Rogers iPhone Data Roaming Tips for traveling in the USA + New Data Roaming Plan

I recently went for a week to Los Angeles. I did some geeky stuff like going to the BSGCast Frak party. Plus, at the same time there was an auction for Battlestar Galactica props. So, I had to tweet and make my Facebook friends salivate and stay in touch.

The iPhone is the perfect companion for such events, but you need to be careful with the data usage.

For example, the default data roaming fee for Rogers in the United States is 6$ per MB. Since I use maybe a MB or two per day (or even more), it can add up really fast. I was glad to learn Rogers has a new data roaming plan for the iPhone which costs:

  • 10$ per month
  • 1$ per MB

As far as I could see, this plan is not yet advertised on Roger’s Web site. When I called Rogers a week ago, I was told this data roaming plan was just recently added.

This means if you think you will be using more than 2MB during a stay in the United States, the plan begins to make sense. You can remove the plan when you come back so you don’t pay 10$ each month.

During my trip I must have used about near 25MB of data. With the 10$ monthly fee and data usage fees, this amounts to 35$ of data roaming fees. It does not come cheap, but it would have cost me 150$ without the plan.

To further monitor and control your data roaming usage, here are must-follow tips for your next trip in the United States.

  1. Don’t forget to call Rogers about voice roaming packages if you plan to make or receive many phone calls
  2. Call Rogers to enable the iPhone United States data roaming plan
  3. Before the plane takes off from Canada, when asked to shut down cell phones, you can activate Airplane mode in Settings
  4. To minimize unforeseen bandwidth usage while abroad, go in Settings/Fetch New Data and set Push to “Off” then Fetch to “Manually”. This way, you will only download new emails when going to look at your emails.
  5. In Settings/General/Network, set Data Roaming to “Off”. If you plan to use only Wi-Fi you would leave that there always when abroad. However, even if you plan to use data roaming, it’s a good idea to disable it before arriving at your destination.
  6. Clear your usage statistics. Go in Settings/General/Usage and press the “Reset Statistics” button. You need to scroll down the Usage page to see this button. This will clear your Cellular Network data usage.
  7. When arriving at destination, leave the Airplane mode and put back data roaming to “On”.
  8. During your stay, you can monitor your usage statistics to keep track of how much you will be paying for your stay.
  9. When coming back to Canada, put back your Data Roaming to “Off” to be sure it’s off if you ever go to Europe or another country where data roaming rates would cost you a pension.
  10. Don’t forget to call Rogers again to remove your data roaming plan from your account.
  11. Remember that browsing Web sites can consume a lot of data. Refrain from visiting too many graphics-heavy Web sites. Try to browse iPhone optimized Web pages or use specialized applications. You will consume a lot less data and it will reduce the extra fees that will appear on your invoice.

EDIT 2009-01-22 23:34

  1. Funny thing! A few hours after my post, my wife, Kim Vallée, independently posted on the same subject here. We didn’t even knew about each of our similar posts! Of course, we had extensively discussed the subject, which explains the eerie similarity of our posts. 🙂
  2. Highlighted some key words and the title after some tweets. Seems the new US data roaming plan is news to some.