5x worse latency with cellular roaming

Dear all,

In short: Did someone manage to reduce the insane increase in latency in case of roaming cellular data?

I have a Balance 20X (with a CAT18, CAT4 and two android phones) and are sailing around the world. What I experience is that there is a huge gain in latency only because the cellular provider sends the traffic back to the home country.

I usually have a latency of 200ms in the US/Canada/Carabbean with different SIM cards (all roaming).

I first thought that might be a special problem I experience until I found that this is “normal”. There is a study which find similar effects:

Median Local vs. Roaming Latency
Q1-Q2 2018 | 4G LTE
|Country|Local Latency (ms)|Roaming Latency (ms)|% Difference|

Did someone figured out how to avoid this dramatic increase in latency? Unfortunately I can’t use a local SIM as this would require me to constantly buy new SIMs.

I read something about “local break out”. Which indicates that it might be possible to avoid the “sending home” feature. I tried to use local APN configuration, but this didn’t work.

Did anyone had success on this?

Thanks and Regards,

As you note, this is normal. When you’re roaming, the only way your home mobile network operator can account for your usage is if that traffic comes back and flows through its systems. So a roaming sim will typically always send its traffic home.

How if you work with the proper MVNO geeks (and there are some lurking on here), they can do some clever things to help. Firstly they can change the traffic breakout location, so they might have one in Amsterdam and another in the New York for example so when you are on different continents your traffic does not go inter continental.

Different MVNOs can also have different relationships with the local MNOs, and can do things like provide SIMs with MUlti-IMSIs to change the SIM card identity so that you don’t need to roam in some countries.

The new MAX adapter supports eSIM which allows the use of multiple operators and the ability to subscribe simultaneously to several data plans.


Hi Martin,

thanks a lot. Good idea regarding the new Max with eSim Support.

If some MVNO geek could help me would be perfect as well. We use about 60GB per month. I hope you have a reasonable prices contract. I have seen some insane rates there.