Rogers Communications Inc. customers now have 18 more destinations in Asia and Oceania where they can now use the Roam Like Home service, the carrier announced Wednesday.
Nearly 2.3 million customers have used the service, which allows Canadians travelling in certain countries to pay a flat rate for mobile data, since its launch in 2014.
While Roam Like Home was initially restricted to the U.S., it’s now available in more than 100 countries, with Rogers announcing the addition of China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, India, Pakistan, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand, to the list.
According to a recent study commissioned by Rogers, nearly 2 million Canadians plan on travelling to Asia this year, and 95 per cent plan on bringing their smartphones along for the trip, whether it’s to keep in touch (a reason cited by 73 per cent of respondents), take photos or videos (66 per cent), or check email (66 per cent). The company also said that travellers to Asia are almost a third more likely than visitors to other regions to bring a device in order to access the Internet.
Using the Roam Like Home plan, Rogers customers are charged $10 per day for unlimited local calls and text messages when visiting an eligible destination (except for the U.S., where visitors are charged $5 per day), for a maximum of $100 for 10 days ($50 for customers visiting the U.S.).
Bell Mobility offers a similar U.S. package, called Roam Better, though Bell customers travelling elsewhere would need to purchase one of the company’s international packages, which vary in price. A 30-day travel pass for “Zone 1,” which includes western Europe, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand, starts at $30.
If you’re not with one of the Big Three, don’t worry – there are lots of other options available.
Vancouver-based Roam Mobility Inc. offers a SIM card that travellers to the U.S. can insert into an unlocked phone for $9.95, with the company offering a range of talk, text, and data options for between $2.95 and $7.95 per day.
Toronto-based KnowRoaming offers a similar package, allowing travellers to pay $10 for a sticker they can affix to their current SIM card (though again, the phone must be unlocked) which connects them to local networks – and their pay-as-you-go rates – in more than 200 countries. In China, for example, a KnowRoaming user would pay 34 cents per minute for calls, or 21 cents per text message, while users in Australia would pay 18 cents per minute to call a landline, 30 cents per minute to call a mobile phone, and 25 cents per text message. KnowRoaming also offers unlimited data packages, which start at $7.99 USD per day.
Of course, U.S.-bound travellers always have the option of buying a U.S. SIM card, inserting it into an unlocked phone, and temporarily buying a pre-paid plan from a U.S. carrier.