Hello Exchange Students,
Welcome to the Open Arms Committee bog where you will be able to get the latest update of OAC news and events! Hope everyone is having an enjoyable exchange experience so far and is adjusting to the Toronto lifestyle. One of the most important things to get first is definitely a phone plan. How will you be able to contact your buddy and your new friends without a phone plan? Lucky for you, here is a mini guide for getting the phone plan right for you.
The Big 3
In Canada, the telecommunication segment is dominated by three main companies: Telus, Bell, and Rogers. As such, they have the most reliable networks and fastest internet speeds compared to the other phone companies so you don’t have to worry about not receiving signal or your internet not working. These companies usually come with the standard features: 200-300 minutes,
unlimited evenings and weekends, caller ID, etc. However, if you want data, the bill can add up significantly. Plans with data can go north of $50 very easily with only a few hundred megabytes.
TLDR: Best coverage and fastest internet speed. Can be costly when data is included.
The Smaller Companies
If you want something more economical, there are many other companies that provide cheap phone plans for a reasonable price: Fido, Wind, Virgin Mobile, Koodo, etc. They are jam packed with many unlimited features and are not a burden to your wallet. For example, Wind offers 2GB of data at only $35 dollars. It all sounds really good. But what is the down side? The answer is terrible network and slow internet speeds. There have been horror stories of people on Wind and not being able to receive signal or unable to data signal.
TLDR: Many features at a low price. Unable to receive signal at times.
In the end, it’s a tradeoff between quality and price. Of course you don’t need to have data. In that case, you can always choose the big three companies for a more reliable network. If you need data, then you need to make a decision between data signal and price. However, just as a disclaimer, I am in no way an expert on this subject. This is from my personal experience and the information that I have gathered. One more thing to keep in mind while figuring out which phone is right for you is that not every store will allow you to purchase a cellphone package without a Canadian I.D. Some stores will and some won’t but the the biggest way around this is to find a Wireless Wave, Best Buy Mobile or other store with multiple company cell phone plans and activate your account there. A few of these can be found in Yorkdale Mall located only a few stops away from Downsview Subway Station. Explore yourself and good luck finding the phone plan that suits your needs!