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Best Mobile Phone Networks in Canada

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Hi everyone!

I was pondering as to which mobile phone networks are the best in Canada (in my specific case Toronto). I am looking at either a pre-paid or post paid plan with voice and data but in no need of a phone. On my LSD trip to TO I had purchased a koodoo pre-paid SIM but that turned out to be expensive.

Rogers comes to mind however I must admit I would like to get first hand experiences from you.

Any advice is appreciated.

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MaryJane

Rogers comes to mind however I must admit I would like to get first hand experiences from you.

Nooo!!!! :lol:

Prepaid - the cheapest I've gone with was with Chatr - $29/mo. - no data, only voice and sms. Voice calls only for local (meaning TO and surrounds). No credit checks required.

When we first arrived, my daughter had Wind, also cheap at about $32/mo. - unlimited data, local voice and unlimited SMS. Voice calls also local only. Unlimited data was on a fair usage policy (you can't abuse it). Bad thing with Wind is that it does not get reception when you are in the basement. And reception outside is spotty. Also, their SIM is only compatible with selected phones. Even if your phone is unlocked, it might not be compatible to their SIM. No credit checks required.

Post-paid - Hubby went with Fido. - paid around $44/mo. - data 450mb, voice and sms. Voice calls are national (all over Canada).

I moved over to Rogers last year, on month-to-month, $32/mo. - same plan as I had with Chatr. (If you're wondering why I moved to have the same plan for a lot more, I was thinking I was gonna hustle some bit of discount bundling with Rogers, which never happened :badidea: ). Had a meltdown when I got my first bill. :stretcher: I even have to pay to get my voicemails. :censored: So anyways, I moved to Fido a few months ago, to get bundling discounts with hubby. I pay $32/mo, now with 300mb data, local calls, and unlimited SMS.

All above are for BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone).

For contracts, hubby finally went all the way with Fido. He seems to be very happy with their service. On top of what he pays, he pays extra $15 for a brand new phone. His choice. Could've done without the added extra, but he really wanted the phone.

Daughter also took the plunge and got a Rogers contract (her account). Out of all of us, she pays $110 all-in for a brand new phone and 2GB data, national voice calls and unlimited SMS.

Gawd! Looking at the mobile costs now, they could rival our talks of insane insurances. :P

Edited by MaryJane
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Nelline

I am with Fido and have been with them for about 2 years. I got a "month by month" contract which is great because you can cancel and move at any time if you find something better. I recently shopped around and was surprised at how great a deal we're on!

Plan

$39 Smart Plan - 450 weekday minutes (7am to 6pm) - Unlimited Eve/Wknd minutes (Evenings Starting at 6 pm) - Unlimited Canada wide long distance - Unlimited text, picture and video messages from Canada to Canadian, U.S and international wireless numbers - 600 MB Data - Call Display - Voicemail - Unlimited Circle Calling - Call Waiting - Conference Call

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Guest

Thanks MJ as always very resourceful and insightful. I am thinking of getting a contract (month-to-month) with one of the networks as this would be a great way to build up a credit history as well.

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Guest

Thanks Nelline! I will certainly look at Fido as it seems to be the most bang for buck,

And I LIKE both your posts. My quota is up :(

Edited by AshB

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shawman

I'm with Rogers. Three new phones (1 for me and 1 each for kids) we have unlimited Canada wide talk and text and 9 gigs shared data and I pay $105 per month for all three (bundled two year contract). I'm happy with Rogers.

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Nelline

That does sound like a great deal!

I'm with Rogers. Three new phones (1 for me and 1 each for kids) we have unlimited Canada wide talk and text and 9 gigs shared data and I pay $105 per month for all three (bundled two year contract). I'm happy with Rogers

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milo23

Thanks guys. Didn't even know where to begin with whole phone story. Hubby and I both have old phones with batteries that barely last 10 hours as we let our contracts run out without upgrading.

The mobile contract thing is so different to SA, I didn't even know where to start but as usual....forum to the rescue ; p

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M-N

We used prepaid when we first landed. Just got a Telus sim card and used to load a $40 plan that included data, unlimited calls and messages. I really dislike the prepaid system here so as soon as I could I went over to a contract still with Telus. I've also got the Optik TV and internet bundle with them. Always had excellent service from them.

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Guest

Been looking at the Fido SmartPlans and they look to offer value for money.

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Tracey22

Just remember that your phonecall minutes are incoming and outgoing. Most people I know do not use voicemail and do not even set up voicemail because it costs extra. caller ID is also extra.

So, I am on rogers. they have a plan that uses shared data across many phones. The more phones you have on the plan, the cheaper it becomes per phone. So we are paying $120 for 3 phones sharing 2GB data. Though I think it is time to threaten rogers {again} and get another discount.

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shawman

That's what I did Tracey22. I didn't get a discount but they upped our data!

Edited by shawman

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GrantM

We are with Fido, excellent service.

We took out 2 numbers on 1 contract. The second number gets a 10% discount every month and calls between the 2 numbers are always free. Plus after 3 months we will get 2 x $25 credits loaded to our account because of how the guy signed us up. We are on the $38 month to month contract with 500 minutes (Canada wide), 500MB data and unlimited texts.

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Guest

I'm with Rogers. Three new phones (1 for me and 1 each for kids) we have unlimited Canada wide talk and text and 9 gigs shared data and I pay $105 per month for all three (bundled two year contract). I'm happy with Rogers.

We are with Rogers too. Both the big players; Rogers and Bell have their issues when it comes to poor customer service etc. Like with everything service related that you pay for, if you don't haggle they'll swindle you. We found with Rogers and Bell the more services you bundle together, allows you to haggle a better deal. For three phones with Canada wide calling & text, 4 GB data we pay $135.00 per month. As Tracey and Shawman mentioned, time to threaten Rogers again! :D

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Raquel

I have some questions on free wifi access in public areas/homes.

Is wifi available in public places? For example restaurants, coffee shops, trains? Is it free? Is usage limited?

Do homes/ apartment buildings have wifi access? Is usage limited?

So wifi in South Africa is still a rather new concept and is firstly extremely expensive and secondly, although places offer free wifi, it is limited to something silly like 50mb!

But my experience in the UK was significantly different, with free wifi access, often unlimited in most public places as well as in my apartment.

This access will obviously directly affect the data needed with a cellphone contract... So I was just wondering how equipped Canada was with this?

I imagine it would widely vary depending on the area you live in?!

Edited by Raquel
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M-N

Well here most places have wifi. I find that some of them have Shaw so if you have a Shaw account you can use the wifi.

No wifi on public transport though. Not in Calgary anyway.

We have wifi at home (that we pay for) and at the office so we hardly use our data. I have 1gb a month and never use it up. It all depends on what you use it for. Some phone contracts even come with unlimited data.

Edited by M-N

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MaryJane

Hi Raquel

You are right. If you have wifi access most of the time then you would not need too much data on your phone. I survived 2 years of no data like that.

Public wifi - used to be only at McDonald's and Tim Hortons but now I know, even our local Walmart has. Most fast food chain have free wifi nowadays. If you are within a few distance from a public library or govt building then they also have free wifi (limited access though). In some public venues (like Air Canada Centre) they also have wifi access.

At apartments, it depends if it's offered. Where I used to rent, Internet was included in the rent. It was unlimited.

One other thing you're gonna be amazed at is how lightning fast the dataline here is. I remember in SA, it was pretty hard for our family to get up to 40gb a month of usage. Now here in Canada, 550gb a month seems small.

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Jules

When you land I suggest prepaid.

7-11 stores sell SpeakOut which is hands down the best because unlike other companies they don't make your talk time expire fast. It lasts one year and if you recharge before the end of a year the talk time credit lasts another year. They use Rogers network which is biggest in Canada.

The data is a bit expensive but you can opt for a tiny data bundle ($10) and then use wifi which is available everywhere you go.

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Raquel

Thanks for the comments guys.

Wow MJ, I am no techie, but I don't think 550gb a month is in SA vocab yet :blink::wacko:

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Guest

Public wifi - used to be only at McDonald's and Tim Hortons but now I know, even our local Walmart has. Most fast food chain have free wifi nowadays. If you are within a few distance from a public library or govt building then they also have free wifi (limited access though). In some public venues (like Air Canada Centre) they also have wifi access.

Free Wifi is a big plus in Canada. We rented for our first two months and internet was included in our apartment building. When bundled together with your cell phone etc, you can negotiate very good internet plans with Bell and Rogers,

As for our famous Tim Hortons, Canada's biggest free mobile office :) . I'd love to know in dollar terms the business deals that have been signed in Tim Hortons stores over the past ten years? Remember if your require a washroom or free internet, there's a Tim Hortons on just about every street corner. Oh, their food and coffee is also reasonably priced :D

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GrantM

FYI Fido is part of Rogers and I believe Koodo is part of Telus.

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M-N

Thanks for the comments guys.

Wow MJ, I am no techie, but I don't think 550gb a month is in SA vocab yet :blink::wacko:

Hahaha. Neither is a 100mbs line. I remember months before we left we wanted to get ADSL. We were looking at uncapped 4mbs line. That's all we could afford. Now fast-forward a year and we're sitting with a 100mbs line with a 500gb cap ? even our friends in Oz are jealous.

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Guest

Hahaha. Neither is a 100mbs line. I remember months before we left we wanted to get ADSL. We were looking at uncapped 4mbs line. That's all we could afford. Now fast-forward a year and we're sitting with a 100mbs line with a 500gb cap even our friends in Oz are jealous.

I'm green with envy at those stats! If I may ask - who is your ISP and how much does that set you back a month?

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MaryJane

I'm green with envy at those stats! If I may ask - who is your ISP and how much does that set you back a month?

Hi Werner

After determining that 550gb is not enough, we have unlimited internet now with Rogers - https://www.rogers.com/consumer/bundles

We have the Rogers Ignite 2 with 100 download speed and 10 upload speed, unlimited usage. Currently paying $82.97 because it is bundled with cable. It is 24 month contract. After 3 months, you get charged normal bill of $125.

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Guest

Hahaha. Neither is a 100mbs line. I remember months before we left we wanted to get ADSL. We were looking at uncapped 4mbs line. That's all we could afford. Now fast-forward a year and we're sitting with a 100mbs line with a 500gb cap even our friends in Oz are jealous.

Wait until you go back to SA for your first visit and use the internet? I did in 2013, one word, frustrating!

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