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How to use Fido Roam

I'm a participant level 2
I'm a participant level 2

I am new to Fido Roam, with a BYOB monthly plan that includes Canada-wide calling.

I understand that if I turn on FIDO Roaming when travelling to the USA, I will only be charged $12 CA on those days I make calls, use data, or send texts. Is that correct?

I am leaving in 2 weeks. Should I already turn on data Roaming? Is there any downside to turning Data Roaming on now and leaving it on all the time? If my understanding is correct, I will never get charghed anything while in Canada.


I'm a participant level 2
I'm a participant level 2

Thanks for your responses; they were helpful. I have a Fido talk, text and data plan on my iPhone 12.


Right now, when I turn on my Mobile Data, I see under Mobile Data Options that Roaming is OFF. When I open Moblie data Options, I see the option to toggle Data Roaming to ON. Am I correct to understand that as soon as I cross into the US, that Data Roaming setting will automatically toggle over the the ON position?


Hello again,


@Vil2 wrote:

... Am I correct to understand that as soon as I cross into the US, that Data Roaming setting will automatically toggle over the the ON position?

  Not exactly. The data roaming setting on your phone won't be ON unless you make the change to enable it. If you do not enable data roaming when you leave Canada, your phone won't be able to use data for web-browsing, email, social media, etc. when abroad. In order to use those services without Wifi, you would need to enable data and roaming data.


  However, the issue I mentioned below relates to data being used despite data and roaming data settings disabled (ie OFF). It is a known long-standing issue which Apple (and possibly other manufacturers) are not willing to address. The reasoning I heard (though, I cannot locate the source anymore) is that iOS devices need to also connect to Apple servers when connecting to cellular towers and is necessary for the proper functioning of their devices. That's why they allow that data to transmit regardless of the status of the roaming data setting. Unfortunately, I am not aware of any solution other than enabling Airplane or Flight mode on the device.


Hope this helps 😀





Senior MVP Senior MVP
Senior MVP

Hello Vil2,


  Welcome to the community!


  As you note, the Fido Roam charges will only incur if your phone uses services -- make or receive a call, send a text message or use data abroad. However, you should note that Fido Roam is automatically enabled on Data, Talk & Text and Talk & Text plans. It should mentioned that Basic plans do not allow for roaming usage. If you did not wish to use the feature, you would need to opt-out of Fido Roam. In doing so, your usage would be on a pay-per-use basis. You can view those rates here.


  You should also note that the US providers have recently decommissioned their '3G' networks (see here). Your phone and plan would need to support voice-over-LTE (voLTE) to make and receive calls in the US. In addition, pre-paid services would not be able to use roaming in the US.


@Vil2 wrote:

 ... I will only be charged $12 CA on those days I make calls, use data, or send texts. Is that correct?...

  It should also be mentioned that some phones might consider certain system data differently from user data and continue to allow the former usage despite data and roaming data settings disabled. For example, while disabling data and roaming data should prevent data usage on foreign networks, some mobile manufacturers (ie Apple) does seem to allow some data usage despite those settings disabled. And no, it doesn't seem to be a Fido issue. It happens with multiple providers as well (see here). That's why I mentioned that the charges will only incur if your phone uses services. The mobile providers only know usage. If a device is using data when cellular data and roaming data settings are disabled, that's an issue with the device. The mobile providers have no access to a device's settings to know what settings are enabled/disabled.


    In order to prevent roaming charges, it is usually recommended to keep Airplane or Flight modes enabled for the duration of trips. You could manually enable Wifi when required.


  The data roaming setting would allow your device to use data on non-Fido/Rogers cellular towers. However, it does not prevent roaming for voice and messages. Enabling that setting while in Canada would allow your phone to avail of data in extended coverage (Fido-EXT). Fido customers with access to roaming can use extended coverage on a temporary basis with no additional charges. If you live or travel close to the US border, though, your device might connect and use data on a US cellular tower (while still in Canada). That usage would be charged as roaming. That said, there are supposed to be measures in place to prevent that accidental roaming while in Canada.


  Personally, I tend to leave my data roaming setting disabled. If I find myself in extended coverage and require data, I will then enable that setting. If I keep it enabled, I'm likely to forget about it when travelling. I would rather have to enable it when required than unintentionally use data because I forgot to disable the setting.


  For completeness sake, it should be noted that while using Wifi for regular internet access will not incur Fido Roam charges, there seems to be some misunderstanding regarding Wifi-calling. I'm not sure how people have gotten the impression that Wifi-calling does not use the networks. However, that is not true. While the calls and messages do not transmit via cellular towers, they still use the networks via the internet gateway (see image here). The cellular towers and Wifi are merely alternate means of accessing the networks. Calls and messages would not be able to complete or get sent/received without the networks. As such, using Wifi-calling is technically using Fido services. However, they have allowed certain usage to be free from additional charges. All the messages and calls you receive (from anywhere in the world) will be taken from your plan's voice minutes and messaging limits. As well, all Wifi-calling messages and calls you make to a Canadian phone number while abroad won't incur long-distance or roaming charges (see link above). 


Hope this helps 😀




Hi there @Vil2 , yes you are correct. Once you arrive in the US and you turn on your device, you will receive a welcome message that you are roaming and may use your services just like at home. You can leave your data roaming on before you go, it won't harm anything or incur charges unless you are roaming out of the country. Enjoy your travels.