Traveling to Canada


Hello. Traveling “abroad” for the first time since becoming a RW customer. I’ve read that, with WiFi, calls to Canada and back to the U.S. are possible. And, for calling, that might be enough.

I know RW is available to Canadian residents, so I wonder about:

  • cell data for a U.S. customer while traveling in Canada. e.g. using phone for directions, etc.
  • calls when WiFi is not available.

Is use of cell data not possible or will I be charged a ‘roaming’ rate? Or, if I am on the same network that Canadian customers use, then it will just count against by cell data balance?

This is probably answered elsewhere. If so, point me to a different thread. Basically, I want to make the most use of my RW phones while in Canada, and avoid surprise charges.



There is no Cell coverage in Canada (not even for an extra fee)
what many do is use offline maps (Google maps offline or Here Wego) for GPS navigation (GPS will work but map data will not exist offline maps save off maps and key search term to be used when there no data
See @rolandh post below

in Short on Legacy phones you are WiFi only
on 3.0 one has the option to use a local SIM for cell coverage

edit to add
one can always get a local hot-spot device to access data (I was in Canada all day Yesterday but never out of range from My Wife’s Hot-spotted Cricket phone giving me better coverage that I could expect


Thanks for the clarification. I’d read getting a cheap phone from 7-11 is also an option.

What is a local hot spot device?

Also, thanks for the tip on Google Maps.


Good Morning @keno.nkxnzd,

Cheap is a relative term when it comes to the Canadian cellular market (it’s much worse than in the U.S.). That said, purchasing a “burner” phone in Canada is an option. 7-11 and Petro Canada are indeed options for that.

From his description, it sounds as if @drm186 was connected to his wife’s Cricket phone (Cricket unlike Republic offers roaming cellular service in Canada) via WiFi. Unless you’re traveling with someone whose phone will have connectivity in Canada, this won’t work for you. You could acquire something like a MiFi device for Canada and connect to that in a similar fashion.

We could be more detailed if we knew which Republic phone you’ll be traveling with.


Yes I was using a Cricket Phone which had it’s Hot-spot turn on, but a was also referring to a MiFi type device (My Brother who had to work over at a plant in Canada off on on for 2 years was using a MiFi on Rogers to Power his I-Devices as it was cheaper than his providers international data plans)


Hi. My wife and kids have been using RW for a little over a year. They include Moto G 3rd Gen and Moto G 4th Gen phones.

I just added a phone for me (hence my lack of knowledge) and it is a Moto G 5 Plus. Also, all previous times I used a phone when traveling, it was company paid.

In general, what I’ve read to avoid charges while traveling internationally, is to turn on Airplane Mode and then turn WiFi back on. Is that a reliable way to only use WiFi?

We have a Garmin, so we’ll see if it already has Canadian maps, and if not perhaps bite the bullet and get navigation with the car rental.

Aside from directions, I think WiFi should cover our phone needs. Just want to make sure we don’t “accidentally” become connected to a local carrier and then rack up charges.



Thank you for the additional context!

The Moto G3 will only work on WiFi in Canada. Republic service on the G4 and G5+ will also only work on WiFi in Canada. The G4 and G5+, unlike the G3, are capable of using Canadian SIMs if cellular service in Canada is desired. You’d switch between Republic service on WiFi and Canadian cellular service by swapping SIMs.


Garmin makes good products. I would think there’s a good likelihood Canadian maps are available if not already included. Another potential alternative to purchasing navigation through car rental would be to use an offline mapping app on one or more of your Republic phones. @drm186 has already mentioned the two leading options used by others in Community. Please let us know if more detail on this is desired.

One of the nice things about Republic is as a prepaid service, there is zero chance of surprise charges. Furthermore, it’s impossible for your Republic phones equipped with Republic SIMs to connect to the Canadian cellular infrastructure, so no worries there.[quote=“keno.nkxnzd, post:6, topic:10408”]

You’re most welcome! Again, please let us know if further detail is required.


That’s what I was wondering RE whether a local carrier could even connect if the phone were not in Airplane Mode. This is a concern with my 13 year old son who uses his phone for everything.

Yes, more info on the offline mapping would be helpful. So, it’s an app?


even with airplane mode off you phone will not be able to connect to Canadian towers so there will be roaming charges as the phone will not roam in Canada.
Offline maps (before you go or on WiFi open Google maps and then go to the menu by tapping the 3 bar icon in the left side of the search bar then tap offline maps and you can select the area you want download
another option is Here wego where you will be download whole states/provenances or countries

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You cannot use Republic service on cellular on any phone in Canada. If you wish for your son to have cellular service while in Canada, a Canadian carrier’s SIM would work in either the G4 or G5+. There is nothing that can be done to make the G3 work on cellular in Canada. Prepaid Canadian SIMs may be purchased from an appropriate Canadian carrier upon arrival in Canada. These folks are about as competitive as it gets in Canada:

Yes, and one is already on your phone. More from Google here.

Alternatively, many of your fellow members prefer this app for offline navigation:


One caveat with “Here we go” maps is…it doesn’t do a very good job of searching in offline mode…so you need exact address of your destination when you are offline.

To avoid this issue, I search the places I want to go to in advances…and look up directions before traveling. This saves all the destinations in the search history. All destinations in the history can be recalled even when you are in offline mode.


Thanks for the extra info.

Did you leave out a “no” in the first sentence? We’ll leave airplane mode on, but that is good to know RE RW.

We don’t want/need our son to have cellular, just making sure he cannot accidentally incur charges.

On a slightly different note - I haven’t been considering RW as a prepaid service with no chance of surprises. My wife and son have never gone over their data limit, but it is my understanding that you can go over and be charged. OR, it is actually that you cannot go over and have to upgrade to a new data limit to continue using during the current month? I’ve read you can upgrade and then downgrade back after another month.

Thanks. I feel better about our upcoming trip.


Whether Airplane mode is engaged or not, your son cannot connect to a Canadian cellular network without replacing the Republic SIM and this presumes his phone is the G4 or G5+. If his phone is the G3, there is no way for that phone to connect to a cellular network outside the U.S.

One cannot go over their data limit. If one reaches their data limit, cell data is turned off until the following bill cycle date unless proactive steps are taken to purchase more data in the interim.


Thanks for clearing that up. RW is definitely my sort of provider :grinning:

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I could also use some help with how to handle being in Canada, having just returned from Montreal. I’ll be there again, this time for four months this fall, so trying to get by on wireless alone is too difficult. (It was already too difficult just being there for a week). My phone is a Moto E second generation with 4G LTE. Could I hear more about alternative ways to make things work? In particular, I do not quite understand how a MiFi would work – what does it connect to and is it portable? I am considering leaving RW because of this international issue, but would prefer not to. Thanks.

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