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US Plans on 3G

Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Planning on driving from Ontario through the US back to BC and am looking at setting up some ad-ons for the drive. 5 days maximum. The fine print says most 3G plans aren't working or something - I basically just want to set up basic talk/text/maybe a tiny bit of data for the google maps navigation. 


What's the best course of action here? 



@jGil189 , basically the problem with US roaming is that this service does not support VoLTE and so talk is done on 3G network.  Unfortunately the US 3G networks have been shut down starting in July.  So the only way you can have talk is on T-Mobile 2G which is not well covered.  Otherwise text and data are not affected.  If you can do without talk or use an app for talk, then just get data and you should be fine.  

Mayor / Maire

@jGil189  - Roaming addons in the USA have had some difficulty since the 3G changes this year. Roaming addons last for 10 days from the point of purchase, so 5 days you will be fine there. Ensure you have roaming enabled on your device.


Best to check out Get Help Article for Roaming and things for reference:


Great Citizen / Super Citoyen

@jGil189 hi in my opinion stay away from the US talk and text add ons if you can, go to amazon and buy a travel sim 

Mayor / Maire

US add-on is fixed 10 days service and starts immediately as you purchase it. Good luck with 3G in USA. I would not count on it. Get dedicated GPS receiver. You could download off-line google maps at every stop having free WiFi. Or get Sygic app (android) and download North USA states. Personally, I would never rely on phone's app for navigation. Garmin forever!!!!

What is wrong with driving through Canada????

Mayor / Maire

@jGil189   if you need the data for navigation mainly, it should be ok.  Data still work on US LTE network for T-Mobile or AT&T.   


the biggest question mark with the shutdown or 3G is for voice.  It is now down to T-Mobile 2G network to provide voice calls but the 2G network is not that reliable 


Of course, if you want to be very safe, better to buy US local data prepaid plan.  Probably cost you lest but more data and much more reliable

Great Citizen / Super Citoyen


buy add-ons, and manual selection network T-Mobile and reboot phone.


or install app has offline gbs,

Mayor / Maire

The 10 Day US Roaming add-ons are a hit-and-miss nowadays. There hasn't been alot of feedback from customer who've used it on your journey. If you get the add-on...let us know if it's a good option.

You really don't need alot of guidance to get from Ont to BC on US-2. If you make your way to St Ignace Michigan, you get on US-2 and stay on it all the way to BC. I've made that trip a few times and it's alot shorter than going all the way around the lake head....alot nice than I-94 too.

Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Canada adds 13 hours to my drive

Mayor / Maire


Download the textnow app. Choose a Canadian phone number. Now you can purchase a US roaming data add-on. With text now while on Wi-Fi or mobile data you will be able to make voice calls or text for free. You will only need to be connected to either AT&T or T-Mobile's 4G LTE network. You will still receive incoming Public Mobile texts on your phone.


If you like you can test a theory for us as well. Call forward your public mobile phone number to your TextNow number before you leave Canada. Once you have crossed over and are well into the US that you won't connect to a Canadian Tower try calling yourself or have someone else call your public mobile phone number to see if it rings through to your textnow app or if it goes to pm voicemail.


If it goes to your public mobile voicemail then the default is still in effect by changing your call forwarding back to voicemail. If it rings through to your text now number then the default only works if it connects to the 3G network on a US cell tower vs the 4G LTE network. (Unless of course you lucked out and managed to connect to a US cell tower that still has 3G network service?)


A few of us have been wondering what would happen with call forwarding if there's no 3G network to connect to?


If you happen to be on the new points program redeeming for US roaming add-ons gives you a discount of between 25% and 50% on the price vs purchasing add-ons. This would be a good time to do a points redemption. If you're on the $$ rewards program stick to the rewards program.


Here's some info you may find helpful regarding US roaming add-ons....