We just got back from a 4 day trip in Boston. Because a lot of the time my wife and I were going to be in separate parts of the city, we really needed to be able to contact each other. Suffice to say, we were dreading the roaming charges!
Having spoken to our current cell provider, we were looking at $1.50 / minute for voice, 60c / message for text and $5.00 / MB for data. A $50 package would have given us 50 minutes, 50 messages and 25MB of data, before going back to charges that were approximately half of the 'non package' prices.
Only 50 messages? The worst thing about that is that it's incoming and outgoing, so really it's only 25 messages in a way. This was still going to be expensive!
We started to think about prepaid SIMs, but trying to organise that was going to be a hassle. That is until I found Roam Mobility.
There is one prerequisite for using Roam and it's the same prerequisite for using other pre-paid SIMs... your phone needs to be unlocked as far as the network is concerned. This is fine for us as we had Nexus 4's that only cost us $50 to begin with :)
So here's the deal: with Roam, you can buy a SIM card for $20 (I bought mine at the local Telus store). Once activated, that card gives you a phone number based in the US (note that it also only works in the US). So long as you use it at least once a year, you can keep that SIM. Once it's activated, you buy a 1, 3, 7, 14 or 30 day plan.
We opted for the 7 day 'Talk + Text + Data' plan and here's what we got:
- Unlimited talk within the US as well as to Canada
- Unlimited text within the US as well as to Canada
- A total of 700MB of data usage (for every day's worth of plan, you get 100MB of data)
How much? $27.95!
So for less than the $50 roaming package from our own provider, we got unlimited talk and text and all the data we needed / wanted. They even tell you how to set your phone up as a mobile hotspot for your laptop!
The coverage was no problem and it was probably the most simple process I have ever used for anything related to telecommunication.
So that's my tip: if you're roaming to the US, get an unlocked phone and jump onto Roam... I can't wait to travel that way again, just so that I can use it again :)