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Prepaid US Cell Plans for Canadian travellers with Smartphones

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Prepaid US Cell Plans for Canadian travellers with Smartphones

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Can CDMA phone from US like Virgin Mobile USA be used in Canada?
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StartHere wrote:
Dec 21st, 2011 2:35 pm
Can CDMA phone from US like Virgin Mobile USA be used in Canada?

No. Even if you can unlock it, CDMA carriers will not activate phones that did not originate from their inventory. In other words, if you unlock a Virgin USA phone, TELUS or Bell will not activate it.
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My personal pick is T-Mobile's "Pay by the Day" plan. It is great for short trips to the US and can be used nearly anywhere. Your balance is good for 90 days (or a year if you put in $100) and you can top up online at any time to keep your account active.

I go down to the US twice a year for 5-9 days and do short day trips to Plattsburgh every month or two. I use the $3 day pass now and have yet to hit the 200 MB limit in a day despite using GPS frequently and tethering the phone to my TouchPad for hours of browsing in the car.
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psyko514 wrote:
Dec 21st, 2011 7:03 pm
I use the $3 day pass now and have yet to hit the 200 MB limit in a day despite using GPS frequently and tethering the phone to my TouchPad for hours of browsing in the car.

Ya, that sounds like a good deal. What phone do you use?
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Ubershopper wrote:
Dec 21st, 2011 2:29 am
T-Mobile and Resellers:



"But what if my use won't be every day?" - then you may be looking for: Prepaid Pay By The Day Plans

With the $2 or $3/day plans, if you don't talk, text or use data during the day, then you pay nothing. As soon as you use one of those features, you pay a flat $2 or $3 and then your service for the rest of that day is unlimited. For $2 you get 2G data speeds (slow) but probably okay if all you need is email with small attachments. For $3 you get 200 MB high speed data (3G or 4G), then unlimited 2G thereafter.

I have an unlocked Rogers Blackberry Bold 9780 do you know if this plan would work on that type of phone? Thanks for making this thread it's just what I've been looking for since I'm new to the whole unlocked phone thing!
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Ubershopper wrote:
Dec 21st, 2011 11:55 pm
Ya, that sounds like a good deal. What phone do you use?

Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S. Next time I go will be with an unlocked Galaxy S II X.
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HeyKatie wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2011 1:32 am
I have an unlocked Rogers Blackberry Bold 9780 do you know if this plan would work on that type of phone? Thanks for making this thread it's just what I've been looking for since I'm new to the whole unlocked phone thing!

I talked to a t-mobile rep, they said that the unlimited day plans will work on BB, but for BBM and e-mail, you'll need to pay extra.
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HeyKatie wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2011 1:32 am
I have an unlocked Rogers Blackberry Bold 9780 do you know if this plan would work on that type of phone? Thanks for making this thread it's just what I've been looking for since I'm new to the whole unlocked phone thing!

Hi Katie,

Your welcome! If the thread is a benefit, please consider using the "Thanks" underneath one of my posts and rating the thread so others will know about it!

The short answer is, yes. It will work... HOWEVER...

Okay, after working on this for 2.5 hours, I think it is worthy of it's own entry at the beginning! I will give you the BB Bold 9780 specific info here, but for generic Blackberry stuff, look for a new post up top...

ISSUE #1: Network Connectivity
I did some digging and it turns out that there are two versions of the BB Bold 9780. Both are compatible with GSM bands (850/900/1800/1900 mHz) which means you will get voice, text and 2G data on either AT&T or T-Mo, wherever they have GSM coverage. For 3G networks, the two versions of the Bold 9780 differ.

Version 1: One uses PCS frequency ranges (850/1900/2100 mHz) which matches Bell, Telus, Rogers and ... AT&T. If you bought your phone from Rogers, or if you were using it on Rogers and got 3G connection, then this will be your version.
Version 2: The other version uses the AWS frequencies (900/1700/2100 mHz) which is a match for Wind, Mobilicity, Quebecor and .... T-Mobile.

ISSUE #2: Data Connection
See the new info up top for this...

SUMMARY:
If you phone is unlocked, then YES, you will be able to use it on any of the pay as you go plans, including the one you mention. If you are okay with gmail, Opera browsing and No BBM, AND you can work through the install in an earlier post to get it working then you are good to go on any plan. AT&T offers the potential of faster browsing, but realistically, I don't know that you will notice much difference using the Opera Mini browser.
If you can't wrap your head around the APN changes and software installs, can't be bothered, or having BBM is a must, then Simple Mobile $50 Blackberry plan looks to be the best offering.

Good luck and let us know how it works out!
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shannn wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2011 3:16 am
I talked to a t-mobile rep, they said that the unlimited day plans will work on BB, but for BBM and e-mail, you'll need to pay extra.

Shannn is correct. See my new post up top for Blackberry specific info.
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Hey UberShopper,

Thanks for making this thread. I am leaving for vacation next week and had a quick question. I have a T-Mobile compatible Blackberry, and I just need to use data on my phone for the 5 days I am on vacation.

The problem is there are no T-Mobile stores near where I am going, and I have no access to a car, so my only option is AT&T.

So can I just walk into the AT&T, buy a SIM card for $6, then get it on the 10 cent/min plan and add a data plan to that.

My main question is, if I am just using my phone for Google Maps and Opera Mini to look up addresses and stuff to do, will I need the $15 for 150mb (on 2G speeds), or would I be able to get away with the $5 for 10MB? What's your opinion on this?

Thanks for your help!
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shannn wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2011 6:52 am
Hey UberShopper,

Thanks for making this thread. I am leaving for vacation next week and had a quick question. I have a T-Mobile compatible Blackberry, and I just need to use data on my phone for the 5 days I am on vacation.

The problem is there are no T-Mobile stores near where I am going, and I have no access to a car, so my only option is AT&T.

So can I just walk into the AT&T, buy a SIM card for $6, then get it on the 10 cent/min plan and add a data plan to that.

My main question is, if I am just using my phone for Google Maps and Opera Mini to look up addresses and stuff to do, will I need the $15 for 150mb (on 2G speeds), or would I be able to get away with the $5 for 10MB? What's your opinion on this?

Thanks for your help!

Splurge on the 150 MB. Most data is compressed on a BlackBerry so bandwidth consumption is lower than other phones, but I still think 10 MB is just too little.

Depending on your departure date, you can pick up a T-Mobile SIM on eBay/Amazon if in-store is not an option. You can even have it shipped to your hotel.
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Thanks for starting this thread, it was greatly appreciated!
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shannn wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2011 6:52 am
I am leaving for vacation next week and had a quick question. I have a T-Mobile compatible Blackberry, and I just need to use data on my phone for the 5 days I am on vacation.

The problem is there are no T-Mobile stores near where I am going, and I have no access to a car, so my only option is AT&T.
Hi Shann, I'm curious how you are getting to your destination. If you are flying, there will be outlets in the airports most likely and if driving, there would be lots of places along the way. Keep in mind, it doesn't have to be a T-Mobile Store, just a store that sells T-Mobile SIMS. Also, I just found this: Tigerdirect.ca is now selling Simple Mobile SIM's for $12. For people in the GTA, you may be able to pick one up in store. Simple Mobile is an MVNO that runs on the T-Mo network.

Ok, that aside, lets assume you need to go with AT&T.
shannn wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2011 6:52 am
So can I just walk into the AT&T, buy a SIM card for $6, then get it on the 10 cent/min plan and add a data plan to that.
If your phone is compatible AND unlocked, then yes.
shannn wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2011 6:52 am
My main question is, if I am just using my phone for Google Maps and Opera Mini to look up addresses and stuff to do, will I need the $15 for 150mb (on 2G speeds), or would I be able to get away with the $5 for 10MB? What's your opinion on this?
psyko514 wrote:
Dec 22nd, 2011 7:07 am
Splurge on the 150 MB [...] but I still think 10 MB is just too little. You can even have it shipped to your hotel.
Estimating data use is always difficult. If you will only be running a few google queries and not even accessing email, you will PROBABLY be okay with 10MB but again. Its difficult to judge. I think the question is this: would you rather save $10 and risk running out, or spend the $10 and possibly not make use of it?

Hope you have a good Vacation Shannn and please update afterwards to help out future users!
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