Guide to a Working Holiday in Canada (free illustrated PDF guide)

Chapter 17: Choosing your Internet and cellphone provider

Published: 02-03-2020

Author

Julie

Choosing your Internet and cellphone provider

Everything you heard about cellphone plans and Internet providers is true—Canadians pay some of the highest wireless prices in the world. European and Asian travellers may want to prepare themselves for sticker shock. There’s a reason why Canadians the three main telco companies—Rogers, Bell and Telus—“Robelus”!

Internet providers

Rogers, Bell and Telus offer often indistinguishable home Internet plans. Provincial companies like Videotron, Shaw or SaskTel might have slightly better deals, and many much smaller providers are more competitive (Ebox, Acanac, Radioactif, etc.).

It’s still difficult to find a good deal and a true unlimited plan. Budget from $40 to $150 for an Internet plan.

Compare all the offers carefully:

  • Does the unlimited plan include both unlimited download and upload? (smaller providers, e.g. Acanac, offer such plans)
  • are there miscellaneous fees? (i.e. activation fee, installation fee, modem rental fees, etc.)
  • Are you signing a contract? How long is the contract?
  • What are the download and upload speeds?

It can be cheaper to “bundle” your services—for instance, getting cable TV, home Internet and a cellphone plan from the same provider.

Cellphone providers

Many “options” that are included in the rest of the world are offered for a fee in Canada, e.g. call display, voicemail, call forwarding, etc. Note that in Canada, you’re charged for both outcoming and incoming calls.

Bring-your-own-device plans are usually cheaper and you won’t be locked in a two-year contract. Before you leave, check if your phone is unlocked by inserting a SIM card from another provider. If you don’t see an error message, you’re good to go and your phone should work in Canada.

Much like with Internet plans, make sure to consider smaller providers and compare the deals carefully.

Chapter 17 of 34

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