Phones in Canada

Mobile and Cell Phones in Canada

Just because you’re having the time of your life on a working holiday in Canada doesn’t mean you don’t want to be kept up-to-date with life at home!

So when you arrive in Canada, it’s pretty likely that getting a cell phone and plan in order will be a fairly high priority.

Canadian cell phone plans may be somewhat different to what you’re accustomed to at home.

For instance, did you know that in Canada you are charged for both making and receiving calls? Not fair!

For this reason, we hope you’ll find this to be a useful introduction to what you should assume to pay for a plan and how much bang you should expect for your buck!

The Canadian mobile industry is highly competitive. The main providers are Bell, Telus, Rogers and PhoneBox. However, new companies are constantly popping up with interesting offers. For a current and comprehensive list of all mobile phone companies, we suggest you check out our friends at Wikipedia!

Cell Phone Billing Plans

With so much on offer, how can you work out which company is the right one for you?

A good place to start is to list everything you would like from a cell phone plan and set a budget for what you’re willing to pay for it.

Bringing your own phone on your working holiday and getting a Canadian SIM when you arrive is always a good option. But do your homework before purchasing a pre-paid sim. They can often be expensive and you may not receive good value for the amount you top up.

Singing up to a contract is usually a better idea. Yes, the prospect sounds scary! But many companies offer month-to-month contracts and these are what you should be aiming for.

If you want a new phone, contracts with any of the big companies like Telus, Bell and Rogers are all generally for 2-3 years. While you can get a nice phone and a decent deal on minutes with this option, the three year contract is a bit excessive for most.

If you are seeking a more casual arrangement, take a look at some of spin off companies from the big players such as Fido, Koodo or Solo. Or alternatively, check out PhoneBox. These offer monthly plans that don’t tie you down.

Our Recommended Mobile Networks

PhoneBox is a provider that many newcomers to Canada use. They have locations in 4 major cities in Canada – Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal – and you can choose how long to use their service and how much you want to spend. One of the big advantages for working holidaymakers is that many of their plans offer free international messaging so you never have to lose touch with home!

Regardless of your circumstances, they offer a range of plans to suit your needs.

Have your own Smartphone?

Their plans range from $29/month – $89/month. A selection of these is listed below:

  • Unlimited Canada-wide calling + unlimited international messaging – $29/month
  • Unlimited Canada-wide calling + unlimited international messaging + 1GB data – $39/month
  • Unlimited Canada-wide calling + unlimited international messaging + 5GB data – $69/month
  • Unlimited Canada-wide calling + unlimited international messaging + 8GB – $89/month

Want to buy a phone?

Plans with phones vary from $55/month – $130/month. You can see a selection of these deals below:

  • Unlimited Canada-wide calling & messaging – $55/month
  • Unlimited Canada-wide calling & messaging + 1GB of data – $70/month
  • Unlimited Canada-wide calling & messaging + 3GB of data – $100/month
  • Unlimited Canada-wide calling & messaging + 5GB of data – $130/month

Looking to rent a phone?

PhoneBox offer a choice of free and affordable rental devices (a deposit is required). Plans range from $29/month – $89/month and you can see a selection of these below:

  • Unlimited Canada-wide calling + unlimited international messaging – $29/month
  • Unlimited Canada-wide calling + unlimited international messaging + 1GB data – $39/month
  • Unlimited Canada-wide calling + unlimited international messaging + 8GB – $89/month

Full details on PhoneBox plans and offers can be found here or simply download their handy brochure here.

Why choose PhoneBox?

  • Get started online. No need to queue in store!
  • Free SIM card shipping*
  • Receive your new sim card before you leave your home country!
  • Don’t have your own phone? No problem! Rent or buy a new one
  • Affordable international calling
  • Multi-lingual language support

*See SIM card activation and order form here

PhoneBox Canadian Wireless Service Banner

The main Cellphone companies: