Getting a phone in Canada: A newcomer’s guide to understanding Canadian cell phones plan

In this article, we will be doing justice by taking out time to explain a couple of the essential notions that are important to know before buying a Canadian mobile plan.

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Getting a cell phone in Canada is one of the first things you would want to do once you arrive in Canada. Hence, making this article a great one for every Canadian newcomer.

How much will you buy a Canadian telephone plan?

As it has always been, Canada is famed for having a number of the foremost expensive telephone plans within the world, especially when it involves data plans.

If you would like to get and use the newest iPhone and with enough data to download a whole Netflix series on your daily routine, then prepare yourself as we list out the foremost competitive options, but there’s an honest chance you’ll find yourself paying quite a lot compared to wherever you’re coming from.

The cost of Canadian phone plans varies greatly on the basis of the sort of services you’re receiving. If you would like an easy phone plan that only allows you to place calls and send texts, then you’ll find some cheap options.


It’s the age of the web, most telephone users lately want some amount of data with their phone plan. because it seems, data features a huge impact on the worth of your phone plan in Canada.

In line with a recent report of the government analyzing telecommunications pricing in Canada in 2019, the value for a phone plan with 5GB of knowledge ranges from $57 to $101 per month.

Lately, many of us desire data worth over 5GB. If you’re an addict to data, prepare yourself for the value of your plan.

Canadian plans are easily the priciest on the market, costing two or 3 times the quantity of most European plans. Consider yourself warned!

Although, there’s reason to be optimistic, as, in March 2020, the government mandated that Canada’s major telephone providers slash their plan prices by 25 per cent within the subsequent two years.

The impacts of the government mandate to scale back data pricing appear to be working.

As of April 2021, phone plans available in Canada were checked and analysed through three of Canada’s popular phone providers: Fido, Koodo, and Virgin.

All three were offering plans beginning at $45/month with 6GB worth of data made available to its users.

Bear in mind, plan pricing changes frequently, and sometimes varies on the basis of a customer’s location and phone, so you’ll not see these plans reflected directly — but, data pricing goes down!

Now, you would possibly be thinking, “It could be expensive, but it seems simple enough. I just need to pick the plan that’s best on behalf of me and go!” Sadly, it’s a lot more complicated than that.

There are a couple of questions you’ve got to be prepared for because your answer will impact which phone provider is best for you.

Is it better to “Bring Your Own device (BYO)” or to shop for through a provider?

One of the primary things to think about is whether or not you’ll Bring Your Own (BYO) device or purchase a phone through your provider.

As a newcomer to Canada, you are left with no option other than Bringing Your Own device, because the other option of buying a phone on a contract is merely available if you get a Canadian credit check, and sometimes you would be required of financial history in Canada to finish a credit check.

BYO means you already bought a phone before you sign up with a provider. BYO plans are normally cheaper than purchasing a plan through a provider.

This is usually because once a phone is bought directly from a provider, the providers are going to offset the value through large upfront fees or by distributing the value of the phone over some sequence of payment instalments or a contract.

However, BYO is often complicated. Buying a brand-new phone is usually expensive. You may prefer buying a second-hand phone, but you’ve got to make certain it meets a couple of requirements.

Let’s comparing details about BYO vs purchasing:

Bring Your Own device (BYO)

What specifications does a phone need to meet so as to be BYO? are you able to bring a phone from your home country?

In cases where you are planning to bring your phone with you once you move to Canada, you are most likely going to run into compatibility issues.

First, your phone must be unlocked so as for it to be delivered to a special carrier. An unlocked phone may be a phone that’s not restricted to a particular carrier, so with the right SIM card, your phone can work with any provider and any network in Canada.

Second, the phone must be compatible with Canada’s mobile networks, including with the mobile frequencies of those networks.

You can always check the specifications for your phone to ascertain if it will function properly in Canada.

How much does a brand-new phone cost in Canada?

The cost of a replacement phone varies greatly on the basis of the type of phone. If you would like an inexpensive phone without internet capability, you’ll find one lower than $100.

However, if you would like a smartphone, you’ll expect to pay a few hundred bucks at a minimum.

For one amongst the newest models from the large name brands, prices easily exceed CAD $1,000 for a brand-new phone.

As of April 2021, the 256 GB iPhone 12, one of the newest models, costs CAD $1,339.00 for a brand-new model from Apple.

The high prices are part of the reasons some people prefer to purchase buy their provider because instead of paying an outsized fee upfront, they will pay off the phone over an extended period of your time.

How much cheaper are BYO plans?

BYO plans are the most cost-effective plans you’ll find in Canada that provide you with talking, texting, and data.

Using the provider Koodo as an example. If you buy a brand-new iPhone 12 along with your Koodo phone plan, they’re going to require you to pay it off using their TAB payment system for brand spanking new phones.

With this technique, you’ll pay $583 upfront for your new phone then pay off the remaining balance, your “tab,” at a rate of $33/month over the subsequent two years (based on Koodo’s rates in April 2021).

This $33/month “tab” fee is going to be added to your regular telephone bill from Koodo.

If you wish to prevent services with Koodo, or if you would like to exchange your phone before the end of the assigned period, then you’ll be obligated to pay off the remainder of your “tab”.

This is often another major advantage of BYO device plans: they ordinarily don’t require a contract. This insinuates that you’ll stop your service and alter providers at any time without penalty.

Which Canadian phone provider has the simplest BYO plans?

Presently, there are a few companies competing for the highest spot within the BYO market.

Three of the larger companies comprises Public, Chatr, and Lucky. Within the month of April 2021, these providers offer a BYO plan supplying you with unlimited talk and text within Canada, plus 6 GB worth of data, for just $45 per month.

But! over the past few years, a couple of extremely competitive independent phone providers are cropping up, offering great coverage while cutting costs.

One example is that of the Vancouver-based, PhoneBox, which has managed to supply a number of rock bottom rates on the market.

Between the Prepaid and Contract plan, Which one is best for Newcomers?

In Canada, phone plans are either prepaid (sometimes referred to as “pay-as-you-go”) or contract-based and paid monthly (sometimes referred to as “postpaid”).

A prepaid plan means you buy your services beforehand. If you exhaust all of your calling minutes, text messages, and/or data, then you’ll need to buy more before you’ll talk, text, or surf the web again.

A monthly contract plan means you buy your services at the end of a scheduled payment time, usually on a specific day monthly.

If you exceed your services (i.e. make international calls, use an excessive amount of data, etc.), the phone provider will charge you for the surplus. These fees are often exorbitant, with most providers charging an overage fee of $10 per 100 MB worth of data once you exceed the quantity assigned to your plan.

Fortunately, within the past year, most Canadian phone providers have introduced some sort of data surplus protection, allowing you to possess your data cut-off until your next billing cycle to avoid these big surplus charges.

For a monthly contract plan, most providers require new customers to finish a Canadian credit check before signing up for his or her phone plan. This will be tough for a few newcomers because they don’t have a credit history in Canada.

You’ve got the fundamentals down, now you’re able to select a phone provider. Canada’s phone providers are a bit very confusing to navigate.

Not only are there nine national phone provider companies that are all managed by an equivalent three parent corporations, but they’re also a number of provincial options which may be an honest fit if you’re living within the right location.

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