Posts Tagged ‘roaming’
Summer is in full gear and a vacation is upon us! Even though I tell myself I’m going to unplug when I’m away, I know I’ll still be on my phone for the things that are really important to me like sharing photos, and chatting through Facebook or navigating my way through New England on a little trip to the U.S.
To ensure I’m using my phone smartly when I travel to the States, I always take 5 minutes before crossing the border to visit our Tech Essentials site for great info on how to roam wisely. The site not only gives me info on the basics like different roaming packages, it also walks me through steps to disable apps I don’t need running all the time. There’s even a short how-to video that I watched as I waited for a flight to Chicago last summer. The video showed me how to make small smartphone setting changes that helped me stay well within my data allotment, even though my phone was my tour guide for the weekend.
What I’m loving about the Tech Essentials site this year is that it’s even simpler to find the info I need. With a fresh new look and updated content throughout, it’s easier to use than ever. For example, the data calculator lets me estimate my usage by day, week or month, helping me decide how much data I need for my road trips. The site also clearly explains streaming vs. downloading for all my entertainment on the go.
In addition to roaming insights, the site has further info to help me get the most out of my technology and communications services. For example, it provides best practices for staying safe online, tips to avoid overage fees, tech insights for parents, and more. I’ve got it bookmarked so I can visit periodically throughout the year.
But for now, it’s all about vacation. Tell us, are you roaming in the U.S. this summer?
Does the thought of travelling without your smartphone induce FOMO (fear of missing out)? If you’re a Rogers customer, don’t fret! We totally understand the importance of staying connected as you travel and our new international travel packs and daily data-only rate let you keep using your smartphone overseas.
Check it out:
These packs, a triple-threat connected experience including voice, data and text, are ideal if you’re travelling for three days or longer. All packs can be purchased by texting “TRAVEL” to 7626 (free in Canada and abroad) or clicking a link in the SMS Rogers will send you once you’ve arrived at your destination.
For example, say you’re on your way to Venice to float down the Grand Canal; you can now buy a pack for $60, which includes 40 minutes of talk, 150 texts and 40 MB of data for the month.
Daily data for $9.99
You may already enjoy our $7.99 pay per data-only rate when travelling to the U.S. Now we’ve rolled out a $9.99 data-only rate to help keep you connected as you traipse to international destinations. The amount of data you receive will vary by region and travel zone.
If you’re travelling to England, for example, $9.99/day will give you access to 20 MBs of data. That means you could easily send about 400 emails, visit 80 websites or access 20 maps. If more than 20 MB are used before the 24 hour period is up, another 20 MB will be automatically added to your account at the $9.99 pay per use rate.
For most customers, Rogers will automatically apply the data-only rate to your account upon the first MB of data used while travelling if you don’t buy a travel pack in advance. This will help if you’ve forgotten to plan ahead! Customers in Newfoundland and Quebec will need to opt-in one time only.
Track your data
Rogers will provide you with free text alerts when using both travel packs and the $9.99 data-only rate, letting you know when you’re nearing the end of your available data. Or you can text “USAGE” to 3330 for free to see how many daily data rates have been used or if you’ve been charged overage costs on your travel pack.
While you’re travelling, buying a local pre-paid SIM is an option, but we think travel packs are more convenient.
For more information about our new ways to stay connected as you travel internationally check out rogers.com/roaming.
Tell us, where will you be travelling this spring?
From major NHL and magazine announcements to speedy LTE expansion, travel and tablets, 2013 was a busy year at Rogers! I had the pleasure of joining the RedBoard team in 2013 – but I’m told I’m not allowed to call that a highlight of our year! So, in no particular order, here are 13 highlights of the year that was:
- Hitting high speed: We expanded our LTE network to new cities in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia and hit our goal of launching in 95 new markets in 2013 (you can see the full list here). Deploying more 2600 Mhz spectrum than any other provider also meant bringing our blazing fast speeds to more Rogers customers in Manitoba, Ontario, B.C. and Quebec. For us on RedBoard, it was a chance to share our favourite speedy apps, a new infographic and quiz people on the street about what, exactly, LTE means.
- Tablet talk: We were all about the portable devices this year. We learned a bunch of fun stats as a result – about one in 10 Canadians currently own a tablet and 33 per cent of all time spent with tablets happens outside the home. Neil Shuart shared how tablets are all about speed, Bob Stein focussed on the content and Duncan Stewart looked forward to hybrid devices. We even polled regular Canadians about how they were using their tablets – watch the video with their answers here.
- Wanderlust: We gave into the travel bug this year, sharing blog posts from San Francisco, California, Buffalo and even Prague. We also shared all things roaming related, from debunking myths, finding out just how many of you want to keep tabs on your pets, and sharing our favourite apps and how to control your data use to explaining our new worry-free $7.99 rate.
- Great gigs: We also celebrated our employees this year, starting a new series featuring Cool Jobs at Rogers – from Shelagh Barrett’s work with the Rogers Youth Fund initiative and Elana Schachter’s role in the digital magazine space to Hitesh Lad’s contributions in customer service. LinkedIn also recognized Rogers employees as among the top five in the world for volunteering – measured by those who added “Volunteer and Causes” information to their profiles on the professional social networking site.
- Office perks: Rogers was also named one of Canada’s top 100 employers for 2014. The Mediacorp list recognized Rogers for great office amenities, the employee bonus program and parental top-up payments, among other things.
- Get inside Rogers retail locations: Google Street View has mapped New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the White House, France’s Musee D’Orsay, and even Parliament Hill. And, in 2013, we were able to add Rogers retail locations across the country to that list. To check it out, browse on over to your store’s Google + page (click the “See Inside” option) or visit the website for your local Rogers retail location on your computer or mobile device to load the virtual tour.
- Tackling TV: Would you skimp on sleep to catch just one more episode? If the answer is yes, your TV viewing habits are in line with 80 per cent of Canadians, according to our Rogers Innovation Report. We learned the longest viewing sessions average more than five hours on a weekday and almost seven hours on a weekend, and we took the opportunity to create a nifty interactive infographic to help you decode your TV persona, from “Marathon TV Viewer” to “Multiscreen Tasker.”
- Connected in the community: In June, Rogers announced a new initiative to help provide broadband Internet for youth and low-income Canadian families. Connected for Success, which launched with Toronto Community Housing, offers broadband internet for $9.99 a month, plus the option to purchase a computer loaded with software for $150, thanks to Microsoft Canada and Compugen. We also spoke with educator Neil Price about the importance of digital literacy and what the program could mean for students.
- Magazine buffet: Rogers launched the all-you-can-read digital magazine Next Issue Canada in October. Offering unlimited access to more than 100 Canadian and U.S. titles, we were excited to take it for a test-drive and chat with Next Issue Canada President Ken Whyte about what it means for readers and publishers.
- Rogers Youth Education Day: We took to Twitter and Facebook in September to ask you to share your #BrighterFuture stories about how education made a difference in your life. As part of Rogers Youth Education Day, we were able to donate mobile tech units to each of our 52 non-profit partners across the country – a $250,000 commitment! Thanks for joining the conversation and helping us give back!
- Digital shopping: Bulky wallets, be gone? In November, Rogers announced the launch of the suretap wallet, which lets shoppers make payments with a simple tap of their smartphone. Using the secure SIM card inside an NFC-enabled smartphone, suretap can be used at contactless payment terminals – the same kind that let you tap to pay with your credit card. For even more smartphone shopping power, we also launched Rogers Alerts, which, if you opt in, sends you location-based mobile offers via SMS.
- Tube talk: We hosted parenting expert Kathy Buckworth for a Twitter chat about how she manages screen time at home. She shared her top tips, and love of popcorn, in a noon-time chat that trended in Canada! It was also a chance to share details of the new Rogers Kids Zone, a secure children’s entertainment destination where families can enjoy kid’s TV shows and movies at home, on channel 200, or on the go with RogersAnyplaceTV.com/KidsZone on computers, and on the Rogers Anyplace TV application for smartphones, tablets, Xbox 360 gaming systems and LG Smart TVs.
- He shoots, he scores! We do love hockey at Rogers, and one of the most exciting bits of news we shared this year on RedBoard was announcing the NHL broadcast deal. The 12-year agreement, which starts with the 2014/15 season, includes national rights in all languages across TV broadcasts, internet and mobile streaming, as well as all linear and digital highlights including condensed games and video archives. The deal also includes a partnership with CBC for Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts and TVA for French-language coverage. We also started sponsoring the Edmonton Oilers and are excited to start construction on their new home, Rogers Place!
Happy New Year! What will you remember from 2013?
Today, Sara Graham, editor of TheTravelPresse.com, shares some highlights from her recent travels. The soon-to-be Prague-based travel writer has also written for various print and online publications including The Huffington Post. Follow her on Twitter @thetravelpresse.
Usually when I travel, it means taking photos with my camera, and waiting to upload them to social media until I get back to my computer.
Life just got so much simpler (and the photos so much better) for this traveler. Here’s how:
- Take your shot easily in low-light or nighttime: For low-light landscape photos, and night scenes, I easily made the shot by tapping on the screen to select the focal point. Presto … what was dark became light!
- Getting the perfect shot with HTC Zoe. The HTC One mini comes with an exclusive feature called HTC Zoe, which allowed me to take three-second living pictures (think Harry Potter). Afterwards, I was able to pick stills out of each Zoe. Brilliant!
- Share instantly: Good photos should be seen in the moment. Thanks to my Rogers data pack, I was able to keep my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts alive with images every day. And by selecting a roaming pack before I left, I was able to stay on budget.
- Stay on track: Prague is a cobbled maze of streets, so GPS and long battery life is practically a lifeline. The HTC One mini helped me find addresses and get to appointments on time. Heck, I was even early for once!
After using the HTC One mini on my trip, I don’t think I’ll be returning to lugging my laptop or camera around on my travels again.
How do you use your smartphone when you’re travelling?
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The CRTC’s Wireless Code comes into effect today. It applies to individual and small business customers who sign up for a new contract or renew their existing contract on or after Dec. 2, 2013. Rogers is in support of a national code, and we’re excited that Canadians now have a set of consistent standards across the country that provide equal protection to wireless customers no matter where they live.
We’ve put together this handy Q&A to help you understand what the Wireless Code means for you as a customer.
Who does the Wireless Code apply to?
The Code applies to individual and small business customers who have signed up for a new contract or renew their existing contract on or after Dec. 2, 2013.
What can I expect from the Code?
The Code sets specific requirements that all Canadian carriers must follow when it comes to key areas such as: easy to understand wireless services and fees, reasonable unlocking policies, a cap on certain fees, and the availability of online tools to monitor usage and any additional fees.
At Rogers, we have been proactive in addressing some of these areas even before the Code took effect:
- Rogers first introduced device unlocking in 2012. In March 2013, we revised our policy so that customers have the option to unlock their device sooner for a fee – as early as up to 90 days after activating the device on the Rogers network.
- We launched our new two-year term plans in August 2013, allowing our customers to upgrade to a new phone faster. Our new plans include unlimited Canada-Wide Talk and Text, and with Share Everything, you can share your plan with up to nine more devices.
- Rogers provides all customers with a welcome text message as soon as they start roaming. The message provides pay-per-use rates for voice, text messages and data use, as well as a link to purchase discounted roaming offers.
Additional changes covered by the Code:
- Roaming data overage charges for Travel Packs and roaming data pay-per-use charges will be capped at $100 per billing cycle.
- Domestic data overage charges will be capped at $50 per billing cycle.
- The 30-day cancellation notification period has been eliminated.
- Prepaid customers have a seven-day grace period, from the date their balance expires, to top up their balance and retain the unused amount.
Where can I find more information about the Code?
For more info about the code, check out the CRTC’s website here.
We’re always looking to improve the Rogers experience. With these changes, we’ll continue to work hard to deliver more value and to create a better experience for our customers.
There’s nothing more important to me than being home for the holidays. But travel during the holiday season rarely resembles the romance of Love Actually. In reality, it’s long drives in crowded carpools and delayed flights at the airport. So, when I embark on the long road home, I want my smartphone as a travel companion – but also worry about spending too much on roaming when I’m out of town. And I’m not alone, according to new research from Rogers:
- Seventy-eight per cent of Canadians would be more likely to roam if they knew exactly how much they would be charged;
- More than half of those who turn data off while travelling feel negative about the experience – twenty-nine per cent feel disconnected and out of touch if they can’t go online or use data and 28 per cent feel dependent on others for information;
- Data while travelling is important to them – eighty-one per cent of respondents who never roam admitted they see a need for data connectivity while travelling;
- Seventy-nine per cent admit to not understanding how roaming charges are incurred though most (69 per cent) know that certain activities use more data than others when roaming
- Messaging and use of maps are the most important tasks when travelling with sixty-one and sixty per cent, respectively, of respondents ranking them above email, checking the weather and social media.
Fear not! Just in time for your next trip, we’re introducing changes to make roaming even easier and more affordable:
- New U.S. Travel Packs. Fifty-four per cent of Canadian smartphone users consider access to voice, text and data equally important when purchasing a roaming package so we’ve added data to select packs while lowering the price points and increasing the bucket sizes.
- Coming soon: New International Travel Packs: We’ll soon introduce new simplified International Travel Packs that offer a lower price point, larger buckets and give you access to all three services – voice, SMS and data – bundled in one accessible package. These new Travel Packs will also provide notifications as you use data, so you can better manage your usage. Talk & Text only plans will continue to be available. Plan details and pricing will be announced in the coming weeks.
- More resources and tools available on TECH Essentials, a website packed with the information and tools you need to make informed decisions when travelling to the U.S. and overseas, including a data calculator to help estimate your usage.
Do you think you can just rely on Wi-Fi when you travel? If so, you’ll want to watch this video where we debunk some of the most common roaming myths.
While Canadian retailers are starting to get in on the act with their own offers, many Canadians still travel south of the border to enjoy great deals and rock-bottom prices.
If you’re thinking of heading south this week, here are some tips to make the most out of your trip.
Canadian shoppers who stay in the U.S. for 48 hours are now allowed to bring back up to $800 worth of duty-free goods, so you might want to consider staying for a couple of nights.
You’ll also want to leave early in order to avoid delays at the border (you can also check on border crossing times via the Canadian Border Service Agency’s website).
Make a list and check it twice: Know which stores you want to hit. As well, prioritizing your list is important. The first store you visit should be the one that has your must-have item so you’re not disappointed by sold-out shelves.
Look for deals online
Do you ever watch Extreme Couponing in envy? Websites and Twitter accounts specific to Black Friday savings are a great resource for finding the best high-value coupons.
Be sure to check the fine print before you head to the store and stay on top of any early bird specials as these can offer the deepest discounts.
Your smartphone can be your Black Friday lifeline if you need directions, want to find exclusive online offers, or share the great deals you’ve found on Facebook or Twitter.
Rogers customers who are staying in the U.S. for a couple of days may want to consider getting one of our travel packs, which give a combination of talk, text and data when roaming in the U.S. We recently doubled the amount of data and minutes on select packs while cutting prices.
Just going for the day? Rogers customers can stay connected worry-free with the Rogers U.S. Roaming Internet Rate, which gives you 50 MB of data for up to 24 hours. You don’t need to add this to your account; just turn data roaming ON and it will automatically kick in once you cross the border. (Customers in Newfoundland and Quebec will need to opt-in one time only.)
Send a free text with the word “usage” to 3330 at any time to check how much data you have used. You’ll also get a text message to let you know if you’re approaching 50 MB. If you need more data, it’s only an additional $7.99 and you get another 50 MB to use during the 24 hour period.
To celebrate Black Friday, we’re giving away a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, a Moto X and a Nexus 5. To be entered to win one of these prizes, you just need to take a picture of your Black Friday purchase or what you would have liked to purchase and tweet the picture to @RogersBuzz with the hashtag #RogersRoamTrip.
Enter the contest here.
Contest starts at 10 a.m. on Nov. 25, 2013 and continues until 4 p.m. on Dec. 2, 2013. No purchase necessary. Read the full contest rules here.
Are you heading to the U.S. in search of Black Friday deals?
Guidebooks – once a necessity – are quickly being rendered obsolete by the wealth of information that can be accessed online and by the multitudes of travel apps available on our smartphones.
As a professional travel blogger, I travel a lot and have come to rely heavily on my Samsung Galaxy SII Android smartphone for information. Here are a few of the apps and tricks I use on the road.
Find great restaurants
The days of taking a chance on an unfamiliar restaurant are over. Yelp (free) has become far and away the most-used app for user-generated bar and restaurant reviews. Yelp is hooked in to your smartphone’s GPS, so it will find restaurants near you and recommend the best based on other people’s reviews. When you choose your restaurant, just push the ‘get directions’ button and Yelp will open up Google Maps and auto-load driving directions. You can also try Alfred (free), which is similar to Yelp but is programmed to learn your taste and make suggestions based on the restaurants that you enjoyed in the past.
Checking your email and Facebook from your phone on the go is convenient, but if you spend a significant amount of time online like I do, you need to find Wi-Fi. WiFi Finder (free) finds both free and paid hotspots near you so you can plop down and crack open the laptop to really get some work done.
Save Your Battery
Using maps to navigate can drain your battery and power sources aren’t always readily available on the road. Getting the most out of my battery is a top priority, and Juice Defender (free) is an exceptional power saver. When I installed it, my battery life appeared to last 20 to 40 per cent longer. You can also purchase second batteries fairly inexpensively.
When you find yourself lost on a back road in Minnesota, you won’t need to worry about the potential costs of opening up Google Maps for a couple of hours, thanks to the Rogers U.S. roaming rate. Rogers offers a $7.99/day roaming rate for Canadians travelling in the United States, which allows for up to 50 MB of data download per day (way more than most people use). For more information visit Rogers.com/roaming.
On some trips, everything seems to go wrong. It’s as though Murphy’s Law applies tenfold while travelling — so it’s important to be prepared for the worst. Fortunately, there’s an app for that. You can also protect your smartphone from loss or theft using Lookout Security (free), which enables you to remotely lock your lost or stolen phone, locate it using GPS, or wipe all the data.
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