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US roaming plan

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7:55 pm
December 2, 2011


jian1

Member

posts 4

Gosh, I've been waiting for years to hope speakout would add a US roaming rate, and I don't mind they charge $1/min, all I want is to be able to use the phone while in Buffalo!! It's getting more irritating a while back, my mom trapped at Buffalo Intl airport but unable to reach me until I crossed the CAD-US border, that was really really annoying.

Or is there any other pre-paid phone plan allows US roaming? I don't use my cell that much, so a monthly plan is definitely not good for me.


3:49 am
December 3, 2011


bridonca

Moderator

posts 1078

With a Canadian carrier, the only real option is to buy a Rogers SIM card for $5 or $10, because you can use the same Speakout phone. $2 a minute though. Just don't pick up the phone, use it as a beeper, and use a calling card to call.

http://www.rogers.com/web/cont…..b4_content

Your best option is to buy a phone with minutes at Walmart in the US. lots of options here.
http://www.walmart.com/search/…..raint=3944

9:39 am
December 3, 2011


Peter

BC

Admin

posts 617

If you're not averse to buying a new phone, I think that Wind's latest offer is very attractive:

http://www.windmobile.ca/en/Pa…..rvice.aspx

10:22 am
December 3, 2011


iamdrumming

Niagara Falls

Moderator

posts 1839

As far as I know, WIND (like SpeakOut) does not have roaming in the USA.

Since I live in a border town, I happened to get a T-Mobile sim card. After you add $100 in airtime, then all top-ups after that last a year, and there are no 911 fees. The lowest airtime card with them is $10. I put that on my card, so that $10 can last a year.

7:15 pm
December 3, 2011


jian1

Member

posts 4

I only go to the states for like twice/trice per year… $10 is still way too much.

My mistake was to cross that damn border and had to turn back again after receiving a call about my mom missed the flight…. paying toll twice and border person was looking at me as if I was smuggling weeds. Is there any place close to that border bridge within US territory but has rogers coverage?

ETA: The real culprit is that corrupted Canadian airline was monopolizing and even cross-border flight is wayyyyy cheaper than driving to Pearson.

5:15 am
December 4, 2011


iamdrumming

Niagara Falls

Moderator

posts 1839

Your best best would be to get a Canadian provider that has US roaming. All carrier's signals will bleed across the border a little bit, but not too far. I usually can get SpeakOut coverage in Niagara Falls, NY about 5 or 6 blocks, but as I go east, the signal is gone.

As far as $10/year go, that is the absolute cheapest option, so if that's still too much, your only bet would be a Canadian provider with US roaming.

8:57 am
December 4, 2011


Taigong

Member

posts 3

It sounds like you r using the prepaid speakout phone, and can't make and receive calls in US. There are several options:
1. As "iamdrumming" pointed out, you may be able to get speakout signals near the border. So you don't have to cross the border just to make phone calls. My experience was that sometime you can get signals even 1 km into US. This is the cheapest options. But you will have to get close to Cdn border to make or receive calls, so its very limited.
2. Buy a US prepaid sim card or cheap prepaid phone.(e.g. AT&T Go phone is $5 this week at Best Buy USA). There is a cost. For you may be "$10 is still way too much." for others, this may be a good solution. "iamdrumming" used T-mobile, and after $100, your $10 will last 1 year. But the first $100 dollar is a bit too high. I am using H2O prepaid when in US. $10 will last you 90 days, this is better than what you can get here with speakout. It's $0.14 per min. to and from anywhere in US (no long distance) and $0.05 per text send and receive. I actually make phone calls while in US, so this works out very well for me. I had trouble refill on-line with Cdn credit card, but was able to do that over the phone. You can also call a 1-8xx number and make free international calls to about 20 countries, including Canada (air time applied).
3. If you are looking for a prepaid Cdn provider with US roaming, you can take a look of Bell. (as far as I know, Bell is the only one offer that) You don't get this by default, You will have to sign up with automatic refill and register your credit card with Bell. The cost is very high, I think it was $1.99 per min. plus the long distance. This is good if you hardly make any phone calls in US. But, if you go there a few times a year and actually make phone calls, this is not a good option. Also, keep in mind, the regular prepaid cost in Canada from Bell is much higher. If you think $10 is still way too much, then this is not worth it.

11:46 am
December 4, 2011


chimpanzee

vancouver

Member

posts 757

the problem of all US/Canada prepaid is that they have very short shelf life for the balance EXCEPT SO and the T-Mobile Gold(which ding you 100 bucks up front).

My solution to this issue is to get a Hong Kong roaming prepaid. All of them have a very low 'maint' fee. I am using HKCSL roaming and only need to keep it alive for 50 HKD/180 days. Or about 15 USD a year.

Note it cost your 3USD/min however when roaming but you can use it as beeper or just texting. receiving SMS is always free and sending SMS(international) is around 25c USD each.

I used it just as a texting device around the world.

I see them being sold on ebay all the time. For myself, I have to go there once a year and just refill it there or buy those refill cards while I am there. And since I would have unused balance over time, I can use those to pay my local data usage too. The charge is 10 USD/ 7 days and it is 3G if you have the phone with the right band(2100)

11:53 am
December 4, 2011


iamdrumming

Niagara Falls

Moderator

posts 1839

That's another good option. I managed to get a T-Mobile Gold Rewards sim card off eBay, so I didn't have to pay the $100 up front. It was well worth it, and you can beat $10 a year.

12:02 pm
December 4, 2011


chimpanzee

vancouver

Member

posts 757

Yes, the T-mobile gold worths it for people need to go to US regularly. And it should be paired with an unlocked Wind phone so you can get 3G data down there, put the unused balance to good use :-)

1:36 pm
December 4, 2011


Peter

BC

Admin

posts 617

iamdrumming said:

As far as I know, WIND (like SpeakOut) does not have roaming in the USA.


WIND does have US roaming, and I think they use T-Mobile. On the pay as you go plan the rate is currently 50 cents per minute.

2:17 pm
December 4, 2011


iamdrumming

Niagara Falls

Moderator

posts 1839

My bad. I just saw it on the Wind site.

11:31 am
December 6, 2011


Taigong

Member

posts 3

chimpanzee said:

Yes, the T-mobile gold worths it for people need to go to US regularly. And it should be paired with an unlocked Wind phone so you can get 3G data down there, put the unused balance to good use :-)


If you go to US regularly and you actually make calls, T-Mobile Gold is not as good as H2O. T-Mobile Gold is about 30 cents per min. H2O is 14 cents per min. H2O also have free int'l long distance for about 20 countries. T-Mobile doesn't. H2O send you a text after each call to tell you how much your call cost you, so you know you are not over charged. H2O text is 5 cents send and receive, T-Mobile is 10 cents.

But, if you hardly make any calls there, T-Mobile Gold give you 1 year for $10. That is unbeatable.

1:04 pm
December 6, 2011


chimpanzee

vancouver

Member

posts 757

ah, I mean go to US regularly but the phone is still as emergency device.

A matter of 'maint' fee. My HKG roaming SIM is 3 USD/min which is utterly expensive but I know I can rely on if I need it, all at the cost of 15/year.

T-mobile good is just a similar option but US based(easier to refill and cheaper to use in US).

That was my meaning, sorry for the confusion.