Thoughts on Roaming

I’ve never understood people not willing to pay to roam. Here I have a world class computer, that I rely on daily, but I’m not willing to spend a couple hundred bucks to keep it useful on a trip? Oh but souvenirs, sure.

Ok, so I have never actually paid for roaming before. But because I was spending a short three days, two nights, in Canada — and I knew I wouldn’t have time to go get a local SIM card — I decided to go with roaming data. Now Canada calling and texting is relatively cheap with Verizon and is covered under most of their normal U.S. plans, but not data.

When I called in to request international data, Verizon had to verify my identity and run a credit check before activating the $25/mo plan (keep in mind my normal plan is $100/mo and I could use international data with no plan at a massive rate with no credit check, but hey whatever). After that I verified that the only plan I could get is $25/mo for 100mb or pay $2.05/mb. Yikes. I was also told that if I went over, I would just pay another $25 for another 100mb. Ok, $50 wouldn’t be bad for the reduced hassle. It’s not as good as what AT&T offers, but then again Verizon sold me an unlocked iPhone.

There are two things I learned:

  1. I needed 200MB to be able to use my iPhone as I normally would.
  2. The Verizon iPhone 5 does not roam on LTE. I was expecting LTE, but instead just got 3G. I don’t even know what network I was using because the normal carrier spot just said “Roaming”. I am told Rogers has LTE in Vancouver, but I believe that is the network AT&T phones roam on — not Verizon.

Either way I was glad to have the data, glad to not have to hassle with it at all, but I was disappointed in the slow speeds of the network. Next time I will be getting a SIM instead to get faster speeds and better rates.

Originally posted for members on: October 13, 2012
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