Smartphone Pay As You Go Plans in Canada
September 5, 2012 8:36 AM   Subscribe

I'm currently using an iPhone 3GS in Ontario with Fido. With the new iPhone on the horizon, I'm considering buying the phone unlocked through Apple, and switching to a "Pay as You Go" service. I'm hoping the kind folks at Metafilter can help me choose the best plan.

Some data to help in your answers:

* I rarely use my phone as an actual phone - my minutes are probably less than 150 per month, and the majority of those are incoming calls.
* I text a fair bit - but a lot of this is through Apple Messages. The majority of my texting is local, and certainly within Canada.
* I don't use a ton of data. I currently have a 6gb plan at Fido, and I'm probably only using 100mb/month or so of that at the most. It wouldn't hurt to have a bit of a cushion here though.
* I'd like a good strong network. The reception in my GTA located house is not great on the Rogers/Fido network, but I'm thinking a new phone would improve that enough that I have consistent reception in my basement. For a couple of weeks in the year I'm up in the Parry Sound region, so having data (3G or LTE) and phone reception in that area would be very useful. Right now, on Rogers, it's a bit shaky, but if I stand in the right spot I can usually get it.
* I've got voicemail and call display at the moment - I'd like to keep those.

Anyone happy with their current Pay as you go plan/provider in Canada? Are there any other things I should be considering? Companies I'm aware of: Wind, Chatr, Koodoo, Virgin - am I missing any others?
posted by backwards guitar to Shopping (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have an unlocked iphone 4S (purchased from Apple) on a contract free month-t-month plan with virgin. I pay $25 month for 100 minutes, unlimited incoming, free weekends/evenings, 100 texts, and voicemail/called iD/call waiting, etc. I got a $5 monthly credit for bringing my own phone (no idea if that deal is still available). It includes a flex-data plan which starts at $5/month and goes up to $30 if you hit over 6GB i think. I usually use around 300MB a month and so pay $15/month for data. You can pay another $5 for unlimited texts.

All told, I'm under $45 a month including all taxes. It's a hell of a lot cheaper than what I used to pay Fido. Porting my # was easy. Just make sure you port it before you cancel your fido contract. Once you've given fido notice, they won't let you port out.
posted by modernnomad at 8:59 AM on September 5, 2012


(look under the "text and talk" plans on the virgin website to find the one I'm talking about)
posted by modernnomad at 9:00 AM on September 5, 2012


Also, just to be clear, my plan with virgin is not "pay as you go" - you still need a credit card and there's no 'top ups' or anything like that. It's just month to month so there's no penalty for cancelling whenever I want.
posted by modernnomad at 9:01 AM on September 5, 2012


Also, just to be clear, my plan with virgin is not "pay as you go" - you still need a credit card and there's no 'top ups' or anything like that. It's just month to month so there's no penalty for cancelling whenever I want.
Okay - I'm mostly after something month to month - and so far that sound like a good plan. How do you find Virgin's coverage compared with Fido? I realize they're on Bell's network, so they're probably be pretty decent.
posted by backwards guitar at 9:17 AM on September 5, 2012


I live in the downtown core, so the Bell network has been absolutely fine. I don't think there are any significant differences in coverage between Rogers (Fido) and Bell (Virgin). If anything, my data speeds have been a bit faster, subjectively.
posted by modernnomad at 9:30 AM on September 5, 2012


I would have a look at Telus. I'm not sure how it will work to get your # ported or whether your iPhone could work on their network even if it was unlocked, but they have smart phones available for pay as you go purchase, such as a Samsung Galaxy Ace.

I'm currently using a blackberry clone on their prepaid data plan at $20 a month. It includes 250MB and unlimited texts and I pay 20cents a min for phone calls. I'm planning on upgrading to the Samsung. This includes voicemail and call display.
posted by Gor-ella at 10:06 AM on September 5, 2012


Consider getting a SpeakOut phone from 7-11 and giving away the device. For $10/month you get unlimited (HTTP/HTTPS) data and you pay decent PAYG rates for everything else.
posted by thatdawnperson at 6:31 PM on September 6, 2012


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