Update: Also see my recent Nexus One in Canada post.
Getting the G1 working in Canada on Rogers' GSM network isn't hard, but you won't be able to use a true 3G connection - you'll only get an EDGE connection. For me, that's good enough and I love the phone. I've never owned an iPhone so I'll leave the iPhone vs G1 debate to others.
You'll need an unlocked phone. Apparently T-Mobile will unlock any phone for any customer who has been with T-Mobile at least 3 months. Of course, someone will write an unlocking program so new customers don't have to wait 3 months. You may also be able to buy an unlocked G1 from non-T-Mobile sources.
Put a Rogers SIM card into the G1 phone. You should have an iPhone/SmartPhone data plan with Rogers - the Blackberry plan won't work (at least not with these instructions). When I called to switch my plan I said that I had an iPhone - no point in confusing the operator. With the SIM in place you should have voice connectivity right away.
To get data working, go to Settings | Wireless controls | Mobile networks | Access Point Names. You'll see a long list of T-Mobile networks. Press the menu button, select New APN, then modify these values:
- Name: Rogers
- APN: internet.com
- Username: wapuser1
- Password: wap
- MCC: 302 - should be preset correctly
- MNC: 72 - should be preset correctly
Browsing, email, video and SMS works, but I haven't been able to get MMS working. It may be that my Rogers plan isn't configured for MMS. I think the below settings should work - if you find they do work or what to change to make them work, please let me know. Create a New APN and set these values:
- Name: Rogers MMS
- APN: media.com
- Username: media
- Password: mda01
- Server: 172.25.0.107 - or maybe this should be * - I've tried both
- MMSC: http://mms.gprs.rogers.com
- APN type: mms
I discovered a good Rogers developer document [pdf]. It's targeted at developers building applications for the Rogers network, but lists everything needed to get non-Rogers hardware connected. The first few pages are also a good overview of GSM/GPRS/EDGE, UMTS/HSPA, 3G, etc.
Update: To clarify, an EDGE connection is usually slower than a 3G connection. I say "usually" because it depends on a ton of network factors.
Update: If you have a G1 with a T-Mobile plan, you can bring it to Canada and it will just work, including data. You'll be roaming on Rogers network and you'll be charged whatever T-Mobile's roaming rates are, but no additional configuration is needed.
Update: Make sure to check out the comments for lots of other settings that work, including on some other Canadian carriers.