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Verizon for snowbirds


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I lucked out and got on Millenicom about 2 weeks before they were taken over by Verizon so for the last year and a half I have had a 20gb/month jeetpack while we were travelling in the states each winter. I was able to suspend the plan in the summer while we were back in Canada and then resume when we returned to the US in the fall. Well no longer. When I called Verizon today to suspend they informed me I would have to pay $10/month if I wanted to suspend. Ok sucks but I can live with it. Then the kicker. I can only suspend for one 90 day period in a year. So i cancelled my plan. Not sure what to do this fall. I was using a Wind phone, mainly while in the US, cos in Canada the coverage sucks. I decided to end that plan after 2 years when my phone was paid off and my plan was to add a Verizon phone to my jetpack when I went back to the US next fall. Now I'm not sure what to do. I have 2 unlocked Galaxy S3 phones and a verizon jetpack. I use a lot of data - 20-40gb/month and i need phone and data in the US and Canada. Any thoughts?

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Will be watching this thread with much interest for ourselves, so thanks in advance for all feedback. Until now we've just added on a travel pack to our Bell Mobility for around $40/50 month for shorter trips up to 6/8 weeks, and got by mainly with wifi on our travels. However, going FT and snow birding for up to 5 months we need something more reliable, available and most importantly affordable!

 

On our short list we have Verizon Pay As You Go Data (we already have a tracfone with more minutes than we'll ever use up that increase each year on $100 add on). From what we've read lately, some appear very happy with Cricket or Straight Talk (need to look more into those on coverage) Google FI has been discussed as well as an option working for some folks well. Right now we are tending to lean towards Verizon Pay As You Go For supposedly "best coverage". T-Mobile appears to have attractive packages but again depends on coverage where you intend to travel based on network.

 

Looking forward to reading :)

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For that sort of data usage, and having a flexible plan on a month-to-month basis - renting a Verizon Unlimited Data Plan may be your easiest option. You can find them for rent/lease on eBay (shop smartly.. typical eBay warnings apply). You'd be paying the seller directly for the plan, usually about $120-165/month with no contract. Most can just ship you an activated SIM card to put in your Jetpack.

 

You can find more of an overview of the option at www.rvmobileinternet.com/verizon-unlimited (disclosure: the full guide with instructions and vetted vendors is part of our premium membership benefits, - but the free intro goes over the plan, the history, the options & the basics of what you need to know).

 

Another option is the new T-Mobile plans offered through Millenicom (there was a post recently in these forums on it, our story: Millenicom is Back – With New T-Mobile Powered Plans).

 

We've confirmed with Millenicom that their plans are through the business division, so they're not subject to the 'primary use in the US' rule and since you pay Millenicom, there's no US address/credit card requirement either. The highest data tethering plan however I believe was 22GB a month, which may not be enough alone for your needs. And of course, there's the whole Millenicom concern which you understand all too well and the fact it's T-Mobile (not the strongest network in the US).

 

We do have a chapter in 'The Mobile Internet Handbook' on International Travel, with a special section on options for Canadians traveling in the US - if you happen to have a copy.

 

- Cherie

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Thanks for the feedback. I've just seen a Wind option that may be a partial solution - unlimited talk and text in US and Canada , 10gb/month canada and 1gb/month US and that plan is on Wind and partners network so it should work everywhere in Canada. Coverage in the US is on AT&T and T-mobile so its not bad. Takes care of phone, now Data!

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