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Using public Mobile in USA

Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

I have been using the cheap PB plan ($15/month) for several years.  I'm retired with a landline and internet and only to a cell phone for my volunteer work driving older folk to medical appointments.

Last week, we went to Maine for a few days and I wanted to try out the US roaming-Unlimited talk.  I noted that for my low speed plan (LTE 3G),  data might be problematic but, since I had enough POINTS accumulated, I thought it would cost me nothing to buy with points and check it out.  My wife who is big Cell-phone user was thinking of switching to Public with one of the more expensive NEW plans you have just introduced and the idea of adding cheap US data&talk on our trips was part of the attraction.


1) Talk works with no problems; but  I can confirm that low speed data doesn't work in Maine (around Portland).  I solved that by purchasing AIRALO eSim data $4.50 for 7 days which allowed me to navigate using downloaded maps on iPhone.  It might be nice to know if PB's US add-ons for 4G or 5G do actually work.

2) Second problem - actually happened first - was purchasing the Roam and talk plan.  I found the correct ADD-ON and assumed that I would be given the opportunity to use POINTS for the purchase.  The only option I saw was CREDIT CARD.  Since this was an experiment and the amount was small, that's what I did... but it is still unclear if (and how) one can purchase ADD-ONS with POINTS.

3) POSTING:  I mainly wanted to Post that the "Roaming & talk" option is worthless in MAINE for the low-speed plan but it took some time to understand that the way to POST something is to ask a QUESTION... but as stated before, i'm more a computer pioneer than a modern poster.

I'm now studying your new Plan options.


Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Thanks.  I now have a better understanding of what is involved. I'll stick with the minimal $15 plan as long as I can.

Now I need to see how I can get my wife to switch to one of the PUBLIC plans with unlimited talk.  The problem will be to switch from her present KOODOO plan to Public and keep her old NUMBER.   Apparently KOODOO is hard to move out of.

Again, thanks to the Community.

@jeanv  Yes you needed the $30/25 points add on to get data roaming as well as talk & text.  That's why the $34 US-Canada plan is attractive to those who visit regularly.  Just a suggestion, you can download Google Maps areas over wifi before you leave and use them offline.

Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Thanks for warning me.  I'll stay on my plan for the moment.

Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Thanks for the hints... but, in my case, Airalo was the best solution.

Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Addendum to my original post.  The main reason that I couldn't use DATA in US was that I purchased the wrong ADD-ONs.  I naively assumed that the US ROAMING option would allow the same features of my Canada plan to work in US for 15 days.  My $15 plan gives me 100 minutes and 250 MB... ample for my volunteer work as well as getting MAPS and paying for parking in Montreal.  Now I realize that US roaming unlimited talk just provides  minutes.

Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Thanks to all who replied.  I learned something from each of them.

From SanSan and Phil_Adelphus, I learned that to get ADD-ONS on POINTS you have to go through REWARDS... not ADD-ONS.  I had tried that originally but I couldn't see anything I wanted... as SanSan mentioned, you have to ask for ALL to get by the junk at top of list.

Mayor / Maire

Roaming with Public Mobile is a bit finicky. You need to force your phone into 4G (vs 5G) because AT&T 5G doesn't work, even though it may connect to it. Alternatively you can force your phone onto T-Mobile.

If you do this and ensure data roaming is on, text and data should be great (assuming there's coverage, which there should be if Airalo has coverage). For phone calls you need a VoLTE device.

Town Hero / Héro de la Ville

Onve you change your $15 plan to another plan, there is no way to change it back to $15. Old $15 is no longer available yo anyone.
if you are regularly traveling to USA, you should look into CA/US plans $34, $40, otherwise, stay wit $15 plan, buy roaming eSIM.


Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

should have purchased $34 50GB canada-us plan as renew now or renew at next cycle. 

planing ahead with checking latest packages available every few months is best idea. 

Mayor / Maire

@jeanv  even the modern poster have difficulty here sometimes navigating this portal 😏.

For future reference if you want to use your points to purchase add-ons,  you have to go to My Account, and click the link that says My Rewards. 

It will load a new page. You can browse the cataloge. Change the tab to all. There are several categories,  including roaming. 

You will see the options. 

See link also.

Mayor / Maire

@jeanv  Which US carrier were you connected to?  To buy add ons with points you log in to your account. select My Rewards, scroll through the catalogue until you get to the add on you want and then select it.  You don't go straight to the add ons section where they are purchased, you have to do it through My Rewards where all the stuff you can buy with points is listed in the catalogue.

Deputy Mayor / Adjoint au Maire

@jeanv - You can purchase the add-on fully by using points, not partially.

Please use T-Mobile on 4G LTE or AT&T on LTE / 4G before going on 5G.

And also you may want to try out the $34 50GB canada-us plan if you want it. Look in my account and change on renewal.

Need Help? Let's chat.