Monday, June 24, 2013

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Similicious - A short-term Canadian vacation SIM option

Similicious, a Canadian MVNO, has been providing low-cost, pre-paid SIM cards for international travelers in Canada for a few months now. They had some excellent bargains as of the middle of June, with their best likely being a 1GB offering for $25CAD + $10 deposit (for overages) with overage MBs costing only $0.015 per megabyte. These data-only plans seemed like excellent bargains, especially if you could make wi-fi outgoing calls on your iOS or Android device. These data plans include LTE in addition to HSPA.

Similicious has been a well kept secret across the border, despite their active Facebook and Twitter accounts. Those data package prices were really outstanding, and I was planning on getting a 1GB card for an upcoming trip of mine in early July.

Unfortunately, I was a bit late to the party. Within the last week or so, Similicious has changed their plans, and increased some of their rates. My beautiful 1GB SIM went up from $25CAD + $10 refundable deposit to $45CAD (no deposit), an 80% price jump. Additionally, overage charges went up, albeit marginally, to $0.0175 per additional MB. A new, lower plan of 500MB is now available for $30CAD (no deposit), but their higher tier plans of 2GB and 5GB (data only) have now been removed altogether.

I contacted a representative from Similicious regarding the change. I was told that the network provider (not sure who, but clearly a nationwide provider as coverage seems to be very broad) basically mandated these increases, and Similicious is actively working to get their old plans/prices back.

In the end, the responses from Similicious came so quickly, and thoughtfully, that I will go with them on my trip despite the current changes. I will go for the 500MB plan ($0.025 per additional MB), and will just accept and pay overage charges if necessary.

Similicious could be a real contender if they can keep those prices low, but I will recommend their services to friends and family if all goes well.

UPDATE: I checked the site this morning, and am saddened to announce that prices have been raised even further. All available plans have now gone up another $10CAD, which would raise the 500MB plan, if you were to order today, to about $40CAD. Additionally, shipping charges for the SIMs have gone up considerably, now $20CAD for U.S. delivery ($10CAD Canadian delivery), up from only $2CAD a week ago.

UPDATE 2: The 500MB plan appears to be back at $30CAD, with the $2CAD delivery option available again for those who plan ahead for shipping. I believe that the Similicious service worked well on my trip, and would recommend this specific plan for those travelling for a week. The 1GB plan remains at $55CAD, which I believe is a bit pricey for that amount of service.