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EU roaming not working

SMARTY Maverick
SMARTY Maverick

Any tips for getting EU roaming to work on an iPhone? I have followed the steps suggested on the smarty website (going to mobile data network and changing the mobile data/MMS APN to Roaming is switched on. I’ve re-started the phone a few times. 

i still have no internet. I specifically bought this plan because it said EU roaming was included, so quite annoyed that it’s not working! Currently limited to wifi.


@LaurenS_2643774  Worth checking the you do have mobile data roaming turned on in the phone settings.

If you cannot get service on a network, worth changing to manual network selection in your settings and then trying each in turn to see if any is better.

Don't forget the 12GB limit while roaming and also 60 day limit.

View solution in original post


SMARTY Motivator
SMARTY Motivator

This is the smarty community forum, we are customers just like you. 

Double check that you have changed the APN to “”

Do a manual network selection, rather than letting your phone automatically select a network.

It may simply be that the location you are in has poor network coverage, which is outside the control of Smarty, as you are roaming on a foreign network. 

Took me days to find this solution! No coverage in Italy till I changed the APN. Now have data! Hope this works for rest of Europe and my travels as the data in UK was also very sporadic and dropped out constantly...

@Teaspoons  This is well covered on smarty web page:

SMARTY Trendsetter
SMARTY Trendsetter

Have you checked you're in one of SMARTY Mobile's inclusive EU roaming destinations, @LaurenS_2643774

If yes, are you near the border of a country not covered by inclusive EU roaming - sometimes you can pick-up a  signal from across a border, if it's 'stronger'.



@LaurenS_2643774  You do not say which country you are roaming in. Are you certain that the phone is finding an EU network?

From personal experience, EU Roaming works well in a number of different countries.

SMARTY Maverick
SMARTY Maverick

Thanks for all your replies! 
Sorry I should’ve mentioned the country I was in - I’m in the Netherlands (Amsterdam at the moment), then heading to Germany and Austria over next couple of weeks

really frustrating I can’t get it to work, think I’m gonna have to waste money and buy another SIM card! 

@LaurenS_2643774  Worth checking the you do have mobile data roaming turned on in the phone settings.

If you cannot get service on a network, worth changing to manual network selection in your settings and then trying each in turn to see if any is better.

Don't forget the 12GB limit while roaming and also 60 day limit.

Thanks - yes absolutely that's the first thing i checked, to make sure roaming was switched on! 

i've also tried manually selecting each of the 3 networks that come up, and it just keeps telling me i don't have internet.

Looks like i will have to get a non-smarty sim card so i'm not restricted to wifi

This is apparently “the solution”


IF you can’t get it to work, and your phone is eSIM compatible, get a travel eSIM, which is data only, so you could use WhatsApp for calls and texts

You could try Airalo or Holafly - Plenty of videos on YouTube - search “Project Untethered” for some good explainer videos 

thanks for the suggestion - i've never used an e-sim but it looks like the phone has the option to add one. Will look into it!

@LaurenS_2643774 Provided that the iPhone is an XS or later, it should accept an Esim.

I recently used one and it worked extremely well. Just a tip - if you use Airalo, check for regional sims (i.e. Europe) rather than individual countries as this will save money. (Advice may apply to the other Esim providers, but I settled on Airalo so am not sure)

Yes @MSF @LaurenS_2643774 All eSIM providers offer regional and also global bundles. 

Most European regional eSIMs also include the UK, so any data left over after a trip to continental Europe isn’t wasted, as it can be used here in the UK.


My experience of smarty roaming is they give you data not limit access speeds to edge so no way to use it. The excuses posted that the roamed to network reserve 5G for own customers is rubbish. My partner with me has giffgaff sim and is roaming to same networks and gets constant 5G. When I use an eSIM (also roaming) I get 5G as well so I can only assume it is a an active choice by smarty to deliver very limited nearly useless service. Sounds good in theory but complete useless in practice. I would avoid smarty if you are looking to have a useable roaming service. 

Sweeping generalisations there !

I have successfully used Smarty’s EU roaming in Amsterdam, Prague, Pardubice, Bratislava, Paris and other places. 

When you are abroad and roaming on other networks, Smarty of course has no control over those networks - IF foreign networks choose to restrict 5G services to their own paying customers, and some do, there is nothing Smarty can do.

As this is the Smarty Community Forum, we are smarty customers, we do not work for Smarty, so you have two choices - whinge directly at Smarty or maybe move to GiffGaff, where you would earn your girlfriend some “payback points”

@Rob_2282497  I must totally agree with @JJP2RidesAgain here. I have roamed quite successfully with Smarty in many parts of EU with no problems. There are times when it pays to do manual network selection rather than auto.

When you use an Esim, why network are you on? Is it the same one as when EU Roaming on Smarty?

Doesn't the Esim purchase service from just one network in the country where you roam?

Hi @MSF Travel esim providers do sometimes use multiple networks in a country. 

Airalo’s UK eSIM uses a combination of both O2 and Three. If users buy their European eSIM, which includes the UK, EE is added to the list of available networks in the UK, and users can manually switch between the strongest network. 

Well @Rob_2282497, is the best way to show your disappointment and dissatisfaction ,with SMARTY Mobile's inclusive EU roaming setup, switching service provider?

You've highlighted giffgaff in this situation, so perhaps they're a good option, and also bag some payback points as per @JJP2RidesAgain remarks. 

These constant issues with EU roaming concerns me. I am awaiting my number to be ported across to SMARTY and one of the main reasons I moved to them was it gave me decent data to use at home and also in the EU as part of my plan and an option to add more if i needed to when i go to France on holiday in August.

Any other provider I have used has always been great abroad, usually with a better signal than when at home but all these reported issues with SMARTY roaming cannot be a coincidence and seems like a second rate service and very hit and miss. Think my stay may be a short one as I don't want to be messing about on holiday trying to sort mobile data!!

As long as you change the APN in your phone to “” you should be fine - I say should because when you are roaming on a foreign network, that network is not under the control of Smarty Mobile of course. 

I myself have roamed successfully within Europe and the United States. Like in the UK, when roaming, if you are in large urban areas, you will get good coverage, but that coverage won’t be so good in rural areas. Again, if you are roaming on Bouyges Telecom in France, KPN in the Netherlands, Verizon in the USA or wherever, their infrastructure is what it is, and is not controlled by Smarty. 

To be frank, Smarty Mobile is a great value for money mobile network, but that is also its Achilles heel - Some people who are attracted by Smarty’s pricing are expecting to pay lemonade money, and moan when they are not getting a champagne service ! 

If you don’t know how to change the APN in your device to “” for it to work abroad, consult your device’s manual. Alternatively, you can read the FAQ on this forum and / or watch the help videos. This is a one time change too, as upon your return to the UK, your device will still function correctly with “” as its APN.

I have just been roaming in Austria and Czech with no issues. 
germany was dreadful, no data possible. 
being limited by Smarty?

@StuartM_2697705  I must agree with @JJP2RidesAgain , I have roamed in different parts of EU with no problems.

This past week has been my experience too. Travelled across the EU with others and in about 4 out of 15 countries I only received E or nothing and the others roamed with 5g mostly. 
A very disappointing experience. 

SMARTY Maverick
SMARTY Maverick

I’m having exactly the same in Poland. Been on live chat for 2 days. Tried the sim in other phones - exactly the same. 

I don’t understand what’s going on. I’m on an iPhone 15 Pro. Ive travelled with Smarty all over Europe (including Poland) before. It’s just not working. 

after 2 hours on live chat I got a refund on my monthly package and got an eSIM which is working perfectly. 

what a hassle though! Ive been a big smarty advocate- but I need something more reliable. 

@RoCoUK  Not totally sure that it is fair to blame Smarty here. You say yourself that you have travelled all over Europe with a smarty sim and presumably you were happy with it.

Surely this is down to the local network(s) - I assume that you did a manual search and tried each in turn.

Wildcard're not anywhere near Ukraine where there may be congestion?

SMARTY Maverick
SMARTY Maverick

Hey - it’s entirely Smarty at fault here. I have a vodafone corporate sim that works fine. The smarty sim in my other iPhone doesn’t work. 

Ive tried the following:

- check the network settings

- disable 5g

- manual select network

- voda sim in my IPhone 15 - works

- smarty sim in my IPhone 14 - doesn’t work

- full network reset

- eSIM in my iPhone 15 - works

there is something wrong with the HLR at Smarty’s end. 
I’m in the centre of Krakow and have never had an issue before. 

Anoop from live chat has been amazing. But it’s just not working. 

I tried all networks in Dresden, nothing

in Vienna the day before was fine. 

SMARTY Pioneer
SMARTY Pioneer

Just changed to Smarty, have 38 gb left of my monthly allowance but arrived in Amsterdam and no mobile data. All settings were done before travelling and I’ve been in chat with Smarty while on airport WiFi waiting in passport line. Was told that the reason I couldn’t automatically get roaming data was because I’d used up my 12gb data. But I used that in UK and assumed because my monthly plan is 50gb data, that any 12gb data of that is useable in EU roaming not just the first 12gb of each month. So I’ve had to pay £7 extra for an EU data add on for 3 days. Not what I was expecting when I signed up. 

that any 12gb data of that is useable in EU roaming not just the first 12gb of each month”

that’s really poor. I need to look for new provider. Smarty is just plain unreliable. 

Hiya Richard!

We are aware of the issue and are actively working to resolve it. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused. If you encounter this problem again, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Contact us - FAQ | SMARTY

Thank you for your understanding.


SMARTY Pioneer
SMARTY Pioneer

Bottom line is….you cannot rely on Smarty roaming. 
sometimes it works great, other times virtually nothing. 

SMARTY Pioneer
SMARTY Pioneer

I’m getting nothing in Malaga had to buy an e sim roaming was the reason I went for Smarty it previously worked in Lanzarote 

@Buberlub Did you try a manual search of the networks available?

SMARTY Pioneer
SMARTY Pioneer

Yes tried them all reset network settings and re imputed the APN just flashes 3G but doesn’t work 

@Buberlub Very unusual! Usually at least Movistar works in Spain.