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Data Roaming in Canada: Which One Should I pick?

Get your roaming starting at $6 with Holafly, or find other alternatives like Vodafone, AT&T, O2, or Telstra to stay connected in Canada

Leoneska Ruiz

July 9, 2024

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Looking for more information related to data roaming in Canada? If you are planning on traveling and using a particular service provider, chances are you need to know what these offer, and how they work, but more importantly, how high are the roaming charges from these carriers.

So, if you are planning on using international roaming in Canada, we will give you all the information you need. But we won’t only focus on data roaming. We will also discuss other alternatives for travelers, such as pocket WiFi devices, SIM cards, and eSIMs, to get international data and choose which is better!

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What is Roaming?

Roaming is a wireless telecommunication service frequently used with cellular devices, such as cell phones. It refers to using a cellphone outside its native network and connecting to another available cellphone network from a different service provider.

So, if you are traveling to Canada soon, roaming is an alternative that you could consider to stay connected to a network in this North American country. By paying some roaming fees, you can make phone calls, send and receive text messages, and use cellular data to get internet access.

canada roaming information
People in a mall in Canada. Source: Pexels.

Activating the roaming service will depend on your domestic cellular provider and the plan you currently have active with them. Some operators allow the person to activate roaming when they are in their destination country and start using data roaming as if they were at home with a monthly price. 

However, other carriers require an activation process. So, we recommend contacting your domestic operator to be more precise about the process. Also, you must check the costs you will get while using your operator’s international roaming, as it could be pretty expensive, and you should avoid unexpected charges. 

>Get internet while on travel trailers in Canada<

Roaming rates in Canada

Roaming prices in Canada will depend a lot on your domestic operator. However, the price for cellular data roaming usage can range from $6 to $12 per day. Additionally, many other carriers offer daily packages, which tend to be around $10 and include data usage, text messages, unlimited talk time, and more. 

Below, we will discuss the services of different international carriers so you can get a more specific idea of their data roaming rates for Canada.


First, we will talk about AT&T, a famous American telecommunications company. However, this provider is also present in other countries, such as Canada and Mexico. If you are an AT&T USA user, you can take advantage of the roaming services offered in Canada in different ways. However, it is important to know that certain plans allow you to use your AT&T services in Canada at no extra cost. 

att roaming
AT&T roaming rates. Source: AT&T.

Also, if you don’t have one of the eligible plans, you can still use the International Day Pass, which allows you to make calls, send messages, and use cellular data in Canada for $12 per day. In addition, you can also use the pay-per-use rates, with which you can have high-speed data for 2.05 dollars per MB and make calls for 1 dollar per minute.


On the other hand, we have O2, a company from the UK. They have some fantastic rates for people who want to use their service outside the European Zone, which is amazing. 

If you decide to travel with them to Canada, you will pay 6 Euros per day to use their Canada roaming service with the Travel Bolt On. For this daily fee, you will enjoy a flat amount of MB, messages, and minutes of calls while roaming internationally.

o2 roaming canada
O2 roaming rates. Source: O2.

The activation process of O2’s roaming is quite simple. People only need to send a text message to complete the activation. So, if you want to activate your roaming service in Canada, just send O2TRAVEL to 23336, and the roaming will be activated! We also want to remind you that if you travel from Canada to this country, you can simplify your UK travel with Holafly’s eSIM.


Verizon is another company from the United States. Therefore, if you are a user of this operator, you can activate the roaming service through three different options.

First, if you are an Unlimited plan customer, you can use the roaming service for free. However, if you have any other plan from the operator, you can enjoy your phone services by paying €7,39 daily to get access to international data.

vodafone roaming
Vodafone roaming information. Source: Vodafone.

The last option you can enjoy during your trip to Canada with Verizon is the International Monthly Pass, For those customers who are traveling for a longer period of time. This plan will cost €100 per month; however, you can save some money with this one compared to other plans. Both options work with a prepaid eSIM USA or SIM from this service provider.


Finally, Telstra is an Australian company offering international roaming services for its users. Those who want to activate roaming with Telstra have two options. Firstly, for 10 dollars a day, they can enjoy the International Pass, which includes unlimited calls and messages, as well as 500 MB of data. 

telstra international roaming
Telstra roaming information. Source: Telstra.

On the other hand, they can also use the pay-per-use alternative, in which they can use cellular data for a price of $3 per MB—a little more expensive than the other options mentioned above. They will also be able to make calls for $3 per minute and send messages for $0.75.

How to avoid roaming charges in Canada

Toronto, Canada. Source: Unsplash

After talking about the different international operators that offer their users to roam while traveling abroad. We can say that roaming can be pretty expensive. So, if you want to avoid high roaming bills at the end of your trip, we will give you different alternatives to avoid the high costs while staying connected to the internet during your trip. 

Prepaid International Canada SIM Card

Prepaid international data SIM cards are an excellent alternative if you are looking for internet access during your trip at low costs. With this service, you can enjoy different cellular data plans. In addition, in numerous instances, you will have a phone number of the country you are traveling to where you can receive calls. 

This alternative is effortless to get through virtual stores in charge of supporting travelers who need an internet connection while traveling. As they are physical SIM cards, these stores deliver them to customers worldwide via international shipping. You can also purchase your service when you arrive in Canada. In this case, it will be through local carriers and their authorized agents.

eSIM for Canada with unlimited data

On the other hand, an option that is very feasible for those who need a quick and easy alternative is the International roaming eSIM. This is a SIM card. However, if entirely virtual, no physical installation is required, but you can still reach customer service, so don’t worry.

canada esim customizable days
Unlimited data eSIM for Canada from Holafly.

The eSIM comes embedded inside cell phones, especially the latest generation cell phones, and can primarily be activated through QR codes that you acquire when purchasing plans from different stores. 

To purchase your eSIM for Canada, we must mention the Holafly online store because you can also purchase your eSIM at incredible prices with them and even get data sharing for up to 500 MBs per day and choose how many days you need the eSIM to work!

The process of getting an eSIM with Holafly is simple. First, you go to their official website and search for your travel destination, in this case, Canada. Then, rather than choosing a data plan from this service provider, you need to choose how many days you plan to travel. Once this is done, you will get a QR code to install the eSIM on your mobile device, which will work with Canadian cellular networks.

Pocket Wifi

As a third option, we bring you a little different from the abovementioned ones. In this case, we will discuss the pocket WiFi. This device transmits a signal to other devices and allows them to connect to the internet. 

This alternative was widely used in the past. However, due to its high cost, it is one that is not used so frequently nowadays. To acquire one of these pocket WiFi, you can rent them through different companies, such as Travel WiFi and Cello Mobile. 

Among the advantages of this type of service is that you can connect several devices to the same Pocket Wi-Fi modem, so if you are traveling in a group or have more devices with you, this could be a good alternative. 

On the other hand, a negative aspect of this service is that it can be pretty expensive, as renting a Pocket WiFi in Canada could go from $50 to $349.99 for seven days. In addition, you will have to add delivery costs, accessory equipment, and, in some cases, insurance. So, if you are looking for cheaper alternatives to roaming, Pocket WiFi may not be your best option. 

Free WiFi

The last option is free wifi. As the name says, it is a free option, so you will not have to pay anything for it. While you are in Canada, you will be able to get many places that will have free WiFi for their customers. Be it hotels, shopping malls, restaurants, or public libraries. 

However, keep in mind that when you are connected to a public WiFi network, you will not be protected from maybe hackers and other people connected to the same network. It is very easy for someone to steal your username, password, and personal information, so it is not recommended to provide your private data while you are connected to a free WiFi network. 

On the other hand, if during your trip you have an emergency and you run out of cellular data in Canada, looking for a place with free WiFi is something that could get you out of trouble.


Is roaming free in Canada?

No. Even though some companies, like Verizon, offer lower prices for traveling abroad to certain destinations, this service is not free for now.

Is Canada considered roaming on AT&T?

Yes. Even though Canada is close to the United States, it’s still considered an international destination, so people have to pay the normal roaming fees to use this service.

Does Verizon cover Canada?

Yes. Verizon roaming has coverage in +210 destinations, including Canada as one of them.

Do I need international coverage for Canada?

If you don’t have a Canadian service provider, you need to activate roaming to get international coverage while visiting the country.