Tuesday, August 19, 2014

No Roaming in Canada For Me!

I live very close to Canada. Sometimes, in my travels, I can be as close as a mile or less from the International border.  Last month while on the Port Huron adventure, I racked up some small roaming charges.  Boy, it adds up fast!

So, before the trip to Windsor, I reached out to my mobile carrier and asked if I could shut off roaming capabilities. I figured I can shut off data service and use the “Caches Offline” feature in GeoSphere for geocaching.  I couldn’t use the Airplane Mode because when I tried that last time the GPS feature on my phone wouldn’t function.

My phone rep said I couldn’t shut off International capabilities through them, but I could turn them off on my iPhone 5.  He walked me through the steps (check with your own carrier or owner’s manual for what works for you).

To shut off Data Roaming (and possibly all Cellular Data):

1. Go to your Settings > Cellular > Data Roaming.  Make sure the toggle is off (no green is showing).


2. For added peace of mind on my trip to Ontario, I also shut off your Cellular Data completely (though remember it when you return from abroad).

You will notice there is no 3G, 4G, or LTE in the upper left corner of the phone.  If you’ve never “roamed before”, you will see “0 bytes” under Current Roaming Period (I had reset this before leaving for the border, and then I kept checking this over and over again while in Windsor to make sure nothing was running).

WARNING! Shutting off “Cellular Data” only shuts off the data portion of your smartphone.  You can still receive (and be charged for) International phone calls or messages.  I spoke to my carrier who said even if you don’t answer the phone you will still be charged (she guessed $1/minute) for the call as it drops into your voicemail!

I did, as a precaution, shut off all messaging on my iPhone.  Under Settings > Messages, I shut off iMessages and MMS Messaging.  I’m not sure if this worked as nobody messaged me in that period.  I’m not sure if it works like a phonecall or like data.  Do I get pinged for each message if my messaging is shut off?  Anyone know?


I guess this post is more of a reminder for me for the next time we head across the border.  If you’re visiting Canada (or Mexico or somewhere else…..) reach out to your carrier for instructions on shutting off your roaming, calls, messages, too.  In this crazy world, I can’t guarantee (and won’t be accountable) if this doesn’t work for you.  Results may vary. My message to you is: BE CAREFUL! READ YOUR MANUAL! CALL YOUR PHONE COMPANY! International charges are expensive unless you opt-in for an International plan.  My phone company offered me several options, but I don’t go over enough to consider them.

GeoGearheads is hosting an episode on Offline Caching on September 4th at 9:10pm via a Google Hangout. I hope maybe I can find some useful tips there for my next offline geocaching adventure.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sign my (b)log!