Cell Phones

Roaming SIMs for Travelers

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 3rd, 2020 11:02 am
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
19738 posts
12861 upvotes
Waterloo, ON
Some more background. It wasn't just COVID-19 that killed them.

Roam Mobility ceasing operations permanently on June 30, 2020
The once-popular roaming service likely experienced a downturn in usage long before the COVID-19 pandemic. Most major Candian carriers and even some flanker brands, including Rogers, Bell, Telus, Koodo, Fido and more, allow subscribers to use their mobile data allotment in the U.S. and in some cases other countries, for a fee. This fundamental shift in the Canadian wireless industry was spurred by the launch of Rogers’ ‘Roam Like Home’ offering back in 2014.
While the telcos' roaming charges were higher than Roam's, apparently people were willing to pay it for the convenience of not having to swap SIMs, use different phone numbers, having to remember to order beforehand, etc.
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Oct 29, 2008
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L4J
lmcjipo wrote: 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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Deal Addict
Dec 18, 2007
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Vancouver, BC
Has anyone used KnowRoaming before? How is it compared to Roam Mobility? Most importantly, how's the customer service?
Deal Addict
Jul 26, 2004
3338 posts
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AsianXL wrote: Has anyone used KnowRoaming before? How is it compared to Roam Mobility? Most importantly, how's the customer service?
I've used Knowroaming last year in Vegas. Bought a 3 day pass ( there was a deal at the time) and had no problem activating it and using it. Just take note of the start/cut off times.
Member
Sep 14, 2012
236 posts
75 upvotes
Montreal, QC
St.Genis wrote: Don't have an account yet?

New account registrations are currently unavailable.
I have an account with each of them (Roam Mobility and AlwaysOnlineWireless).
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Mar 4, 2004
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Montreal
We need a good eSIM provider, that's what we need.
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
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Waterloo, ON
yuprules wrote: We need a good eSIM provider, that's what we need.
Google Fi. It has some limitations but if you have an Amerifriend...
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Mar 4, 2004
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bylo wrote: Google Fi. It has some limitations but if you have an Amerifriend...
How long can you suspend Google Fi before they deactivate it? With Roam Mobility (we'll miss you), I just had to have one active day on the lowest plan once a year to keep the sim alive.
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
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Waterloo, ON
yuprules wrote: How long can you suspend Google Fi before they deactivate it? With Roam Mobility (we'll miss you), I just had to have one active day on the lowest plan once a year to keep the sim alive.
When you suspend it, it goes dormant for 3 months, then reactivates automatically. I just set up a reminder before then to manually reactivate for a few minutes, view a web page to use up a MB or two of data, then suspend again for another 3 months.

Admittedly that's not as convenient as RM's annual recharge. But it's a lot cheaper. It costs 2¢ or 3¢ every 3 months to keep the account. When I'm actually in the US I activate and leave active for the duration of the trip. Data costs $10/GB. Calls and texts are free. The $20/month account fee prorates by the hour, so a 3 day trip to the US costs $20*3/30 = $2 plus the data I use. Usually on long weekend trips to the US I use under 500MB so total cost for that is <$7.

That's not bad for occasional US roaming. But GooFi also shines overseas where it roams almost everywhere for the same $10/GB.
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Mar 4, 2004
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bylo wrote: When you suspend it, it goes dormant for 3 months, then reactivates automatically. I just set up a reminder before then to manually reactivate for a few minutes, view a web page to use up a MB or two of data, then suspend again for another 3 months.

Admittedly that's not as convenient as RM's annual recharge. But it's a lot cheaper. It costs 2¢ or 3¢ every 3 months to keep the account. When I'm actually in the US I activate and leave active for the duration of the trip. Data costs $10/GB. Calls and texts are free. The $20/month account fee prorates by the hour, so a 3 day trip to the US costs $20*3/30 = $2 plus the data I use. Usually on long weekend trips to the US I use under 500MB so total cost for that is <$7.

That's not bad for occasional US roaming. But GooFi also shines overseas where it roams almost everywhere for the same $10/GB.
Interesting, so make a U.S. based Google account over VPN.
Setup using mail forwarder e-mail address
Use mail forwarder to get sim (if you don't have a Pixel with eSIM support)
Activate
Load a website
Deactivate
Before every 3 months is up, reactivate, load website, disable.

I may do this when we can safely travel in a plane again! Thanks.
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Nov 14, 2003
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Toronto
bylo wrote: When you suspend it, it goes dormant for 3 months, then reactivates automatically. I just set up a reminder before then to manually reactivate for a few minutes, view a web page to use up a MB or two of data, then suspend again for another 3 months.

That's not bad for occasional US roaming. But GooFi also shines overseas where it roams almost everywhere for the same $10/GB.
What happens to your calls / text / voicemail when dormant? I use Google Voice to keep a US number active and reachable at all times. How can I pair this with Google Fi account?
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
19738 posts
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Waterloo, ON
Cnsultnt wrote: What happens to your calls / text / voicemail when dormant?
GooFi uses its own number. That one is dormant when the account is dormant.
I use Google Voice to keep a US number active and reachable at all times. How can I pair this with Google Fi account?
As do I. I use the GV number over data or WiFi. When GooFi is active, it's on that data.
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