Carrier Traveling to Canada - Using eSim?

JWreck

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 23, 2016
98
53
Hi all

I’m traveling to Canada for vacation (coming from Texas) this weekend and will be there for a little over a week. I’d like to add cellular service to my iPhone local to Canada. I know that T-Mobile offers SOME level of service for the plan I’m on, but I really want a local carrier so that I can utilize full speeds and a have better experience.

As I understand it, Bell and Rogers (and Virgin?) are the top providers? We’ll be in Ontario - primarily Toronto and the Niagara Falls are. BUT we are also traveling up to Algonquin Park to stay for a few days. I understand this is a spotty area and I’m wondering who might have the best reception and coverage up there? Looking for basic service in that area, mainly for emergencies.

It looks like all three of those carriers support eSim, which will go on my iPhone 11 Pro Max.

In summary, I’m looking for answers to the following questions from folks that have experience with this:

- What carrier has the best coverage of the Toronto and northern Ontario areas?
- What’s the best way to add service using the eSim? Call that provided? Wait until arrival?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
 

takasugi

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2012
134
36
I’m not sure about the service in Canada but make sure your phone is unlocked to use another service.
 

Breezygirl

macrumors 6502a
Oct 7, 2011
631
424
Hi all

I’m traveling to Canada for vacation (coming from Texas) this weekend and will be there for a little over a week. I’d like to add cellular service to my iPhone local to Canada. I know that T-Mobile offers SOME level of service for the plan I’m on, but I really want a local carrier so that I can utilize full speeds and a have better experience.

As I understand it, Bell and Rogers (and Virgin?) are the top providers? We’ll be in Ontario - primarily Toronto and the Niagara Falls are. BUT we are also traveling up to Algonquin Park to stay for a few days. I understand this is a spotty area and I’m wondering who might have the best reception and coverage up there? Looking for basic service in that area, mainly for emergencies.

It looks like all three of those carriers support eSim, which will go on my iPhone 11 Pro Max.

In summary, I’m looking for answers to the following questions from folks that have experience with this:

- What carrier has the best coverage of the Toronto and northern Ontario areas?
- What’s the best way to add service using the eSim? Call that provided? Wait until arrival?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
Telus is the other main provider.
 

JWreck

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 23, 2016
98
53
I’m not sure about the service in Canada but make sure your phone is unlocked to use another service.
Good point. My iPhone was purchased unlocked so that shouldn’t be a problem.
 

JWreck

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 23, 2016
98
53
Wouldn't it be a better idea to use the eSIM for TMobile and the secondary physical SIM for the local carrier?
If it were up to me I would have everything using an eSim! But it seems logical that the easiest way to temporarily gain service is just using an eSim, rather than needing to get something physical for the phone. In theory I’m hoping I can just call and add service, which I plan to do today.
 

darkside flow

macrumors 6502
Aug 11, 2010
473
101
Toronto
I am not certain that our local providers offer esim for a pay as you go account. Your experience may vary as well as it has to be activated at a store.

I’d recommend gig sky as you can activate a data only esim plan right from the app. No voice service but you can use FaceTime audio or other voip options.
 

Crzyrio

macrumors 65816
Jul 6, 2010
1,447
763
I would go with Bell! They have much better coverage in Algonquin. Rogers drops to Egde up there.
 

Pacostacos

macrumors newbie
May 26, 2015
6
0
Hi all

I’m traveling to Canada for vacation (coming from Texas) this weekend and will be there for a little over a week. I’d like to add cellular service to my iPhone local to Canada. I know that T-Mobile offers SOME level of service for the plan I’m on, but I really want a local carrier so that I can utilize full speeds and a have better experience.

As I understand it, Bell and Rogers (and Virgin?) are the top providers? We’ll be in Ontario - primarily Toronto and the Niagara Falls are. BUT we are also traveling up to Algonquin Park to stay for a few days. I understand this is a spotty area and I’m wondering who might have the best reception and coverage up there? Looking for basic service in that area, mainly for emergencies.

It looks like all three of those carriers support eSim, which will go on my iPhone 11 Pro Max.

In summary, I’m looking for answers to the following questions from folks that have experience with this:

- What carrier has the best coverage of the Toronto and northern Ontario areas?
- What’s the best way to add service using the eSim? Call that provided? Wait until arrival?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
I am currently in Toronto (and have been for nearly a month).

Native T-Mobile customers get full LTE access to Telus and Bell. T-Mobile gives you 5gb of access before throttling you at the standard global rate (128k). At no point will you be cut off.

Telus is the primary carrier, Bell is secondary. Bell has much more robust service, and there are no restrictions in switching to Bell. Just understand you will need to turn off automatic network switching as your device will attempt to use Telus when possible.

Clearly Tmo has a better roaming deal with Telus.
 

GDF

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2010
514
235
If you have T-Mobile no need to get a second sim. We go to Canada all the time and always use T-Mobile. You can switch across the networks on your phone to get the best one.
 

JWreck

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 23, 2016
98
53
So I called T-Mobile today and corroborated that statement. They utilize Telus and Bell, and we have unlimited 4G LTE according to them.