Cell phone use at WDW

Discussion in 'Canadian Trip Planning & Community Board' started by disneyred, May 11, 2007.

  1. rockchica

    rockchica Earning My Ears

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    They must have changed their pricing scheme recently because when I bought it you could buy plans for 1 day, 3 days, 7 days, 14 days, or 30 days. In total I paid $11.95 for 3 days which works out to just over $3.95 a day. I only need service for 4 days as am going on a cruise and planning on shutting down my phone while on the ship. I don't think I will need all that much data because WDW offers free wifi and so does all the hotels I am staying at.
     
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  3. rocknroll

    rocknroll Mouseketeer

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    Hi, for the BB experts out there, is the following scenario (that my boys say can be done) possible?

    My family wants to celebrate my 50th birthday with me while I am solo at WDW. (To keep it short, through several circumstances a trip for 10 is down to one). My tech savvy boys think I can use the bridge function on my BB phone and synch my Playbook video cam function to stream a "current" event using the free WiFi at the parks.

    Specifically, they want me to do a live video of my Illuminations Cruise that is booked on my birthday, and the family will sing Happy Birthday back right after.

    Back up plan is to just save the video to YouTube for them to view, then when back at hotel celebrate with them through internet then.

    Any advice or comments, including the answer "not possible" are more than welcome.

    Additional info: I will have a US travel pass on my Telus Plan for roaming, calls, text and some data. Assumption is that roaming will allow the phone to pick up a WDW carrier for data as well as phone and the cynical side of me that doesn't trust wireless providers is saying that this would be too good to be true.

    Thanks in advance.

    Cheers!

    Roehl
     
  4. Maddysdaddy

    Maddysdaddy DIS Veteran

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    My concern would be with the spottiness of wifi coverage at the parks. When I was there last month, my phone would keep switching between wifi and 3g as a roamed around.

    I would be surprised if you could find/maintain a consistent wifi signal in the parks, let alone on the water, and if you lose that signal and start streaming using your data, it will get very expensive very quickly (even with a roaming package).
     
  5. rocknroll

    rocknroll Mouseketeer

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    I "knew" there was something wrong with our plan. NOT! LOL. Thank you very much for keeping me from being another news story about an unexpected >$1,000 phone bill. Deifinitely nixing that live feed idea.

    And when you brought up that the part about being on the water, I also remembered that if the wind/breeze is going the wrong way, the boat is going to be at least partially under a bridge.

    Thanks again fellow Calgarian.

    Cheers!

    Roehl
     
  6. coastgirl

    coastgirl DIS Veteran

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    So we have service with Eastlink here in NS. Their US roaming info reads like this: "Calls to North American are 50¢/min, text is 50¢/msg and data is $1/MB."

    50 cents per text seems like a lot. I'm not sure how the data rate is--I have a smartphone but only very recently. I'd like to have the advantages of surfing, touring apps, email etc. Wondering if it's worth it to buy a US phone.
     
  7. Maddysdaddy

    Maddysdaddy DIS Veteran

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    Here's a chart from AT&T as to data usage. As you'll see, $1/MB could get very expensive, very quickly.

    Data Legend for Smartphone
    Below are general guidelines for the amount of data used per service:
    • 1 email (no attachment) 20KB
    • 1 social media post with photo 350KB
    • 1 email (with standard attachment) 300KB
    • 1 min. of streaming video (standard) 2MB (120MB/hr)
    • 1 min. of streaming music 500KB (30MB/hr)
    • 1 min. of streaming video (HD) 5.1MB (306MB/hr)
    • 1 web page 1MB
    • 1 app/game/song downloaded 4MB
    Note: Data usage varies by device. The above examples are based on averages and are estimates only. The actual amount of data used for the described activity can vary.
    1MB = 1,024KB
    1GB = 1,024MB
     
  8. michelle1

    michelle1 DIS Veteran

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    We use this service also and it's great for us. We already had an extra blackberry we weren't using so got it unlocked and then just put their sim card in and we get unlimited calls and texting for a few dollars a day. If we are away and my DH is still "working" he puts call forward on his cell to the number on the sim card. We actually would like an extra one so we can each carry a phone when we are away so we are going to buy an inexpensive unlocked phone from Best Buy and get another sim card.
     
  9. coastgirl

    coastgirl DIS Veteran

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    Still trying to work this out. I checked my data usage on my phone and I used 170 mb last week--I could be more careful with that, but still, with Eastlink that's going to cost me at least $100/wk if I use my phone the way I like to.

    I just used a youtube video to unlock my phone, but I can't be sure it works without a compatible sim card. (My kids' phones are still on PC mobile, but they have larger sims, I can't fit them in.)

    I checked with Roam, and I can get the service I need for about $40 for two weeks, but then a sim is going to cost another $20. So, $60 (plus tax I guess) all in. Plus whatever charges dh would need to use his phone. (Realistically, I do most of the talking/surfing, so maybe $20 more on his Eastlink account.) Could be worse, but I'm still looking for cheaper!:scratchin

    I just found something called "Optel", which has a $5 sim, plus a cheaper pay as you go rate--anyone use them?
     
  10. eculmone

    eculmone Mouseketeer

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    Here's a thought... Put the phones DOWN and back away SLOWLY :crazy2: I WISH I COULD DO THIS! What evet happened to the good ol days? :confused3
     
  11. coastgirl

    coastgirl DIS Veteran

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    Lol! Me too! Just think though, in the old days we took the package the travel agent offered, and didn't have the fun of all this planning ahead! :-D
     
  12. eculmone

    eculmone Mouseketeer

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    popcorn:: ::yes::
     
  13. Jareds_mommy

    Jareds_mommy DIS Veteran

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    on my iphone I put it in airplane and it turns everything off, then I have to manually toggle just Wi-Fi back on
     
  14. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    Just got an e-mail from Roam mobility indicating that they have increased the amount of data on the dollar a day add on to 300MB from 100MB (per day!) That's SIX times the amount that Rogers offers for $8/day

    TO whoever originally posted here about Roam - THANK YOU!!!! After using several throwaway cheap phones (and feeling bad about the waste), buying roam sim cards for our two (now) unlocked android phones was the smartest think we could have done! The $3/day for unlimited US/Canada voice and text plus $1/day data add on is a really smart deal.
     
  15. ottawarob

    ottawarob WDW '76, Disneyland '81, Tokyo '92, WDW '06, Paris

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    We've been looking seriously at Roam as well.

    This may be useful for some: We took advantage of a promotion from Roam that allowed us to exchange an old, no-longer-active U.S. SIM card for a Roam SIM for free, except for the price of postage. (Just do a search for "Roam Mobility" and "SIM swap".) So our SIM was basically free.

    We have an unlocked Telus iPhone 4S which, unlike the iPhone 5, doesn't work on the traditional frequencies used by T-Mobile (Roam's U.S. partner). This means we'll be depending on T-Mobile's "refarmed" GSM-1900 band in the Orlando area. Roam says we should be fine, but I'd like to hear from someone outside of their sales department.

    We'll be at WDW in mid-November, and were thinking about using Roam as a backup in case Disney's free WiFi is spotty. But we're not sure whether it's worth the money to bother.

    I'm wondering about people's experience using Roam at WDW, both in resorts and on-park -- especially those using the GSM-1900 band:

    1. How good is Roam's coverage and signal strength at WDW?
    2. Is it even necessary, given the free WiFi available from Disney?

    Any and all insight would be appreciated!
     
  16. ottawarob

    ottawarob WDW '76, Disneyland '81, Tokyo '92, WDW '06, Paris

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    Great to hear! How did you find the coverage?

    Any idea which frequencies your phones were operating on? We have a Telus iPhone 4S, so we'll be dependent on the new GSM-1900 system T-Mobile has just rolled out in Orlando.
     
  17. bankr63

    bankr63 DIS Veteran

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    To be clear, we have been using Roam on other US trips; our last trip to Disney was the last time I used a throwaway (Virign Mobile - which worked better for us than the Net10 on the previous trip). We haven't seen a lot of issues with our phones in the Northern US.

    We have a Samsung Galaxy SIII:
    2g 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz GSM / GPRS / EDGE
    3G 850, 1900, 2100 MHz UMTS / HSPA+
    4G 700 (Band 17), 1700/2100 (AWS) MHz

    and a Sony Ericsson Xperia X10(a)
    850/900/1800/1900 frequency bands for GSM
    800/850/1900/2100 bands UMTS

    Actually just noticed that my 3G bands don't overlap well with T-Mobile - I will have to watch my connection a bit more closely to see what band I actually connect on. Connection can have a lot to do with the vintage of the towers in any specific area, but T-Mobile does have pretty solid coverage across Florida.

    As for your previous post - our experience in March 13 with wireless in the parks was NOT good. Connections would drop/connect constantly using both our iPod and SIII. When trying to check the line apps, we'd generally be through the line in less time than it would take to check the app. Frustrating when you are wondering if it's worth walking across the park for a last ride on your favorite coaster.
     
  18. mabba18

    mabba18 Earning My Ears

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    Been trying to pull together info from many different sources, and I want to make sure that I'm not missing something.

    First, glad to here that Orlando will have 4G on the 1900 band. Thanks to the person that posted that.

    Second, lots of people are praising ROAM, but as far as I can tell the only advantages over T-Mobile are a bit more data, and the ability to get them SIM card quickly in Canada. Otherwise it is much more expensive (Roam's 7 day plan is the same as the T-mobile Wal-Mart plan), and the same coverage.

    Since I will have no problem grabbing a T-Mobile SIM on the way down (We're driving from Ottawa to Syracuse for the flight to MCO), and the difference in data isn't important, is there any reason for us to consider ROAM?
     
  19. petbren

    petbren DIS Veteran

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    Anyone buy their Breeze phone?
    Thoughts on it?
    I have an older Blackberry and it says the data will not work with it.
     
  20. ottawarob

    ottawarob WDW '76, Disneyland '81, Tokyo '92, WDW '06, Paris

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    Roam includes unlimited calling back to Canada. Also, the Roam SIM / phone number doesn't expire -- I'm not sure whether it would for T-Mobile's Pay-by-the-Day. Otherwise, sounds like you're right.

    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.
     
  21. Maddysdaddy

    Maddysdaddy DIS Veteran

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    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.
     

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