Most users of the 3 Mobile service in Australia who use the data services would know that if the phone starts Roaming on the Telstra network and you use the data then you get charged 50c/mb for the data and its not covered in the cap allowance.

There is a setting in the Android phones to Disable the data usage while the phone is roaming but due to the way 3 have implemented the “Roaming” arrangement with Telstra, the phone actually does not detect that its “Roaming” and hence keeps using the data.

If your phone has some apps running which are using data in the background or for instance you are listening to streaming radio or watching youtube videos, you would not know if the phone has gone into roaming and it can result in potentially hefty roaming charges in your next bill.

This App runs as a service to monitor the current network operator and changes the APNs if the phone goes into Roaming, hence making the phone unable to access data (due to invalid APN settings). When it detects that the phone is back on 3, it’ll switch the data back on. It also displays a notification icon after it toggles the data access to make it easy for the user to identify if the phone is roaming or not.

Android 4/Ice Cream Sandwich: Ice Cream Sandwich disabled 3rd Party app access to write/change APN settings, so this app now works by enabling/disabling the 3G data setting in phone Settings.

Recently 3 has started merging with the Vodafone 2G network so 3 users can now roam to Vodafone 2G without being charged for data access. This access is not allowed everywhere but has more coverage area compared to 3′s network. 3 has sent over-the-air updates to their sim cards so now most phone will not see ‘vodafone AU’ as a separate network in the list of networks but will appear as just ’3′ or ’3 2G’, although it may not work on all phones and you may still see vodafone in the list. You may also need to enable the option to allow Roaming Data to use it as most phones seem to think that they are actually Roaming. This app now supports the phone connecting to the vodafone network and also has an option to disable it just in case.

NOTE: Uninstall with internet access enabled, otherwise you’ll be offline, needing to change APNs manually.

 

To use it, download and install it on your Android phone. When you run it it’ll show you a screen which has 4 buttons:

  • Start Service – Starts the service which monitors the network and changes the APNs.
  • Stop Service – Stops the service if its running.
  • Refresh Status- Refreshes the display which has information about the current operator, status of the service and data.
  • Donate – If you wish to donate via PayPal.

Menu:

  • Help – Displays Help.
  • Preferences – Opens Preferences Screen.
  • APN List – Displays current APN List.

So, to get started, Click on the “Start Service” to start the service that monitors the network operator.

Download:

Android app sites because they list apps available in US while Stop 3 Data Roaming is only available for users in Australia.

 

How to identify which network is the phone connected to?

Connected to 3 (3G or HSDPA) – No extra charges

Stop 3 Data Roaming’s notification icon displaying that the phone is connected to 3.

Connected to Vodafone 2G (GPRS or EDGE) – No extra charges

Stop 3 Data Roaming’s notification icon displaying that the phone is connected to 3.

Connected to Roaming (Telstra) – Extra charges for Data Access

Stop 3 Data Roaming’s notification icon displaying that the phone is connected to Roaming.

Change Log:

2.2

  • Now honours the 3G Data Enable/Disable in Phone Settings. It won’t restart the data if the data was manually disabled by the user.

2.1

  • Fix for a bug where the app wasn’t starting on phone restart on Android 4.0+ devices.

2.0

  • Experimental support for Android 4.0+. This app now works by changing the 3G/Mobile Data in Phone Settings.

1.2 (10/04/2010)

  • Another fix for ‘vodafone AU’.

1.1 (08/04/2010)

  • Now allows data if the network appears as ‘Vodafone AU’.
  • Added a Preferences screen.
  • Changed the way preferences are stored.
  • Changed the Layout.

1.0.5 (04/01/2010)

  • Fixed a bug where stopping the service while Roaming would result in a misleading notification that the phone is not roaming anymore.
  • Added the option to not disable MMS APNs.

1.0.4 (27/09/2009)

  • Minor changes to the notifications displayed.

1.0.3 (13/09/2009)

  • Now tries to recover if the service crashes for some reason.
    If you’ve had problems with the service crashing earlier then make sure you keep the Logging enabled in the app. If the service recovers from a crash, it will display a notification requesting you to send the log immediately, resulting in more information about the circumstances in which it crashed.
  • Added a Donate button if you wish to donate via Paypal :)

1.0.2 (07/09/2009)

  • Fixed a bug where the app could crash if the phone was started while in a Roaming area.

1.0.1 (17/08/2009)

  • Fix for a problem where the app may crash if there were too many APNs defined on the phone. More of a problem in rooted ROMs which have APNs defined for a lot of operators/countries. These APNs are not visible in the list of APNs on the phone as they are not applicable for the current SIM operator. The list of APNs in the app (Menu -> More -> APN List) would show the list of APNs it would update.

1.0 (04/08/2009)

  • Added Icons for the App for the Launcher, and for the Notifications.
  • Added a menu for the App.
  • Added Help Screen (Menu -> Help)
  • Moved the APN List to a menu (Menu -> More -> APN List)
  • Added option to turn logging on/off (Menu -> More -> Enable/Disable Logging)
  • Added menu to quit from the Activity screen.
  • Starting the service now checks the operator immediately and disables data access if needed.