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Data service when traveling to Canada?

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by MiddKid, Mar 18, 2014.

  1. MiddKid

    MiddKid Member

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    I'm less than two weeks from my P85 delivery here in Seattle and was in Whistler this past weekend. As I went over the border and shut off data roaming on my iPhone I began to wonder what happens to the Model S's data when it crosses the border...does it roam? Does it shut off?

    Apologies if this has been answered...tried to find it via the search but only saw info for Canadian owners...

    Thanks!
     
  2. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    My understanding is that US cars will not have data connectivity in Canada, but Canadian cars do have connectivity in the US.
     
  3. Blurry_Eyed

    Blurry_Eyed MS Sig #267, MX Sig # 761

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    U.S. based cars will not roam on the Canadian networks, so when you cross the border, you lose web browsing, Google maps and Slacker.

    Canadian based cars the last time I heard a couple of months ago will roam in the U.S. I would guess it's something with the AT&T agreement that Tesla has that prevents us from roaming in Canada. What I did was get a T-Mobile hotspot and connect the car to it through wi-fi and use it while I'm in Canada. I also use the hotspot for other purposes, so it's not just for my Model S in Canada, but it is a nice side benefit. Not necessarily a cheap solution, but that way I can continue to get data while in Canada.

    The navigation will work still when in Canada (I have the Tech package, so I'm not sure what non-tech package cars do). You just have to manually enter the address and use the province abbreviation in the state field.
     
  4. MiddKid

    MiddKid Member

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    Thanks! Makes sense...
     
  5. Steph_S

    Steph_S CAN #312 VIN P06173

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  6. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    My understanding, with no facts [i.e., heard this in discussion somewhere], is that Canadian cars are actually roaming all the time while in Canada, and come back to the mothership when visiting the US.
     
  7. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Suggestion: you could use your phone as a WiFi hot spot. Then you would have connectivity. Just make sure before you leave that your phone plan doesn't totally hose you when you roam into Canada.

    (My phone plan commits an act of violence upon my bank account when I roam in the USA. I've actually used the Model S browser to avoid using phone data when south of the border!)
     
  8. techMology

    techMology Member

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    Correct.

    Here's your proof/fact:

    IP address resolves to Jasper Wireless (Florida in the last instance I tried), one of AT&T Drive's (connected car) partners while in Canada ( I have a Canadian spec car).

    I tried to sweet talk my DS for a peek at the diagnostic screen so I could check the MSISDN, IMSI, and other wireless parameters, but he wouldn't bite.

    With the relatively low number of Canadian cars on the market, I don't think Tesla is too concerned with the roaming bill.

    This should translate into superior coverage for Canadian customers as service from Rogers (primary) and Bell/TELUS should be available.

    Tesla should enable the roaming option for US customers who ask for it, though. Maybe try emailing ownership?
     
  9. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    T-Mobile has a prepay $30 for 5 gb at 4G per month. Before I go to the states I put $30 on my account to use when I'm down there. Then it can be inactive for months until the next time I go. I use it with a mobile hotspot (Sierra Wireless 754s). It's much cheaper than Rogers ripoff roaming fees.
     
  10. techMology

    techMology Member

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    Yes, but were talking about the opposite scenario here. An American car coming north.
     
  11. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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  12. techMology

    techMology Member

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  13. gglockner

    gglockner Member

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    This was not our experience on Saturday when we drove our brand-new Model S to Vancouver. I was able to browse PlugShare to look for charging stations.
     
  14. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    That's interesting. I wonder if you were close to the border and still getting a US signal? There is a big problem with Canadians near the US border getting huge roaming bills because their Canadian cell phones were roaming on US networks unbeknownst to the users. Seems the US signals actually encroach a fair bit into BC. (I don't live there, but have family in Victoria and Vancouver and have heard the stories).
     
  15. gglockner

    gglockner Member

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    While I've seen this happen along the waterfront in Victoria, I've never seen it in central Vancouver. And though it's on a different network, my Verizon cell phone was definitely roaming.
     
  16. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    One year ago when I last drove up to Canada my car roamed fine. When I went up again two weeks ago it did not. We turned on a mobile hotspot on a passenger's T-Mobile phone and used that instead.

    T-Mobile's "Simple Choice" plans include free international data roaming, albiet at 2G speeds. That was fast enough for maps and traffic on the Tesla.
     
  17. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    I live close to the border and we have to have data roaming turned off to avoid roaming charges but we still get the "welcome to the States" Rogers roaming text messages when down around zero avenue to about 8th Ave. Coming back home AT&T can stay on my phone to about 16th Ave at most. It would never make it to Vancouver or even out of south Surrey/Langley. I'm actually quite amazed at how they can cut the signal off at the border.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Maybe this changed with the new 4 year contract Tesla recently signed with AT&T?
     
  18. gglockner

    gglockner Member

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    Interesting idea. We just took delivery a week ago, so we're under the latest rules for the data plan.
     
  19. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Maybe that's it. Certainly a number of owners from the US reported no data while in Canada earlier on.
     
  20. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Well, I hope confirmation of the situation for the US----->Canada types - like me - occurs quickly. In the meantime, can someone suggest what to look for (and where the most reasonable cost) for those pre-paid Canadian cell phones?

    We'll be heading back to Alaska in not much more than four-five weeks. Yikes!

    Still don't know if we'll take 97 all the way up through BC, or head east to Edmonton and then 45 west to Dawson Ck. But it's about time I start making RV-site charging plans!
     

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