What is Roam Mobility?
- Voice and SMS service
- Voice, SMS and Data service
- Data only service
What I used with Roam Mobility
Testing their customer service
Support was fantastic (fast, easy and painless).
Quality of Roam Mobility Service
Roam uses T-Mobile so the quality of service really depends on your device and the availability of T-Mobile Service.
The first issues is the fact that T-Mobile uses different bands than most Canadian carriers but they are adding 3G service to"our standard bands" and I saw this while in Orlando. Since my device does not support the AWS bands, my speed was highly dependent on using a T-Mobile tower with upgraded 3G service and it worked fairly well. In most Orlando locations (all touristic) I was connected with 3G which meant I had acceptable data speeds. Compared to Rogers or Fido, it was about 30-40% slower but still very usable. I was able to browse the web, use Google Maps navigation, use social media and check emails.
Even though my hotel offered free WIFI, it was so unbearably slow I kept my device on Roam's 3G service. Roam's 3G service was much faster than the hotel's free WIFI
The minute I left the main touristic areas, I started using the non-upgraded T-Mobile towers and had 2G (Edge) speeds. Edge means I was connected and able to use services light internet services that support higher latency (browsing, emails and iMessage) but services like Facetime, Google Maps (etc) were unusable. Even when in Cocoa Beach, the T-Mobile service was 2G Edge based.
Had I bought the Roam Mobility WIFI Hotpot device or used an AWS compatible device (some new iPhone 5s and some Android devices), I would have had a bigger 3G coverage zone.
You can buy a 1 week voice, text and data plan for $27.95 which includes:
- Unlimited talk and text within the US and back to Canada
- Free voicemail and caller ID
- 700MB of data
- No risk of over-spending
You can buy 50MB a day for $8 from Rogers or Fido. For 7 days, I could have spent $56 for only 350 MB. Needless to say the
Roam Mobility offer is much better [compared to Rogers and Fido] because it's cheaper and offers calling, text messaging and much more data.
One shortcoming of the Roam Mobility service was the fact that they do not currently offer a way to check your data usage (I had 100MB a day). I emailed support who quickly provided the information but I wish they offered an app that more easily provides usage information and allows you to top-up or buy additional services.
I was told by support that they are working on a mechanism to provide this information to users in a more automated and timely manner.
Everything in this "Rumors" section is pure speculation and nothing has been confirmed by the company. The current rumor is that Roam is in talks with other network operators [in other countries] to build the same type of roaming service for other countries (likely Europe and Asia).
I would welcome this and hope this rumor is true.
Overall I really liked the Roam Mobility service and recommend every Canadian travelling to the US use it [as long as T-Mobile offers coverage at your destination].
You can check T-Mobile coverage on their website or by reading the dozens of user forums talking about T-MO coverage. During my next trip, I may buy the WIFI Hotspot and test it out.
Considering the amount of data I used and the cost from FIDO, I saved close to $500 dollars by using the Roam Mobility service instead of paying my carriers US roaming fees.
You could go to the US and buy a prepaid SIM there but its so much easier to deal with all of this before you leave.