WIND Global Roaming: How Does it Work?


WhistleOut
01 March 2016

WIND offers a relatively comprehensive roaming service when outside of Canada, although prices can vary quite a bit depending on where you are, and whether or not you have a roaming pack. 

The world is split up in to five Zones with varying standardized prices. Roaming to the US is cheapest, there's even a US-specific roaming pack, where the others all rely on the WIND "World Traveller's Add-On."

Some quick tips

Before we get started, here are a few tips if you're planning on roaming with WIND's network.

  • Turn off mobile data, unless roaming in the US. In all of WIND's other roaming zones, data never drops below $1/MB, even if you're paying for a roaming add-on. That works out to a bit over $1000 per GB. When not using a roaming add-on, it can go as high as $20 per MB. Not only is this not worth it, it's a recipe for the kind of phone bill that only nightmares are made of.
  • If you think you'll have to use data when out and about, get yourself a local SIM card. Do a bit of research before you head off on your trip to save the hassle, then pick up a nice, cheap, no-contract plan when you get there.
  • If you're planning on making more than 3 minutes worth of calls while roaming in any zone aside from the USA, the World Traveller Add-On is definitely worth it.

Zone 1: USA (Continental USA, Alaska, Hawaii)

Zone 1 is by far the smallest; not quite covering all of the USA's territory, but most of the places you'd tend to visit if you were going on holiday. 

  • Standard Roaming: Actually pretty cheap in the US, but do remember that anything you use here will be added on-top of your regular monthly WIND bill. If you're only popping down for a few days, or don't intend to use your phone much while you're down there, then this can be an affordable option. One word of caution about data: 5c per MB might sound cheap, but it works out to a little over $51 per GB. Be very careful if you're planning on using data a lot when on standard roaming.
  • USA Unlimited Roaming Add-On ($15/mo): For $15/mo you get 2400 minutes to be shared between calls within the US, calls to Canada, and incoming calls from both the US and Canada. You get unlimited texts (with the same geographical restrictions as your calling), and 1GB of full-speed data. After that first GB you won't pay any extra fees, but your connection speed will be slowed significantly.

In Zone 1, it's up to you which is going to be better. A short trip may benefit from standard roaming with minimal phone use. For a longer trip, that $15 Unlimited Roaming Add-On can save you a lot of money and hassle, especially if you want access to data.

Standard WIND
Roaming
USA Unlimited
Roaming Add-On

Calls within the country

$0.15/min Drawn from pool of 2400 minutes

Calls to Canada

$0.15/min Drawn from pool of 2400 minutes

Incoming calls

$0.15/min Drawn from pool of 2400 minutes

Calls to rest of the world

$3.50/min $3.50/min

Outgoing text

$0.05/text Unlimited (Canada and US)

Incoming text

FREE FREE

Data

$0.05/MB 1GB at full speed, then unlimited slowed

Zone 2: The Americas

This zone covers everything in the Americas that aren't part of Canada or included in Zone 1. It also happens to be one of the more expensive zones out of the five. You'll definitely want the $8/mo World Traveller Add-On if you're planning on using WIND roaming.

Standard Roaming: In Zone 2, a three minute call without the World Traveller Add-On will cost you $9. After which you're no better off, because you're still on expensive standard roaming. The biggest issue is the huge $20 per MB. If you leave mobile data on, you're going to end up paying a few hundred dollars (minimum) just from automatic notifications and background phone activity. Make that thousands of dollars if you actively use the internet for just about anything.

World Traveller Add-On ($8/mo): With the $8 Add-On, that same 3 minute call would cost you 60c. True, at this point you've paid a total of $8.60 for that one call, but you get to keep the reduced rates thereafter for everything that follows. Data is still too expensive to use at $1 per MB ($1000+ per GB), but is at least much less of a horror-story-in-waiting than the standard roaming charges. In Zone 2, no matter what roaming you're using, either don't use data when off WiFi, or grab yourself a local SIM card if you desperately need the internet or functional GPS.

Standard WIND
Roaming
WIND World
Traveller Add-On

Calls within the country

$3.00/min $0.20/min

Calls to Canada

$3.00/min $0.20/min

Incoming calls

$2.00/min $0.20/min

Calls to rest of the world

$3.50/min $3.50/min

Outgoing text

$0.75/text $0.15/text

Incoming text

FREE FREE

Data

$20.00/MB $1.00/MB

Zone 3: The European Union

The EU is the second-cheapest zone, after the USA. This does not include European countries outside of the EU - that's a different zone entirely.

Standard Roaming: Calls within a single country in the EU (not between separate countries in the EU) are still decently pricey. If you make more than 9 1-minute calls you're going to save money by going with the World Travelling Add-On. Data is no cheaper with the Add-On compared to standard roaming in this zone - it's prohibitively expensive either way. Turn your mobile data off.

World Traveller Add-On: $8 a month drops you down to 20c for receiving and making most calls, but don't make the mistake of calling someone outside of the country you're in - that's still a full $3.50 per minute, even if they're only a few km across the border. Texts are way cheaper, too, but stay away from using cellular data. Remember: $1/MB = $1000+/GB. Turn mobile data off on your phone and rely on WiFi. If you think you'll need data, try researching local providers before you travel and grab a SIM when you get there.

Standard WIND
Roaming
WIND World
Traveller Add-On

Calls within the country

$1.00/min $0.20/min

Calls to Canada

$2.00/min $0.20/min

Incoming calls

$2.00/min $0.20/min

Calls to rest of the world

$3.50/min $3.50/min

Outgoing text

$0.50/text $0.15/text

Incoming text

FREE FREE

Data

$1.00/MB $1.00/MB

Zone 4: Europe (Outside the European Union)

This is a relatively-expensive zone for calls and texts, and insanely-expensive for data. Turn mobile data off, unless you're ok with the idea of a bill showing hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

There is no World Traveller Add-On support in European countries outside of the EU.

Standard WIND
Roaming
No Add-Ons
For This Zone

Calls within the country

$2.00/min -

Calls to Canada

$2.50/min -

Incoming calls

$2.00/min -

Calls to rest of the world

$3.50/min -

Outgoing text

$0.75/text -

Incoming text

FREE -

Data

$20.00/MB -

Zone 5: The Rest of the World

'The Rest of the World' is a big place. It includes all of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Oceania, and anywhere else you can think of that isn't listed above. It also happens to be the most expensive zone on WIND's roaming list.

Standard Roaming: Check out those numbers below; they're pretty high. This is another time where you absolutely must disable cellular data on your phone. A single notification from an internet service, or any background activity, will run you a minimum of $20 every time it happens. 50MB (a drop in the modern cyber ocean) will run you a tab of $1000.

World Traveller Add-On: In other zones the Add-On drops your calls to 20c, but in Zone 5 it's still a decently-hefty 50c. Data drops to $1/MB, but that's still far from cheap. Turn cellular data off when roaming anywhere but the US - this is a golden rule for all WIND customers.

Standard WIND
Roaming
WIND World
Traveller Add-On

Calls within the country

$3.00/min $0.50/min

Calls to Canada

$4.00/min $0.50/min

Incoming calls

$3.00/min $0.50/min

Calls to rest of the world

$4.00/min $3.50/min

Outgoing text

$1.50/text $0.20/text

Incoming text

FREE FREE

Data

$20.00/MB $1.00/MB

Original World Travel Image from Shutterstock


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