Interesting News For Some Canadian Smartphone Users Traveling To Maui

New roaming service could reduce ‘statement shock’

By Marc Saltzman | The Right Click
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If you travel outside of Canada with your smartphone you no doubt know it could cost a pretty penny to access email and browse the web.

Problem is, you don’t know how bad it’ll be until you receive your wireless bill.

Rogers this week unveiled a first for Canadian mobile users: real-time usage alerts that tell how much data you’re using while roaming.

Whether it’s purchased before you leave or when you’re in another country, you’ll need a Roaming Data Pass, which starts at $5 per day or $25 per week, to receive text messages to your device when you’ve reached certain data thresholds, such as 50 and 80 percent.

If you reach or exceed your limit on this pass, you’ll also be notified and asked to purchase anther roaming pass or continue at a pay-per-use rate. Here’s a chart that breaks it all down further.

Along with real-time notifications (up to five minutes), Rogers says a Roaming Data Pass also gives you better rates than as a pay-per-use scenario. For example, $5 will get you 2MB of data in the U.S., which is a lot less than the $10.24 per megabyte rate without a plan (down from $30.72/MB previously!). But keep in mind, 2MB is only ideal for, say, light email or web surfing.

Data roaming rates in the U.S. can vary greatly between Canadian providers. Bell Mobility’s data roaming rates south of the border, for example, are $6/MB (or $0.75 cents to $3/MB based on the travel bundle you pick up). Telus says their customers are only charged $3/MB for U.S.-based data roaming, while Mobilicity says their rates are $1.50/MB for pay-per-use.