GSM roaming with Belus - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 2010-02-07, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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GSM roaming with Belus

I have always used Rogers because when I travel outside Canada, GSM coverage is so prevalent. I am considering getting a new GSM smart phone with HSPA frequencies that would work on Belus or Rogers.

Question: If I go with Rogers, I know I can travel to Europe and the GSM will work for me. What happens if I go with Telus or Bell on HSPA and I go to Europe? Will I be able to use GSM because the phone supports it or will there be issues because Belus don't support it? I'm just wondering if I'll be able to connect on GSM or not while roaming.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 2010-02-07, 02:41 PM
 
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All phones that support HSPA+ also support at least some GSM bands, mostly quad or tri-band, so yes it will work in Europe and the USA and almost everywhere else depending upon the exact phone spec.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 2010-02-07, 04:30 PM
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I believe Telus and Bell do have roaming agreements with some European providers, which will mean the phone would work just fine.

Of course, you're better off getting the device unlocked and getting a local SIM card while you're there (roaming rates are extremely pricey).
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 2010-02-07, 04:40 PM
 
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Bell.ca has a page where you can select your device (CDMA or HSPA) and it will tell you where it works and how much it's going to cost.

There is a few other threads on this already.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 2010-02-07, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Cool, thanks. And I guess this is all assuming that I can take whatever phone I want to Telus or Bell - something that they haven't allowed before. I know the phone I select will be capable of roaming on GSM... I just wondered how Belus handled it.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 2010-02-08, 09:33 AM
 
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Quote:
travel to Europe
get a sim card in europe - is way cheaper (make sure your phone quad GSM and unlocked)
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 2010-02-08, 09:47 AM
 
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Quote:
get a sim card in europe - is way cheaper (make sure your phone quad GSM and unlocked)
Yesterday 09:40 PM
That's definately the best otpion as most European providers have free incoming calls.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 2010-02-08, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by jonno2k View Post
Cool, thanks. And I guess this is all assuming that I can take whatever phone I want to Telus or Bell - something that they haven't allowed before. I know the phone I select will be capable of roaming on GSM... I just wondered how Belus handled it.
As long as the phone supports 850/1900MHz HSPA, you can use it on Bell & Telus - imagine the uproar if they didn't allow this on GSM networks, when every other GSM provider does.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 2010-02-09, 03:25 PM
 
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All depends where you are going. Most places worldwide it is much cheaper to buy a prepaid sim since cell rates are so much cheaper. The annoyance of changing numbers is worth it for the cost savings. Phones are also dirt cheap most places outside of North America and I would rather run around with a cheap cell that wont make me cry if it breaks or is stolen. I also figure a cheap local phone will attract less attention.

Unfortunately there are exceptions to the rules. Some places like India and Cuba it is difficult to buy a local phone unless you have local contacts.

If you are using your Canadian Phone overseas have a close look at the roaming agreements before you go. There are more than enough stories about smart phone users getting dinged with outrageous data charges.

Roaming agreements take time to set up so I would expect Bellus will take time to catch up to Rogers since they have had years to work out agreements with providers all over the world. So if you like to travel off the beaten path Rogers will still likely be the best.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 2010-02-10, 03:36 PM
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Nothing beats taking your own unlocked iPhone to Europe, and using it with pre-paid local cards both for data and talk. As well as using the free wi-fi spots to Skype those expensive overseas calls. Roaming rates are prohibitively expensive for anything other than company reimbursed phone calls.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 2010-02-10, 04:05 PM
 
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Roaming agreements take time to set up so I would expect Bellus will take time to catch up to Rogers since they have had years to work out agreements with providers all over the world. So if you like to travel off the beaten path Rogers will still likely be the best.
Bell has had GSM handsets for almost five years now, and GSM roaming agreements in place for the same length of time. There is no playing catch up.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 2010-02-11, 09:21 AM
 
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Bell has had GSM handsets for almost five years now, and GSM roaming agreements in place for the same length of time. There is no playing catch up.
The inverse might apply; Bell needs roaming agreements so visitors to Canada roam on its network rather than on Rogers. This was touted as one of the reasons for getting the UTMS network up last autumn - get a share of the roaming revenue during the Olympics..

Bell has a roaming agreement with AT&T, which will help garner a share of the iPhone toating Americans. I don't recall reading any reports of agreements with other carriers from other jurisdictions.

Rogers announced a SIM card and pay-as-you-go package last week that will be sold only in Vancouver (regular Rogers PAYG rates). It will have to be sold away from Olympic sites and venues, since Bell has an exclusive deal with VANOC. I haven't seen/read how Bell is promoting its SIM cards to athletes, team officials and foreign visitors.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 2010-02-11, 12:17 PM
 
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That is true, however, my reply was directed towards a comment about Canadian travellers abroad. The average traveller doesn't care whether Bell is receiving roaming revenue when they are out and about in Kazakhstan.

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