Mobile Plan Changes For Seasonal Travel

Data Plans, Travel Packs and Roaming To Save Big Time!

 

With the holidays coming, I think now is a great time to address roaming, and why companies and their employees should share personal travel plans, not just business arrangements.  Typically, personal travel at this time of year increases, and without proper planning, bills increase exponentially.

 The roaming details and options get pretty confusing as each Canadian carrier handles it slightly differently.

Canadian Carriers

Pay-Per-Use Rates:

Voice Roaming could cost up to:
$1.45 / minute while travelling in the US
$2 – $4 / minute while travelling to any other international destinations
$7 / minute while travelling on a cruise ship or offshore

Data Roaming could cost up to:
$51.20 / MB while travelling anywhere outside of Canada

Text Roaming could cost up to:
$0.75 / sent message while travelling anywhere outside of Canada

Voice Roaming:

Rogers and Bell offer Minute bundles for certain geographic regions (ie: US, Europe, Latin America etc.) There are various sized packages at different prices based on the applicable region and the consumers predicted needs.  These options offer a one-time charge for the feature that will automatically come off of billing after 30 days.

The Rogers versions of these bundles offer a continued reduced rate after the allotted minutes have been consumed.

The Bell versions will revert to the Pay-Per-Use rate after the allotted minutes have been consumed, so travellers must be aware of their anticipated and actual usage to benefit to the fullest from these options, and not get surprise charges.

Both of these carriers also offer monthly add-ons that are more expensive, but eliminate the need to plan ahead and contact the carrier every time you intend to travel.

Telus offers Travel Savers for certain geographic regions (ie: US, Europe, Latin America etc.) These are $5-$20 add-ons which reduce the per minute charge for all roaming calls.  This eliminates the restriction of a certain allotment of minutes, as all calls are billed at the new reduced rate.  These savers reduce the per minute cost by a minimum of 25%, up to 83% (US rate reduced from $1.45 / minute to $.25 / minute with a $20 add-on).  These savers are available as a one time charge applicable for a 30 day period, or as a monthly add-on with no expiry.

Data Roaming

There are many options for data roaming, and all can provide significant savings over Pay-Per-Use rates.

Travel Saver

All carriers offer a US Travel Saver for data, which charges a $10 fee to reduce roaming rates to $1 / MB.  This option works for voice devices, and depending on the carrier may also be applied to Data Sticks or Connect Cards.

Canada/US Plans
Carriers also offer data plans which include any use in Canada and the US as part of the standard plan allotment.

Add-Ons and Travel Packs
These give a predetermined allotment of MB for use while travelling to many international destinations.  Again the 30 day travel packs offer the greater savings over the add-ons, but must be added every time the user is travelling to ensure optimum savings.

Text Roaming
Bell and Telus offer Travel Savers for text messaging from the US and International destinations.  These can reduce charges by up to 75% ($.60 / message reduced to $.15 / message with a $20 add-on)

Rogers offers several add-ons to reduce charges for a specified allotment of text messaging while outside of Canada.

Example
A person travels to Germany for two weeks with no roaming plans, so is charged for all usage at Pay-Per-Use rates:

296 minutes of voice usage @ $2 / minute = $692
5.38 MB of data usage @ $51.20 / MB = $275.46
58 sent text messages @ $.75 / message = $43.50
Total Roaming Charges = $1010.96

The same trip after making applicable travel additions with the carrier:

296 minutes of voice usage with a $75 – 70 minute travel pack ($75 + $241.82 additional usage) = $316.82
5.38 MB of data usage with a $50 10 MB international travel pack = $50

58 sent text messages with a $25 100 text message travel pack = $25

New Roaming Charges = $391.82
Savings = $619.14 (61%)

US Carriers

Pay-Per-Use Rates:

Voice Roaming could cost up to:
$5 / minute while travelling anywhere outside of the US

Data Roaming could cost up to:
$20.48 / MB while travelling anywhere outside of the US

Text Roaming could cost up to: $0.50 / sent message while travelling anywhere outside of the US

Voice Roaming

Some carriers offer travel savers which reduce the per minute rate for roaming calls anywhere from 8% to 72% (though most destinations are approx 25% savings)

Data Roaming

Most major carriers offer Global data plans which allow international usage as part of the plan allotment.

AT&T also offer travel packs with a specific allotment of MB’s for international use.

Text Roaming

AT&T offers a roaming text package at $10 for 50 messages with a reduced rate for messages in excess of 50.

So be sure to evaluate any travel plans over the season and make the adjustments you need. It will beat the surprise you might get in January if you don’t.

 

Comments

  1. Jason Bennet says:

    Thanks for the tip – this saved me a bundle!

  2. Useful details. Thanks so significantly, rather helpful indeed…

  3. All done taping several new #tipoftheweek videos… now I can stop tripping over my tongue! http://bit.ly/f8q7ge