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CELLULAR ROAMING IN CANADA





Resources for both the frequent Canada traveler and the casual tourist. Compare the roaming abilities of your current phone with those of other carriers.







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US wireless phones vary considerably in their international roaming capabilities. Choose your current carrier from the dropdown list to get an overview of how well it roams, and if it doesn't, what you can do to get coverage where you need it.










AT&T Discounts
AT&T:
AT&T charges .79/minute for calls Made/Received in Canada, .59/Minute with the $5 "World Traveler" add-on, and Canada Roaming calls are included in the "AT&T Nation with Canada" plans at about a $20 per month premium over regular AT&T plans. Canada data roaming charges are .015/kB.

A great alternative for AT&T customers is to purchase an AT&T GoPhone SIM. Slip this SIM into your AT&T phone and you can roam in Canada at .39/minute with no additional roaming charges and no daily access fee. Text Messaging fees are .25/sent, .20/received and data charges are .0195/kB.
Get AT&T Phones @ Less Than Retail





CRICKET WIRELESS:
Cricket has been acquired by AT&T. Old Cricket phones will roam in Canada for the time being, New Cricket phones and plans do not, yet.




METROPCS
MetroPCS has been acquired by T-Mobile. Currently, MetroPCS phones do not roam in Canada.




PAGE PLUS:
Page Plus Cellular phones will roam in Canada with a rate of .60/minute, which includes calls to and from Canada and US numbers. Text Messaging in Canada is .50/sent, $.25 received.
Get Page Plus Plans & Phones @ Less Than Retail




SPRINT:
Sprint phones work over most of Canada, the regular Voice roaming rate is .59/minute. With an International Roaming Package the rate is .20/minute. Text Messaging is at the same rate as your home plan and data is charged at .002/kB.
Get Sprint Phones @ Less Than Retail








T-MOBILE:
T-Mobile phones work well in Canada using GSM technology.
Their regular plans allow you to roam in Canada with either reasonable, or no, additional fees. Voice calls made to non-US numbers through Wi-Fi are .20/minute, but Texts and Data are included as part of your plan. They offer a unique Wi-Fi Calling app that enables you to make Voice calls through Wi-Fi in Canada at the same rate as local calls in the US and would be included in your normal 'minutes'. Roaming works for both postpaid and prepaid customers but customers not on "Simple Choice" plans pay a much higher rate. T-Mobile claims "4G LTE" data service is available, but 4G may not be available and 2G speeds are considered "normal" and could be the best you'll see.
Get T-Mobile Phones @ Less Than Retail



Logo for TracFone
TRACFONE:
TracFone does not offer roaming outside the US, but they have favorable long distance rates to and from Mexico (and Canada). With their "International Neighbors" plan you get a local number in Mexico or Canada that allows calls to be made back to a TracFone in the US, charged only as a Local call in those countries. The cost to the TracFone phone user is the same as any incoming call. Outgoing calls to these countries with a TracFone are Free through their International Long Distance (ILD) service, which involves calling a toll-free number, then entering your Mexico number (or to 60 other countries). Since your TracFone will not work in Mexico (or any other foreign country) this option would make a Mexico prepaid phone economical to call a TracFone in the US. NET10 prepaid phones offer the same services.




US CELLULAR:
Roaming in Canada is available. Rates include a $3 per day surcharge, plus $.99 per minute, in addition to pass-through toll charges from the foreign carrier. Texting and Data roaming are not currently available. Airtime, overage charges, taxes, long distance, and other charges, restrictions, & limitations may apply. CDMA roaming is scheduled to end in Canada sometime in the year or two.



Verizon Wireless
VERIZON WIRELESS:
Your Verizon Wireless phone will work in most of Canada, some at 3G speeds, at a Voice Roaming rate of .69/minute. Text Messaging rates are the same as your home package, either per-Text or included as part of your package. There are Canada roaming packages that include various amounts of data and voice minutes..
Get Verizon Wireless Phones @ Less Than Retail



Prepaid Roaming
PREPAID PHONES
Few choices but it can be done.






WI-FI DEVICES:
  • Wi-fi capable phones: There are many possibilities including Smart phones, the iPhone, Blackberry and others, with a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) connection.

  • Other Wi-Fi devices. There are a number of computer-associated devices that can handle both incoming and outgoing calls that don't care where you are located.

    This type of connection is useful if you plan to handle calls from a fixed location. Rates can be as low as Free, depending on the cost of your Internet connection.








The Easiest Canada option is to just pay Roaming fees with your current carrier if your phone works at your destination.  Your plan may include Canada roaming...ask your carrier if you're not sure. If not, you would be surprised how efficiently you can communicate when you pay charges by the minute. Paying per usage can make your Roaming costs less than you think. SMS (Texting) is often an economical alternative, but make sure any texting package you have includes international usage. This also allows callers to reach you at your normal wireless number. 




The Cheapest Canada option could be to bring your own Unlocked GSM phone (AT&T, T-Mobile and others) and purchase a SIM in Canada with a prepaid account with one of the Canadian carriers or re-sellers. You can make "International" calls to the US and save even more on local calls.




Also, consider switching to a US carrier that offers a calling plan that includes Canadian or International roaming. It may be at the same rate you pay in the US, but some international plans do not include Text Messaging or Mobile to Mobile, so you may have extra charges. There are many benefits to be able to deal just with your "home" carrier, not the least of which is the advantage of accessing familiar customer service.






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