what does extended network mean

What does Extended Network Mean on My Phone?

What does extended network mean on your phone? How is it different from roaming? If you need more information on extended network, this article is for you!

An extended network occurs when you are in an area where your service provider does not have its cell tower. However, you are still able to get coverage in the area for free through a different network.

This is possible because of a signed agreement between the two service providers. In this article, we will find out more about it in detail.

Extended vs Roaming

extended network vs roaming

It is no surprise that we tend to confuse these concepts with one another, but the two work very differently.

An extended network applies when there is a deal between two carriers. While a roaming network applies when you are tied to a network without an agreement with your original carrier.

How are they Different?

If you are using extended networks, your wireless connections may be affected. You can experience bandwidth loss because you are not connected to the main source of your service provider.

Which means additional traffic is being used. Nonetheless, it still allows you to get signals even if you are in out-of-coverage areas, free of charge.

In roaming networks, this is not the case. This type of connectivity gives you faster connections because you are paying for the service.

For instance, you are a Verizon user in Mexico. Since Verizon is not partnered with any carrier there and does not have a cell tower, you will acquire roaming charges.

The third-party carrier will pass the charge to your Verizon account.

Knowing the difference between the two will help cut down your expenses.

What does Extended Network mean Verizon?

what does extended network mean verizon

Next, let us discuss what does extended network mean Verizon — one of the biggest service providers in the country.

Verizon implements the general concept of extended networks in its services. The company is very extensive when it comes to providing mobile and wireless services.

It means you are in an area where there are no Verizon cell towers, thus you are now connected to a different provider.

Your device will indicate “Extended” once this happens. You still would not be charged because Verizon has an extension of its services in partnership with the other carrier.

They also refer to this as domestic roaming because you are simply connecting to a different provider in the US, US Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.


As for the price, there is no additional expense if you access Verizon services while roaming domestically.

Although there are certain outdated plans that may incur additional charges. To double-check the details of your plan, contact Verizon.

Since there is an agreement between Verizon and a certain service provider, you will not be charged for domestic roaming.

This applies as long as you make calls, text, and use data within the United States.


On their website, you can access an interactive map that identifies the locations covered by the extended and roaming networks.  

You can also specify the speed in case you want to know how fast connections are in certain places.

Usage limits

Verizon does not implement strict limits with their domestic roaming. They will just utilize your monthly data allowance. Just anticipate slower connectivity at around 2G to 3G only.

If you want to make an international call, this will be an additional charge. This is only free of charge for customers who have International Services enabled in their plan.

You can check their website for instructions on how to upgrade your plan.


Verizon offers varying speeds depending on the location. You may visit their website for more information about their mobile and wireless speeds.

You can also refer to your device to find out how fast your connection is.

But once you connect to a non-Verizon tower, you may experience slower speeds. Currently, Verizon does not provide 5G while using extension services.

What does Extended mean on Sprint Network?

what does extended mean on sprint network

On the other hand, what does extended mean on Sprint network? It is now part of T-Mobile, together they cover almost all of the states in the country.

For Sprint users, it means you have access to the network even if you are outside of areas covered by this carrier.

Even if you are not connected to their cell tower, you can still access its services because you are in a supported area.


Sprint classifies this as a roaming network but the services being accessed through an extended network will not reduce your roaming limits.

On your monthly bill, it will be added under your on-network use.

Roaming limits are different from extended limits. Your roaming limits will only be affected if you connect to the roaming service.

Sprint has a comprehensive map that identifies the areas where extended is applicable.


Sprint users can access information about areas covered on their website. They also have a map where you can see the locations where the extended feature applies.

You also have to specify your device because coverage may depend on what type of device you are using.

Usage limits

You can also learn more about Sprint’s limitations on extended coverage and data roaming on their website.

It is important for subscribers to review this to avoid unnecessary charges. Note that Sprint covers very few United States territories.


Sprint roaming networks are faster than extension ones. Its extended networks only run at 2G but may go faster in certain areas.

The regular speeds resume when you go back to a place covered by Sprint.


Being connected to an extended network gives you a lot of advantages. It aims to give you additional coverage outside your original carrier.

This is very helpful during emergencies in areas where the signal is weak.

Your service provider will automatically connect you to this type of network if it is applicable to your current location. Another benefit is that you do not have to pay anything.

However, an extended network is only intended for occasional use. Users should not rely on this type of network.

You should be aware of the areas covered by your carrier so you can monitor your connections. Most service providers can limit your access once you go beyond the limit.

Key Takeaways

There you have it! Now you know what does extended network mean. Remember, it is not a roaming network because it is free of charge and is only effective in areas supported by your service provider.

Verizon, Sprint, and other carriers have their own terms so make sure you know the guidelines that apply to you.

While this technology offers a lot of benefits, it should still be used with caution.

You can only enjoy its benefits if you set usage limits whether it is for text, calls, or data. This way, you can continue using this service for free.

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