Telkom has launched a way for users to block roaming via USSD to solve the ongoing “TelkomSA-R” problems its mobile subscribers have been experiencing.
Many Telkom mobile subscribers have been complaining about network problems since the company switched its roaming partner from MTN to Vodacom.
Telkom’s on-network data package subscribers were hit particularly hard, as they were regularly being disconnected from the Internet.
The issue appears to be related to how Telkom has configured roaming connectivity on the Vodacom network.
Telkom has set up a separate network called “TelkomSA-R” with the Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN) code of 65505.
Based on the network’s behaviour, TelkomSA-R is a kind of virtual network for roaming which runs on Vodacom’s infrastructure.
The intention was that customers would connect to the TelkomSA network whenever they were within the coverage area of Telkom’s own infrastructure.
When they moved outside of that coverage area, they would “roam” on TelkomSA-R, which is actually powered by Vodacom’s network.
This did not work as planned. Many Telkom subscribers complained that they were randomly moved to the TelkomSA-R network in areas where there is TelkomSA coverage.
This left them without connectivity and an easy way to switch back to the Telkom network.
Blocking Telkom roaming
To address this problem, Telkom has launched a new option for subscribers to block roaming on the TelkomSA-R network.
The option is available under the *180# USSD menu, where users are given the option to “Manage TelkomSA-R”.
After selecting this option, users are given the choice to “Block TelkomSA-R”.
This new functionality should resolve the problems which many Telkom on-net data and fixed-LTE subscribers have been experiencing.