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An American Cell Phone in Canada

Discussion in 'Travel' started by pseep, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. pseep

    pseep Loaded Pockets

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    Question for all those who travel or live in the great white north. I am planning on a week long driving trip through Southern Ontario and am wondering what to do about cellular phone service. I would only have it for reserving hotels along the way and emergencies. I was wondering what other American travelers have done, International roaming, (I have ATT), or get a Canadian SIM card for my unlocked GSM phone and buy some pay-as-you-go minutes?

    Thanks in advance for any advice/experiences you can share!
     
  2. CatherineM
    • In Omnia Paratus

    CatherineM Loaded Pockets

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    Just be prepared for the cell to cost at least twice what it would in the US.
     
  3. jzmtl

    jzmtl Loaded Pockets

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    Call your company and ask how much roaming in Canada will cost, ours vary from $2 to 50c per minute when going to u.s. Pay as you go is around 30 to 40 cents per min and starts at $10 per month last time I checked, so may or may not worth it.

    If you use it for emergency only I wouldn't bother, you can always use payphone for hotel reservation. (50 cents for unlimited local I recall, haven't used one in a while)
     
  4. Mitty

    Mitty Loaded Pockets

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    I flew all over Canada a couple of years ago (hit all provinces except Nunavut and PEI) with an ATT phone. Mostly smaller towns. I would say I had coverage about half the time, almost always Rogers. In big cities you should be alright. I don't recall doing anything special (roaming, etc.) before leaving. I did not make many calls, but I don't recall the rate being terrible.
     
  5. niagaratac

    niagaratac Loaded Pockets

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    Canadian EDC member here living in Ontario. You will have roaming charges and be able to get reception in 99% of normal areas that are not to rural you will likely go. Some providers offer roaming packages of minutes. That what I use when i go to US. I buy like 70 minutes for $40 from my Canadian provider and try to keep it simple. Remember if you have smart phone you can stop at the multiple Wifi hotspots ( look online for sources but most coffee shops and McDonalds are free unlike Starbucks to make reservations and talk on Skype for free.

    ATT as someone said will put you on Rogers network, our best Canadian service.

    Hope that helps. Enjoy Niagara my region and its fruit wine and hospitality were know for! BTW don't forget Cuban cigars, pick up as many as you can carry home!

    Change money at home for best rate most retailers will bone you on exchange now your cash is worth dirt on a stick.