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Old 11-04-2013, 12:37 PM   #541
bankr63
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And that is the ROAM magic. Much less expensive than using your Canadian carrier's roaming, but the convenience will cost a bit more than a pure US carrier. Your sim is shipped to you in Canada from a Canadian company, activated in advance, and can be programmed to be active as soon as you expect to hit the US (in 15 minute increments) by land or air; no hurried stop south of the border, and hassles with setup and activation (I've been through that a few times). If you are first timer, you have your number in advance, so if you want to forward to your cell phone or leave a contact number, you can set it up before you leave.

Last night I setup for a trip next week. Five minutes online selecting the number of days, and what date and time I wanted to start. That's it. When I cross the border that night it'll be active. This is a huge benefit for those who take the "all in" Disney vacations with ME from the airport to the resort. They don't have the opportunity to make a field trip to Wal-Mart to pickup a phone or SIM card.

There is no wait for your Canadian dialling to activate. 3 years ago with Net 10, we bought the phones in Orlando on day 1 and requested activation of international dialling. I think they claimed it could take up to 72 hours to activate. The first call I was able to make back home was from the airport before we boarded to return home 6 days later.

Having lived through a few rounds of getting setup in the US on our first day, this is heaven and worth a little extra cost.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:34 PM   #542
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddysdaddy View Post
Adding on to this - Roam's phone number does expire, but you have a year to "pay for another day" to keep it active. T-Mobile's SIM theoretically expires after 90 days if you haven't topped up your account (if I recall, the minimum top up is $10 and if you don't use it in the following 90 day period, you lose it).

If you are a frequent traveler down south, T-Mo is the way to go - you will have access to other companies cell towers that T-Mo roams on where they don't have coverage, plus you have unlimited data. As I have noted in this earlier, you can set up a Google Voice account once you are in the US and you will have that number forever - and that is the number you will use to call back to Canada for free. On a per day basis, T-Mo is also less expensive than Roam - although once you have committed to spending thousands on a Disney trip, what's another few bucks, right?

That being said, T-Mo is also a pain in the rear, as it requires you to find and stop at one of their corporate stores and then go in and go thru the whole purchase/set-up process. That is 30 minutes that is probably better spent elsewhere.

Despite what I have said above, I like using T-Mo/Google Voice and think it is a better value (for me, the unlimited data is important), but am the first to admit that for many, the benefits don't outweigh the hassle.
Great info -- thanks. This is obviously a big issue for Canadians traveling south of 49, so I think the discussion will be helpful to many. I was wondering if you could answer a few questions about your setup...

1. How's the quality of Google Voice? I've used Skype in the past and been, at various points, anywhere from delighted to disappointed. Does it work well over T-Mobile's data network?

2. Do you pay roaming fees on T-Mobile when connecting via non-T-Mo towers? The broader coverage is obviously a plus, but I'm wondering if it comes at an added cost?

For me, the new higher data caps on Roam are close enough to unlimited to make than a non-issue. Lower price and better coverage by dealing with T-Mobile directly would be a plus. But since I'm on a Telus iPhone 4S (which only works in areas where T-Mobile operates a re-farmed GSM-1900 network), I'm not sure whether roaming onto partner networks would work for me or not.

I suppose all this gets solved if/when I upgrade to an iPhone 6 once my 3-year contract runs out...
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:43 PM   #543
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ROAM Mobility - Discount codes

...by the way, is anyone aware of an active discount code for Roam Mobility's talk/data plans?

I have the SIM already, thanks to Roam's SIM swap program, but was wondering if there was any way to save a few bucks on the 14-day plan, which runs about C$49 -- plus HST, I believe (13% in ON).

Signed up for the Roam newsletter about a month ago, which they claim included their promo offers, but haven't received one yet. I've also scanned the usual suspects for active e-coupons, but no dice.

The last valid code I saw was for 25% off back in February, for SXSW...
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:46 AM   #544
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Answers in bolded italics following your questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ottawarob View Post
Great info -- thanks. This is obviously a big issue for Canadians traveling south of 49, so I think the discussion will be helpful to many. I was wondering if you could answer a few questions about your setup...

1. How's the quality of Google Voice? I've used Skype in the past and been, at various points, anywhere from delighted to disappointed. Does it work well over T-Mobile's data network?

In general, T-Mo's data network has been hit and miss for me. I found that it worked better in Southern California than in Orlando. During our trip in March, there were a number of areas in and around WDW where I could not get a data signal.

That being said, the majority of the time I have used Google Voice, it has been on a wifi network, where it has worked really well. About the only time I used it on T-Mo data was in San Francisco, where it worked just fine.

That being said, I am still using an iPhone 4, so there are still some compatibility issues with the upgrades that T-Mo has done over the past two years, that I understand don't exist with the newer generation iPhones.


2. Do you pay roaming fees on T-Mobile when connecting via non-T-Mo towers? The broader coverage is obviously a plus, but I'm wondering if it comes at an added cost?

I've never used Roam before (I will this upcoming trip, as they had a promo on Canada Day where if you purchased a SIM, you could have a week free). In my previous trips using a T-Mo SIM, I was never charged any more than the pay-by-the-day rate.

If you are planning to stay in metropolitan areas, there should be minimal issues connecting with T-Mo.


For me, the new higher data caps on Roam are close enough to unlimited to make than a non-issue. Lower price and better coverage by dealing with T-Mobile directly would be a plus. But since I'm on a Telus iPhone 4S (which only works in areas where T-Mobile operates a re-farmed GSM-1900 network), I'm not sure whether roaming onto partner networks would work for me or not.

I suppose all this gets solved if/when I upgrade to an iPhone 6 once my 3-year contract runs out...
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:54 PM   #545
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Originally Posted by ottawarob View Post
Roam includes unlimited calling back to Canada.
Yup, looks like this is the biggest difference. From what I can tell, PAYG T-Mobile calling to Canada is 50¢/min or jumping through a few hoops to set up Google voice. For the amount of times we expect to call back to Canada, it won't be an issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ottawarob View Post
Coincidentally, we'll be driving from Ottawa and catching a flight out of Syracuse, too. Maybe we'll see you at the Walmart in Watertown.
lol, looks like you're going soon, we still have another month!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddysdaddy View Post
That being said, T-Mo is also a pain in the rear, as it requires you to find and stop at one of their corporate stores and then go in and go thru the whole purchase/set-up process. That is 30 minutes that is probably better spent elsewhere.
No need to hit a T-Mobile store, just grab a SIM kit at Wal-mart. Since we can do that without going out of our way, it's no hassle, and no time wasted. Plus if we really had to, we could stop at the T-Mobile store in Carousel Mall when we go for lunch.

Thanks for the info everybody. I'm going to try for a free SIM from ROAM with the swap program (which I just found out about tonight), but I think I'll still go with T-Mobile. The promise of better coverage and lower prices is more important than convenience. I understand the appeal, but I've gotten lucky this trip, everything's been booked for a while and was very simple. So I really don't really mind having one complicated thing to focus on, lol.
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:08 PM   #546
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Originally Posted by mabba18 View Post
No need to hit a T-Mobile store, just grab a SIM kit at Wal-mart. Since we can do that without going out of our way, it's no hassle, and no time wasted. Plus if we really had to, we could stop at the T-Mobile store in Carousel Mall when we go for lunch.
Are you certain about this? Last time I dealt with T-Mo - granted it was about a year ago - all pay-by-the-day accounts had to be set up through a corporate store, and Wallyworld was not equipped to set up those types of accounts.
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:35 PM   #547
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Originally Posted by Maddysdaddy View Post
Are you certain about this? Last time I dealt with T-Mo - granted it was about a year ago - all pay-by-the-day accounts had to be set up through a corporate store, and Wallyworld was not equipped to set up those types of accounts.
As far as I understand this is all you need: http://www.walmart.com/ip/T-Mobile-SIM-Kit/24099996

I'm not 100% sure if they can activate it in store, but I am sure it can be done online.
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Old 11-13-2013, 11:39 AM   #548
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roam mobility while on a Disney cruise

Hi, has anyone experimented with the roam mobility SIM while on a caribbean cruise with DCL?

we're doing land and sea and I took a Roam sim for the 2 days we will be in WDW, would I be able to use it while I will be in the US Virgin Islands?
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:46 AM   #549
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Hi, has anyone experimented with the roam mobility SIM while on a caribbean cruise with DCL?

we're doing land and sea and I took a Roam sim for the 2 days we will be in WDW, would I be able to use it while I will be in the US Virgin Islands?
Not going to work while you're on the boat. Once you're offshore (3 miles? 5 miles?), you will lose the cell signal and the only way you can call on your cell is through the "Cellular at Sea" signal. There is more about this on the DCL website, but I seem to recall that it's somewhere around $3 per minute to connect.

With respect to being on land in the Virgin Islands, I put that question to Roam quite some time ago, and was told that the answer was "no", because T-Mobile (the network Roam roams on) has no native towers there. Might be worth you giving them a call to see if anything has changed - if you do, please let us know.

The alternative would be to find a wifi hotspot and to use something like Skype.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:02 AM   #550
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Looks like Teambuy has a deal on a Roam mobility phone, talk, and text plan. It's too bad that it takes 3-4 weeks shipping though or I would have bought it for my dh for our upcoming trip. I bought the SIM on its own and planning to unlock my phone with Telus, so this deal works out better. (If only I knew about it before.) It would have been great to have two phones so that we could separate and take the teens to the big rides and pre-school to smaller rides.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:45 PM   #551
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Don't know when your trip is but if you're staying at a Disney hotel you could have it shipped there and they'll hold it for you.

When we stayed at Beach Club Villas, we shipped all sorts of things including cell phones from Virgin. It was really handy, everybody having a cell phone.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:27 AM   #552
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I don't know if this has been brought up before, but to add to the T-Mobility vs. Roam argument, I believe that TM does not allow tethering while RM does. That's important to me because I was hoping to have the kids share an access point on the drive down. I think the data speeds will be low, so maybe they'll have to limit their use to just browsing and checking email.

Our decision is easy; my sister has a Roam sim card that she is lending us. I can't find any reports on Roam from Canadians driving down to Florida. Anyone have any reviews?

BTW, I unlocked my son's Koodo phone on eBay for ~$4 and am planning on doing the same to my Bell phone. I think it's quite a bit cheaper and more convenient than getting the carrier to do it.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:02 AM   #553
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[QUOTE=kc1;507636
BTW, I unlocked my son's Koodo phone on eBay for ~$4 and am planning on doing the same to my Bell phone. I think it's quite a bit cheaper and more convenient than getting the carrier to do it.[/QUOTE]

Could you please post the site you used to do this? I need to unlock 1 or 2 phones we have with Bell for March break trip and there are so many sites out there, I'd like to use one people can recommend.
You can PM me if that's easier.
Thanks
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:31 AM   #554
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PM sent.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:59 PM   #555
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So, has anyone had any recent experience with Roam in WDW? In particular, I'm wondering about data speeds. I've read very mixed reviews.

T-Mobile is notoriously spotty for data but I can't seem to find many real-life reports from the Disney Parks (which is the only place I really care about).

I got a free Roam SIM but if coverage is spotty, I'd rather pay a little extra and go with an AT&T MVNO (like Redpocket). Now that AT&T has done all their upgrades at both WDW and DL given they're the official wireless partner, I'm assuming their connections and speeds are quite good. But again, first-hand reports are scarce.
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