Roam Mobility has begun offering service in a second country, after a successful rollout to the U.S. Now available in Mexico, the Vancouver-based company says that starting December 10th customers can travel to popular resort destinations like Cancùn, Cabo, Tijuana, Puerto Vallarta and Playa del Carmen, as well as interior cities like Mexico City, using their same Roam Mobility SIM card.
The plans are not nearly as generous as Roam’s U.S. alternatives, but they offer considerably more value than most equivalent plans offered by Rogers, TELUS and Bell, with some exceptions.
There are three 7-day plans:
- 50 talk minutes, 50 sent texts, and 50MB of data for $25
- 125 talk minutes, 125 sent texts, and 125MB of data for $50
- 200 talk minutes, 200 sent texts, and 200MB of data for $125
In comparison, Rogers offers a standard single day pass of $9.99 for 10MB of data, which repeats as needed. Rogers also offers two 31-day packs:
- 40 talk minutes, 150 sent texts, and 20MB of data for $70
- 100 talk minutes, 150 sent texts, and 50MB of data for $125
It must be stated that Rogers bundles all of Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and Mexico into a single set of plans, so value is going to be significantly lower where reciprocal roaming agreements could yield better value.
Bell does a little better than Rogers, but not much. Mexico is included in Zone 1, which offers the following in 30-day bundles:
- 60 talk minutes for $30
- 200 sent texts (unlimited incoming) for $30
- 60 talk minutes, 200 sent texts for $45
- 50MB data pass for $30
- 200MB data pass for $100
For some reason, Bell doesn’t offer a single pass that includes voice, text and data, which is good if you only want one or two of the three features, but bundling talk, text and data gets expensive quick. For example, it works out to $145 for 60 talk minutes, 200 sent texts and $200MB data, which is $25 more than Roam’s bundled plan (though you do get 30 days, not seven, in which to use it).
TELUS appears to have the best roaming rates for Mexico, likely because it singles out the country without sequestering it to a particular zone. In fact, TELUS customers have better rates than Roam in some cases. All Combo Packs, as they’re referred to by TELUS, are valid for 30 days.
- 50 talk minutes, 50 sent texts and 50MB of data for $40
- 150 talk minutes, 150 sent texts and 150MB of data for $65
- 300 minutes, unlimited sent texts and 300MB of data for $100
You can see that the lower tier is better for Roam customers by $15. The middle tier is cheaper on Roam but offers slightly less of everything, including data. The top tier is clearly better on TELUS, and if you’re already a heavy user and a TELUS customer it’s probably better to stick with the $100 plan.
It’s also worth noting that unlike the three carriers, Roam users will use, or be assigned, a U.S.-based number. Existing Roam customers will continue to make and receive calls and texts from the same number they were assigned travelling to the States. And Roam Mobility, unlike a carrier plan, requires an unlocked device, something that many travellers don’t, or can’t, have.
Along with the Mexico plans, Roam has announced “enhanced coverage” in the US. Starting on December 17th, Roam customers will be able to access the network in “Alaska, Michigan, Maine, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Wyoming, Kansas, West Virginia, and Eastern Washington State.” Customers can access the additional coverage for an extra $1/day for 20 talk minutes, unlimited texts and 10MB of daily data.
The move likely means Roam has inked a deal with regional carriers throughout the US, as well as AT&T, to supplement T-Mobile’s good-not-great network in rural areas.
Source: Roam Mobility