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Kayteg1

California > Nevada

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Posted: 06/09/19 06:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Planning to drive to Alaska in just few days and I know that my cellphone will become a brick in Canada, but how is WI-FI ?
Will my Sprint Mia-Fi work? If not, will other places like Starbucks or McD have free WI-FI?





MDKMDK

Canada

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Posted: 06/09/19 06:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Starbucks, McDonald's, and many of the big box stores like Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, Staples (may) offer free wifi in Canada. Welcome centers and other "touristy" places may also offer it. No guarantees.

If you're driving via Hwy 97 (AlCan/Alaska Highway) there aren't many cell towers out there once you get past Dawson Creek, except in the towns and cities. The main cell tower coverage up there is by Bell Mobility, so if you have a US service provider that has a reciprocal agreement with Bell Mobility Canada, your phone may work in a "roaming" sense, but as there aren't many towers, cell service may be spotty/unreliable. Alternately, you could purchase a cheap prepaid Bell-based SIM card, add some funds, and get coverage that way.
3 years ago we found out the hard way that Rogers based cell service is pretty much shut out along Hwy 97.
When you hit the Alaska border, then your own cell tower infrastructure will take over, and you'll probably have better coverage.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 06/09/19 07:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you consulted with Sprint?


2015 Winnebago 2101DS TT & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flagpole for US flag. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, USF&WS, state & county camps. Bicyclist! 14 year Army vet - 11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.


pianotuna

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Posted: 06/09/19 08:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

McDonalds has free wifi in Canada. So does Starbucks.

Your Sprint device will only work if you have a plan that allows it to connect to the cell phone suppliers in Canada.

Have a wonderful trip!


Regards, Don
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DrewE

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Posted: 06/09/19 09:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Tim Horton's generally has free Wi-Fi as well, and they seem to be most everywhere.





blofgren

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Posted: 06/09/19 09:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DrewE wrote:

Tim Horton's generally has free Wi-Fi as well, and they seem to be most everywhere.


But be aware you’ll become hooked on the coffee! [emoticon]


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PartyOf Five

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Posted: 06/09/19 10:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great info thanks


Da Moose - 2001 Dutchman 31' on E450

Kayteg1

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Posted: 06/10/19 08:03am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

Have you consulted with Sprint?


So far I reactivated old model and that is turning out huge hassle with Sprint. I have modem I was using with Sprint, but sold by a charity, it had no Sprint account. [emoticon]
So I went to local service location and young guy establish new account, what took him about 40 minutes with all those credit checks, but did not give me any printout and only some hand-written notes what is PIN and number.
Turned out the PIN is not a PIN, but security answer. He did not put my billing ZIP, but the old one I had on my DL. [emoticon]
Took me 3 hr on the net trying to log with different options and finally it come that he had to key wrong SS number and no call to Sprint can correct that. Now I have to go back to Sprint office and spend another 1 hr or more to correct it.
When I will check with Sprint option for Canada, I am not really interested in spending extra money for the few days I'll drive in Canada. If I can use public WI-FI once a day, that is all I need, so thanks for the answers. Now being in Canada in the past, I don't expect McD every 20 miles, but anybody can tell me what to expect on Vancouver- Alaska route? [emoticon]

* This post was edited 06/10/19 08:12am by Kayteg1 *

Kayteg1

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Posted: 06/10/19 08:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I found some info about Sprint service in Canada, but info applies to phones and no info available about Mia-Fi modems.
So Sprint has international roaming that can be activated from the phone while there. They say free texting.
Will it work with my modem? Will tell you in a month [emoticon]
Their coverage looks impressive on the map, but I live on the end of Las Vegas, where map indicate good coverage, when in reality it is hit or miss. Miss most of the time.
SPRINT COVERAGE

MDKMDK

Canada

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Posted: 06/10/19 09:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Kayteg1 wrote:

Lwiddis wrote:

Have you consulted with Sprint?


If I can use public WI-FI once a day, that is all I need, so thanks for the answers. Now being in Canada in the past, I don't expect McD every 20 miles, but anybody can tell me what to expect on Vancouver- Alaska route? [emoticon]


What route are you taking?
Cassiar Hwy 37 through central BC - limited resources until Watson Lake.
Alaska Highway 97 route from Dawson Creek to Watson Lake - the same, but slightly better - Fort Nelson, Fort St. John, Teslin, Haines Junction, all have limited resources. Not sure about free wifi.

Someone suggested Tim Horton's for free wifi, and that might be more likely along either route. Larger towns and villages may have a Tim Horton's as opposed to the rest of it. Whitehorse, YT has most of the places mentioned, then not much from there to Tok, AK. Even the Starbucks in Whitehorse had "run out" of free wifi - apparently they can't get an unlimited plan for their business, so it was hit and miss for even getting connected. The McDonald's in Whitehorse was the same, no business unlimited plan, so it was almost impossible to get wifi. At least that was their story.....I think you may need to get a roaming deal w/Sprint set up prior to leaving, if you really need wifi that badly, to use your phone as a hot spot or something similar.

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