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dezzo 2012-08-05 09:24 PM

Verizon Wireless CDMA Roaming in SK?
Does anyone know which carrier Verizon Wireless customers roam on when in Saskatchewan?

We've got a Verizon CDMA 3G Android and can't get a data connection in Saskatoon.

TorontoColin 2012-08-06 03:32 AM

I believe Sasktel is the only CDMA network in Saskatchewan, with Bell and Telus having a reciprocal roaming agreement with them.

I'd call Verizon. You might need something activated on their end.

dezzo 2012-08-07 01:25 AM

I did ask Verizon, but they were initially unable to tell me anything.

After making several more calls and having the issue escalated, they finally told me that while roaming in Saskatchewan with a CDMA device, there will be no 3G, only 1xRTT.

It is odd, as while the Verizon phone was in Saskatoon it wasn't getting any data connection at all, not even 1xRTT, whereas when it was in Nova Scotia it worked fine with 3G and falling back to 1xRTT when 3G was weak (which was very rare). So, no idea why it's not working for data in SK, even though it's in a 1xRTT coverage area.

We've just chalked it up to SK being a wireless wasteland, and resigned ourselves to using WiFi when at the place we're staying. Can't wait to get back to Nova Scotia and the modern world! :p

TorontoColin 2012-08-07 02:33 AM

Indeed, Sasktel never upgraded beyond 1x. Bell (and Telus) did, which is why you can get 3G while roaming on Bell in Nova Scotia. However, all three have since abandoned their CDMA networks in favour of HSPA.

wilburyan 2012-08-08 01:06 PM

I'm not sure where you're getting your information Colin... or if you're just making it up on the spot.

There are 2 provider networks in Saskatchewan:
Rogers... which is 3g & edge... and really only serves the cities and has zero rural coverage.
and Sasktel.

Up until about 1 - 2 years ago Sasktel had (and continues to have) 1x coverage across most of the province, and EVDO Rev A in major centres.

I say up until 1 - 2 years ago because now they have also launched their "4g" network (HSPA+) and it's coverage is pretty much the same as their 1x coverage.

Data roaming might be ridiculous expensive, you might be better off unlocking your phone and getting a prepaid Sasktel sim card. I know someone who does a lot of international travel... and an unlocked phone is pretty much the only way to go (unless you don't mind paying over $1 / minute for voice... and paying outrageous rates for data. )

A Telus or Bell prepaid sim would also be acceptable, as they have the same coverage as sasktel (They use the Sasktel network)

As for unlocking your phone... check ebay. Depending on the model of phone it can likely be done for $5 to $10.

TorontoColin 2012-08-08 02:05 PM

I was looking at the Verizon coverage roaming map for Canada. It's not very big, but as far as I can tell it only shows 1x for Saskatchewan. I assumed that if it existed, Verizon customers could use it. Unfortunately, the Sasktel coverage map is broken (at least for me), so I'll have to take your word for it.

Also, given that it's a CDMA phone, it can't connect to the HSPA network. So using a SIM or unlocking the device would be pointless if not impossible.

wilburyan 2012-08-08 03:25 PM

I wouldn't be so sure. I've bought a verizon CDMA blackberry with 3g... unlocked it and popped in a rogers SIM, had no issues other than call display not working properly.

The CDMA side wasn't activated at all...

Hadn't tried it with a Sasktel sim but I assume the results would be the same. As for roaming on Sasktel... it's just possible they don't have a roaming arrangement yet on the 3g side. Seems to work in firefox

TorontoColin 2012-08-08 03:45 PM

It's working for me now. Their CDMA map doesn't seem to specify 3G or 1x, but again, I'll take your word for it that it exists. It did seem odd that they never implemented any EVDO.

Very, very few Verizon phones included a GSM modem for international roaming, which would work with Fido/Rogers. Even more rare are ones that also include HSPA radios with 900/2100 support. As far as I know, Verizon has never released any phones with North American HSPA frequencies (those needed for Bell/Telus/Sasktel), but I suppose it's possible that one or two exist.

Dr.Dave 2012-08-08 05:45 PM

4 Attachment(s)
wilburyan, that Verizon Blackberry was probably a "world edition" designed for people who travel to Europe, since they don't use CDMA there. Most Verizon CDMA phones are CDMA-only, which is probably what the OP is using.

wilburyan 2012-08-09 04:03 PM

ah, he mentioned 3g CDMA so I was assumin that meant it would be the same setup.

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