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Old 03-03-2017, 05:59 PM   #1
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Fergus , Ontario
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Staying Cloud Connected from Canada to USA

Looking for advice from Canadian travellers about their phones and Internet communication when travelling south. We have unlocked iPhones but the Canadian options for roaming are not good. I read the Forum posts about new USA offerings and they look good (unlimited data, etc) but we would have to change our phone numbers and maybe have a USA address. Any comments would be most appreciated.
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:34 AM   #2
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I got an AT&T sim card and pop it into my phone. With the pay as you go plan you can get 100MB for $1. Setup your plan as the daily plan if you are there less than a month. Or you can get 500 MB for $50. And unlimited calling and texting for US numbers. For $60 you can also get unlimited calling to Canada. I like the daily plan. As long as I don't receive or make calls it is a buck a day for 100MB. But as soon as you use the phone portion they ding you for $2. If you load $25 on the card it lasts for 3 months $10 only lasts 1 month.

Our company also has a data only connection that gives us 40 gig for $110 per month that we plug into a data stick and plug that into a router. We usually have 10 guys connected to it. But that plan is monthly and can't be shut down when we're not in the US.

For personal use I find the ATT works best. But I have also had to T mobile but find it works great in some parts of the country but not others.
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:52 AM   #3
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Have been with Verizon since 1988. I have had coverage over the entire USA where the others concentrated only on the major cities and perhaps the interstates.

Shut cellar data off and just use the free wifi found at most fast food locations and many businesses. Then the "gouging" for data use does not happen.
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Old 03-04-2017, 10:25 AM   #4
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Verizon seems to have the best coverage in rural areas, with new unlimited and data carryover plans. Also work in US, CN, & MX.
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Old 03-04-2017, 11:16 AM   #5
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These folks are the hands down experts when it comes to RV/mobile internet in North America:

https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/overview/
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Old 03-04-2017, 12:25 PM   #6
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US coverage with the 4 major vendors
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Old 03-04-2017, 01:36 PM   #7
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I have a Wind Mobile (now Freedom Mobile) pay-as-you-go plan which works seamlessly in the when I cross into the USA, and actually costs less (per minute, per text, per MB) to use there on roaming than in Canada. I don't think the plan I have is still available for new customers, but perhaps one of their other plans would work for you.
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Old 03-04-2017, 02:12 PM   #8
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We use a monthly pay as you go with ATT. It is called Go Phone. Cost $50 US a month for 8 gigs if you set it up auto renew each month. ( we are here for 6 months). You will switch sim cards at the border and have a US number. Before you return to Canada tell ATT that you are switching to a pay per use and remove the sim card and use your Canadian card. You can pay them $100US and you keep your US number. The $100 is then applied to your monthly charges when you return to the US and activate your phone.
If you bought your I phone in Canada the ATT system is the only one compatible. We learned this lesson the hard way after signing up with Verizon in Anacortes only to find out the Canadian I phone does nor work with Verizon. Took us months to get our money back.
Another cheap alternative is Trac Phone. You can pick up a phone for $20 at Walmart and fill it up with a card. I use this for voice only and it costs $100 US for six months. I have accumulated so many minutes I will never run out. They also have data options but I have never used it for that.
So we use the I Phone for data and the Trac phone just for voice. You can also set up the Trac Phone for speed dials to ten numbers in Canada and it is really cheap to use
hope this helps
Norrie PS you don't need a US address
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Old 03-04-2017, 04:26 PM   #9
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The rates keep changing with AT&T so currently it is $60 for 8Gig and $45 for 4gig. If you set it up as auto renew you can save $5, but you would have change that when you leave the US. That's why I use the daily plan.

I also use Google Hangouts to call back to Canada using the data rather than the phone portion, but I usually can connect to WiFi so I don't need to use my data.

I have never had the number expire even when the account has been dormant for 6 months. Even if it did, you still have the sim and you can easily create a new account so I don't think paying $100 is worth while, but to each there own.
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Old 03-05-2017, 11:19 AM   #10
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You can get a business unlimited data, unthrottled on eBay (sim card) for your phone or MiFi for about $150 per month no contract. We have been doing this for the last two years and use it to the tune of 200 - 400 megabits per month - working, movies, etc.
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Old 03-05-2017, 01:43 PM   #11
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I'm with Bell.They offered $40 add-on package for unlimited data and Phone roaming in US for a month last year. Worked just fine. I was previously with prepaid Bell Solo. All I had to do was register my Visa Card and they would top up my account if and when necessary, but roaming was more expensive on that plan.
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Old 03-05-2017, 02:12 PM   #12
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We also use the $40 Bell plan. Works great!! We call forward our home phone to our cell.
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Old 03-09-2017, 04:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curioscat View Post
Looking for advice from Canadian travellers about their phones and Internet communication when travelling south. We have unlocked iPhones but the Canadian options for roaming are not good. I read the Forum posts about new USA offerings and they look good (unlimited data, etc) but we would have to change our phone numbers and maybe have a USA address. Any comments would be most appreciated.
Depending on how long - or often - you plan to be traveling out of Canada you might look at moving your phone number to an online service like Google voice. Years ago I ported my main phone number too google voice, and I have been able to keep it regardless of changing carriers, phones, etc. It forwards calls and texts to any number (or series of numbers) I want it to, and it will also transcribe voicemails for you. The app is very easy to use, and you can make outgoing calls that show the proper caller ID using either the app or an access number.

This would allow you to use cheaper prepaid phones if you wanted to, or even change phones a few times. You could keep your unlocked iPhones, and just swap out sims as needed.
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