more about VoLTE ➔