My Trip To India & Germany – Part 8

A reader just e-mailed me asking this question:

Hey IT Nerd. During your most recent trip, you used Rogers Roam Like Home roaming feature. I didn’t see you draw a conclusion about whether it is good, bad, or ugly. What are your thoughts on it? 

Thanks!

Thanks for the reminder. I completely forgot about tying up this loose end from my trip.

Roam Like Home was seamless. Every country (US for about 45 minutes, India for just over 2.5 days, Germany for just over a day) that I went to, I got a text message like this one when I took my phone out of airplane mode:

img_0088

It was seamless as everything worked right out of the gate and I didn’t really have to do anything special. That was great. I had access to my Toronto cell phone number in case it was needed and I had access to the data on my data plan which meant I got my e-mail, I could see Twitter, use Apple Maps or whatever. No complaints on that front.

Here’s where I feel that Roam Like Home doesn’t measure up – The cost. If I do the math on how much this might cost me (as I have not received my Rogers bill yet, thus I am estimating), I get this:

  • I was on the ground in the US for 45 minutes: $5
  • I was on the ground in India for just over 2.5 days: $30
  • I was on the ground in Germany for just over a day: $20

Total cost: $55

The FAQ for Roam Like Home indicates that I am charged per 24 hour period. Thus I assume that I have to round up the number of days to get the final cost. If that is the case (and even if it isn’t), that’s not cheap. To give you some perspective, the last time I was in India, I used a Vodafone India SIM for roughly $12 CDN for the entire week that I was there. That makes the $30 CDN that Rogers is likely going to charge me for roaming in that country for just over 2.5 days steep by comparison and reconfirms the fact that if you want to travel abroad with your mobile phone, the best option is to get an unlocked device and buy a local SIM card. The only scenario that I can see myself using Roam Like Home in the future is if I go to the USA as the $5 a day is reasonable. Thus my recommendation is that if you don’t want the hassle of getting a local SIM or you don’t have an unlocked phone, Roam Like Home from Rogers is seamless, convenient and it works. But you will pay a hefty premium for that. I’m not sure it’s entirely worth it unless you really need access to your Canadian phone number.

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