How to Disable Roaming on Your Amazon Fire Phone

By Dan Gookin

The word roam takes on an entirely new meaning when applied to your Fire phone, or any cell phone for that matter. It means that your phone receives a cell signal whenever you’re outside your cell phone carrier’s operating area. In that case, your phone is roaming.

Roaming sounds handy, but there’s a catch: It almost always involves a surcharge for using another cellular service — an unpleasant surcharge.

Relax: Your Fire phone alerts you whenever it’s roaming. The Roaming icon appears on the status bar whenever you’re outside your cellular provider’s signal area. The big R is your clue that the phone is finding a signal outside its home turf.

To avoid incurring roaming charges, move to a location where your primary cellular provider has service. That may be difficult, which is why the phone still works when it’s roaming.

You can disable the phone’s ability to roam or confirm that that ability has already been disabled, by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Choose Wi-Fi & Networks.

  3. Choose Turn Off Cellular Data Access.

  4. Slide the master control from Data Roaming to the Off position.

    Data roaming is just the first step. That disables the mobile data network, another source of surcharges. To disable phone roaming, continue with Step 5.

  5. Choose the Advanced item.

  6. Slide the master control by the option Automatic Operator Selection to the Off position.

    This action disables mobile roaming, but this feature might be disabled by your cellular provider.

Your phone can still access the Internet over the Wi-Fi connection when it roams. Setting up a Wi-Fi connection doesn’t make you incur extra charges, unless you have to pay to get on the Wi-Fi network.

The lock screen may also announce that the phone is roaming. You might see the name of the other cellular network displayed. The text Emergency Calls Only might also appear.