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Cellular settings

Cellular settings let you control the cellular data connection for your phone. You shouldn't need to change anything if your connection is working the way you like. But if you're having connection problems, changing one or more settings may help.

To open cellular settings, in the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Cellular.

Note

The settings that appear vary by mobile operator.

Setting Does this

Active network

Displays the name of the cellular network your phone is using.

Data connection

Turns your cellular data connection off and on. You might turn off your connection for different reasons—for example, to reduce your data usage if you're not on an unlimited data plan, or to make your battery last a little longer.

If your connection is turned off, you can still make and receive phone calls and send and receive text messages. But you can't do things like browse the web, search online, receive or send email, or get updated info for apps unless you're connected to a Wi-Fi network. When your cellular data connection is turned off, you won't be able to send or receive MMS messages, which are text messages that have pictures or other files attached.

For limited Wi-Fi connectivity

Determines if your phone will use cellular data instead of Wi-Fi when it's connected to a Wi-Fi network with limited connectivity—for example, when your phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network but can't connect to the Internet with that connection.

  • Use cellular data. If Wi-Fi connectivity is limited, your phone will use cellular data, and you can continue to do things on your phone that require an Internet connection. This will use your data plan and may incur charges.
  • Don't use cellular data. Your cellular data won't be used if Wi-Fi connectivity is limited. When this happens, you won't be able to do things on your phone that use the Internet.

To have this setting, your phone must be running Windows Phone software version 8.0.10211.204 or later. See How do I update my phone software? for more information about how to update your phone.

Voice roaming options

Determines if you can make calls and send text messages when your phone is outside your mobile operator's network. Leaving it set to Don't roam can help prevent some voice roaming charges. When it's set to this, you can't make calls or send text messages when your phone is in a roaming area, but you can still get calls and receive text messages. Check your phone plan for details about how and when additional charges might be incurred.

If you do allow roaming, you can make calls and send text messages outside your mobile operator's network. Depending on your phone plan, you might pay more for these calls and text messages. You can choose which kind of roaming you want to allow— Domestic or Domestic+international roaming.

Data roaming options

Determines if your data connection stays on when the phone is outside your mobile operator's network. Leaving it set to Don't roam can help prevent data roaming charges.

If you set it to Roam, you can use cellular data when your phone is in a roaming area. Depending on your phone plan, you might pay more for data you use when roaming. Some mobile operators let you specify what kind of data roaming you want to allow—Domestic or Domestic+international roaming.

Restrict background data

Reduces the amount of background data used under certain conditions, such as when you're roaming. Many apps and features update at regular intervals without requiring you to take action—for example, a mail app may check a mail server every few minutes to see if you have new messages in your inbox. Any data used in this way is called background data and can be an issue if you're trying to avoid going over your data limit.

  • Always restrict background data. Your phone will restrict the use of background data.
  • Restrict background data when roaming. Your phone will restrict the use of background data when your phone is in a roaming area.

If you turn on either of these settings, your phone will wait for a Wi-Fi connection to perform background tasks.

Notes

  • Restricting background data may prevent some things from happening automatically, including voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) incoming call notifications, email syncing, background uploads and downloads, and Live Tile updates. If you choose to restrict background data, you'll need to do these things manually.
  • To restrict background data, your phone needs to have Windows Phone software version 8.0.10501.127 or later. See How do I update my phone software? for more information on updating your phone.

Mode selection

Determines which kind of cellular network your phone uses. The kinds of networks your phone can connect to depend on your phone model and mobile operator.

Highest connection speed

Determines the highest connection speed your phone can use. If you choose the highest one, your phone will use that cellular connection when it's available. But if there's a lower signal strength for that faster network in your area, searching for or trying to stay connected to it can take extra battery power.

When you choose a lower connection speed, your phone can connect to a slower cellular network that may have a stronger signal. This can also save battery power.

Network type

Determines how your phone tries to connect if your home network isn't available.

  • Automatic. Default setting. Your phone tries to connect to the best cellular network. If your home network isn't available, your phone tries to connect to another available network.
  • Home network only. Your phone connects only to your home cellular network. This prevents your phone from roaming when your home network isn't available.

Network selection

Lets you view a list of available networks in your current area, and then try to connect to one. The default setting is Automatic.

If you turn on your phone and see a message that the selected network isn't available, you can select another network here.

Add Internet APN

The Internet access point name (APN) is the address your phone uses to connect to the Internet. By default, the Internet APN is set automatically when your phone is first set up.

If your cellular data connection isn't working, try entering a new Internet APN based on your location and mobile operator. If you can connect to a Wi-Fi network on your phone or you're near your computer, try searching online to find the Internet APN settings for your mobile operator.

To add an Internet APN

  1. Tap Add Internet APN.

  2. Do one or more of the following:

    • Tap APN, and then type the address for the APN to use.
    • Tap User name, and then type the user name for your mobile account.
    • Tap Password, and then type the password for your mobile account.
    • Tap Proxy server (URL), and then type the address of the proxy server for your mobile account.
    • Tap Proxy port, and then type the port number.
    • Tap IP type, and then choose the type of IP address to use.
  3. Tap Save Save icon.

Note

  • You must enter an address in the APN box. The other settings are optional and depend on your mobile operator.

Add MMS APN

The MMS access point name (APN) is the address your phone uses to send and receive MMS messages. The MMS APN is also set automatically when your phone is first set up.

If you can't send or receive MMS messages, try entering a new MMS APN based on your location and mobile operator. On your phone or computer, try searching online to find the MMS APN settings for your mobile operator.

To add a MMS APN

  1. Tap Add MMS APN.

  2. Do one or more of the following:

    • Tap APN, and then type the address for the MMS APN to use.
    • Tap User name, and then type the user name for your mobile account.
    • Tap Password, and then type the password for your mobile account.
    • Tap WAP gateway (URL), and then type the address of the WAP gateway to use.
    • Tap WAP gateway port, and then type the WAP gateway port number.
    • Tap MMSC (URL), and then type the address—beginning with http://—of the MMS Center (MMSC) for your mobile operator.
    • Tap MMSC port, and then type the MMSC port number.
    • Tap Maximum MMS size, and then type the maximum size (in MB) of an MMS message you can send.
    • Tap IP type, and then choose the type of IP address to use.
  3. Tap Save Save icon.

Notes

  • You must enter an address in the APN and MMSC (URL) boxes. The other settings are optional and depend on your mobile operator.
  • Some mobile operators might list the MMSC port number as part of the address. For example, http://SiteAddress:portNumber. If they do, enter the http://SiteAddress part in the MMSC (URL) box, and then enter the portNumber in the MMSC port box.

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