Jun 162013

tLast month, I was in Europe. It was fun (apart from a stomach bug that crippled me for two days.)

While in Europe, I used my smartphone. My phone is unlocked. I originally planned to purchase SIM cards in Hungary and the UK, to minimize costs. In the meantime though, I found out that Telus had fairly decent international data roaming packages. I already have a Telus SIM card, in a data stick that I use as a backup Internet connection. So instead of wasting my time hunting for local SIM cards with the right features, I put the Telus SIM card into my phone for the duration of this trip.

I used 191 megabytes of data, 51 minutes of voice, and 1 text message during this trip. The first 100 megabytes were covered by a $65 data package, after which data was charged at $1/megabyte. Here is the breakdown of my final bill:

Package $65.00
Data $90.72
Voice $76.50
Text $0.60
TOTAL $232.82

As it turns out, the plan I chose was not optimal: a slightly different plan that combined voice and data would have saved me an additional 17 dollars or so. But it is hard to anticipate in advance how you would use your phone (I expected to rely more on Skype, but Skype was often not working very well). On the other hand, without a plan, I would have paid through my nose:

Package $0.00
Data $953.60
Voice $76.50
Text $0.60
TOTAL $1,030.70

Even this is nothing though compared to what Rogers would have charged me. Without a plan, the amount is almost astronomical:

Package $0.00
Data $1,907.20
Voice $102.00
Text $0.75
TOTAL $2,009.95

Even with the best plan available at the time (purchasing three times 75 megabytes plus 40 minutes of international voice roaming) I would have paid more than three times as much as I paid Telus:

Package $725.00
Data $0.00
Voice $14.85
Text $0.00
TOTAL $739.85

Rogers has since introduced new prices and new roaming packages, so it is only fair to check what I would have paid under the new scheme. After purchasing 100 megabytes of data and 40 minutes in advance, the total would have come to:

Package $160.00
Data $91.00
Voice $14.85
Text $0.00
TOTAL $265.85

So the new Rogers plan is still beaten by the old plan of Telus to the tune of over 30 dollars (or more like 50 dollars, had I purchased the optimal Telus plan).

No wonder Rogers doesn’t want you to unlock your phone.

 Posted by at 10:45 am