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Ontario and Alaska coverage


I need a mobile provider that can cover my region (Ontario, Canada) as well as allow me to get service in Alaska for a trip I'm planning. Does anybody know if Koodo is a good provider for Alaska?

18 replies

Userlevel 7
1. Where exactly do you live in Ontario Coverage for most of ontario is great, keep.in mind Koodo uses Telus/bell towers so coverage really should be an issue for most Canadians. As for Alaska, Alaska is part of the USA so when you're there you'll be roaming on whatever towers are available / compatible with your phone. Koodo doesn't guarantee service while roaming (no carrier does) simply because they don't own the networks and have no control over the many variables that come with traveling. My suggestion to you would be to unlock your phone and pickup a prepaid sim from Walmart or something it you feel you'd benefit from using local services. TBH however, you're more likely to have service with your Koodo sim since it can roam around to whatever is available rather than just whatever prepaid sim you're using.
I am located in the Cornwall area. I know that Koodo offers support here as I know people who have the service; specifically I'm not inquiring about using Koodo here honestly, but I am interested in switching to a provider that will offer roaming within Alaska (Valdez and Anchorage, specifically). I did get some info from the locals about Alaska-specific providers. I might just get a SIM card from a local provider and use that locally, and use Skype calling for calling back home.
Userlevel 7
I'm in Lancaster at the moment (exit 814) and have LTE coverage. I never have a problem in Ontario (over the road truck driver) the network is fantastic Check here for more specific coverage ( use hspa): http://bit.ly/1rJwjQi I've used the skype2go calling for back home and it does work. Unlock your phone, but try your koodo sim ( koodo does offer some roaming packages for the usa so check those out too).
I only plan to be there for a few weeks, although I will probably be returning in the future I really don't like being tied to Bell at the moment and have thought of switching to something better for my home use. I'm not a big fan of contracts, which is why I generally go for prepaid.. Koodo doesn't seem to offer roaming for prepaid though.
Userlevel 7
Paril wrote:

I only plan to be there for a few weeks, although I will probably be returning in the future I re...

Prepaid isn't available for roaming unfortunately. But if you already own your own phone, you can unlock / activate it with koodo on a no term sim only plan. Cancel whenever you like. You'll even get 10% off. Or Sign up with koodo and take a monthly plan for your trip then when you come back, just pay off your tab through self serve and port to prepaid. By doing it this way you'll enjoy a lower price for the device and be able to roam while in Alaska.
Userlevel 7
Paril wrote:

I only plan to be there for a few weeks, although I will probably be returning in the future I re...

Again, Alaska coverage will depend on the USA networks that operate in Alaska. If you see AT&T or/and T-Mobile you'll (edit) likely have service
Userlevel 7
Paril wrote:

I only plan to be there for a few weeks, although I will probably be returning in the future I re...

T-Mobile coverage map: http://www.t-mobile.com/coverage.html AT&T: http://m.att.com/shopmobile/coverageviewer/coverage-viewer-results.html But keep in mind there may be regional carriers that having a Koodo sim may be beneficial for.
Userlevel 6
Paril wrote:

I only plan to be there for a few weeks, although I will probably be returning in the future I re...

I second the notion of simply unlocking your koodo phone and picking up a SIM in the US. In Ontario koodo is one best overall cell companies. We have three lines with them.
Paril wrote:

I only plan to be there for a few weeks, although I will probably be returning in the future I re...

I do already have a phone that I might just use (it is unlocked). Gonna do comparison at some point soon and see if it'll be worth it. Is there any way to get a prepaid SIM from Koodo without ordering a new phone?
Userlevel 7
Paril wrote:

I only plan to be there for a few weeks, although I will probably be returning in the future I re...

Yup, order from website or visit a Kiosk or walmart
Paril wrote:

I only plan to be there for a few weeks, although I will probably be returning in the future I re...

Ah, that sounds nice. I really really despise Bell - I'm with PC Mobile, and they get their service from Bell, which sadly influences the terrible prices. I love PC Mobiles' customer support and everything else, but being charged $10 a month just because I want to use a couple mB of data every month is driving me up the wall. I spotted the fact that data never expires on Koodo phones so long as your base plan is alive, and I really like that. It looks like the base cost of unlimited text/call is going to run me the same as it does now too.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
I just came back from Alaska (Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan). As already stated, with Koodo you would definitely be roaming. I'm on prepaid and Koodo didn't work at all. There is no T-Mobile in Alaska. T-Mobile does allow roaming for free on AT&T, but just for phone calls. I found AT&T readily available in all three places, as well as a local Alaska provider (forgot the name). So I could only make/receive calls on my T-Mobile prepaid sim, no data. For Internet I used both Truphone (http://www.truphone.com/) and Piranha (http://www.piranha-mobile.com/), which seemed to allow data roaming on all Alaskan providers. I found both rather affordable (both charge around 10ct per MB). Truphone seems to be particularly lenient, I used about 5MB one session and only paid $0.67 USD. If you can live with low usage during your travels, I'd say that is the way to go... just wanted to mention some options for you 🙂
I really only wanted the roaming for emergency purposes, but it does seem that until US/Canada strike out roaming charges like Europe that my best option is to just get a SIM card from a local Alaskan company instead. I heard of one that is right in Valdez, so I will grab one there. Thanks for the notes, though. I ordered a Koodo prepaid SIM, am hoping to get rid of PC Mobile for good 🙂
Userlevel 7
Paril wrote:

I really only wanted the roaming for emergency purposes, but it does seem that until US/Canada st...

Glad we could be of assistance.
Paril wrote:

I really only wanted the roaming for emergency purposes, but it does seem that until US/Canada st...

I am travelling to Alaska for 17 days. I am cell phone illiterate pretty much. Can I use my cell phone as it is or do I need to get a sim card and if I do where do I get one and what will the charges be for using it (per minute?) or does the price of the card cover the costs of calls (I would only be making calls in the case of an emergency on roads but I also have to be able to get into my online banking.)
Alice

Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Paril wrote:

I really only wanted the roaming for emergency purposes, but it does seem that until US/Canada st...

Well a phone is useless as a phone without a sim card, or do you mean a sim card in the US? If you are postpaid then you can roam in the US and use your phone. Koodo prepaid will not work outside of Canada.
http://help.koodomobile.com/coverage-long-distance-and-travelling/travelling
That will give you more info about roaming in the US, and anywhere else as well.

Another option is Roam Mobility for prepaid in the US, and is generally much better if you need some data.
https://www.roammobility.com/coverage
Check their coverage map to make sure where you are going will have coverage.

Or you'd be best off with T-Mobile's Tourist Plan. It's 30 USD for 3 weeks at a time. It will have plenty of talk and data for your use. You could even do more than emergency calls and online banking if you wanted!  And T-Mobile now has regular coverage in Alaska. Again check the coverage. I'm asusming you won't be way off in the middle of actual nowhere?
http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-international-tourist-plan?icid=WMM_PD_Q216TRSTPL_05RK4SW...

If you go with T-mobile, you'll need to make sure your phone is unlocked. If you have an iphone, it's better to call 611 to get it unlocked. Instructions will be provided. If you have anything else, I suggest looking it up on ebay for unlock code providers and they will also preovide instructions.

The price of the sim alone won't cover costs. You'll need to get a sim and get it added.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Paril wrote:

I really only wanted the roaming for emergency purposes, but it does seem that until US/Canada st...

You also need an unlocked phone if you choose Roam mobility.
Userlevel 7
Badge +4
Don't expect anything near the coverage in AK that you will get at home, regardless of your domestic carrier. The published coverage maps are pretty thin, but then again, so are the population centers.

In terms of customer reviews, I typically expect more complainers to post on discussion boards than those who are happy.

https://www.att.com/maps/wireless-coverage.html

http://www.cellreception.com/coverage/ak/anchorage/page1.html

http://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/prepaid-coverage

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