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Unsteered vs Steered Roaming

For the technically-curious we thought we’d add this blog entry to provide some explanation of the five Network Choice options that you are provided at Checkout. Being something that’s not offered by any mainstream network we have a little bit of a task explaining it and not confusing people beyond what’s necessary. We hope that people who want and need this explanation will find this page!

There are two types of Network Roaming

Basically – a network has two options when setting up network roaming. Roaming across multiple networks gives the user far better connection in remote areas, but is more costly to provide. Rather than pass all the costs on to customers, especially those who would appreciate roaming, but don’t actually need it that often, ParentShield has decided, in typically ParentShieldytm way, to do things slightly differently.

Steered Roaming

Steered Roaming – where we dynamically control the HLR to try and maintain the best combination of Signal and cost. The HLR is the “home location register” which is the database that tells mobile networks and SIM cards what is where, and what can connect to where at any one time. Its a dynamically-changing database that operates like a directory – or the DNS system that internet systems use.

Unsteered Roaming

Unsteered Roaming – where we leave it to the phone / networks to switch networks solely with signal in mind.

We have tried putting these two options like this on the checkout page with *disastrous* consequences, as people don’t normally get offered such a choice and are understandably very confused! We all know which networks we like, and what coverage we have at home or school, but to offer Steered or Unsteered roaming as an option leaves far too many unanswered questions for the average customer who, understandably, just wants the best possible connection for their children.

So what we have done is break it down to:

Three ( Open steered roaming )

O2 – ( steered roaming with costs adjusted to allow permanent use on O2 ) 

VF – ( steered roaming with costs adjusted to allow permanent use on VF ) 

EE – ( steered roaming with costs adjusted to allow permanent use on EE ) 

Super-Roaming ( Completely Unsteered UK roaming, and Worldwide Roaming )

Best of Both Worlds

Occasionally we are asked directly whether our Network provides Steered or Unsteered roaming. So the actual answer to this is *both*.

The SIM will still be able to use all four networks no matter which option you choose at checkout, but manually setting a SIM to always use Vodafone, EE or O2 increases the costs which is why we have an extra charge for this situation.

Super Roaming means the strongest signal at all times and we can also roam across hundreds of countries.

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