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Most larger North American cellular carriers still base their plans around voice minutes -- how quaintly 2006 of them. Lexi offers a whole lot of Amazon's voice assistant features for way less than an Echo speaker. While there, I'm going want to be able to use my cell phone to call home as well as have data access for Google Maps, keeping up on email, checking on my site, looking up restaurants and attractions, tethering to my surface so I can work anywhere, and the list goes on. There are a lot of options out there and not everyone is aware that you have more choices than just paying through the nose with your existing provider. The easiest thing to do is to check with your current cell phone provider to see what kind of add-ons they have for traveling to the USA. Pay per use rates are typically around $1.50 per minute talked, up to $1 per text sent, and as much as 5 cents per kilobyte of data used which works out to $500 for 100MB of data, which is insane. Only considering a combination of talk, text, and data, these are the cheapest rates offered by some popular Canadian providers in no particular order. In recent years there have been some companies that have popped up specifically with the traveler in mind to make things both cheap and easy.
With Roam Mobility, you'll need to purchase a $20 SIM card to put in your phone either online or at one of their partner stores in Canada like Staples.
One of the real advantages to Roam over ReadySim and prepaid service purchased from a USA provider is that it includes calls back to Canada. A good strategy for doing this within less than a week of departure would be to choose the expedited shipping and ship your SIM card to the hotel where you will be staying. The cheapest thing to do is to purchase a prepaid SIM card and cell phone package from a local wireless provider in the United States. Your phone must be unlocked for you to use a SIM card from any other service provider than your own including Roam Mobility and ReadySim. If you buy a SIM card out of the USA, it most likely doesn't include calls back home to Canada. Roam Mobility and ReadySim only have an agreement with T-Mobile so if you go out of their network areas there will be no coverage at all for you.
If you use any of the options other than your own provider, you will temporarily have a new USA based phone number while traveling in the USA. This book by fellow Canadian blogger Steve Zussino is the ultimate guide to travel hacking for Canadians.
For extended trips, 3+ weeks, I figure just buying a pay-as-you-go phone is the way to go in the country you're in. There are definitely some good prepaid plans out there where you can top up for a certain dollar amount and have your minutes not expire for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, etc. I wonder if people in provinces that don't have Wind, could just get a cell with them only for use in the USA.
I checked out the website again, looked through the prepaid plans page, and quickly browsed through the fine print and I could see no mention that purchasing a phone was required. You're right, it does look like for that one plan only you require a T-Mobile branded device. Yes, I saw they are selling the 2-pack at Staples too for $14.99 so that's another place to check.
Since I will be becoming a "snowbird" I too have looked into all these services, USA and Canada. Have just ordered the Roam Mobility Breeze phone from their website based on your review here. Get unlimited data and pay as you go with Virgin Mobile's no contract cell phone plans. Discover T-Mobile's best selection of cell phones including Android-powered smartphones. Cell Phone Plans – Shop online new Cell Phone Plans for individual and Family at CellHub, T-Mobile exclusive online portal cell Phone Plans..
Cricket Wireless is a leading cell phone provider, offering affordable prepaid cellular plans and no signed contract..
The news comes the same week that Sprint announced free calling and texting to Canada and Mexico.
T-Mobile last month announced that customers can call, text, and use high-speed data in Canada and Mexico for free.

The device can render 3D images and videos you can view without the need for cumbersome glasses. The companies are reportedly eyeing the San Francisco Bay Area for new autonomous vehicle R&D facilities.
But take heart: A drone sub attached to the RRS Sir David Attenborough will bear the Boaty McBoatface moniker.
The Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday that the company misled consumers into buying plans they believed would give them unlimited ability to send and receive data, including Web browsing, GPS navigation and streaming videos. The hefty fine by the FCC comes on the heels of a federal lawsuit filed against the company last fall. We're in an era of smartphones now, and Canada's Rogers is revamping its plans to reflect a data-first reality while possibly wringing out a few dollars more. If you plan to use your phone for more than 1 or 2 calls or texts, then this is almost certainly a better option than paying per use. In cases where a period of less than 1 month was available, I chose pricing for packages of 7-10 days in duration which would cover the length of a typical vacation. Roam Mobility and ReadySim are the leaders of this pack, and after a little digging I discovered that Roam Mobility owns both of them. Then, you pay for one of their plans on top of that but you can reuse the sim card for future visits.
Call your hotel ahead of time to ensure they will accept and hold the package for you until you arrive. I could bore you with a big table comparing all the different options out there, but it has been generally accepted that T-Mobile offers the best deal for travelers with their daily or monthly packages.
Most phones within the last 3 years or so are at least quad band and most networks will support at least one of these bands. However, if you use your own provider or a T-Mobile prepaid plan, they will allow you to roam on other networks like AT&T, which gives you a better coverage area. It will teach you to get your airfare and accomodations for free or very cheaply anywhere you want to go in the world. There's an extremely minor delay, but it's so small that I don't find it to be much worse than a cell phone. I simply swap out the chip and buy a local one for the country I'm in, much cheaper than getting hosed at our Canadian rates. It actually makes more sense to do something like this and tether to your laptop than to pay for wifi at the hotel or airport. Sounds like a good plan for pretty light users that aren't going to be doing a lot else other than data. These are definitely the cheapest way to go if you just want a phone that works for emergencies or occasional calls.
For those who are in one of the provinces where you can get Wind, it's a good option for regular trips to the USA. It would be great if you could suspend service with them over the phone after you sign up and then reactivate it whenever you go to the USA. They do offer some very attractive plans though for those that spend most of their time in the designated areas. I will personally use a VOIP account, Magic Jack or Skype for calls back to Canada utilizing data. You say you are required to buy a device with the T-Mobile prepaid plans but not the monthly plans.
I just brought my phone to a local T-Mobile store when I landed and got them to set it up for me on my unlocked phone. What I have found is that in Canada Petrocan Mobility offers the cheapest service with the most flexibility to change plans anytime.
We offer free cell phones, android phone, smartphones and prepaid cell phones from T-Mobile.
If you are looking to get a phone, then you need to consider the different cell phone plans out there.
Find prepaid cell phones, featuring android and blackberry phones along with no contract, unlimited cell phone plans and more from Boost Mobile. But the company's new data plans range from 300MB for $20 for those who need just a small amount of data all the way up to 25GB for $170, a new option aimed at small businesses with multiple lines.

For travelers, the plan also offers free unlimited calls and texts, as well as affordable data, when visiting Canada, Mexico, and more than a dozen Latin American countries without roaming fees.
As part of the promotion, announced on Monday, customers will receive a $300 bill credit for each line they port over, provided they purchase a new smartphone with an AT&T Next plan. Prior to joining the team, she worked as a reporter for SC Magazine, covering everything related to hackers and computer security. But the FCC said that once the consumer reached a certain level, that data would be slowed down significantly, at speeds lower than advertised. The Federal Trade Commission, which enforces rules against deceptive advertising, said it wants to refund customers who were offered the unlimited data packages, only to be given slower data speeds than advertised. A quartet of newly active Unlimited Talk and Text rates hand out the now-trivial messaging and voice time like candy: apart from a $55 entry plan that includes a still-healthy 1,000 minutes of talk, they all offer unlimited local or Canada-wide calling as well as unlimited MMS and SMS. Roam Mobility is specifically targeted at Canadians traveling to the USA whereas ReadySim is targeted at anyone who is visiting the USA and wants a cheap cell phone package while visiting. Slow shipping is free to both the USA and Canada (7-20 business days) or you can get expedited shipping anywhere in the USA for $8.99 (2-6 business days).
However, when it comes to data, you sometimes may not be able to achieve the highest speeds if your phone doesn't support the 1700MHz band, which isn't very common in phones sold in Canada. If you buy one that is too small, you can usually get adapters that will make it fit your phone.
If you plan to make calls with VoIP over data, you can make and receive calls using any existing VoIP phone numbers you may have which makes things more seamless for your friends and family. Too bad you probably have to get a credit check every time you want to activate service because you wouldn't want to pay during months you weren't in the USA unless you also use it as your regular day-to-day cell phone in Canada. Unfortunately when I needed to get mine I had to pay the full $19.99 + tax because there was nothing else available at that time.
Not sure how good these would be with 2G speed though if I go for an option with less data. If this is the case, it must be a new rule because when I was down in the USA a couple of years ago I was able to buy a SIM card for my unlocked phone and use one of those plans. Can you link me to the page where you saw this and the exact wording on the page indicating you can't bring your own device?
I used the daily prepaid plans when I was in the USA so I guess they wouldn't have that restriction. In the US I found that Tracphone thru Walmart offers what looks like good Pay as you go service. With three flexible no contract cell plans, Pure TalkUSA has the right cell phone service plan for your needs and lifestyle. Cell Phone Plan – Find incredible deals on Cell Phone Plan and Cell Phone Plan accessories.
Angela has also written for The Northern Valley Suburbanite in New Jersey, The Dominion Post in West Virginia, and the Uniontown-Herald Standard in Pennsylvania. Fortunately most networks in the USA are being upgraded to support alternate bands to 1700MHz for 4G data speeds. Thanks for taking the time to research all the details and post it here to share with everyone.
Buy cell phones, smart phones, cell phone accessories, unlocked phones, free cell phones with plan, and more at Cell Phones and Plans by Northern Systems. Rogers' strategy is no doubt meant to draw a few data-heavy Galaxy Note II and Lumia 920 buyers into more lucrative service echelons, but it's a refreshing break from pricing that still treats the basics as scarce resources. Update: It's well-known that the major Canadian carriers tend to imitate each other's cellular plans, and there's no sign they're letting up. MobileSyrup has heard that both Bell and Telus should have uncannily similar plans as of November 9th and 8th, respectively.
About the only practical difference is Telus' decision to focus on the top three tiers and hike prices by $5 across the board.

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