WIND launches $15/month ‘Unlimited U.S. Roaming’ add-on, gives unlimited data, talk and text

Ian Hardy

January 30, 2014 12:00 pm

Canadian wireless continues to be interesting. Industry Canada and the CRTC recently announced plans to help “everyday Canadians” reduce the cost of wireless roaming within Canada and today, which is being declared as a “first for the telecom industry,” is WIND Mobile with the launch of an monthly add-on that could be a game-changer to those travelling south of the border.

WIND Mobile announced today that “Canadians can stop worrying about roaming fees” as they’ll soon launch a $15/month add-on that will give customers unlimited data, talk and text across the United States. This new “Unlimited U.S. Roaming” add-on will officially go live on February 3rd and is open to new and existing customers.

windmobile

If you’re heading to the States, WIND has set up roaming agreements with several large US-based carriers (those details coming later). In addition, from we’ve been able to confirm this add-on, as expected, has their Data Fair Usage Policy in effect. WIND also confirmed to us that the add-on can be purchased one month at a time and there is no minimum monthly plan needed, just that data needs to included.

Mirko Rugarli, CMO at WIND Mobile. “This new add-on gives customers the freedom to stay connected to their world while travelling. Consumers will be able to use their smartphone however they like, without limits: check maps if they get lost; update Facebook and Twitter; send photos of their trip; check the local weather – and all for only $15 a month. No more headaches, no more surprises.”

This addition will certainly capture the attention from competing carriers and 3rd party players. An extra $15/month for unlimited data, talk and text is a solid deal.

Update: This add-on is now live.

Via: Twitter

  • MC

    WOW!

    • It’s Me

      Yep, wow is the word. Sad that they can offer unlimited US roaming for $15 but can’t manage the same for Canadian roaming. Almost like the big 3 are overcharging them here.

      Also gives you an idea about how much the big 3 gouge Canadians for US/international roaming.

    • Balls O’Steele

      But it’s probably 2G data on some obscure network that doesn’t work outside cities.

    • It’s Me

      Or maybe it’s 4G/LTE and works across the TMobile and AT&T networks.

      Guessing means almost nothing.

    • Justinn Parkinson

      WIND has been partnering or discussing with T-Mobile for a while now, I wouldn’t be surprised if they used them and made a trade off while T-Mobile customers are withing Canada (WIND coverage) but as @kilowiko said 2G is everywhere there.

    • kilowiko

      In the us, there is no such thing as some obscure 2g network. 2g is saturated everywhere including down 100ft bunkers made from old missile silos in the Midwest.
      Now, had you said the latest and greatest LTE network you might have a point. But even still, unlimited 2g (0.3mb/s) is awesome for a roaming package. Enough to stream internet radio, make VoIP calls, even face time/hangouts video (albeit not in HD), surf and email. Is it really that big of a deal you can’t watch your cat videos as well?

    • CoinAmmo

      It’s actually 3G / LTE …
      FYI don’t bash and catch feeling just cuz $15 gets you 1MB of data while roaming with your current WSP :P

    • Francois R

      They do offer their 50$ plan unlimited everything everywhere in canada, add the 15$ to this and it make unlimited everything US-CANADA, this seems very good to me if i can have 4G in montreal with this, we will be switching all my company’s phone to this, we are sooo getting raped by rogers in roaming.

    • djino

      This is incorrect. All of WIND’s plans (including the $50 plan) only work when you are connected to a WIND Tower. This is NOT a roaming included plan. You will still pay per use for your plan features when roaming within Canada.

    • Jeff

      They can’t manage the same for Canadian roaming because the incumbents are not interested; or as you said “almost like the big 3 are overcharging them here.”, because, that’s exactly what they’re doing. (I do believe it’s mostly Rogers)

    • It’s Me

      Interesting. Competition bureau and CRTC regulation and spectrum license terms require that the incumbents must provide roaming access to the small carriers at fair rates that are comparable to what they charge foreign carriers. Seems like they might be in violation. No wonder they’re being investigated.

    • Some Guy

      They can do it in the US because American phone companies, aka T-Mobile, have packages like that and give good “roaming” rates to partners, aka Wind Mobile. (T-Mobile has “unlimited” data roaming worldwide, Wind is one of their partner networks in Canada)

      In Canada, when you “Roam”, aka ‘Wind Away”, you are on Bell/Telus/Rogers’ network, and they don’t give favorable rates to competitors that use their network. Wind is basically making no “profit” on roaming charges in Canada.

    • It’s Me

      In the US their regulation requires mandatory roaming agreements which helps keep domestic roaming rates low. We also have mandatory roaming regulation. Seems like it’s time to start enforcing those regulations.

    • ToniCipriani

      Much Data
      So Roam
      Such Wind

      WOW

      …sorry, I had to.

    • Brendanthekid

      Many speed
      very unlimited

    • Jeff

      LOL. Where’s the WINDoge?

    • Martini

      Indeed, this is absolutely amazing. I’ll be heading down to the US for a few months this summer. Don’t have to worry about a travel SIM, or roaming. Brilliant move by WIND.

    • Tony Jabroni

      Not to bust the bubble gents. Wind roaming in europe did not work, and as far as t-mobile roamng on wind think again they have an agreement with rogers they can not bust that deal… so yes your unlimited 2g talk and sloooooow data is a real deal.. jaaabornies

    • Plazmic Flame

      Amazing! Even if it’s only over 2G, it’s still better than nothing. Too many times in the past have I needed to make a call or text someone while in the US only to end up restricting myself because I knew I’d be paying through the nose for it. This is true peace of mind while traveling in the USA. I know who to turn to when I travel to the USA this summer.

    • CoinAmmo

      It’s 3G and LTE :)

    • Willy

      Indeed. Wow!!! That’s an amazing price.

  • Acer12345

    So if I have an unlocked phone, I can purchase this plan from Wind, pop in their sim card and enjoy unlimited usage while traveling in US? All for $15?

    Is this the real life?

    • JP

      It is an add-on so I assume you need a standard plan with Wind first.

    • Acer12345

      Oh true that. Still miles ahead of the other carriers.

      What do the other carriers give you for $15 add-on? Caller ID and voice mail?

    • Tom Blinky

      Last time I was with one of the Big Three, I think Voice Mail and Caller ID were both part of separate $10 packages. =P

    • Tom

      CID and VM used to cost nearly that much as separate add-ons. When I was on Bell for a year (ended July 2012), CID alone (no VM) cost $8. Eventually the subbrands (Fido, Virgin, Koodo) eliminated the CID/VM surcharges (and LD calls), then the parent companies followed when the 3 year contracts were banned.

      With the new 2-year plans on the Big 3, CID/VM surcharges have been eliminated and so has Canadian long-distance calling, to give the illusion that the customer is getting a better deal (since they drastically cut the data allowance). I think the base plans for high-end smartphones have unlimited minutes too, probably because the Big 3 figured out no one was really using that many of their minutes these days.

    • Bodmon

      You can probably add this onto the Wind Pay-Your-Way plan (pay as you go) which doesn’t have any monthly fees (except for the stuff you use) :)

    • Some Guy

      You can only add this to a 29$ or more plan.

    • someguy

      well its an extra 15$ on top of your original plan which in itself is amazing

    • Some Guy

      Acer12345:
      Make sure your “Unlocked” phone is “AWS-Compatible”, meaning that it can use 1700/2100 MHZ. If it is a T-Mobile phone, it should be fine as they use AWS. The Big 3 in Canada have some AWS phones, as they are starting to use AWS for their LTE.

  • Harjot Singh

    This is why I love wind! AMAZING DEAL!!

  • MXH070

    Now if they can get better over all coverage, this would make it very tempting to just off the USS Bell mother ship.

    • cartfan88

      Let’s talk….about our new plan with limited data for…$105

    • Some Guy

      6Gb of data is what I see for 105$, it has unlimited nationwide minutes.

  • KiwiBri

    am I dreaming?

    Must keep an eye on Wind :)

  • D Kup

    Rogers’s 7.99 for 50MB!!!!! Wow…. Nicely done, Wind. If you go to the states for a week or so, it is even cheaper than T-Mobile!

    • xyz1

      7.99 per Day!!! Wind is $15 per Month!!!

    • djino

      Knowing with T-Mobile you gotta pay $10 for the SIM card plus $2/$3 per day. After 2 days of being in the U.S., WIND’s $15/month add-on is better and you get to keep your existing Canadian number to boot. T-Mobile plan is no longer needed.

    • Tom

      The $10 is only upfront. If you go to the states for maybe 1 day a month at the most (or less), the TMo plan is cheaper. But those who make regular trips lasting 5 days or more will definitely be better off on the Wind add-on.

    • djino

      Agreed. IF you are making regular travels to the U.S. within 90 Days of each visit, then getting a T-Mobile sim is worth it. But I’d rather pay the $15/month add-on for the convenience of having my Canadian number with me on my travels.

    • someguy

      not having to swap between numbers is great

  • reppact

    This plan will make Roam Mobility an afterthought for Wind subscribers

    • BB BB

      Roam mobility made my wind phone an afterthought when travelling to the US. Now that will change but I’m sure Roam will probably update their plans too.

    • Peter

      Roam will either become more competitive or fail. I doubt they will choose the fail option.

      Also, WIND has very limited Canadian coverage, especially in the West, so Roam has some years left I’m sure.

  • MapleSyrup

    This is really hard to beat by ROBELUS! Wind will be roaming over US carriers? LTE roaming will be sweeeet!

    • Deddyman

      Wind Roaming is done on T-Mobile primarily and AT&T in other places.

    • Delphus

      dream on, no LTE on this deal. Wind can’t even make LTE happen in Canada…U.S. carriers don’t give a rat’s a_s about Wind, so they sell them cheap roaming, but will offer lowest possible network.

      That’s how the business world works, regardless of how we wish it to be otherwise… :-(

    • jlouren

      It’s unlimited everything not just data. Try getting that with Robilus

    • Delphus

      Agreed, but was commenting on MapleSyrup’s comment

      “LTE roaming will be sweeeet!”

      Wouldn’t have though necessary to explain…

    • jlouren

      If Wind had managed to get in the auction Robelus people would be coming over in droves lol

  • deltatux

    Now only if WIND can pull something similar for national roaming in Canada. One can dream…

    • zaikatanox

      Unlimited Canadian roaming would be much better :)

    • Jacob Dagenais

      They may use this as a point to go to the CRTC to say that is is cheaper for them to roam to another country than it is within our own. They will show that the big 3 are ripping Canadians off.

    • Gene79

      Pretty sure if they were able to this in Canada they would. Robellus would be crazy to sign that agreement

    • Andrew_notPorC

      CRTC may force the issue. They are studying whether the incumbents should be able to charge third party carriers more for roaming than they charge their own customers.

    • realitycheck

      exactly…..

    • Alex Land

      WIND does have national roaming in Home zones across Canada, FYI.

  • Rory

    Damn, this is going to be very useful in a few months for me.

  • Tom Blinky

    Not to sound like a huge BlackBerry shill, but I’ve been getting a solid, full signal with Wind in places I didn’t even know they had coverage(in Ottawa: Bits of Barrhaven, Kanata, etc) with various BB10 devices.

    I realize telling people “It’s not Wind’s fault, it’s your hardware” is kinda tacky, but their coverage is a lot better than people give it credit for.

    • sickens

      If there is one thing (just one, this is pretty much it) I miss about my BlackBerry days, was the radio performance & reception I always had. Without a doubt, the best.

    • Tom

      Indeed, some phones have stronger radios than others do. At my workplace, Bell/Telus are noticeably weaker than Rogers, but newer phones can get 1-2 bars close to the windows. My old HTC Desire Z (on Bell) dropped to zero when indoors, even near the windows. However the stronger phones are still prone to cutting out completely as one moves around, so the coverage is still the main culprit here.

    • big3screwedus

      The top end phones have no drops, and excellent service on wind. People that cheap out on bottom end or shyt brand phones get what they pay for. HTC Desire Z sucks the nutsack versus any Samsung phone’s reception, let alone the high end ones.

    • Tom

      Yeah, Wind technically covers my city, and signal is pretty good in the downtown core and at most malls, but at my more suburban workplace, Wind’s signal is zero. Nada. Even outside the building. I’d like to support Wind but I also can’t justify paying for a service I absolutely cannot access at work.

    • Arafat Rubaiyat

      Tom, majority of the BB10 devices are actually dual antenna enable so in low recption areas, one of the antennas actually act as a booster. So not at all surpising that you’re able to get a better signal in low coverage areas with your BB..

    • BB BB

      I can attest to this even with the old blackberry phones. With lousy signal in Mexico and other poor edge networks I could always get a message through, I could turn my phone into a modem or hotspot and it would work.

  • Deciare

    Presuming that this add-on is available to any WIND plan, then my $29 BTS 2012 plus this add-on would come to a total of $44 for unlimited talk/text/data in the US. o.o That’s better than any US-native carrier!

    • Deddyman

      It requires a plan of $29 or more. So yes, you’d be fine.

    • big3screwedus

      Any plan with unlimited data is the official byline.

  • Squint

    Whoa, that’s pretty good, I visit the US often enough. Telus bill is getting out of hand and contract is done in about 2 weeks… thinking I’ll do the switch soon.

    • big3screwedus

      Do yourself a favour and get a top end phone, and you’ll love your time with Wind.

    • Squint

      I was thinking of the Nexus 5, think that’s a good one to go with, unless anybody has a better phone I should look into.

  • chris

    Wat.

  • Humberto Giambrone

    Um…WOW! What am I missing here? I’ve got to be missing something here.

  • FunkyMonkey

    YESSSSS WINDDD, does anyone need any other incentive to switch. WELCOMING THIS WITH OPEN ARMS!!!

  • Tom

    For those heading south for 1 week+ on a regular basis, this is definitely more worthwhile than going with TMo’s $3/day plan, and there’s the convenience of keeping your own number and not having to switch SIMs.

    Now if only Wind would expand coverage such that I can get any indoor signal at all in my workplace! That is the one and only reason I am still on Fido as only Rogers towers cover that area. Even Bell/Telus are pretty weak there. I really, really want to switch to Wind, but I also want to make and receive calls at my workplace…

  • Omis

    Now do roaming agreements with other countries I will be one happy camper. I know. I know. Pipe dream.

    • djino

      They will be announcing another plan as well. Its called “World Travelers Add-on”. Pay $8/month for this add-on and it gives you a roaming rate of 20c/minute voice, 15c/sent text, $1/MB in many popular destinations (Especially the Caribbean -> Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands. Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks & Caicos Islands, etc.)…Stay tuned.

  • Omis

    I wonder since I dont go to the US often enough for this to matter for me. But can I get this for a month then cancel? Or do you need to buy it for a certain amount of time.

    • Alex Land

      The article mentions you can subscribe to it on a month-by-month basis.

    • Omis

      Cool. It’ll come in handy vacationing in the states.

  • Garrett Cooper

    If only they had better coverage in Canada. I’d totally jump ship from Bell. Maybe one day!

  • Wild

    Perhaps this great idea is a start to help increase Wind’s subscriber base, and more subscribers means incentive to increase their coverage areas.

  • Willie D

    T-Mobile has been doing UNLIMITED text and data for international destinations since October 2013, so it seems Wind is following suit. Data in foreign destinations is 2G limited to 128kbps, generally 6-20kbps if you are lucky. Fine for a simple web page or email but not much else.

    • Squint

      Fine by me… better than nothing or having to pay up to wazoo in fees.

  • Accophox

    Don’t think you quite understand – He’s saying that T-mobile customers while roaming outside the US receive free EDGE data.

    • Nevermind

      My bad, but how is T-Mobile customers roaming outside their coverage area even relevant in this discussion? My point was that as a Wind customer I had 3G Roaming while in the US on the T-Mobile network. So I guess Wind has that kind of an agreement with T-Mobile.

    • realitycheck

      i think he was trying to conclude wind customers may also get edge data when roaming in the US on the T-Mobile network.

      I’d still be happy with edge if i was a wind customer.

  • wes

    Come to QUEBEC!!!!! Sigh… Wind needs to sign agreements with the rest of Canada though.

  • someguy

    ROBELLUS reading the details saying to themselves ” these muthaf&^kers!!!! actually did that !?”….seeing as US roaming is a money sink for the big 3 this might force their hands.

  • Omis

    As long as I can check google maps and my email, I am ok with this.

  • someguy

    lol can you guys quess which RoBeLLus exec spit up their coffee after reading this lol

  • djino

    U.S. Roaming is WIND AWAY

  • big3screwedus

    Amazing service in Hamilton/Ancaster/Stoney Creek on my Note 3. They have improved coverage a LOT in Hamilton. The reception in and sometimes even around the Hospitals is shoddy at best, as with downtown heavy concrete buildings sometimes. Other than that, perfect. Been with WIND since they came to Hamilton and never regretted it. Saved hundreds upon hundreds of dollars since then, and I can sport the best phone on the planet with no guilt.

  • D.Kim

    This is awesome. Keep it up, Wind Mo!

  • Anaron

    Wow! I don’t travel to the US but I can see how useful this would be for people that do. No more worrying about roaming charges. If you have the $30 unlimited everything plan, adding this will make it a mere $45. That’s really tempting.

  • Brendanthekid

    So would the US data count towards my Canadian Data usage or are they separate?

  • disqusmy

    That’s pretty awesome plan. No doubt!

  • abc123

    HEY ROBELLUS! THIS IS WHAT WE CALL COMPETITION…

    Sorry, but you may think that complaining, suing, and raising rates is competition, but you are wrong.

  • Who Needs Facts

    Yet another poor BUSINESS decision. One has to think that they are purposely devaluing their company for some business reason most of us do not understand.

    BTW – what is it an add-on to?

    • BGR ia JOKE

      wind mobile is awesome .. i am a software developer for phones .. and I used 40 gb one month

    • Who Needs Facts

      Wind is a good fit for you then as you would need about a month to download the 35GB at the 256KB rate cap that Wind implements.

    • BGR ia JOKE

      i moved and it took two weeks to get my internet working at my new home. i use my phone to hot spot for my laptop .when i not at my office …

  • Who Needs Facts

    They are geniuses!

    Wind having no luck in Canada is going after the American market!

    It likely now cheaper for a US resident to come up to Canada and get this plan at a favourable 10% exchange and pay about $40 USD for unlimited voice, text and data.

    Perhaps they have more business sense than I gave them credit for.

    • BB BB

      That won’t happen they would need a Canadian address and with TMo you get unlimited everything for a reasonable price and oh yeah a US number.

    • Who Needs Facts

      T-Mobile unlimited is $70/mo – almost twice as much. Who cares what phone number you have and is there a law that says you need a Canadian address to sign up for a Canadian carrier or are you assuming this? For what it is worth, I pay $3.00 a package for my US mailing address. With online billing this would be a net add of $0.

      At any rate I was being facetious pointing out that Winds business plan is perhaps a bit suspect in that they are offering unlimited US service at a price that not even the cheapest American carrier can come close to.

    • Guest

      You need to be a Canadian resident to sign up for any monthly plan with any provider.

  • BB BB

    Haha take that Rogers $8 for every 50mb, 1.50 per minute and .75 cents a text.

  • BB BB

    You can just use pay your way sim for when you travel. You may have to pay for a SIM card , just slap on $20 to cover your add on and taxes and you’re all set.

    • Philosoraptor

      No you cannot. A monthly plan of at least $30 is required before you can add this roaming package.

  • BB BB

    Not true with wind and roam mobility I would always get 3G speeds new phones will say 4G. When in a bad area it would drop down to edge but not often and not in most cities. Sure the speed isn’t going to be AutoBhan verizon speeds but it’s $15 so what more do you want? Most hotels have wifi which is actually worse than 3G so this be a good add on.

    • grahak

      I am not saying this happens today or will happen, but might happen. The costs of roaming for WIND can’t be that low on HSPA, LTE to be able to offer that. They will lose big beyond few MBs, let alone SMS and Voice! But, yes, a good idea which can lead to some other innovative roaming pricing. Anyways, effective 3rd feb, hopefully, someone tries it out soon to let all of us know what the deal is! :)

  • Tom

    Note that this only covers the US, guys. Roaming elsewhere is expensive. Heck, all carriers in the world charge an arm and a leg (relative to domestic fees) for roaming outside of neighbouring countries.

    I’ll still be hanging on to my Vodafone, PCCW, Starhub, and Orange SIM cards in the meantime, and accumulating more in other countries I visit in the future.

  • cadave

    Meanwhile Rogers charges you $7.99/day for 50MB of DATA ONLY.

  • monologue33

    I’m on wind and heading to the US March 1st. I’ll try it out.

  • Bernie Choy

    I’m using this plan now and it rocks!

  • Bernie Choy

    And data is faster than in Canada. Definitely 3G

  • RA

    Not true! Don’t get the add on! I went to the US for one day and got the add on when I was there. When I got the bill and there were $70+ in charges for roaming data. When I called in they said I didn’t add the add-on until the day AFTER I used the data. I still have the text confirmation I received at that time to prove the day I added it. Even with that they said the charges were “valid charges” and that I have to pay the full amount. What was the point in me paying the $15 for the add on if I still have to pay for the usage? When I called into their customer service they kept telling me their “back office” was going to call me back. When they finally did, the supervisor said the best she could offer me was a $50 bill credit. She explained that there was a possibility that the add-on activated late and that was why I incurred roaming charges. I asked her why she couldn’t give me a bill credit for the full amount since it wasn’t my fault. She said that she didn’t have the authority so I’d have to wait for the “Credit and Adjustment” team to call me back within 5 business days to assess the situation, and even then it isn’t a full guarantee of a bill adjustment. They never called! So in total I had to pay $70 for additional charges and $15 for the useless add-on. What a waste! If I knew the $15 add on wouldn’t work I would have just used a local carrier when I got there which is what I normally do. What a waste of $85! Don’t fall for their scam. Worst customer service.