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Old 03-09-2016, 05:13 PM   #15
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Hope you have a great trip!

I did not research Verizon, but all the new ATT "shared" data plans give you unlimited free phone calls and text in both Canada and Mexico. But only ONE gigabyte of data. Their business plan has always been to make moola off data.

ATT advises you to turn off your data roaming whenever you're out of the country, and that's what we always do. We use wifi exclusively for data access, and love those new free talk and texts! We use texts in lieu of emails when traveling abroad.

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Old 03-09-2016, 07:04 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Urbanologist View Post
DO NOT USE PUBLIC WI-FI for sensitive data.
Understood but their are options to protect data in a public WiFi environment, such as using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service solution. Most companies which have road warriors mandate the use of a VPN when going on-line, recognizing that use of public WiFi cannot always be avoided. All those guys using public WiFi at the airport are most likely connecting through their corporate VPN to protect their data. As well as when they use the Ethernet wired internet service in their hotel rooms.

There are many public VPN providers and the cost can be fairly reasonable for the protection it provides. Certainly abstinence is the strongest (and cheapest) security one can obtain but it is also the most inconvenient.

I am in no way connected to the industry nor will I recommend one provider over another. Just trying to provide additional options for safely connecting while on the road.


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Old 03-09-2016, 09:23 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mixedpuppy View Post
Get a TMobile account, roaming in Canada is free. TMobile roams on Telus. The only experiment I've done, which was near White Rock, TMobile actually got better data than Rogers.
I later took a quick look at Telus vs. Rogers coverage maps, Telus actually seems a bit better further north near Alaska than Rogers. Otherwise they are roughly the same in BC. If I were coming in from the US, I'd grab a prepaid TMobile account and stop worrying about the costs.

Note that there are large stretches in northern BC that seem to lack any cell coverage.
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Old 03-11-2016, 11:56 AM   #18
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We traveled to Alaska in 2015 and picked up a prepaid Rogers sim near Calgary. We had phone service going up through Banff, Jasper and to Prince George, BC but no coverage up the Cassier Hwy and through the Yukon. I think Telus may be better. What we did find was that most visitor centers have free Wi-Fi. The visitor center in Whitehorse YT had tables and outlets with great Wi-Fi. Some of the other visitor centers we stopped at with Wi-Fi were in Watson Lake, Grand Prairie and Dawson Creek. In addition, we stopped at a few McDonalds and Walmart locations where we accessed Wi-Fi. Once we were in Alaska, we were able to use our ATT service which was available in the cities and some smaller towns. We do use a VPN when connecting our laptops to the internet and have had no problems.

Not sure about service in Canada, but with our ATT family plan, we were able to use our cell phones in Cozumel, Mexico in January 2016 with no extra charges on our cell phone bill. ATT just added this as a no cost option at the end of December.

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Old 03-11-2016, 07:51 PM   #19
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When I was in Whitehorse a year ago I had Rogers and could not get any service in the area unless I was down town in the mall parking lot, also from west of Edmonton to Whitehorse I had no service , my cousin who had Bell had service every where in these areas !
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:40 PM   #20
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I keep hearing stories of people traveling through BC and Yukon getting outrageous roaming bills.

Why does this happen and how does one avoid this?
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:44 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by interstateflyer View Post
I keep hearing stories of people traveling through BC and Yukon getting outrageous roaming bills.

Why does this happen and how does one avoid this?
It is a function of your cell phone service contract. Talk to your provider, and understand what they will charge you for the areas you will be travelling in.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:56 PM   #22
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Look into Rogers Communication in Canada. They might have "throw away" phones that might be a less expensive alternative.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:58 PM   #23
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Telus is generally the major provider in western Canada. However, your own cell phone service provider should have a travel pac that is cheaper than just their regular rates for longer stays in Canada. Otherwise, you can disable your data roaming, and just use your phone & texting very conservatively.

There are a lot of dead zones in the mountains with no coverage.
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Old 04-18-2016, 03:23 AM   #24
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My experience is limited only to larger Canadian and UK cities. Because I'm on T-Mobile, and they have very generous agreements with other carriers, my bills are a non-issue because they offer low call rates and free data.

Definitely worth looking at if you travel across borders quite a bit.
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:44 PM   #25
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I talked to an AT&T specialist and she told me about special package that are available for out of USA phone use. Cheapest one was $30.00. I told her I needed to think about it. Well the next day she called me and profusely apologized for not know that AT&T now has a new feature available where you can use your cell phone (some/not all/newer phones) to make phone call via WiFi with no charges against your cell minutes or data plan. Just find a WiFi spot and you can dial a number into the USA. You cannot make call to numbers in Canada or Mexico, just out of Canada or Mexico into the USA. For details about AT&T WiFi call, give them a call to clarify. Hope this is helpful.
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Old 04-18-2016, 05:54 PM   #26
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I have Verizon as a carrier. They offer a plan, at no extra cost, that allows international calls. The first time it's used across the border the plan kicks in at $2 (US) / day for Canada & Mexico. If outside of N. America it's a $10/day plan. But don't believe me and my memory. Check with your carrier for details. There may be more cost effective ways to go but it's nice to know that it will work when you need it.
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:20 AM   #27
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Rivet No Roaming charges

Originally Posted by interstateflyer View Post
I keep hearing stories of people traveling through BC and Yukon getting outrageous roaming bills.

Why does this happen and how does one avoid this?

We avoided being taken to the cleaners by removing the batteries from both our phones a few miles from the Canadian border and leaving them out until we got to Alaska , then repeating the procedure on the return trip .
We purchased an inexpensive calling card in Watson Lake in order to make reservations at a RV park in Dawson via a pay phone . Kept it in the glove box in case we needed it again while in Canada.

Both the cell phones and batteries were kept in a handy location in the unlikely event an emergency came up where there was cell phone service .
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:20 PM   #28
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AT&T just added Canada roaming, but it seems TMobile is still better.

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