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Old 09-18-2022, 06:44 AM   #1
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Canada Alaska Cell Service for Hotspots

My wife and I are planning a 2023 trip through Canada to Alaska from the West Coast and then returning after 4 months through Calgary to re-enter the USA in Montana. We now have Verizon 125Gb hot spots but had trouble the last time in Quebec/Ontario. Does anyone have suggestions for operating Verizon in Canada or can compare Verizon to T-Mobile for travel in Canada and Alaska?
I appreciate any comments and looking forward to our trip.

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Old 09-19-2022, 08:21 AM   #2
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If you absolutely must have high speed data for work or streaming, you won’t get it through much of western Canada and Alaska. There aren’t enough cell towers, particularly along the Alcan and the Cassiar. Places like Whitehorse are the exception, but you just won’t find enough service in the rural areas, and most of the road is very rural. Our “unlimited” Verizon plan allowed only 0.5GB per day in Canada, so check the fine print on yours. I could buy another 0.5GB for $5 a day, and that was enough to do basic email and such, but not much more. I thought about getting a Canadian hot spot, but a couple of Canadian friends told me it was much, much more expensive in Canada so I gave that idea up. Plus, no hotspot will work without a cell signal!

If you absolutely must have high speed coverage, you will need to get a Starlink. Even that is not a guarantee because they don’t support higher latitudes. Supposedly they will in the near future, but watch their reporting.
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Old 09-20-2022, 07:06 AM   #3
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Thanks UTTransplant

Thanks for your reply. We do rely on the internet for business and can do without it when necessary for a week or so. I considered Starlink but so far they don't go into the upper latitudes. I am a ham radio operator and even that requires (or makes it easier) to have internet.

I am considering changing to T-Mobile but don't trust the salesmen there and would like peoples actual experiences with Sprint or T-Mobile before I change from Verizon. If I should change. We expect to be in Alaska and Northwest Canada for five months.
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Old 09-20-2022, 12:03 PM   #4
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We have Starlink and are also going to Alaska next year via the Alaska Highway going north and Cassiar going south. They are supposed to open northern BC/southern Yukon in Q1 for Starlink and that's what we'll by relying on so fingers crossed it launches in time. We've spent the last 5 months in BC and can't use our Verizon phones as hotspot cause we're limited to 0.5 GB a day even with our unlimited data plan. We went to Telus to get a mobile hotspot initially, but it was pretty expensive. We've luckily been able to use campground wifi and the Starlink so far, but there's not much wifi on the way to AK.
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Old 10-19-2022, 11:35 AM   #5
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Ive got the Verizon 150gig Hotspot plan and on our trip this summer we had surprisingly good coverage in Alberta, BC, the Yukon, and Alaska. There were no extra roaming charges nor speed / gig usage reductions. Our Verizon phones had the same excellent coverage but had a gigabyte usage limitation and you can pay for extra gigs. We solved the phone limitation by connecting them to our Hotspot. When I say excellent coverage, cell service in these areas is not everywhere, but in more places than I expected. It appears that there are now roaming agreements between Verizon and Bell / Telus / Rodgers which is a good thing for traveling thru Western Canada and AK.
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