Best mobile internet service for telecommuting in U.S. and Canada?
June 1, 2008 4:11 PM   Subscribe

I'm telecommuting from the U.S. and Canada and am wondering what my options are for mobile broadband/internet. I've done some research...

and so far have found:
* Sprint: cheap and unlimited plans but want me to commit to two years and don't provide service while in Canada
* Telus (Canadian company): per GB plans, provide option to allow you to use within U.S. without paying high roaming fees but still more expensive than U.S. companies
* Rogers (Canadian company): provides portable internet service. Cheap but I'm pretty sure you can't use it in U.S.

Any experiences or ideas would be great! thanks!
posted by beccyjoe to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
I'm guessing your looking to tether a laptop to a cellphone? If you go with Roger/Sprint, all you will need to do is swap SIM cards when you cross the border (on an unlocked phone). If you go with Telus/Sprint, you'll need two separate phones as they use different technology.
posted by blue_beetle at 4:47 PM on June 1, 2008

Response by poster: blue_beetle, I was thinking of using a pcmcia or usb card as I only really want to use it for the internet, but I guess tethering a phone is an option. Would using a card give me more options with choosing a provider?

Swapping sim cards is an interesting idea. The only problem is that most companies seem to want you to commit to a year or so. I would like to avoid paying monthly fees in both countries.

posted by beccyjoe at 5:08 PM on June 1, 2008

I have the Telus Connect 100 data plan. It's unlimited both in Canada and the USA, with no roaming fees. Costs $100/month ($107 if you include the system access fee). I haven't tried it in the States yet, but will be leaving for a trip there on Friday and will be giving it a good try in several mid-western and north-eastern states. It's been absolutely wonderful in here in B.C. (I actually use it as my primary means of Internet access at home, since there is no cable or DSL available).
posted by Emanuel at 7:15 PM on June 1, 2008

Response by poster: Emanuel, your setup with Telus sounds great! Unfortunately, when I spoke to Telus they told me that that plan doesn't exist anymore (probably because it was too good a deal!).

The current Telus plans are at

I still might go with their Connect 65 + the $25 U.S. roaming with a few extra GB. If I'm willing to buy the card outright, apparently I don't have to commit to a plan. May I ask which type of card you have? or are you using a tethered phone?

posted by beccyjoe at 10:56 PM on June 2, 2008

Wow, that's a pity they don't offer it anymore. I anticipated they might stop offering the plan and asked at least three different reps to ensure that I'd be grandfathered in if they did. Glad I signed up when I had the chance.

To answer your question, I have a Sierra 595U (the USB model, because I use it on a system without a PCMCIA slot when I'm at home).

By the way, I've now used it in Kansas City and the Pittsburgh area, works great in both places.
posted by Emanuel at 12:11 PM on June 11, 2008

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