Communications for RTL

So, it dawned on me a couple of days ago that even on fairly small local rides, we rely hevily on our mobiles (cell phones) to keep in touch with the other riders if we get split up, or to arrange the exact meeting point. I can imagine that during Ride The Lobster this is going to be important on a much higher scale.

My mobile is a 3G tri-band thing that should work in pretty much any part of the world. However, the cost of using it to make or receive calls abroad is a small fortune. Therefore us UK riders (and most other nationalities too), could do with a cheaper alternative.

Here in the UK you can walk in to pretty much any mobile phone shop and pick up a Pay As You Go SIM card for a couple of pounds, then load it up with, say £10 of credit and it’ll last ages. Coverage is very good for 99% of the country, with only a couple of pockets of poor/non reception.

I know that the US is a couple of years behind us technology wise, but I have no idea about the Canadian market. Will such a thing be an option? Would we need a Canadian address to register the SIM card to? What is the reception like around Nova Scotia?

Any advice from Canadian (or better still, Nova Scotian) residents will be much appreciated.


It’s not Europe, so they’re a bit backwards as far as phones go, but they do have one network with GSM, and they do have pay as you go. I believe like the US, there are still some backwards networks without GSM, but obviously no pay as you go sim cards for those.

A card costs $50CAD which I think is about £25-30

Coverage is good in towns not so good outside -

looks like stage 2 will have no GSM coverage for quite a bit, stage 5 will end out of coverage, but the rest there should be cover.

If we all get the same network sims, then you don’t have to pay to receive calls, only to make them.

The hard thing about SIM cards is US riders, a lot of US people have ancient phones that don’t take a sim card, for them it’s probably cheapest just to roam with their phone for a week. Same goes for some of the NZ, Australian riders, they still have some CDMA networks.

The alternative is 2 way radios - we’d need GMRS radios.

Annoyingly the standards are different in Canada, so we can’t just bring over European PMR446 radios (the motorolas that people use at races) and use them (legally at least).


Cell phone planning

Hey, Joe:
Yes, the planning committee is all over this cell phone thing. At the moment we are contacting Virgin in Canada for free phones and time
You’re right about charges, they would kill you over five days.

To get current technology parameters for Canada, why not go here


just buy a rogers or fido sim off of ebay or something. I was considering getting some gmrs radios with 35km range in case there is no reception in areas.