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Data roaming in Canada?

Discussion in 'Sprint' started by Eric-VTX, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. Eric-VTX

    Eric-VTX Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    My friend is moving to toronto and I'm wondering if the Evo will work there with sprint network or do they even have sprint in canada...
    it would be great video conference?
    thanks in advance...

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  2. mysticmead

    mysticmead Android Expert

    Sprint is USA only.
    Eric-VTX likes this.
  3. emscapt47

    emscapt47 Newbie

    If sprint is USA only why have i seen a world phone frome them? Just a question..
  4. SoFLO

    SoFLO Guest

    That means the phone has the ability to operate on either CDMA (Sprint's network) or GSM (the network more prevalent around the world). You won't get Sprint service in another country, it would just allow you to roam which would require you have some type of international plan or prepaid SIM unless you want to work away the rest of your life in a sweat shop paying off that bill.
  5. jasonacg

    jasonacg Well-Known Member

    A Sprint CDMA phone will work in Canada, but not on Sprint towers, since they don't have their own presence up there. There are two national CDMA providers (Telus and Bell Mobility) that are compatible with any Sprint phone. But since you're roaming, the rates are much higher. If someone is just going to visit, then you can buy some roaming packages to get data and voice at a discounted rate (you can't use your regular minutes up there). But in the case of the original poster, someone is moving there long-term. In that case, the roaming bundles would get very expensive, and Sprint may not permit them to be used over such a long period of time. Somewhere in Sprint's fine print, is a requirement that a minimum percentage of usage needs to be on their own network.

    The world phones support GSM 900/1800 technology, for use outside of North America. Since Canada uses CDMA 850/1900 like the USA, a world phone isn't required. If you go to any other country, it's a different story.
  6. Stormin

    Stormin Well-Known Member

    Yep, your Sprint phone will work in Canada. And yes the roaming charges are high. I ran up a $200 dollar bill in a week using the internet and telenav. Mainly in the Montreal to Saguenay areas.
  7. BudDroid

    BudDroid Well-Known Member

    I'm leaving for Canada today. Sort of guessing that data roaming will be hideously expensive, not free like in US. Anyone with experience?
  8. BudDroid

    BudDroid Well-Known Member

    Good news!

    I didn't actually use any data apps while in Canada, just phone and text. Sprint's Canada plan was really quite reasonable for that.

    I did, however, forget to shut off data roaming, so my phone was periodically checking for email and whatever else it routinely does. After much fear that this would be a big oops, it only cost 38 cents!
    badankles likes this.
  9. gss4w

    gss4w Newbie

    I am trying out the Google Voice and Sprint Integration and I have a specific question about how the text applications work. The short question is will the Google Voice app receive texts sent over the regular voice network, or only using the data network.

    The reason I'm asking is that in the notifications option there is a category for "Receive text messages" and one of the options is "Only via the Google Voice app." If this option is selected does it mean that I would not receive texts sent using the cell voice network, or does it mean that those would be routed into the Google Voice app?

    I often have bettet data coverage than cell coverage when I am at work because of good wifi and bad cell coverage in the building I am in. So I was testing Google Voice today and I noticed with the "Also via the messaging app" option selected that my texts would often come in on the Android app later than in the Google voice app. So if Google Voice app can also get texts when I don't have data coverage then I would want that option. But if not I don't think that I would.

    It's kind of a difficult scenario to test so that's why I'm wondering if anyone already knows how it works and has the answer. If not I'll experiment with it and see how things go and post my experience. In case anyone is interested the phone I'm using is the Motorola Photon.
  10. jasonacg

    jasonacg Well-Known Member

    Since integration, I have not received any text messages over the cell network. They have all come through either the data network, or over wifi, and into the Google Voice app only. I tried the "Also via the messaging app" option last week, and after some testing, I found that I'm still not getting messages through the stock app (or Handcent) on the data network.

    MMS messages are a different story. I'm still getting those through my default app, since Google doesn't seem able to handle those yet.

    The scenario you mentioned, is the best reason to use Google Voice. If you're in a weak signal area, but can access wifi, then you can still send/receive messages.

    The only drawback I see to the whole thing, is if you travel out of the country. For example, I'll be in Canada in a few months, and data roaming up there is rather expensive. Last trip, I was still using the cell networks for messaging, which are included in my regular plan. Since then, I've done the Google/Sprint integration. I may need to disable that while I'm away, unless I can find another way around it.
  11. TheHoodedClaw

    TheHoodedClaw Well-Known Member

    I'd been planning to take my old Evo 4G (now replaced by my EVO 3D) with me next month when I go to visit friends in Quebec, thinking I could use it as a GPS, and for internet access when wifi was available (I have a Copilot GPS program that doesn't use 3G data).

    BUT....I did a bit of googling and found this:


    That says that Sprint has an add-on to your plan that lets you actually use your Sprint phone in Canada. The rates for voice are high, but are low enough that I'd probably use it for quick calls that I'd end after a few minutes from time to time. They advertise data availability, but I am pretty sure I"ll keep data off, and just for good luck, turn data roaming off while I am in Canada. Of course, I could still use all my Android apps that don't involve data, and use the phone for data when I could find wifi.

    Only thing that worries me is whether the service in Canada is any good. I'll be in Montreal and in Quebec City, and doubt I'll be out of the metro area for either city. But I'm wondering if Sprint's service is actually any good there. Does anyone have any experience with this, especially in those two towns?
  12. MarkHirt

    MarkHirt Guest

    My messages ALL come through the stock messaging app, me thinks you have Voice set up wrong

    In Google Voice (on your computer) both of these boxes must be checked
    Receive text messages on this phone
    Notify me of new voicemails via text

    On your Phone under "Sync and notifications"
    Receive text messages should be "Also via the messaging app"
    Text Notification should be grayed out but checked
    Voicemail notifications should be checked

    note: txt messages don't need much cell signal to come through, most time if you cannot make a voice call you can still send/receive texts
    jasonacg likes this.
  13. gss4w

    gss4w Newbie

    The reason that I wanted to get the notifications with Google Voice is that in the building where I work I've noticed that the text messages would come in later in the stock messaging app than in the Google Voice app. But that's because I have poor coverage there.

    It does look like using notifications with Google Voice disables getting text messages using the cell voice signal (as opposed to data) because when I checked my Google voice settings online a few minutes ago I saw that the box "receive text messages on this phone" was unchecked.

    I'll have to see how I like getting texts with just the data network before I decide whether to keep the setting. It seems to work well for me now, but I can imagine traveling to places where there is limited or no data signal but still good enough cell coverage to get regular texts. In that case it would be bad to just rely on Google Voice for texts.
  14. jasonacg

    jasonacg Well-Known Member

    Mark, it turns out I was missing that setting on the web interface. Thanks for the tip!

    Now that I enabled that option, I'm now back to using Handcent to receive my messages, but Google Voice is also receiving them in the backgound. So I can the GV interface as a "Plan B" for receiving text messages via the data network, or just a means for long term storage/archival of text messages.

    My Epic is getting SMS as expected, but receiving SMS on my Galaxy Tab (also on Sprint network) is hit-and-miss. Probably because it's not a voice-enabled device, and I can't do the full Google Voice integration. It's still working via the Google app, however...so at least it's something.
  15. jasonacg

    jasonacg Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you have the right idea. I used my Epic while in Vancouver earlier this year.

    Step one: Go into the "Wireless and Networks" section, and then "Mobile Networks." Turn OFF 3G Data. DISABLE Data Roaming, and ENABLE Data Roaming Guard.

    These steps will ensure that none of your background apps are able to access the cellular networks to handle their traffic. Even after taking these steps, I noticed that my phone still asked to access cell networks from time to time, but by taking these steps, I was able to get through the two-week visit, without incurring any data roaming charges. At two bucks a megabyte, leaving these services enabled could get very painful, very quickly.

    If you're in a big enough city (and Quebec City should qualify), WiFi should be easy enough to find. Your phone will freely move data when connected to WiFi, even if 3G data is turned off.

    As for the voice plan, it's not a bad deal, if you need to stay in touch by phone. At $2.99/month for a reduced fee of 20 cents per minute (no additional long distance charges), you break-even at about 7 minutes of voice calling, compared to the regular 59-cent rate. Anything beyond 7 minutes, and you'd benefit from the monthly add-on.

    Enjoy your trip...bring back beer! :)
    CarrieK and TheHoodedClaw like this.
  16. TheHoodedClaw

    TheHoodedClaw Well-Known Member

    Good suggestion on the data roaming guard. Now that I think about it, I may go into the accounts menu and uncheck background data and auto sync. Just 'cause I'm a belt and suspenders kinda guy.
  17. TheHoodedClaw

    TheHoodedClaw Well-Known Member

    I'm back from Canada! To my knowledge, there were no disasters of unwanted data or call charges, though I'm not going to be completely happy till I've received my bill for this month.

    I'm using an EVO 3D, and it had good protections from unwanted international or phone call data use. When I first arrived in Canada and turned the phone on, I thought something was wrong because I got no phone signal whatsoever, even in areas where my host told me other US friends had used Sprint successfully. I checked through the menus carefully to ensure there wasn't something unchecked, and found nothing. The next day, I took the phone into central Montreal where I was sure there would be a signal if this was going to work anywhere, and still had nothing. I checked the menus again carefully, and now I found checkboxes on the menus (I believe they were in the wireless and networks menu, but have forgotten) that I am positive weren't there before! There was one for voice calling, and one for data. I clicked the one for voice, left data unchecked, and voila, I had a signal! I made a couple of short calls, and they worked well. Before each call, I received a prompt warning that I was making an international call and there could be extra charges. I had to select to make the call before it would go through. I'm not sure if these things are in all Android phones, or something in Sense, so I can't guarantee that non-HTC phones do this.

    My _BELIEF_ (not positive) is that these checkboxes to turn on international calling don't turn on till something happens, it may be starting up the phone in non-US network coverage, or it may be passage of a certain amount of time.

    When I tried to text message, I received a similar warning about international rates, with an option to send the text now, or wait till I was in domestic coverage. It ended up that there were some problems at my work (in the USA) and I used the calling plan more than I expected, though still for probably less than an hour total calling time.

    As for the special "Canada calling plan" I mentioned in my original text, I called Sprint CS and set it up the day before my trip, they told me they would have it automatically end the day my trip ended (today). I'm still going to call tomorrow and verify that it is ended.

    I left data unchecked, and though I'd done a bunch of things pre-trip to minimize data use, such as turning off syncing on various accounts in the menu, and going so far as to uninstall some apps I thought might grab data, such as WeatherBug Elite, and Taptu (news aggregator), but I think that was probably going overboard.

    I used wifi several times successfully during the trip, with all features working as expected. Unless I get a nasty surprise on my bill, I am very pleased with how this worked out.
  18. dheymann

    dheymann Member

    I have searched the forums and found no solution for data roaming in canada if you are a sprint user. Sprint no longer has a data plan (they have a reduced roaming plan for Canada voice not data). I could switch carriers I suppose, or just pay through the nose for data (when I don't have it turned off). I believe my Motorola Photon 4G has a Sim card in it. I wonder if there is some way to get a canada GSM acct for when I am up there. ANyone ever do this? How would you do it?
  19. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants

    Personally, I'd just grab a burner prepaid cell phone and use that. Data roaming in Canada is quite expensive. I'd still bring the photon along for Wifi Hotspots etc.
  20. dheymann

    dheymann Member

    Sounds great. Would I get the prepaid cell phone in Canada or in the states and from who? Would I keep the same one all year and only turn it on when I am in Canada?
  21. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants

    How often do you plan on being there?
  22. dheymann

    dheymann Member

    I go to Canada about 6 to 10 times a year for 3 days each time. I just spoke to Rogers Comm in Canada and they said if my sprint phone was unlocked I could get a rogers sim card since my sprint phone is dual band (CDMA/GSM). But sprint international told me the phone IS unlocked but it can't have two different phone numbers (one on CDMA and one on GSM).
  23. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants

    Hmm, perplexing. Do you need smartphone capabilities all the time or just some basic web browsing? Personally, I'd just find a cheap GSM phone on eBay that matches and grab a Rogers SIM while I was there.

    Use Sprint's Google Voice integration to forward your calls to your temporary number, and use text messaging via Google voice.
  24. dheymann

    dheymann Member

  25. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants

    Also to keep costs down, if you're on a WiFi network you can use an App called GrooveIP to make calls using Google voice and your Sprint phone number, thanks to the Sprint-Google carrier integration. It's very handy and the phone calls goes via data vs the cellular network.

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