Using Roam Mobility on an iPhone 5 in the USA [Review]

Roam MobilityOn a recent family vacation to Florida, I decided to give Roam Mobility a try. As most of us know (and many of us find out the hard way), roaming in the US is expensive. While Canadian carriers offer US Roaming packages, many users aren’t aware of them, the pricing is often much higher than is reasonable, and even their more recent offerings aren’t that competitive. We’ve all heard horror stories of people with $22,000 phone bills, and while many think that claiming ignorance of roaming fees shouldn’t be an excuse for not paying your bill, there must be a better way to get service south of the border. There is, and it’s Roam Mobility.

Roam Mobility is a Canadian company based in Vancouver who offer several options to get service in the US, including the Breeze Phone for voice and text, the Liberty mobile hotspot, and the Roam Mobility SIM. If you have an unlocked phone, the SIM is a great option.

As far as plans go, Roam Mobility offers 3 options. They have a data only plan starting at $0.06 per MB which is intended for devices such as their Liberty Hotspot, a talk & text plan starting at $3 per day, and a talk, text, & data plan starting at $4 per day. The $4 plan provides 100Mb of data per day and is available in several increments (1, 3, 7, 14, and 30 days) as needed.

You can obtain a SIM via the Roam Mobility website or from their network of local dealers. They offer both a full size / microSIM card, and a nanoSIM card for iPhone 5. I work in downtown Toronto and was easily able to locate 2 dealers via the Roam Mobility website, both less than 10 minutes away by foot. The SIM itself costs $19.95 and is valid for 1 year, however as long as you use your SIM at least 1 day per year it will remain valid and not expire.

After purchasing the SIM card from a Roam Mobility dealer you must create an account on the Roam Mobility website and then activate the SIM to tie it to your account. At that point you can select your desired plan and specify when you would like it to start. You can choose to have the plan activated immediately (within 15 minutes) or choose a date and time if you will be travelling in the future. If you are purchasing the SIM via the Roam website then you can perform all these tasks at once. If you have a Roam Mobility SIM and are already in the US, you can choose to top up your plan via text message by sending the word “topup” to 7850.

The process of creating an account, activating the SIM, and selecting a plan was very simple. In my case I’ve got an unlocked iPhone 5 so I purchased the Roam Mobility SIM and signed up for the Talk/Text/Data plan.

IMG_2007When I arrived in the US I removed my existing Fido SIM and inserted the Roam Mobility SIM. After a minute or so the phone connected to the Roam Mobility network and I received a text message advising me that my chosen plan was now active. Note that it is recommended to change your iPhone APN to use the Roam data network. Further information can be found online.

In my experience, everything worked very well. The ability to have unlimited calling anywhere in the US and to Canada was great, and call quality was excellent. I never experienced any dropped calls or poor signal quality. I don’t text much since most of my friends use iMessage, so I didn’t really have an opportunity to use this feature, but it’s there for people who do need it.

Data service was very reliable and the connection varied between 3G and Edge depending on location. In the US, Roam Mobility uses the T-Mobile network which supports the AWS spectrum (1700/2100MHz), so from a data perspective your device needs to support AWS to get HSPA+ (3G) speeds nationwide. Of course, the iPhone doesn’t support AWS so users can expect to get Edge data speeds in most non-urban areas.

However, the new version of the iPhone 5 that Apple recently announced to support T-Mobile does have AWS spectrum (1700/2100MHz) support and will provide HSPA+ speeds nationwide. So, if you are lucky enough to get one then you’re good to go.

For the rest of us, the T-Mobile network is currently being upgraded to support HSPA+ on the 1900MHz band. This modernization is live in over 40 metro areas across the US, giving iPhone users HSPA+ (3G) speeds. LTE speeds are currently not available to Roam Mobility customers, however, they are discussing the possibility with T-Mobile as a future offering. More info on data speeds can be found online.

In my experience, Edge vs 3G ratio was about 50/50. I was in Orlando which has been upgraded to support 1900MHz so for the most part I had 3G coverage throughout the city and in the surrounding areas. Outside of Orlando service dropped to Edge speeds which are slower, but still fully functional.

I was able to check email, message friends, keep track of happenings on Twitter, and post pics to Instagram or Tumblr while out and about. I went on a tour of Launch Pad 39A (very cool!) at Kennedy Space Center and was able to express my inner geek by posting pictures of the flame trench while standing in the flame trench. Definitely a better experience than running around looking for an open WiFi network at Starbucks or McDonald’s, and certainly far better than worrying about how much you’ll owe the Big 3 when you return home. I’ll definitely be using Roam Mobility the next time I head to the US, whether it’s a 1 day shopping trip to Buffalo or a multi-day family vacation.

While Roam Mobility is currently US-only, they are talking to carriers in other countries about expanding its network into Europe and Asia. If you’re interested in keeping up to date with the latest Roam Mobility news, consider following their Twitter (@RoamMobility) and Facebook accounts.

After travelling in the US with Roam Mobility I can definitely say that their service is worth checking out. No matter how long you’ll be in the US or where you go while you’re there, you’ll be able to keep yourself connected without having to overpay for roaming packages from the “Big 3” or coming home to a data roaming bill that exceeds the GDP of a small nation-state. It’s great to see a Canadian company take the initiative and come up with a solution with something for everyone, all at a very reasonable price. Do yourself a favour and check out Roam Mobility the next time you’re considering a trip to the US.

How about you? Have you used Roam Mobility in the past or are you considering giving them a try on your next US trip? Let us know in the comments.

Disclosure: Roam Mobility provided us access to their network for this review.

Survivor of Generation X. Lover of music, comics, food, travel, wine, tech, space & gadgets. IT generalist, C350 driver, Tesla fan, life-long Apple addict, occasional writer and ranter. Follow me on Twitter @swotam.

  • I used Roam on an iPhone 4 in Chicago in April. The network coverage was about 90% decent, but sometimes really spotty. Since they piggyback off of the T-Mobile network I assume that it wasn’t an issue that was unique to Roam, but it could still be frustrating. Either way, 7 days of full usage and i was way under my 700 mb limit (though i didn’t use rdio like i would in Canada).

    A week in the US for $30? It’s a safe bet that i’ll be using them again. Even if it’s not perfect, it’s significantly better than a $600 roaming bill.

  • i think t-mobile is much more competitive for your buck

  • Raul

    I drove down to Orlando from London, ON for March Break. Coverage was spotty between large cities but everytime I stopped for gas or food the signal was ok for checking email, FB, text, call, etc.

    Voice calls were excellent.
    I will definitely use again !

  • M Chan

    I rather just find a T-Mobile store and save the extra cost.. Its the same network and the hassle of getting a sim is not as bad as what most people think.

  • Allan

    I used Roam when I was in Fort Lauderdale in Feb of this year. It was just as easy as you describe and I found the reception, data and voice was great about 85% of the time. Pretty much what I expected.

    I compared the ease of Roam vs. going with Tmobile directly for $3/day instead of the $4/day with Roam. TMobile does not ship the SIM’s to Canada. So I checked and could not find an easily accessible TMobile store in the local area I was staying. In addition, that extra $1/day get’s you extra features; if you do not use or fill up your TMobile SIM every 3 months it will expire and you will have to get another one. Roam lasts for up to 1 year without use. 3rd, calls and txt’s back to Canada are included with Roam, they cost extra with TMobile’s $3/day plan.

    I will be using them again. I recommend Roam to everyone I know.

  • Thanks for sharing Allan!

  • We live in Vancouver and when we moved here from Edmonton last year that was one of the first things we did is unlock our extra iPhone and get a Roam SIM! We love the ability to talk and text while in the US! We haven’t had a lot of luck getting data to work yet even though we set it up with all the instructions but its not a big deal. We just need to spend some time on the phone with support when we’re in the US carrier area so we can figure that out. Being able to just talk and text with it is so useful especially when adding US plan to our current carrier is SO expensive!

  • anon

    I’ve spent a lot of time travelling through the states. I have a north american data plan through rogers which piggy backs on AT&T.
    I’ve been travelling with someone else you went the Roam route.
    They hate it. Its’ great for voice, but most of the time it’s Edge, unless you are right in urban areas, and even still it’s spotty.
    I’ve tried it in LA, Chicago, Miami, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, it’s all the same story.
    On AT&T with my iPhone 5, I may get 3G (displayed 4G down there) about 90% of the time whereas the roam was more like 20%.

    It’s still a great deal, but I can’t depend on it for work travel. My $40/month 1GB north american plan with rogers is still worth it.

  • Yeah being able to communicate without worry when you’re in the US is pretty great.

  • hamid

    Awesome service … one correction: it doesnt wofk in West Virginia

  • I have been using roam mobility on an iPhone 5 and my wife is using a 4S for the last 4 days. It has been working flawlessly.

  • acrobat

    Ok here’s the thing with the Roam vs going straight to T-Mobile debate: Roam allows unlimited calls back to Canada while in the US, for only 95 cents more per day than the $3 T-Mobile straight option, which allows none. Think about who you call the most when travelling: home. No brainer for < $1 per day difference.

  • Keremmtl

    I got a replacement phone today and it is AWS compatible. Does it mean that I can use it with Roam without changing the APN settings?

  • HRF

    I have been unable to decide whether to get the Breeze phone or a sim card for my
    iPhone 4s (with Fido). If I get my iPhone unlocked will there be a problem when I go to trade in my phone when my contract expires in 2 years? Or if my phone encounters a problem…maybe Fido won’t take care of it? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • Get Fido to unlock your iPhone for $50. Then pop in the Roam SIM. There will be no problems with your iPhone. You will be keeping it once your contract is over anyways.

  • HRF

    Thank you for your reply, Gary. I won’t be keeping the phone when my contract expires. I will want to upgrade. Still no problem?

  • Still no problems. Your old iPhone if you don’t want to keep it–you should consider selling it on Craigslist. Unlocked phones are worth more nowadays. The money you make can subsidize your next upgrade!

  • HRF

    Awesome! Thanks for the advice.

  • John

    Don’t get it, It does not work well at all. The whole moth all I got was a 2G (Edge) connection and they refused to compensate me. Do not even use this as a last resort.

  • Roam Mobility piggybacks off T-Mobile’s network, so if you’re in a weak EDGE area that doesn’t have HSPA+ yet, you’re out of luck.

  • James

    I have been using Roam since Early 2012. I have had 16 plans. It has been hit and miss the first few times, but I believe they were still in their infancy. It is getting better. We used a data plan once and it did not work, and they refunded me. When I’ve had other issues, they compensated me no hassles. Great customer service.

    We also have T-Mobile sims, we use these when we are with the kids and do not have to call back to Vancouver from Seattle.

    The wife and I are headed to San Francisco the end of July and will be loading up with the 7 day plan with data, X2. So we may call our kids with no issues.

    Love Roam, thanks folks.

    My 2 cts.

  • Thanks for sharing. Roam is a good alternative to voice/data roaming.

  • Ron

    Just got back from 2 days in the Seattle area and tried Roam for the first time. Talk and text were fine. The major problem was that the data service had to be initiated manually by the customer service team. I had to make several service calls and was on hold for 20+ minutes each time. Very, very frustrating. The data service on day 1 didn’t start until after 2pm when I had asked for it to start at 7am. They had scheduled maintenance that day and I received a message from them saying my service would be initiated the night before as a courtesy. That sounded great but it didn’t work. So no data service for my entire drive and first few hours in Seattle. So no Maps, Messages, Web, etc. Day 2 service was supposed to start at 7am but, again, no data service until I called and spent another 20+ minutes on hold waiting for customer service. Didn’t get any data service again until 2pm which was more or less useless as I crossed back into Canada 3 hours later.

    So all in all, very, very frustrating. If all you want is talk and text, then Roam is probably fine for you. If you want data service on your iPhone5, I would strongly recommend a local carrier rather than Roam. And if customer service has a value for you, I cannot recommend Roam at all. The data service didn’t work as it was supposed to and their hold times were terrible. The customer service agents I spoke to were very nice and apologetic, but I shouldn’t have had to spend as much time calling or being on hold with them as I did. In the end, I paid for 2 days of data and barely got 1 day’s worth. Not good.

  • kuku

    I whole hearted disagree that Roam Mobility is a GOOD alternative. The fact is that it is the ONLY alternative withIN Canada but it is NOT a GOOD alternative at all. The media has jumped big time on the hype Roam Mobility is building.

    Roam Mobility certainly has a fairly solid presence on social networking sites, especially Twitter. They’ve been caught misleading potential customers into thinking that you can get data for $1/day when it’s actually an add-on to the voice plan. The fact they refused to acknowledge the error makes their company practices suspect. If you read about some of the complaints about their customer service, you know it is not uncommon.

    In any event, Roam Mobility does make a huge killing in the SIM card selling department. While you can get a SIM card sometimes (often) for free from your carrier or pay $5 to $10 for the SIM, Roam Mobility with no expiry date (with the exception of “pay as you go”), Roam Mobility’s does expire after a month. You need to keep adding to it to keep it active.

    You’d be wise to seriously re-consider purchasing a Roam Mobility SIM and package considering that for sometimes for free, for 99 cents, or even $10 you can get a SIM directly from T-Mobile. They run sales all the time.

    Another advantage for going directly with T-Mobile is that for hard core data users (I know for someone like myself I eat up data like a sponge running multiple mapping and traffic apps) while in the USA, T-Mobile offers a monthly 5GB 4G data plan, plus 100 minutes of talk as well for $30 USD. There are many VOIP apps that are free and have free calling, Google Voice is another. A better version of GV is an app actually called “GV” that allows you to make and receive calls via wifi. . Besides, even for casual users, there are many pay as you go plans you can get from T-Mobile that are of better value than Roam Mobility.

    While in the USA, I’d recommend everyone get a Google Voice phone number when in the USA. You can look up “How to get a Google Voice number” on You Tube by user carldavidweb. A really good free service is Twillio.

    I also highly recommend getting info on roaming in the USA from the forum Redflagdeals dot com. Just search for T-Mobile. It’ll tell you everything you want or need to know how to go through T Mobile directly without having to be sucked into paying high fees from Roam Mobility.

    While T-Mobile data and coverage in the USA isn’t the best, it may be fine for you; however, do your homework before getting suckered by Roam Mobility and avoid them.

  • kuku

    I have to wonder if T-Mobile does this deliberately to Roam Mobility. Is the coverage THAT bad with T-Mobile? I don’t think so. I think it’s because T-Mobile is restricting RM’s customers from using the available network bandwidth.

  • kuku

    @James – you can see into the future that you know for certain that you could call your kids with no issues? How long have you worked for Roam Mobility? 😉

  • kuku

    Gary, are you getting some sort of kickback or “consideration” from Roam Mobility for your comments? Aren’t mods suppose to be unbias?

  • Nope. This is our site. We can say whatever we want 🙂

    Was what I said not true? Roaming in the USA on my fido plan is more expensive than roam mobility. That’s a fact.

  • kuku

    Gary, what you said/wrote was “Roam is a good alternative to voice/data roaming”. I say it’s not. That’s a FACT. I never mentioned about the high roaming rates within Canada. I think you’re confused which thread you were replying to, lol.

    Now, if you said/wrote “Roam is another OPTION for voice/data roaming from a Canadian reseller or company”, I would agree 😉

    Glad to hear that Roam Mobility doesn’t pay you to advertise here.

  • haha…you’re being picky here 😉

    If you roamed in the USA on voice and data right now with your carrier (Big 3), are you saying it’s cheaper than going with an equivalent Roam plan? Share the comparisons and prove me wrong 🙂

  • kuku

    this is the internet…we take things literally, lol
    no, no, no Gary. I never wrote that. all I am saying is that RM is NOT the best option. It IS an option but not the best one for Canadians roaming to the USA. I think you need a holiday and a break from the internet 🙂

  • Okay. RM is an option, maybe not necessarily the best, but it’s an easy way to get setup in Canada before you leave.

    No such thing as a holiday in my books it’s work 24/7/365 x infinite! ????

  • Jennifer Levac

    Hi! I just recently used Roam Mobility and enjoyed my experience.

  • Reality_check_777

    “No such thing as a holiday in my books it’s work 24/7/365 x”

    They had at least one pretty big outage within the last two months that I recall. T-Mobile wasn’t down, just those using Roam Mobility. Lots of pissed customers.

  • Anthony ?

    Actually, their SIM cards expire after 1 year, not 1 month. You can keep it active if desired by adding a 1 day plan once per year, or you can let it expire.

    You obviously have a dislike for Roam, and that’s your business. I’ve used them prior to writing the review and had no issues. I’ll be travelling to the US in a couple of weeks and will pay to use Roam again.

    If you travel regularly to the US or use large amounts of data, then perhaps having a T-Mobile (or other US carrier) plan is the best solution for you. However, for occasional travel, or situations where people don’t have the time or inclination to deal with the US carriers directly, Roam offers a workable solution that does as advertised.

    If you think paying $4 a day while on vacation (or whatever) to get voice, text, and data with minimal hassle is getting “suckered” then we seem to have different definitions of the word…

  • Anthony ?

    You seem to be mistaking fact with opinion. You may believe that Roam is not a good alternative, but however much you believe this to be a fact, in the end that is your opinion. It just happens to be an some opinion that others do not share.

  • LBru

    Great idea. Horrible execution.

    Roam piggy backs on to T-Mobile’s network, which is notorious as one of the worst in the US. You can generally expect no service or a weak EDGE signal unless you are in the downtown core of a major city. Even in urban areas, you’ll often be pushed off of 3G and back on to EDGE.

    I purchased a data plan for a month-long trip to the US based on Roam’s coverage map. I realized only afterwards the map doesn’t clarify the strength of data connection, so while the map may indicate coverage in a certain area, in reality you’ll have 1 bar with at EDGE signal at best. This effectively makes Roam’s data plans impossible to use.

    I pointed all of this out to Roam’s customer service. Although they admitted the map is misleading, they said they have no plans to change it.

    The bottom line is: stay away from Roam if you need to use data during your US travels. You’re better off purchasing a pre-paid sim card & data plan from a US carrier directly.

  • kokostiletto

    Thanks for this review!

  • M. Verde

    Service is pathetic in Colorado, non -existent in the US southwest, also huge swaths of the Midwest. In CO, the only city with service is Denver, with a handful of cities getting a passable signal. NM, only city is Santa Fe and parts of Taos. I resort to using my friends Verizon. T-mobile hands down is the worst provider in the USA. And RM’s smug attitude while using the most pathetic cel platform in the USA is typical of the money grubbing cel companies they criticize; however share more in common with

  • Riddlemethis

    I’m NOT but bias. However you are! You can keep your number and get a Rogers roaming package that’s similar like $5.99 a day and less expensive considering you don’t face the extra cost of buying a sim that costs your $20.

    BTW. I got an email from Roam saying their SIMs expire after a month. So unlike you, I am not speaking out of my ass like some sort of ad for Roam Mobility. It certainly sounds like you have some affiliation with them since you fail to accept the facts and are defending them in the way you are. What a loser you are.

  • Hmm_787

    Dude, I heard the same thing: Roam Mobility’s SIM cards expire after a month if you don’t add money to them. And what’s with your bad attitude? Tsk, tsk.

  • Anthony ?
  • Stew Katz

    Used Roam Mobilty while down in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago and didn’t have an issue. Was on a connecting flight to Dallas first and had good overall coverage there. While in Vegas I had consistent 3G coverage (on an old unlocked Galaxy S Vibrant I had lying around) the whole time I was there. Data speeds were reasonable considering the old phone. I would sometimes just use it to tether to my iPhone 4S and still had decent speeds. I would definitely recommend RM…they’re definitely the best option available for US roaming. Hands down.

  • Jordan

    I used Roam the last time I went down to Orlando and I have to say it was flawless. Call quality was just fine for me and the data worked well on my old unlocked Samsung. Very nice that the SIM is good for a year; makes it really simply to throw on a package before you leave. For what I need it for, Roam is a solid alternative!

  • Ron

    Very poor customer service. Very indifferent

  • You can get 10% off Roam Mobility plans if you use coupon code AFF-XXLJL

  • dc07

    thank you!! heading to Vegas next month

  • Mike

    Roam Mobility is terrible. Avoid! All positive stuff that you read on the NET is the result of their marketing efforts buying media presence and fake reviews. They buy FB likes and Twitter followers to appear popular – you can go to their Twitter page and check followers profiles – most of these are fake accounts that they acquired on AddMeFast, TraffUp, and YouLikeHits. Ironically, the same Twitter followers were purchased by LadyGaga and Britney Spears. You can go and check yourself if you don’t believe me 🙂

    Why I am posting this? Last Sun and Mon they had network maintenance and their SIMs were not working at all. My wife purchased one week plan to start on Sun 1am and she wasn’t even notified that the system will be down for two days. She had to do few urgent calls and ended up buying Rogers roaming and paying over $50 in roaming charges because of RM screw-up (she had no choice as she discovered that RM SIM doesn’t work while was driving NY interstate), I contacted RM and requested to cancel the plan and refund the money paid for the plan. Today I received the response… no apology, just a statement that they cannot refund but can credit to my RM account. Ridiculous!

  • Alain S.

    The service is worst. Very worst! I send many emails and i never heard anyrhing. The lower rate is good if is he service work….

  • Ray Pilkington

    Just got back from Arizona and decided to try RM. Not pleased – we purchased the liberty hotpsot thinking/hoping we could access some of the ‘”Up to 21 MBS” speeds they publish for our devices. Not likely – even in Phoenix most areas were E and when 4g was found barely reaching 1 mbs. Maybe a good alternative for people to use as talk and text on phone but stay away from data plans.

  • Mark_Ont

    I can confirm they don’t expire after a month. I’ve used my 4-5 months after last use and my sister only uses hers in December and it was just under a year and the SIM was still good.

  • Mark_Ont

    Hands down this is the best option for Canadians in the USA. I have recommended to a lot of friends and its great to hear how more and more people have caught on to it. I can’t imagine how upset the BIG 3 must be based on the success of this company.

  • snowbird

    I purchased the 3 month Snowbird Plan and had an unplanned return to Canada so called Roammobility to see if my plan could be rescheduled temporarily suspended until returning to the US. When someone finally answered the call in customer support their answer was right to the point……..too bad, your plan was already in effect and they could not interrupt it. So be aware. Once you prepay and start your service there is no turning back………..a few bux for a few days worx better than Virgin, Bell, Rogers roaming charges etc but once I was into the 3 month plan with Roammobility it didn’t work out. There may be better options for extended stays in the US.

  • James connochie

    Does this work in Montana

  • yuprules

    Except T-Mobile’s sims are the same price as Roam Mobile BUT they expire after 3 months if you don’t top them off, so if you go to the United States once a year for example, Roam Mobility is cheaper (their sims are valid for one full year).

    T-mobile also DOES NOT include texting and calling back to Canada with their $3 a day plan.

  • yuprules
  • yuprules

    You keep saying it’s not the BEST option for Canadian’s. Name something cheaper that includes CALLING and TEXTING back to Canada that is cheaper? T-mobile’s $3 a day plan does not include texting and calling back to Canada. At&t’s $2 a day plan includes only TEXTING back to Canada and no Data. Waiting for the company that offers cheaper rates.

  • yuprules

    Except you can’t text back or call back to Canada for free. Plus their sims expire after 3 months if you don’t top them off. Roam Mobility is ONE YEAR.

  • yuprules

    Roam Mobility’s Sim’s expire after one year.

  • yuprules

    No, it just means you can use 3G/4G in more places.

  • Laura. 3:)

    I’m using it now in Portland, OR, and it works great, although for some reason I can’t take any photos – it says my memory us full, but it’s not.

  • kfaught

    Just arrived back from a driving trip to Washington DC yesterday. Unlocked Iphone 5 and Roam Sim was barely adequate to bitterly disappointing for most of the trip. Never got better than Edge service the whole time and in many areas on the way down the service would drop off to nothing. $20 for Sim card and $32 for week of talk, text, data (tax included). I would rather pay Bell $30 for talk (100 min), text (1000 outgoing, no charge incoming) and $50 for 500 GB data. Not cheap but I now know what cheap gets you.

  • ?suttonmontreal

    that AT&T plan you mention looks interesting. concerning text and calls to canada you still can use the app called Fongo which allows you to make calls and text using data only. (Canadian numbers only) it can be used while on wifi connection too

  • John

    I’m disappointed with my latest trip to the USA where I hardly had signal in most places. I could not get signal in West Virginia, parts of PA, and none in western Virginia and none in Tennessee but my iphone was able to get signal on AT&T in all these places except for one small area in Tennessee. I have a Canada/USA roaming package with Rogers for my iphone and I think I should be looking at them for answers with regards to roaming with my ipad in the USA. Completely disappointed I would not recommend Roam service to anyone at least not at this point in time. I felt as though it was money thrown away. I think I should be owed a refund.

    John Markiv

  • micgyver

    I have T-Mobile pay as you go when I go to the states and they do not offer a data plan to those having pay-as-you go. I would have to purchase a monthly plan of at least $40.00 a month for one year just to get the minimum data package. Although if all you want to do is talk, T-Mobile isn’t bad $100 for 1000 minutes but no data. Sim card $6.00. Roam Mobility seems to be the best deal right now and for the cost its great if you need the data! I just wish they had refer a friend deal so I can bank up some time on the card because I’ve already sold 4 sims for them at one of the buildings I service downtown Toronto.

  • Mike

    Roam Mobility is terrible and so is their customer service. Bought a 2 week plan talk, text and data package for a vacation in the states. Phone service, text and data never worked.
    Called after I got back for a refund and they refused. Terrible company, terrible customer service.

  • Down in Memphis

    A year ago, I used Roam and my experience was good. Last week, I used it again. Perhaps I should have known that the apology posted on their web site for recent service outages in the US might have been a sign of things to come. When I tried to top up my plan after it expired, I dialed 611 as I had been instructed to do but got a “We’re sorry, but no one is in the office due to a fire drill” message – for the next 12 hours? When I eventually got through to customer care, they denied that there had been a problem. When I got back home, I emailed Roam and they again denied the message and the access problem. Sorry Roam, but what started out as a promising alternative looks to be a case of ‘you get what you pay for’. Roam seems to be stretching themselves too thin and unable to deliver what they promise. I can’t recommend a company that refuses to own their mistakes.

  • Phyllise

    Here’s another solution that others might find helpful. In the past I have used Virgin Mobile USA. We are in the US for about 5 months a year. They have a no-contract plan that is $35 per month as well as other no-contract plans that I think start at $20 . . depending what you want. The one we use has 2.5 GB of data per month, 300 minutes, per month and unlimited text within the US. You do have to buy one of their phones and of course it doesn’t offer the free text and phone calls to/from Canada but for us that’s not an issue. I guess you really just have to know what’s important to you and then find the best plan.

    The issue I see for us if we used RM (and it might not affect others) is that we drive down/back to Florida. It seems like there many of the places we drive through do not have RM service. So we would be without service for much of the trip driving down and back and that isn’t suitable for us.

    I haven’t 100% decided against it but am confused about the snowbird plan. One side of the page says it includes 3 GB of 4G data. The other side of the page says 2 GB of data (not sure what speed) plus and 1 GB of 4 G. Also am confused about unlocking a phone. If I unlock the phone for their sim card, what happens when I come back to Canada. Do I have to unlock the phone again to use the Telus SIM card again? I don’t own the phone . . . it’s being paid off over a 3 years plan so I’m not sure unlocking it is even an option. Also have no idea what this would cost.

  • Carlos

    Used it twice. Fisrst time it worked as advertized. The second nothing works. Far worst Customer service was unavalible by e-mail or by chat. And when I complained they appear not to care at all. Do as the other suggested by M. Chan. Find a T-Mobile store and forget these guys. They have a good idea but poor on delivery or on standing by their product. Roam Mobility does not appear to care about customers.

  • Pete (Granpa) Moss

    Are Roam fees paid in US or canadian dollars? Trying to avoid a unfair exchange rate.

  • Paid in Canadian dollars as you buy the services here in Canada first.

  • Pete (Granpa) Moss

    Thanks

  • I feel compelled to comment on this company based on a bad experience with them. I purchased an 8 day plan for phone service while on tour in Vermont and New York state. Not once did I get service while down there in spite of three futile attempts by their technical support to make the phone work. As such, I made a formal request for a refund through their technical support, since there was no other way, and…nothing. As such, I have launched a formal BBB compaint against them, and still….nothing. I am tired of companies that promise performance but don’t deliver, and then won’t stand behind their product or service.

    DON’T deal with these people… or be prepared to lose your money. There are better alternatives for roaming…..

  • Hugo Triptoph

    Two years later, and T-Mobile has eliminated those pay by the day plans. No worthwhile options for infrequent visitors from T-Mobile anymore.

    I just used Roam for the first time and I was happy with it. I used the $1.95 text+data plan which only gives you 2G data, but it was good enough for my six hour visit to Bellingham. Used Google maps a bit, which was slow, but worked, and viewed a few web pages, checked e-mail, etc.

    For a “real” visit to the USA, like a vacation, I’d spring for the LTE data on the $3.95 per day plan. 2G is just slow enough to be annoying, but not unusable.

  • DD

    Just had a horrible experience with Roam Mobility. Their coverage maps showed “no data” in areas where we would travel, but the agent on the phone said we would still have text and phone service in those grey areas of the coverage map. Not true. Zero coverage except in the East Coast. I explained my situation and they happily took my $70 in exchange for nothing. Not a single phone call, text, or bit of data. They claim they are changing their maps to clarify, but no way they are giving any money back. With this kind of customer service, I would not use them now even for short trips to a big city.

  • Ouch, that hurts I’d definitely let them know.

  • DD

    I called and explained my situation several times on our travels, and sent a detailed (no hyperbole!) review by email. Was promised a call-back from supervisors on three occasions by a set date, but never received a call. I did eventually reach a supervisor; he was sympathetic and let me know they had decided to update their website to avoid this situation, but ultimately I got nothing (but grumpy).

  • DD

    When my Roam Mobility SIM cards turned out to provide no service, I bailed and found an AT&T office. They provided us with two new SIM cards, installed them, and set them up all in less than 15 minutes. $55 for basically unlimited talk, text, & data for 30 days, with excellent coverage across the country and great customer service. (Note that the AT&T cost is lower even than Roam for just half that period.) This stood in high contrast to Roam, which delivered a really disappointing experience on many fronts. After this experience I would happily pay the full month for an AT&T plan again or maybe T-Mobile, even for a short trip.

  • I’m in Washington,DC right now and frankly I’m not that impressed with Roam. I had problems initially get hooked up – seems that it takes 15 min or so for the network to start your service.

    I have iPhone 6 and can’t get anything more than 3G service. If you try LTE, you get an unsupported message and the connection drops. The signal is pretty weak too.

    Was out at Smithsonian near Dulles airport and connection dropped all the time. If this is any indication of T-Mobile network, I’d never use it if I had a choice.

    Not sure I’d use Roam again – I’ll look for other bulletproof options.

  • Shobhit Puri

    Now Roam Mobility expires the SIM card if you don’t top up for 6 months. I’ll used Wind International Roaming instead.

  • Claude Gauthier

    Hello,

    It is now two years that I deal with Roam Mobility. Since my first experience, the service was changed and deteriorated. I paid for my cell phone unlock in order to use the services provided by Roam Mobility. ($ 50 per phone) Then I bought two of their SIM card ($ 10 per card) and finally, I bought two of their package. Until then, it’s OK! Then I was contacted via email to warn me that I should buy a package, because after a year, the SIM card will be expire. I had to buy two packages because I have two SIM cards. ($ 10 for packages that I did not need) Then they increased their price ($ 4.95 per day instead of $ 3.95.) Well OK, all companies are increasing their rate, but 25% it’s still a lot! That’s not all. After using their service again, I received a new email informing me that I had to buy another package, this time after only six months instead of one year. It starts to look like a scam. I called the customer service how informs me that I can buy a plan for a day at an approximate date of my holiday and that time came, I was going to change the dates of my package and add days . In May 2016, so I bought a package for July 25. Eventually, we decided to go to Florida by car and leave in the morning of 21 July. We go through boarder and stop into a McDonalds to use their wireless to change the dates of the package purchased weeks earlier. I then unable to change the dates of my plans and I look at their support section of their website. It provides a procedure that does not work. The company is located in Vancouver and their customer service is not available before 11 am. It is then 7am. I still need to use my cell phone for emergencies and for the GPS so I bought two plans of 21 days cost me $ 80 each. After two hours of downtime, we can finally leave!

    Along the way, I try to reach the customer service, but the line is bad then I decided to call back later. Later we have a flat tire on the 95 road and we finally arrive at our destination at 11 pm on Friday night. So I postponed my call for Monday, July 25 at 11 AM, as they open at that hour.

    When I got up Monday morning, I see that they have canceled the two planes of 21 days and have activate the two plans of one day.

    Skip 11am, I call them to correct the situation and the first person I talk to offer me a credit of $ 62 on the $ 80 paid, and bought me a new plan whit the credit. The problem is that the new plans expire on August 7 while that the plan they canceled ended on 11 August. She told me that I only have to buy two new plans for four days, additional cost of just over $ 40! final bill: 160 + 40 + 10 = 210 instead of $ 160 I would have had to pay. Seeing my displeasure, the person became condescending and the phone line was unfortunately interrupted. I waited a few minutes for them to re-contact me, but I have not received any calls. I had to get back to them and ask to speak to a supervisor. The latter being unavailable, the person informs me that he will call me back between 24 hours and 4 days. Three hours lost on the phone and holidays that begin to be expensive and frustrating.

    The next day, the supervisor calle me back kindly and said (too kindly) he understands me, but he can not do anything. He finds it normal that the system cancels a 21-days package after four days of use, for a flat fee of 1 day. He refused to refund me on my credit card and only offers me a store credit.

    After spending $ 650 in 24 months with ROAM MOBILITY, I’ll never do business again with this company that is unable to offer a service for which customers pay. Why not just said, ‘Sir, do not worry, we will offer you the service until August 11, and you will not have to pay additional fees. We are sorry for the inconvenience and enjoy your vacation.” I would have lost $ 10 plans purchased in May and it would not have bothered me. No! Four hours to discuss on the phone with them and get a poor service. Please be advised before you invest your money with this company that does not care about offering the service for which customers have paid, to be understanding and satisfy customers. All they want is to make more money.

    If I owned this company, I would make changes to my policies and my customer service!

  • Kim Boyd

    I bought a SIM card from roam mobility for use in Canada. It didn’t work. From Canada I sent two emails to customer service but never received a response, so I never had service in Canada. Since returning from Canada I called roam mobility three times. Each time I have been promised a call back or email response. No response was received. Poor customer service….would never use Roam Mobility again.

  • di

    Unlocking your phone lets you put any Sim card into your phone, so you can choose which company you want. Check internet for how to unlock your phone, it will explain, also be careful some sites on more expense than others.
    I am with RM it has been 3 or 4 years, this year I took snowbird plan again but with data, T-mobile updated the site on Dec. 15th since then there are lots of numbers to Montreal Canada that I cannot reach it says you have registered the restricked amount of destinations,but I am calling Montreal, I took the snowbird plan for 6 months unlimited talk, text & data for 6 months. I call, text went on facebook they do not call back or take calls, emails no customer service at all, but last year all the calls went to the Philipines and now no customer service. I do not think they are in Vancouver any more. I can’t complain about data it went well so does the text, just the phone to some numbers. We are in West Palm Beach, Florida.