When travelling out of Canada to the United States, you should have it at the back of your mind that the cell phone bills will be extremely high. Hence, the need for Roam Mobility arises.
Roam Mobility is a Vancouver-based company whose goal is to make your travel roaming to the US a little easier on the pocketbook. They allow you to send texts, make calls, and use wireless data even when you are outside your network’s boundaries.
Roam Mobility Review
If you are travelling out of your country, your service provider will likely charge you a roaming fee. If you are going within Canada, you might not be charged, but the roaming fee will outrageously increase as you head south into the United States or Mexico. The cost of data roaming will be high.
You can make inquiries from your service provider on the cost of data roaming. Then, compare it to a company like Roam Mobility, which offers its plans and phone numbers. Here are the plan options with a Roam Mobility SIM card.
USA Daily Plans:
The Text + Data plan starts at $2.95 a day, and you can also get a Talk + Text plan for $3.95 a day. The most popular plan is the Talk + Text + Data plan for $4.95 per day.
It’s unlimited and has pre-paid option. This implies that you don’t have to worry about charges and hidden fees, which is a nice bonus when you’re travelling.
Also, you will save up to 99% over other network services when you take advantage of the daily plans available when you travel to the States.
Most Canadians tend to head south when the weather condition becomes very cold. It is possible to get a Snowbird Plan that offers a reduction over the daily plan. You either get a Talk + Text plan for $34.95 per month or a text, unlimited talk, and data for $49.95 per month.
Do you need a data-only plan? This is available if you are only interested in 300 MB of data for three days from a carrier with a price of $9.95. Other prices depend on how much data you want and how long you will use it.
The top data plan is a 5 GB plan valid for 30 days and costs $59.95.
Roam Mobility offers you data of 4 GB of 4G LTE for the month on plans that include unlimited data. Your monthly data allowance (and therefore your data speed) is 4 GB.
If you use more than this data plan, your data speed will be throttled back to 2G; you should keep this in mind as you use data. Also, you might want to turn off your LTE at some points during your trip to conserve fast data speed.
How to Use a Roam Mobility SIM Card
Setting up your phone to avoid high roaming charges is very straightforward. The first step is to ensure your phone is unlocked. You do this by either calling your service provider or using a service like doctorSIM to help you unlock your phone.
After that, you will need to pay a fee to make this happen. The funds you get from using a roaming SIM card are enough to make paying the fee worth it.
Then you buy a Roam Mobility SIM card by ordering it online or by getting it from one of the resellers approved to offer these cards. Superstore, Petro Canada and Staples are all authorized to resell Roam Mobility products.
You can activate your SIM card online, provide details, including how many days you will be in the States.
If you are staying longer, you can get on the website and purchase additional days. If you stay down south for longer, you can choose a monthly Snowbird Plan to save a little bit more.
Steps to follow to set up Roam Mobility
- Get a SIM Card
You can easily order a SIM Card online from the Roam Mobility website. It might take 2-3 days before you get the SIM Card. It comes with a little tool to open up your phone and a nice file to keep your SIM card kit neat.
- Sign Up for an Account and Activate your SIM
Then you sign up for an account (if you brought it from the website, you likely have an account already and when you receive your SIM card, activate the SIM card on your registered account. It takes a few minutes to do this.
- Sign up for a Plan
As soon as you activate your SIM card, you will be given a phone number that you will be given for an entire year. That’s if you continue to use your SIM card, or it will be assigned to another phone number. On the Roam Mobility site, you can sign up for a plan, and the cost is dependent on how many days you want.
Roam Mobility SIM card devices
When you get into the United States and want to switch your SIM cards, power down your phone, and then make the switch. After turning the phone back on, you should get a message welcoming you to the Roam Mobility network, and you are ready to go.
It’s necessary to understand the process of switching a SIM card. You can find instructions online or check in with your service carrier. You should find out if you need a special confirmation.
Android phones require you get an APN validation before you change your SIM.
It’s advisable to get a container for your usual SIM card so you don’t misplace it or get it damaged while out of the country. And also, you will need to swap the SIM cards again upon your return to Canada.
How Does Roam Mobility Compare to Other Data Roaming Plans?
There are other data roaming plans that cost less than your regular plan. However, these plans aren’t always as low-cost or convenient as using a Roam Mobility SIM card. Here are other options you can choose from:
Rogers Roaming: Roam-like home lets you use the talk, text, and data included in your monthly plan just like you would at home. If you are Roger’s customer with an eligible postpaid wireless plan, you will be automatically enrolled in Roam like Home.
You can get an add-on using your existing account for $5 per day. However, your existing account limits remain in place, and you need a Share Everything plan to make it work.
Bell Roaming: Roam Better is available to customers on most monthly plans and small business plans within the coverage areas of Bell roaming partners in the U.S.
You can get this for $5 per day as well. However, the shortcoming of this plan is that you are only allowed to use 100MB of data per day.
TELUS Roaming: Enjoy worry-free roaming with TELUS. With this plan, you add on to your existing account for $9 per day. They have made available different data plan options that you can choose from, and your plan limits you.
Although it might be more convenient to activate these plans, the value isn’t there. As long as you pay the required fee and use a Roam Mobility SIM card, this leads to cost minimization.
What to Watch For
An American number.
Roam Mobility uses an American service provider. This means that your SIM card will have an American number. You’ll have to share your contact information with your business contacts, family, and friends before you go.
You should note that your Canadian contacts would get an additional charge when they call you if they don’t have a US talk-and-text plan. But, you can call them since calls to Canada are included in most Roam Mobility Plans.
To solve this, you can recommend they use Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to send you a message.
Roam Mobility works on both 3G and 4G networks across the United States. If you are travelling to a major city, you should not have a problem with coverage.
Furthermore, there are some large coverage gaps in the Midwest and parts of Maine and Texas. If you live in these areas, make sure you double-check Roam Mobility’s coverage maps before you buy a plan.
Call Forwarding is a One-Way Street
You can set up a service with your Canadian number to forward calls to your Roam Mobility number while you are travelling. This plan will cost you extra money from your Canadian service provider, and forwarding to the US might bring about additional charges.
Roam Mobility’s ‘Unlimited Data’ isn’t a Replacement for Your Home Internet Connection.
Roam Mobility’s service is great for keeping up with emails, uploading Instagram pictures, or refreshing your streaming music playlists. However, once you go through the allotment of 4G LTE data, speeds get very slow, very quickly.
The maximum available data per month is 15GB. While this is likely higher than the limits of your current cell phone plans, it is still not hard to blow through with any amount of video streaming, video calls, or regularly updating apps on your phone.
Are you worried about your data usage? Our data Saving Guide can help you manage data usage without making sacrifices in using your phone.
Advantages of Roam Mobility
Roaming is way easy than using a travel SIM card. You activate the function on your phone and use it. Likewise, you will need to keep your current phone number which is great for those that depend on it.
The easy-to-follow instructions do their job. This helps you get connected easily within minutes of arriving in the US.
Many Canadians cross the border for short periods. The option to choose a daily planner makes it affordable for short trips.
There are no overages. Unlimited talk, text, and data mean not having to track usage.
Your data usage is restricted to 5 GB per day at 4G LTE speeds.
Disadvantages of Roam Mobility
The biggest downside to roaming is that you will likely have much less data with a much higher price tag.
Another disadvantage here is that many cell companies will charge you by the day for your data usage, which can be a massive bill.
Customer service with this Vancouver- based company is questionable. This consists of establishing an online “ticket” if you have an Internet connection and waiting for a response.
Using a Roam Mobility SIM card allows you to select from a roster of service plans like talk, text, and data based on your travel needs. These plans offer a very competitive travel option when compared to your normal service provider’s offerings.
In addition, some people say it’s been a long time coming, but the reality is that we have entered a new mobility age.
Based on online reviews, it has been given 4- and 5- star ratings, also words like “Awesome service,” “Flawless,” and “best option” have been used to describe the services.
Despite the inconveniences of having an American number, the affordability of Roam Mobility plans and services makes it worth your while.
Thanks for reading! Please let me know your thoughts and comments below.
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Sagar Sridhar is a personal finance blogger from Canada. His genuine passion for personal finance coupled with his unique style of writing is what stands out. Professionally, he is a computer engineer, agile certified and has a master’s degree in Project Management. His writing has been featured or quoted in the leading Canadian publications such as Credit Canada and many other personal finance publications. While he is juggling between his day job and blogging, he is the main author on this blog and has miles to go before making the final pit stop.