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Best Smartphone Plan Covering US and Canada? 199

Posted by timothy
from the move-to-regular-scotia dept.
j00bhaka writes "I am a US citizen attending university in Nova Scotia, Canada. I currently have the Verizon America and Canada plan (also known as the North American plan). My bill is currently around $80-$100 per month. I chose this for a couple reasons. One, I have had my number for about 7 years. Two, I do not permanently live in Canada. I live in Canada for 8 months out of the year at school, then travel home for the summer months. Either way, I would be dealing with international roaming without having both countries in my plan. Currently, I obviously don't have a smartphone. Through Verizon, I could purchase one, and add their international unlimited data plan on top of my (already) hefty phone bill. I have looked into Telus and Rogers here in Canada and cannot find anything better. As a student, my budget is obviously limited. Is there any way to reasonably have (and utilize) a smartphone while I am living in both countries? If so, what do you suggest I do?"
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Best Smartphone Plan Covering US and Canada?

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  • Get a Google voice number and any smartphone or dumbphone that accepts SIM cards. Then, get a prepaid SIM from Canada and redirect your Google Voice number to that number. When you are in the US, get a US pre-paid SIM and redirect your Google Voice number to that number.

    For your internet on the go, you would rely on wifi and your notebook/netbook.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:03PM (#31445200)

      Wow, you managed to give a solution that does not address a single requirement of the problem... Bravo.

      • by Z34107 (925136)

        Well, GP was close. I would get a "regular" phone plan in Canada and subsist on prepaid for four months in America. Google Voice lets you use the same number for both phones and gives you free long distance to Canada.

        If you Google a bit, Tracfone will cost you around 6-8 cents a minute. This is competitive with the cheapest monthly plans you can get (in my area) at around 500 minutes talked per month. Above 500 minutes, it will still beat an ETF.

        So, Google Voice lets you use whatever cheap plan you want

    • I've been trying this but the problem is I don't end up with a reasonable data plan on the prepaid phones which turns out to be a drag. Anyone have ideas for good prepaid plans with data in the Canada? What about US?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CyberSaint (1376273)
        Reasonable pre-paid data plan in Canada...? Surely you jest. With our perverse telecom/wireless telecom situation most third world countries have better speeds and dollar/byte rates than up here.
    • Worst ideas I've seen in a while...

      Prepaid rates are great if you use a small number (15-30) minutes a month... but anything more and you're better off buying a monthly plan.

      And WiFi when you travel isn't so cool... you'll find yourself paying US$15-20 a day if your hotel doesn't include it in the price, and those that do include it tend to charge more so you can't win that game. You can't sit in a coffee shop and get WiFi for multiple hours without running up quite the food bill. Nothing's truely free.

    • by ComSon0 (473373) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:09PM (#31445266) Homepage
      I travel to Canada from the US often for work and have tried this as I also have a Rogers plan. Google voice will not forward the calls to international numbers, even if it's our neighbor, Canada.
      • by mjwx (966435)
        Android phone + SIP account + Prepaid data.

        I don't know if you northern savages have prepaid data but here in Australia it's quite common, a bit more expensive then regular calls for the moment but the price is going down. This would be your best choice for maintaining a single number in Canada and the US.
        • by zill (1690130)
          Prepaid data is almost like highway robbery in Canada. $2.99 CAD (~2.93USD) for 20MB [rogers.com] I don't have data on Google Voice, but Skype is roughly 30kbps, so 20MB would only last 11 minutes.

          I can't find data regarding Fido's prepaid data costs but I suspect it's similar to Rogers' since they're basically the same company.
          • by mjwx (966435)

            Prepaid data is almost like highway robbery in Canada. $2.99 CAD (~2.93USD) for 20MB I don't have data on Google Voice, but Skype is roughly 30kbps, so 20MB would only last 11 minutes.

            And I though we Australians had it bad. With Vodafone [vodafone.com.au] I can at least get 500 MB for A$20. This expires in 30 days (great for visitors/temporary internet access I suppose) but if you get the 12 GB package for A$150 you get 12 months.

          • by Micah (278)

            Well it beats roaming with AT&T, who charges about $16 per MB. I was in Canada recently and had to make dang sure data roaming was turned off every second.

            • by wgoodman (1109297)

              I recently visited MT and various places in CA.. While in MT i was using the "in network roaming" on AT&T, i got several calls/emails/txts where they threatened to shut off service because i was using too much roaming data. I was lucky to get 2 bars of 1x signal. As soon as I crossed into CA, i had full bars of 1x and 3g nearly every single place i went, however if i used it, i was going to pay 80c/min and some other ungodly rate for data. I eventually found a free wifi spot in Calgary and downloaded

            • by zill (1690130)
              I couldn't find the price on the official website, but this guy [saunderslog.com] claims that Rogers roaming on AT&T is only $1 per MB. 16 times difference is just ridiculous.
      • I forward Google Voice regularly to two different 403 numbers. Not going to help you in NS, but just saying that Google indeed does forward to *some* canadian numbers.

    • That was my first thought, 'Why a smartphone'. If one is living on a limited budget one should live within their means.

      • by MachDelta (704883)

        Because students could be dirt poor, eating cardboard and clothing themselves in towels stolen from the YMCA, and they'd still pick a damn smartphone over the loss of a limb. At least that's the impression I get at my university.

        • I chalk it up to the increasing narcissism in our society, a large part of which is the sense of entitlement and the 'I want what I want when I want it' attitude that's become so prevalent.

        • by FooAtWFU (699187)

          Maybe not over the loss of a limb, but certainly over health insurance.

          I had an acquaintance online who had an upset stomach once, and while tossing and turning managed to twist a particularly sensitive part of his anatomy and, ah, lost one of the pair. Ouch. Also, $10,000+ isn't a pretty bill. Get catastrophic health insurance. Don't wait for Obama+company.

    • by Cyberax (705495)

      Google voice does not forward calls.

      I'm using http://didww.com/ [didww.com] for this exact purpose.

    • This sucks. Examples of why:
      * GPS navigation only works if you have a gps enabled device and a constant data connection. Wi-Fi is useless for this.
      * Netbooks suck. Period.
      * Pulling out a laptop to check twitter to see where your friends are while walking down the street does not make sense.
      * Prepaid SIM service sucks. Calls are deprioritized relative to other traffic and call quality is terrible.
      Do I need to keep going? Start counting the apps in the iTunes store that *DONT* work on the iPod Touc
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        * GPS navigation only works if you have a gps enabled device and a constant data connection. Wi-Fi is useless for this.

        So you mean those GPSes cars that just plug into lighter sockets are magic? Or the ones on ships hundreds of miles out out to sea have a constant data connection?

        Pulling out a laptop to check twitter to see where your friends are while walking down the street does not make sense.

        Just text your friends - "Hey dude, where are you?"

        • by Scuff (59882)
          Some smartphones don't store the maps on the phone, they pull the map data from the internet as they go. You should always at least have the option of caching the maps, but it isn't always default. So in some cases the phone may know the GPS location but not what's around it.
    • For what it's worth, I have an HTC Dream (an Android-based smartphone) with Rogers, and a North American Long Distance plan (500 anytime minutes from anywhere in Canada to anywhere in the +1 country code, with the rate at $0.05/min if I go over the 500 minutes). It comes to about $70/month with my bundling discount (I also have Rogers for cable TV and Internet)....

      Rogers does have international roaming plans, and US roaming plans. The problem, however, is that when you're roaming, you're basically at the me

  • by natehoy (1608657) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @04:59PM (#31445160) Journal

    I guess the biggest question would be - why a smartphone specifically?

    Assuming you have some sort of decent Internet access at school, at something available at home, why not just get a VoIP line (a' la Vonage, MagicJack, etc)? You'd have a single number that would cross borders with you easily, and it would be one heck of a lot cheaper.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by 0racle (667029)
      Uh, because everyone else has one, duh.
    • AS someone who used vonage for three years, I can say that anyone that uses vonage as a primary line is a masochist
      • I was living in Germany a few years back, and used Skype, first as just a way to call people back home, and later as my primary phone. It was pretty terrible back when I started using it (~2005?) but has became much more reliable towards the end(I came back to America in 2009). I still use it to call friends in other countries without incident.

        I can't imagine vonage being much different of a story.

      • by BobPaul (710574) *

        I agree. Why would anyone pay $15-$30/mo for phone service when you can mate something like Vitelity or Les.net with an unlocked PAP2 for less than $10/mo. :p

        But, no.. if your voice quality was poor it's either because you have a bad internet connection, you don't have quality of service properly setup, or your router can't actually handle quality of service at the bandwidth you use. Try using your router as a simple access point (eg, disable DHCP) and install ZeroShell or another router distribution on a s

        • by natehoy (1608657)

          Upgrading to a Linksys with HyperWRT/Thibor and eventually Tomato is what made my Vonage work really well.

          Oh, almost forgot the obligatory meme. ... you insensitive clod! :)

      • by natehoy (1608657)

        As someone who used Vonage as a primary phone for over four years (over five Internet companies in three states), I disagree. I found it about as clear as the cell phones I had used for years prior, and their business model less objectionable than the land line company that wanted $100 for setup plus my SSN or $200 in additional escrow. And $18 a month including taxes and 400 minutes of calling beats $45 with no long distance included.

        You do have to have a decent router, though, and the ones they provide

        • As a former Vonage customer, I would say the masochism has nothing to do with the connection and everything to do with customer service and billing. They were double billing me, and refused to look into the issue. They would only tell me that I had to write (snail mail) their HQ in New Jersey from which I never received a reply. Every time I called customer service for anything, I was speaking with someone who not only had a difficult accent, but could hardly speak or understand the English language. M
          • by natehoy (1608657)

            I've heard of all the problems with Vonage customer service. I guess I just got lucky every time. I switched from unlimited to limited after a while, then called to cancel and got put on the really cheap "retention plan" for a while. Then I finally decided I really didn't need it and got three months of free service (a month at a time), then had no problems canceling whatsoever when I finally decided I was done.

            I also called support several times for technical issues, and usually got decent responses.

            I d

    • by TexasTroy (1701144) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:17PM (#31445394)
      More so, how badly do you need a phone at all? You are a student. Is there some higher obligation that requires you to have mobile accessibility (and why isn't that paying for it) or is this something you want to have so you can be like all the other cool kids on campus? If a mobile phone is an unnecessary want, get your priorities straight. Plenty of time for over-priced whiz-bangs after school.

      Secondly, what is the need for keeping the same phone number? I had a new number every year when I was in school back when we used two Dixie cups and a string, and modems melted the lines at a blazing 2400 baud.

      Figure out what you really need, then go from there. That should help you decide what it is worth rather than looking to get the cheapest generic plan for something you may not need to begin with.
      • by zen_la (1377775) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:21PM (#31445464)
        You forgot to tell him to get off your lawn
        • All kidding aside, the gp is correct; the op needs to get his priorities straight. Why does the op even need an iPhone while he is still a student? When I was going to school I sure as hell couldn't afford a $300 phone with a $100 per month bill. This is doubly irritating when students complain about how expensive their textbooks are or how much the food and rent cost while yaking away on their iPhone and paying $100 a month to text their friends when they should be listening in lecture or studying. IMHO, t
      • by Hatta (162192)

        More so, how badly do you need a phone at all? You are a student. Is there some higher obligation that requires you to have mobile accessibility

        Girls.

      • by H0D_G (894033)

        What are you, Dad? I like the Get Off My Lawnishness inherent in this post.

      • We had 300 baud and we WORSHIPED the acoustic coupler that provided it. 1200 baud dialup lines were "admin only". There was no 2400 baud dialup.

        But 300 kept you off the TTY 43s (which were always out of paper) and out of the peanut oil stench in the dorm "computer lab" and BEAT THE LIVING SHIT out of hauling ass across the frozen tundra to the "main computer lab" and the fascists lab admins who reserved the "good" VT100s for their buddies, forcing you onto Z19s or the same TTY 43s you ran from at the dorm

      • More so, how badly do you need a phone at all?

        "Hi. Can I have your number?"

        No... wait...

        "Secondly, what is the need for keeping the same phone number?"

        It's O(n_friends) telling your n_friends to change your entry in their hosts.txt file. It's O(1) work keeping the same number, and 1 < n for many values of n.

        There's really something wrong on slashdot when I tell other people about having an active social life.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      His question wasn't do I need a smartphone, it was I want a smartphone is there any way to do it. Obviously he realizes he doesn't need one, he doesn't even have one now! I love my smartphone and sure, I could live without one, but I like technology, and smartphones are the latest and greatest, and they are really convenient, useful, and just plain cool (and no I don't mean cool as in I look sweet with my iphone and all the cool kids have one, I mean cool in the same way a nice computer is cool, I like te

  • Save your money (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:00PM (#31445168)

    You're a student? Here's some advice that you did not solicit: Consider whether this is an opportunity to save yourself some longterm pain by keeping your expenses low. Consider the actual cost of the plan...as it affects the level of debt you'll carry (if any) as a result of tuition loans.

    Maybe a smartphone and data plan is a must have....for a student... ...don't think it is though. I know, it'd be a tough living, wouldn't it?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Save your money. I am a successful professional and don't have a smartphone. You really don't need a gadget that you have done without all along. It is just a nifty toy.
      • Depends on what you do. I did my job without a smartphone. Then I got a smartphone. It's worth $100/week for me to have it. (But don't tell Verizon that, they'd raise my rates.)
    • by eleuthero (812560)
      I would second this with the proviso that a good smart device (ipod touch, whatever the current generation of pocket pc is, etc.) coupled with free wifi in most places (or even an ATT or Tmobile premium wifi plan) will prove cheaper... couple that with a basic phone ... or even a non-data plan, no contract smart phone, and you have all you need in most cases (particularly as a student since most places will have wifi where you'll be).
  • Here's the thing... there is no network that can legally operate in both countries. American interests own the American networks, and Canadian networks are owned by Canadian companies. You're going to be on somebody's roaming network when you're in the other country.

    AT&T warns iPhone users that they won't want to take their heavy-data-using phones into Canada, Mexico, or anywhere because they'll be charged high roaming data rates.

    I think Verizon might be your best selection because they've at least won'

  • Don't bother (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wiredlogic (135348) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:02PM (#31445190)

    Get this. Up until 15-20 years ago (practically) no college students had cell phones. They all managed to survive and get through school despite that handicap. You may have to endure being a social pariah for a few years but it isn't necessary to have a smartphone.

    I don't know if it's still available but you can use the Verizon WirelessWeb feature on a smartphone without getting a data plane. Whether they'll let you upgrade to a smartphone without upgrading to data is another thing. They allowed this for the first time with the Centro.

    • by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:10PM (#31445290)

      Get this. Up until 15-20 years ago (practically) no college students had cell phones.

      And we walked to school barefoot in the snow and uphill both ways!

      • by snowraver1 (1052510) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:19PM (#31445436)
        We were LUCKY to go barefoot! In my town, we would wrap our feet in barbed wire for traction.

        Now get off my lawn you damn kids!
        • by Ogive17 (691899)
          I'm not that old, but my dad had to chop down a tree to dig out a canoe so that kids who couldn't swim could cross the river. He also made sure all the bears were dead.
        • In my town, we would wrap our feet in barbed wire for traction.

          Barbed wire? You were lucky to have barbed wire. We used to have to strap two rabid squirrels to our feet!

    • Re:Don't bother (Score:5, Insightful)

      by timeOday (582209) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:18PM (#31445424)

      Get this. Up until 15-20 years ago (practically) no college students had cell phones. They all managed to survive and get through school despite that handicap.

      Times change. The fact that everybody now has a cellphone makes it much harder to get by without one. Payphones aren't widely available any more. Things aren't pre-planned as much; if you're not reachable, you simply miss out. Your friends' tolerance for telephone tag is different now.

      Yes, you can still survive without one. But the fact remains, not having one now is quite different than not having one 15 years ago. A better analogy to not having a cellphone now would be not having your own PC 15 years ago - a few students didn't, but most did, so you were at a disadvantage if you didn't.

      • by Eil (82413)

        Not being sarcastic, just curious: how exactly does having a cell phone help you with school work? 15 years ago, a computer was mainly useful for typing up reports and doing the occasional spreadsheet. The web was around, but it really wasn't *that* useful for school unless you were able to access some non-public collection of academic journals. It seems to me that the number of distractions that a smart phone offers vastly outweighs the number of academic advantages.

        That said, I don't believe that not havi

        • by Neoprofin (871029)
          Calling a friend to ask a question, arranging a late night study session on the fly, any time that communication is useful having a cell phone is better than not having one. Email only works if it gets check, which for most people happens far less often than checking their beeping/ringing/humming phone.

          Or shit, maybe since he's a college student he wants to be social and network, which depending on his field may be just as important as any of the work hes doing in the classroom. No one thinks the world w
    • You may have to endure being a social pariah for a few years but it isn't necessary to have a smartphone.

      Being a social pariah in college is a good way to graduate without a job offer.

      • Excuse me, but did you know that engineers make pretty good pay right out of school?

        • by tepples (727027)

          did you know that engineers make pretty good pay right out of school?

          Without a job offer, engineers make $0 per year. A phone is one tool used to pursue job leads.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by FooAtWFU (699187)

        I was as "social pariah" as the next guy at my school, and I graduated with 3 years ago with a ~$74,000 job offer. I won't tell you what I'm making now; you'd gawk.

        Now, I'm not saying that you should go out of your way to be "a social pariah" or anything, but I don't think that entry-level software-engineering jobs are particularly related to your professional networking efforts inside college itself. I'd recommend seeking internships at tech companies like IBM as a more effective early-career boost.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      Get this, most geeks don't have a lot of friends, so the "phone" part is pretty useless, but the "smart" part means you can play tower-defense games on the shitter, and tweet to famous people who don't even tweet their own tweets, to fill in the time you're not on the shitter or in class (since you don't have lots of friends, dig?).

      So anyone in college who reads /. naturally needs a smartphone.

      • by centuren (106470)

        Get this, most geeks don't have a lot of friends, so the "phone" part is pretty useless, but the "smart" part means you can play tower-defense games on the shitter, and tweet to famous people who don't even tweet their own tweets, to fill in the time you're not on the shitter or in class (since you don't have lots of friends, dig?).

        So anyone in college who reads /. naturally needs a smartphone.

        Um... you put geek and college together and you get tower defense and twitter? Seriously? Not ssh on the go for the mini-server farm you and your geeky roommate have set up, or maybe trying to install NetBSD on it? College is the time for geeks to experiment and go wild. In 2001, we had an Ultra 4, a NeXTcube, and a Dreamcast along side our two Linux (or BSD, depending on mood) desktops, in addition to each of our school laptops.

        Smartphones, geeks, and college should be much zanier than games and social app

    • Get this. Up until 85-100 years ago (practically) no one had cars. They all managed to survive and get through life despite that handicap. You may have to endure being a social pariah for a few years but it isn't necessary to have a car. I don't know if it's still available but you can use the horse-drawn buggy on a road without getting a car. Whether they'll let you ride it to the grocery store without upgrading to a car is another thing. They allowed this for the first time with the Model T.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cobryson (957109)
      Why are nearly all of the commenters just railing on this kid for wanting a luxury or two, at a reasonable price? Can't anyone just assume he's already set his priorities, has everything he NEEDS, and now wants to get something he WANTS for a reasonable price? I'm not saying I have a perfect answer, but I'm also pretty sure he didn't come here for a lecture about how lucky he is.
    • It wasn't that long ago actually. The whole cell phone thing started to take off in the early 90's, but it was well after that when cell phones were something everyone - especially students - had. I'd say more like 10 years ago, maybe 12.

      • I realize that, but being /. some smart aleck was sure to pipe up that he had a bag phone in the 80's while in college.

    • I graduated from PSU in Oregon in 2000 and didn't have a cell phone, however there were public phones everywhere (pay phones). Last time I was on campus showing a friend around most all were gone.

      Now I don't even have a home phone - things change rapidly don't they?

    • Up until 15-20 years ago (practically) no college students had cell phones.

      And in 1990, hardly any had laptops, you turned in all your work by hand, you had no internet connection (or internet) beyond maybe the Computer Science lab's mainframe, and calling home cost $.25 a minute. I could be wrong about the precise cost, but it sure as heck wasn't the "call across the country as cheaply as calling across the street" situation we have now.

      (Things weren't that much better in 1995, btw. Maybe you had a laptop. If your parents were rich.)

      Today, you simply are not well equipped if y

  • Maybe what this kid needs is a iPod Touch or the upcoming WiFi-only iPad. If data plans are unreasonable with the roaming charges, maybe he can just do the smartphone-like things in WiFi zones, and keep his current phone-only device with a phone-only plan...

    • by Zen Hash (1619759)

      Maybe what this kid needs is a iPod Touch or the upcoming WiFi-only iPad. If data plans are unreasonable with the roaming charges, maybe he can just do the smartphone-like things in WiFi zones, and keep his current phone-only device with a phone-only plan...

      Or if you want a device that can actually do stuff and aren't worried about whether or not it's fashionable, look at some older handheld devices with wifi. Currently, I'm using an n810 that I bought a year ago for ~$200. Sliding hardware keyboard, 800x480 display, wifi, gps, bluetooth, runs a linux distro based on debian, etc. The out-of-box setup wizard will even step you through tethering to your phone via bluetooth. Then when there's no wifi around for your 'smartphone-like things', you can tether to any

  • I tend to pick a carrier first, and the phone second. That's because I'm one of the seemingly few people left who actually care whether the phone part works. Verizon has good coverage in the US... Can't speak to Canada, but if you have no complaints about coverage, I'd tend to stay with that carrier. I am also a Verizon customer, and there is no doubt that you pay through the nose for their services, but again, there is that 'wanting my phone to work' thing that I can't seem to get past.

    ATT is anothe
  • by obarthelemy (160321) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:14PM (#31445352)

    International roaming will always be expensive, be it for calls or data.

    1- do you really need it ? I'd expect Wifi to be available most anywhere you are (though not while you're actually on the move), so VOIP, maybe with both a Canadian and a US provider, should be OK for you most of the time.

    2- for when you DO need voice or data on the move or out of Wifi coverage, it's you choice between a single number w/ expensive international roaming, or 2 numbers, swapping SIMs.

    I don't know what your situation is, but lotsa students have managed to survive without mobile phones, or without $100 monthly bills. Might require a little planning and temperance.

  • Contrary to the standard opinions here on Slashdot, big corporations are still run by human beings. Just call Verizon and tell them your situation. You're a student that lives in the USA but goes to school in Canada and you can't afford these massive international rates. It doesn't cost Verizon any more to provide service to your phone in Canada than it does to provide service to your phone on the other side of the country from where you live, so all these additional fees are essentially pure profit. Tell t

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by drtsystems (775462)

      Except it does cost them more... a lot more. They don't have a network in canada so they have to pay rogers or whoever the CDMA carrier is in canada to let them use their network

  • GSM FTW (Score:3, Informative)

    by bananaquackmoo (1204116) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:41PM (#31445734)
    Get a GSM phone, then you can remove the SIM card. Get 2 phone plans, one in Canada and one in the US. It'll be more expensive to have 2 plans, but it will also be cheaper than paying international rates.
  • by dacarr (562277) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @05:49PM (#31445866) Homepage Journal
    As logistically goofy as it sounds, one can actually get multiple SIM cards, and just do a seasonal suspension on the account depending on where and how long they will be out of the country. You'll want to go GSM for this one, though. Also, if Verizon can suspend the service, you should be able to get the CDMA carrier up in Canada to register the ESN of the device, since you're currently running Verizon. Check up there to find out the details. Again, look forward to seasonal suspensions. Above all, TALK TO VERIZON and check your options.
  • Having an international "smart phone" plan is an expensive idea. I work for a company where my users travel internationally. We are with AT&T and everyone has a Blackberry. The bill for an unlimited data plan, plus international calling / roaming / etc. is often $200-300+ a month (depending on countries visited, amount of long distance voice used, etc.)

    Asking for an international smartphone plan that fits a college budget is kind of like asking how to go out into the rain and not get wet.

  • Be careful. With the data coverage on Verizon, you can't OTA (dial *228) while in Canada as it's not Verizon towers. This means that if you have an issue with your data connection, and it can't be fixed by manually inputting values into the phone (some things need that *228 to finalize) then you won't have cellular data until the phone re-enters the U.S. to perform that OTA.

  • Well, then the answer is obvious....WWJ [imdb.com]D
  • by tzhuge (1031302) on Thursday March 11, 2010 @06:39PM (#31446536)
    I only have experience with the canadian cell companies, so I don't know if this is true more generally. Pretty much every cell company here has secret hidden plans only available if you phone customer service and say the magic words 'cancel service'. Some of the bonuses available might include roaming plans. You don't get to know the real pricing unless you do the song and dance. Also, you could look for group discount plans... maybe your student union, or school has some deals available. Those should be somewhat comparable to the types of discounts you can get from a retention department.
  • It's expensive any way you hash it for data plans when out-of-country. You could ask providers, but in my experience they see it as a license to print money.

    Were it me, I'd have a data plan in the nation I spent the most time in, and pick up a pay-as-you-go phone for when I'm out-of-country, using a laptop for data via WiFi, etc. The Wall-Mart phone is cheap, in either Canada or the US, for example.

    You might have to keep the data smartphone powered off when out-of-country, or turn off data functions (be sur

  • Get a toll-free number -- they're like DNS for the phone system. Rather than giving out your fixed numeric address you can add a layer of indirection to give you much more control and to hide backend changes from users.

    With a toll-free number you can route and/or port wherever you want in short order. Port it to a VoIP provider and have that service forward calls to your actual phone(s). Keep it with a standard long distance provider and have them set the ring-to to your cell phone. Move it between CA and U

  • Back when I was doing my master's in Spain, there was an MVNO tailoring students:
    http://studentsphone.com/spanishIndex.php3
    (the page is in english)

    These guys offered cheap calls among their network (as usual) as well as reduced rates in intl' calls and Intl' Roaming.

    Find out if there is some similar MVNO either in the US or Canada and enjoy

  • Lots of people have a regular phone and an iPod touch. A typical desk has a phone and a PC. If you carry a cell phone and iPod touch it is very similar. You can easily talk over an email or Web page, or take notes as you talk. Skype on the iPod should save you some money. I have an iPhone myself, but a lot of friends have dumb phone plus iPod touch and love it.

    Or an iPad may be more suitable. You can go month to month on the 3G, buy from Telus in Canada and then shut it off and buy from AT&T in US and s

  • I am living in Europe, so YMMV. Plenty people I know who have two numbers. Especially those who are commuting in two countries.

    I personally use a VoIP service to call international. http://www.backsla.sh/betamax [backsla.sh] to find out which one might be interested for you.

    I just add the number I need to call in front of the 'real' phonenumber and I can call anywhere. Not only from a PC.

  • IF he really wants a smart phone, just use Skype for international calling if you can. If you get an iPhone it can't run in the background so your parents can't bug you whenever they want. Skype over 3G is allowed and although it's not the best, it's cheap and may get you by.
  • Verizon's international unlimted data plan works well in Canada; I travel frequently in both countries and have that plan for my Verizon BB Tour.

    For Voice, Verizion used to offer a plan whereby your US roaming minutes were extended to include Canada; that may be the plan you've already got. I purchased mine 5 or 6 years ago, and it includes Mexico too (although I never travel there).

    I'm quite satisfied with my Verizon setup and recommend it.

  • I've got a Canadian co-worker here in the States that has the same Verizon Canada plan you have for when he travels to Toronto for his medical work, and he loves it. He compared them all and there really isn't a better solution from any US or Canadian carrier. He has a Blackberry Tour which also has a SIM card slot for roaming.

    Really, I know you want "cheap," good coverage, and good phones, but pick any 2. Best of luck.

  • Easiest solution I can think of is use 2 GSM carriers and avoid the data plan. Want internet capabilities? Make sure the phone can use WLAN. Want to use things like GPS? Then don't get a Blackberry or iPhone (Nokia's smartphones store map data on the phones, so there's no need for constant data connections or even any connection other than sat. links)

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