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Rogers introduces first-ever real-time data usage alerts for roaming

By IsaacKendall on 4 Aug 2011 01:58 pm EDT
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Travel wows

Delayed flights, lost luggage, middle seat, airline goes on strike while you're on vacation?  These are just a few of the pains people experience when they travel.  I can tell you as a Canadian, that you don't know travel woes until you travel as a Canadian with your smartphone.  The big three (Rogers, Telus & Bell) have obscene roaming rates.  So when the Kevin, Bla1ze and myself travel to WES/DevCon/BB World with our BlackBerry smartphones we are making a huge sacrifice for you the CrackBerry nation. Rogers charges $6.14/MB in the US, if you think that is bad when our fearless leader travels to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress he is billed the bargain basement rate of $30.00 per megabyte.

The carriers offer packaged bundles for short periods of time to help remove some of the burden of the roaming costs, but who knows how much data is used?  I find when I travel my data use increases with all my Facebook or Twitter photo uploads (can't let an opportunity to show off what I am eating for dinner) plus all the glorious FourSquare check-ins to earn more and more badges. With these carrier bundles when you've exhausted the bucket you go back to pay-per-use.

Rogers however, has introduced some good news.  They have introduced alerts to keep you current on your roaming data usage as well as lower cost travel data passes.  This is a decent start to help ease some of the data roaming pain. Looking forward to see how it helps for DevCon and CES.

More information at Rogers Redboard

Reader comments

Rogers introduces first-ever real-time data usage alerts for roaming

14 Comments

This is convenient but Rogers just screwed their customers. I just came back from a vacation from Europe and Asia and i subscribed to one of these packages but it lasted a full month...Not a week. They just reduced the time to eat up that bucket of data ...luckily i went when i did because i would not subscribe for 3 consecutive weeks which would cost a fortune.

Screw you rogers.

"that you don't know travel wows"

Isn't that a good thing? Yeah, I know, travel "woes". This must be a sign of the end of the world, if Rogers does something in the best interest of customers.

Those packages are still crazy expensive. It's better to sign up for Rogers' 45$ data plan that gives you 1gig that can be used in canada and the US.

Absolutely. I'm on BES - The BES NA plan is $55 and you're totally covered! Tethering even works - no extra charges, even though Rogers swears up and down that it doesn't work :)

Does the notification come in as a text message charged at the bargain basement price of $0.20 per text? There's a reason they're known as "Robbers" 'round here. Was a Rogers customer for years until Telus introduced GSM services. I find them the cheapest and a (now) great network.

Thank you CRTC for effectively killing any cell phone provider competition in this country, and letting Telus, Rogers and Bell bend us over with stupid crazy rates at will.

Holy crap that's is aweful. I thought the usa tel-com companies screwed their customers and I work for att. That is really really bad. That being said I used the ish outta my BlackBerry to go to mexico for 24 hrs. Let's just say my bill was 270+ $ but I'm addicted to crack!

(The phone not the reason why I went to mexico)

Just turn off your data services and use only Wi-Fi when available. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

Kind of a dumb statement... "when available". Some os us have to stay connected... and when you are driving for 8 hrs its kinda hard to try to connect to WIFI hot spots at 65mph and not very efficient to stop to find WIFI every half hour...

If you turn off data you can't use BBM. I am traveling to Italy next Friday. I will be unlocking my phone and using an Italian carrier for BB data. The cost for BB data is just 9 Euros a month no contract!!

Solve international roaming fee issues
WiFi can be expensive in some coutries, too, it's slow at trade shows/summits/conferences with a lot of people attending and - like mentioned above - it's not always available while traveling.
Choosing a local SIM card seems smart - but it's only possible if you are on a carrier with GSM that uses SIM cards, and you won't be able to use your phone number for incoming/outgoing calls and will loose text messages (they get discarded after one or two days of non delivery in most countries)... And roaming will cost a fortune.

So the best solution is to keep your SIM card in (if you have one at all), set data to "disabled while roaming" and get a small HSDPA SIM-card-Hotspot to always have your own WiFI Hotspot that you use with a local SIM card (about 30 USD for 1GB in most countries). See the details here:
http://www.technoproductivity.com/internet .

It's nice to see that Rogers data roaming data rates when you're in the states roaming on AT&T. When an at&t customer is in canada roaming on rogers, it's $15.36/mb. I find myself back and forth across the border a lot. However, I just simply stick to turning my data roaming off, and using wifi. Heck even in toronto there are tons of open access points that you can find, even if your hotel doesn't have free access :-)

Just an FYI...Anomalous Networks has been offering real-time data usage alerts on roaming for some time. Telicost-Lite is a free app that will give you real-time usage on roaming, voice, data and SMS to ensure NO BILLSHOCK! The Telicost portal gives more indepth anomaly alerts and reports to forecast spending based on current run-rates. Check it out www.anomalousnetworks.com

I am going to Vegas for 5 days, and it's the first time I'm taking my Blackberry out of Canada. I called Rogers and they said if I want to avoid ANY extra charges, turn off my data/roaming and just use wifi in airports, hotels and coffee shops to check my email. So no texting or bbm I guess, which is fine. And I guess I'll turn off Facebook notifier for a few days too. Any other tips from anyone? I have never done this before and I'm worried about getting a HUGE bill next month.