Travelling with an iPhone in the Canadian mobile dinosaur age.
May 12, 2010 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Is mobile prepaid data available in Canada? My friend is looking for options to use with his unlocked iPhone while visiting Montreal.

I've searched Google, AskMeFi, and the Fido and Rogers sites for an answer, but I'm overwhelmed by the contradictory information.

My friend is visiting from Europe and he has an unlocked iPhone. He wants to get a local sim card because he'll be here for two months. WiFi will be his primary internet access but he needs a backup in case it's not available.

Even if it's bloody expensive, are there any options for prepaid data in Montreal? Or is roaming from Europe his only choice (he has access to German or British cards)?
posted by exquisite_deluxe to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yes. It's expensive compared to Europe, but still better than roaming for 2 months. Best thing for him to do is just go to the mall and visit a Rogers retail shop.
posted by randomstriker at 12:48 PM on May 12, 2010

Talk to Rogers at a store, the (non-Rogers) sales folk seem to have a bit more discretion than the (Rogers corporate) people on the phone. Rogers is the only option anyway (with their discounter Fido). Note that you will need to buy a Rogers SIM first, about $20.

I was able to get a prepaid $20 phone minutes+SMS package recently for a visiting friend. Data was available too, but extra, $30 I think. Note that additional data services, like tethering aren't officially available on the prepaid plans, only subscription. There may be backdoor options available though. Rogers doesn't always bolt things down tight.
posted by bonehead at 1:05 PM on May 12, 2010

Bell and Telus both have iPhones now. I assume they operate in Quebec? That said, I don't think you can sign up for prepaid data. Canada telcos are giant punk-ass bombaclots.
posted by chunking express at 8:15 AM on May 13, 2010

Response by poster: Update: By far, the best solution he found was a monthly postpaid plan from Virgin ( For $50/month, no credit checks, no contract, and includes 500mb data per month. He just needed to bring ID and a credit card and he was set.
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 8:46 PM on July 3, 2010 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Oh, I also just remembered! Virgin had a special on so there was no charge for the SIM card or activation. It was actually a Rogers employee who tipped us off that Virgin was a better deal since Rogers charges for SIM card activation, does credit checks, and limits monthly subscribers to Canadians only. Kudos to that employee -- frankly he's responsible for the best customer service I've ever had from Rogers (by sending us to a different company!).
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 8:51 PM on July 3, 2010

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