Cell Phones

Roaming SIMs for Travelers

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 3rd, 2020 11:02 am
[OP]
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Nov 14, 2003
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emiabe wrote: I am currently in the US returning to Canada shortly, looking for a prepaid data SIM (or plan by a US mobile carrier) for Canada for using GV # and occasional browsing. I have not had mobile data on my phone before so I’m guessing 1 or 2 gb / month may be enough. I stay in Canada ~ 6 or 7 months / yr.
Is there an international SIM that works in Canada that suits my needs? Expiry in 3 months to a year would be nice, as opposed to getting x gb / month plans from a Canadian carrier. I could pick up a SIM at a US store, or have it shipped to a friend who lives near the Canadian border to pick it up there. (My current mobile carrier does not offer any out of US data.) Any suggestions? Thanks.Smiling Face With Open Mouth
T-Mobile and AT&T both have plans that work in Canada.
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Apr 23, 2009
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GTA
batcave wrote: T-Mobile and AT&T both have plans that work in Canada.
T-Mobile - more than I would like to pay. I could not find the price for AT&T but assuming similar to T-Mobile.

Any cheap SIM options for Canada?
[OP]
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Nov 14, 2003
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Gotham
emiabe wrote: T-Mobile - more than I would like to pay. I could not find the price for AT&T but assuming similar to T-Mobile.

Any cheap SIM options for Canada?
Do you use Google Voice? If not, you should along with a T-Mobile data plan. All of the information is in the first post of this thread.

The Fido 4GB/$15 data plan is the cheapest. But it does not roam.
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Mar 4, 2004
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emiabe wrote: I am currently in the US returning to Canada shortly, looking for a prepaid data SIM (or plan by a US mobile carrier) for Canada for using GV # and occasional browsing. I have not had mobile data on my phone before so I’m guessing 1 or 2 gb / month may be enough. I stay in Canada ~ 6 or 7 months / yr.
Is there an international SIM that works in Canada that suits my needs? Expiry in 3 months to a year would be nice, as opposed to getting x gb / month plans from a Canadian carrier. I could pick up a SIM at a US store, or have it shipped to a friend who lives near the Canadian border to pick it up there. (My current mobile carrier does not offer any out of US data.) Any suggestions? Thanks.Smiling Face With Open Mouth
How about Lucky Mobile Prepaid (Bell no frills brand) :
- $25 a month Unlimited Canada Wide Calling and SMS.
- 1 Gig of Data (to get 1 Gig you must use auto pay with a credit card), after you use 1 Gig of data it's Unlimited data at reduced speeds of up to 128 Kbps (fine for e-mail and browsing).

Warning: No roaming outside of Canada.

You can buy a sim card in many stores including Dollarama, Walmart, The Source.....

https://www.luckymobile.ca/shop/plans/prepaid
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Sep 14, 2012
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Montreal, QC
If no data was required and only light phone usage, I would recommend TruPhone Prepaid. It works "worldwide" and is a true travel SIM card. In the US, it uses AT&T network. It is pay per use and also has pay per use data. It also works in Canada. In Canada, I think it uses the Telus network.

Based on my parents' usage (they use a "dumbphone" and don't know how to or use texting), I give it to them when they go to the US. It offers unlimited free incoming calls/SMS while in the US (and certain other countries... unfortunately Canada isn't one of them). In Canada, for very light usage (billed around ~$0.40 USD per minute), it can also be a good choice since it doesn't charge a monthly 911 fee like most/all Canadian prepaid services. To keep the SIM/account active, customers only need to have at least one billable charge every 180 days so it works great as an emergency phone if one doesn't mind having a US phone number.

TruPhone also has monthly plans but I don't know much about it.
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Sep 14, 2012
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kammj1 wrote: Can anyone help me with the easiest option for travelling to the US for a few weeks here and there at a time? Little confused to the OP.. Do i go into a store in the states to get a simcard? Or order one online? I just need basic talk,txt and data. Which route would you recommend?
Easiest option in my opinion for you is to go to a local Canadian Staples (or can go to https://www.staples.ca) and purchase a Roam Mobility SIM. I have one of their SIM cards (although I don't use it myself whenever I go to the US since I have a T-Mobile prepaid SIM on a grandfathered plan which is better). They have a long expiration date policy meaning you just need to use or purchase airtime on the SIM once every year to keep the SIM card active. The thing about this SIM card (and company) is that you need to pre-pay for your usage in terms of days in advance and if you pre-pay for a few days and find yourself in an area not serviced by Roam Mobility (which uses the T-Mobile network), you need to try to go thru the process of getting a refund. Roam Mobility also doesn't offer telephone support so you need to deal with them via email for any problems which in my opinion hasn't always been the fastest. As long as you and/or a family member goes to the US at least once every year, Roam Mobility might be a good SIM for you as long as where you are visiting is covered by the T-Mobile coverage network.

With Roam Mobility, you need to know the time that you want the SIM card to work since "days" are 24 hours from the start time. When I use the SIM, I generally pick a day/time that I'm expected to arrive at the airport in the US since I would want to use an Uber/Lyft at the airport or I would pick a time corresponding to when I will be leaving the US.

Their rate isn't what I would call the best but it isn't the worst either. Also, their SIM card plans offer direct dialing/texting Canada.
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Dec 29, 2012
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Roam Mobility shutting down June 30
Dear Valued Customer,

To call COVID-19's impact on travel “severe” would be an understatement. As a business built on enabling communication for travellers, Roam Mobility has, unsurprisingly, been significantly affected.

As a result, we regret to inform you that Roam Mobility will cease operations on June 30, 2020.

We apologize to everyone who has relied on our service for US travel. Our mission has always been to help travellers stay connected and productive without the burden of expensive roaming fees or contracts.

We are incredibly proud of everything we’ve built and every customer we’ve helped. It has been an honour to be a part of your journeys.

The decision to discontinue our service was not one we came to lightly. Having made that difficult choice, our focus is now on supporting our customers and team members through the transition.

We would like to thank every customer and partner who worked with us or used our services over the years. We are truly grateful for all of your support.

We wish you all the best and happy travels in the future.

Sincerely,
The Roam Mobility Team

Important Dates

May 21, 2020
We permanently suspended all SIM sales and activations on May 21, 2020. As a result, you will no longer be able to purchase new SIMs or activate unregistered Roam Mobility SIM cards.

June 15, 2020
We will be permanently suspending all top-up functionality on June 15, 2020. This means you will no longer be able to buy a plan or top up your Roam Mobility SIM card.

June 30, 2020
We will be deactivating all SIM cards and terminating all wireless services on June 30, 2020. When this happens, all service will immediately end, and you will no longer be able to use your Roam Mobility SIM. If you still need service after this date, you will need to find an alternate provider.


Frequently Asked Questions

What will happen to my Roam SIM and USA phone number?
On June 30, 2020, we will be permanently deactivating all Roam Mobility SIM Cards and US phone numbers. You will not be able to use your SIM after this date.

If you want to port your Roam phone number to another carrier, you must do so before June 30, 2020. Otherwise, your number will be permanently lost. Port my number >

What will happen to my current plan or future-dated service?
We are terminating all services on June 30, 2020. If you have an active plan or a plan scheduled for after this date, we will automatically cancel your service and refund you for the unused portion of your plan. You will receive a confirmation email once your refund has been processed. Learn more >

I have a SIM that I haven’t activated. Can I get a refund?
If you purchased a SIM card that you have not activated, you may submit a refund request. To request a refund, please click this link and fill out the request form before August 31, 2020. Request a SIM refund >

What happens to the store credit on my account?
If you currently have a store credit balance on your account, you may submit a store credit reimbursement request. To request reimbursement, please click this link and fill out the request form before August 31, 2020. Request store credit reimbursement >

Can you recommend another U.S. wireless service?
Yes! If you're currently in the US or need service for a future trip, we recommend Ting!

Ting is a no-contract service that is easy to set-up and provides fantastic US-wide coverage. Ting has no plans; instead, you only pay for the minutes, data and texts you use. Use less? Pay less! Try Ting >

Have more questions?
If you have any further questions, please email us via this link. Contact us >
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Jan 7, 2002
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yesnomaybe wrote: Roam Mobility shutting down June 30
Thanks. Seems I dodged a small bullet. I'd been using Roam for several years until last year when I got a Google Fi SIM. GooFi was a better match for my needs. I've been using it for travelling outside Canada ever since. So in April when my Roam SIM was expiring I didn't bother to spend any more money to renew it.
Roam wrote:Q. Can you recommend another U.S. wireless service?
A. Yes! If you're currently in the US or need service for a future trip, we recommend Ting! Ting is a no-contract service that is easy to set-up and provides fantastic US-wide coverage. Ting has no plans; instead, you only pay for the minutes, data and texts you use. Use less? Pay less! Try Ting
IMO Google Fi is a better deal for occasional US users. TING charges $6/month plus $16 for 1GB data, no talk/text. GooFi charges $20 total for that including unlimited talk/text. Better still you can activate/pause it by the hour on a pro-rated basis. My total bill last month was 2¢. It was 3¢ the month before. Plus it roams worldwide at the same data rates.

There's lots of discussion about GooFi upthread for anyone who's interested.
veni, vidi, Visa
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Welp, RIP Roam Mobility. You were good to us while you lasted. :(
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Dec 18, 2007
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Is Knowroaming the best choice now for those who travel to the states several times per year for day trips?
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Jul 15, 2016
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^I would also like to know as I travel to the US infrequently and my provider ( 7-11 speakout) doesn't have any roaming options so I'm left with any third party options available.
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Sep 14, 2012
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Montreal, QC
I wonder if Roam Mobility's demise also affects their sister company AlwaysOnlineWireless since unlike Roam Mobility which was geared towards Canadians travelling to the US. AlwaysOnlineWireless is geared towards all travellers and works in different countries and offers only data services.

I subscribe to both (or at least had both their SIM cards) and so far I haven't received anything from AlwaysOnlineWireless but did receive the email from Roam Mobility.

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