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Wed Oct 9, 2019, 02:11 PM

Pre-paid mobile service provider that does US to Canada and Canada to US?...

We live in NY on the border of the US and Canada. I have family I'd like to call in Canada AND I need to be able to call my husband and daughter from Canada if I want or need to.

Currently we have Straight Talk and reception/connectivity is spotty as heck to flat out awful. Since apparently we need to buy new phones by the end of this year I figure this is as good a time as any to switch to a better carrier and hopefully one that will actually work both ways over the border.

Anyway, I need a prepaid service of some sort. I really don't want to get into contracts but it's also because we paid off our mortgage and debts years ago, have avoided taking on more new and so have apparently committed the ultimate sin of having zero credit.

So is there a single prepaid provider who offers the service we need or do I have to have a different phones/service provider for each country? I read something about buying a SIM chip to use in one phone but, while I'm fairly competent with a PC, with cell phones I'm a bit lost tech wise.

I've tried Googling a bit but am not finding the info yet and am feeling a bit overwhelmed so thought I'd ask here for suggestions and input.

TIA

13 replies, 237 views

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Pre-paid mobile service provider that does US to Canada and Canada to US?... (Original post)
WePurrsevere Oct 9 OP
hedda_foil Oct 9 #1
WePurrsevere Oct 9 #2
UrbanProspector Oct 9 #3
WePurrsevere Oct 9 #5
discntnt_irny_srcsm Oct 9 #4
WePurrsevere Oct 9 #6
discntnt_irny_srcsm Oct 9 #7
WePurrsevere Oct 10 #9
discntnt_irny_srcsm Oct 10 #12
WePurrsevere Oct 10 #13
Kali Oct 9 #8
WePurrsevere Oct 10 #10
Kali Oct 10 #11

Response to WePurrsevere (Original post)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 03:01 PM

1. Try Boost Mobile.

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Response to hedda_foil (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 03:20 PM

2. Thanks! I just checked, unfortunately our area is "off network voice roaming". nt

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Response to WePurrsevere (Original post)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 04:05 PM

3. Try Page Plus Wireless...

They ride on the Verizon trunk and for 80.00 per year you get 3600 minutes (voice, data or text) that don't expire for a year. I rarely use the cell phone except for emergencies or short calls as I also have an unlimited Basic Talk land-line (10.00 per month) over internet. I have had the same number for over 30 years, hate to lose it.

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Response to UrbanProspector (Reply #3)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 06:10 PM

5. It looks great except its international is only covers OUT from the US...

It doesn't cover calling from Canada into the US if something happens and I need to call hubby to come help me across the border.

Thanks for trying to help though.

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Response to WePurrsevere (Original post)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 05:34 PM

4. There is an app called Viber

Get it on your cell from google or apple.
The world plan is $9/month and can use wifi data to make calls.
Not sure if Canada is free or you need the $9 plan.

Good luck.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 06:12 PM

6. Interesting but would I need access WiFi to use it? nt

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Response to WePurrsevere (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 08:25 PM

7. It works from your cell with a data connection to the internet

You said your service was not great but from somewhere that wifi is working, it will work.
It uses data either cellular data or data over wifi.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 10, 2019, 01:01 AM

9. The problem that I ran into that has me trying to find a solution...

was my car decided to act up a rural area of Canada where there wasn't WiFi everywhere. Thankfully we limped along to a gas station where a very kind young clerk let me use their phone, that had international, so I could call my husband in the US.

I'm mobility impaired so hoofing it is not an option and the idea of being stuck in the middle of bumble until someone figures out that I didn't make it to where I was going is unnerving to say the least.

Thanks for your suggestion though.

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Response to WePurrsevere (Reply #9)

Thu Oct 10, 2019, 07:43 AM

12. I kind of thought we might be discussing car trouble comms

For a year+ I worked where I had to drive through areas with no coverage. I bought a CB radio.
This one: https://mid.factoryoutletstore.com/cat/35527-98437/Midland-Mobile-CB-Radios.html?cid=85369&chid=4272&gclid=Cj0KCQjwrfvsBRD7ARIsAKuDvMOyMx0PCB4_jOydHGPOtiiHgMjGdhkIFTeazTEoRLNkKEjX7HjIE9EaArvyEALw_wcB

I bought this antenna: https://www.ebay.com/c/165213312?iid=282113812833

CB works in Canada the same as the US for the most part from what I read.

Truckers and some rural sheriffs departments are probably the only folks you're likely to reach but no monthly fee at all.

Here is a link to whistleout with the coverage map at the bottom of the page centered on Tupper Lake:
https://www.whistleout.com/CellPhones/Search?minutes=300&sms=500&data=500&fullspeeddata=false&address=Tupper+Lake+NY&tab=all

The greenish areas have no coverage.

For the most part the only real universal coverage is a satellite phone:
https://satellitephonestore.com/iridium-services

From looking at coverage maps ATT and Verizon seem to have the most areas available in your part of the US. I'm not sure about Canada.

Best of luck.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #12)

Thu Oct 10, 2019, 10:43 AM

13. Thanks! I hadn't thought of a CB radio. I had one...

Back in the day and it sure saved my hide a time or three. I'll definitely look into getting one again as back up.

A satellite phone is certainly something I'll look into as an option too before deciding.

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Response to WePurrsevere (Original post)

Wed Oct 9, 2019, 10:19 PM

8. I hate to promote a large corp

but I jsut found out my plan with Verizon allows calls and texts in Mexico and Canada (and it was automatic, I had no idea until I crossed the border and I got a welcome message!)

I know they have a prepaid plan, but no idea if the Mexico Canada deal is part of it. They do have just about the best coverage as well so might be worth looking into. I don't think it takes much to get "credit" with them, again just ask would be my suggestion. I pay about 45/month for unlimited calls, texts, data which is a little painful but I pay more than that for shitty internet so...

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Response to Kali (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 10, 2019, 01:04 AM

10. Thanks! I'll check into it. I'd rather not give my business...

To Verizon after 4 yrs of fighting them over their absolutely horrible landline connections in our rural area, we finally dropped our landline for mobile, but if they're all I can find I may not have a choice.

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Response to WePurrsevere (Reply #10)

Thu Oct 10, 2019, 06:00 AM

11. oh I hear you, I periodically get furious with them

but they manage to keep me sucked in with their coverage and the occasional fantastic tech help. tip if you end up with them: if you need help and don't get it, try again the next day or a few hours later and that person may be able to figure it out. don't give up and don't bother with the on line chat for technical issues.

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