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Why US Roaming Plans Changed in 2022

Updated: Jan 3, 2023

By: Carlo Lapuz, Marketing Specialist, June 13, 2022

Canadian Carriers May Discontinue US Roaming

Our dear beloved Canadian Snowbirds, you might have escaped the cold harsh Canadian winters but you cannot escape the big 3G/HSPA shutdown in the States! It will impact your roaming services and may leave you without cell phone service. Now that's cold!


What is the 3G Shutdown? Keep reading to find out. We have very important information that you will want to know before going to the US and how Jethro Mobile can help you.


Why is my roaming service changing?

No more US roaming for some canadian snowbirds

You may have heard that some Canadian providers have put an end or changed their roaming services in the US and are wondering why. The reason is at the beginning of 2022, American carriers started taking down their 3G/HSPA networks to make room for the faster 5G network. By July 1, 2022, most of the 3G/HSPA coverage will be gone for good.


Basically, that means old 3G cellular towers are being replaced with 5G towers. That means 3G devices will no longer work in the US. That's just how things move in the technology space. Out with the old and in with the new. Now 5G has many benefits such as faster wireless connection but that's a discussion for another blog. If your phone is neither 4G VoLTE or 5G, then your device may not be supported.


What impact will this have on my roaming services?

US roaming services impacted by 3G shutdown

Roaming services will mostly impact travelers who are using 3G devices that do not support 4G LTE data and VoLTE. However, some carriers may discontinue their roaming services altogether regardless of the device. There could be many reasons why this is the case. Some of the services that may no longer be available to you include but are not limited to:

  • Making or receiving calls including 9-1-1 emergency calls

  • Sending and receiving texts messages

  • Accessing cellular data

These service disruptions may occur everywhere within the US including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The extent of these interruptions depends on your carrier or the type of device you have.

Please note this change will only affect your usage in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. Your service in Canada and roaming to other countries should not be impacted by the 3G shutdown.

Fortunately, most of the major Canadian carriers will still have roaming available in the States such as Rogers, Telus, or Bell. However, you may be required to upgrade to a 4G LTE mobile device that supports VoLTE roaming. Even if your device is up to these specifications, you might only receive service when in locations with 4G LTE coverage and have these settings enabled on your phone.

If you are unsure that your device will work in the States, you can check your carrier’s website for a list of devices that will not be impacted by the phase out or contact them directly to make sure your device is compatible in the States. They can also assist you with finding an upgrade.


Which Canadian carriers will be affected?

US roaming discontinued for some Canadian carriers

In response to the 3G shutdown, some Canadian carriers will completely stop supporting roaming services in the States even if you have a compatible device.


At the time of this writing carriers such as Simply Connect have mentioned on their website that they will no longer continue roaming services in the US, including the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico regardless of the device you own as of July 1, 2022. Similarly, other carriers that we have identified who will also no longer support roaming in the US include Zoomer Wireless, Primus Wireless, and Cityfone. If you subscribe to any of these carriers, please contact them for any concerns.

Both Rogers and Fido have stated on their website that they will not support US roaming for their pay as you go or pre-paid plans. You will need to upgrade to a post-paid, or contract plan to continue to enjoy roaming in the States.

Please note, each carrier may have different requirements for roaming services in the States. It is important to check with your wireless provider for the most up to date information on roaming services available to you before your trip.


What should I do if I don’t have roaming in the US?

If roaming in the States is no longer an option for you, get a Jethro Mobile US Travel sim card. We recommend getting one of our awesome US travel sim cards. We offer flexible, prepaid, no-contract plans at affordable rates with T-Mobile coverage. Whether you are going on a short trip or a longer vacation, we have travel plans that range from 5 to 45 days to suit your needs. It includes unlimited talk, text, and data within the US. It also includes unlimited talk and text back to Canada and international calling to 80+ countries. If you’re staying for more than 30-days, then we recommend choosing one of our Smartphone Plans and you can add as many months as you need.


There are many great options available for you. Check if your device is compatible with our services and get the plan that suits your trip today. If you have any questions about any of our plans, do not hesitate to contact our customer support at 1-877-JETHRO, via chat, or email us at info@jethromobile.com.


Happy Travels!

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