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Old 08-30-2018, 09:55 AM   #1
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Connectivity - US Boaters in Canada - Especially Georgian Bay

I'm in the planning mode for a 2019 cruise to and around Georgian Bay, Lk Huron and wondering if any loopers or US cruisers to that area have any recommendations re: what they have done for cell / internet connectivity.

We are Verizon customers currently but would consider a switch or another contract if others offer a significantly better package while in Canada.

Looking for both cell and internet connectivity for basic stuff - calls + internet access but not trying to stream movies, etc.

For those that cruise / have cruised Georgian Bay wondering what coverage is like in general?
I realize some of this area is pretty remote - is cell and/or internet connectivity even realistic?? or is this something that is practical only when in a town / marina?
Thnaks in advance for any experience or insights
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:36 AM   #2
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Greetings,
Mr. B. It's my understanding that Canada has some of the most expensive internet rates in the world. You might be further ahead with an American company and be willing to pay the roaming charges.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:47 AM   #3
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T-Mobile 55+ plan at $35/line incl taxes. Unlimited talk, text and data, access in Mexico and Canada, no hotspot limits. Go talk to them about your particular neighborhood
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Old 08-30-2018, 11:56 AM   #4
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T-Mobile 55+ plan at $35/line incl taxes. Unlimited talk, text and data, access in Mexico and Canada, no hotspot limits. Go talk to them about your particular neighborhood
T-Mobile does have decent coverage for the Georgian Bay area. On the other hand, Verizon has great coverage there if you have a 4G World Device with GSM. They have a roaming plan for $2 a day I believe.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:26 PM   #5
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We just returned from a cruise among Lk Superior's Slate Islands, launching at Terrace Bay (top of the wolf's noggin if you imagine Superior as that familiar wolf's head illustration) and had no problem with Verizon reception. Our interest was only for answering incoming calls. We go on vacation to get away from as much of that as we can manage.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:28 PM   #6
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T-Mobile does have decent coverage for the Georgian Bay area. On the other hand, Verizon has great coverage there if you have a 4G World Device with GSM. They have a roaming plan for $2 a day I believe.
We had Verizon when we went through there 2 years ago. Used the same $2 per day plan. Worked well.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:43 PM   #7
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Verizon has, IMO, the best US / Canada / Mexico plan. You can go with the $2 a day or depending on how long you will be in and out of Canada during your trip or sign up for a plan that costs and additional $15 per month per line for calls, texting, and data. T-Mobile also has a pretty good plan but beware - we had several friends who were cruising in Mexico for an entire winter season and were cancelled by T-Mobile because they said the plan was meant for temporary travel not long term. What was worse is that they got cancelled with a 30 day notice and were given no option to change plans.
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:00 PM   #8
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Verizon has, IMO, the best US / Canada / Mexico plan. You can go with the $2 a day or depending on how long you will be in and out of Canada during your trip or sign up for a plan that costs and additional $15 per month per line for calls, texting, and data. T-Mobile also has a pretty good plan but beware - we had several friends who were cruising in Mexico for an entire winter season and were cancelled by T-Mobile because they said the plan was meant for temporary travel not long term. What was worse is that they got cancelled with a 30 day notice and were given no option to change plans.
The T-Mobile situation in Mexico is unfortunate, but differs from the OP's situation. To shed a little light on why T-Mobile took that stance, they have no presence themselves in Mexico, so it leaves them purchasing all the time. They provide free roaming, so clearly that becomes problematic when one really isn't roaming. Perhaps they should offer an alternative daily charge like Verizon does, but note Verizon will not do so indefinitely. T-Mobile feels though that it just makes more sense at some point to get a Mexican carrier. I don't agree with them, but that's their reasoning. I do agree with them placing a limit on months roaming as they've had people move to Mexico and try to continue and had others cross into the US and buy phones and return to Mexico. They had a hundreds of customers who had families in El Paso, buying phones there and going back home with them to Mexico.
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:18 PM   #9
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The Trent Severn and southern Georgian Bay have almost complete coverage, most with 4g data. It gets spotty at the northern end but is still generally ok.

I'm tied up to a vertical rock face in the French River area right now. Connectivity on the boat is spotty but if I climb to the top of the rock it's good :-)


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Old 08-30-2018, 08:28 PM   #10
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Spent over 60 days in Georgian Bay and North Channel this summer. Verizon unlimited plan worked great, no extra charges except as noted below. Did bump into the 500 meg daily data usage limit and were throttled to an unusable speed a couple times, but it automatically resets at midnight. Did pay and extra $5 for an additional daily 500 meg a couple times just to avoid frustration. Good coverage almost everywhere.
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Old 08-30-2018, 08:46 PM   #11
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I did Huron and Superior last summer. Had excellent coverage for voice, data, and texting in all but the most uninhabited areas with Verizon's unlimited plan. As mentioned, no additional charges on Canadian networks or calling to Canada.

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Old 08-31-2018, 01:38 PM   #12
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Thanks to all.
Thats all good news... glad coverage is better than I thpugh it would be.
I have plenty of time so will check on best plan as I get closer. I dud ask my loxal Verizon guy and he gave me some options but said plans / limits changes all the time. Will stay tuned as we get closer.
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Old 08-31-2018, 03:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Thanks to all.
Thats all good news... glad coverage is better than I thpugh it would be.
I have plenty of time so will check on best plan as I get closer. I dud ask my loxal Verizon guy and he gave me some options but said plans / limits changes all the time. Will stay tuned as we get closer.
Plans and limits do change as new plans come, BUT if you are on a plan, the rules and limits remain in place for as long as you keep your plan. Simply, shop now. If you find the unlimited plan works for you with Canada and Mexico coverage included for no additional charges, lock it in now before it goes away.

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