Are you all set to travel to Canada? But wait – you haven’t decided how you will keep in touch with your family/friends back in your home country while you are travelling within the Canadian borders? We suggest you take a prepaid SIM card (better known as pay as you go SIM) to make cheap calls from Canada and tell you where, and how to buy a prepaid SIM card in Canada.
Canada has a number of service providers, the popular out of those are:
Resellers, subsidiaries and MVNOs like Fido, Koodo, 7-Eleven Speak Out/Petro-Canada, Virgin Mobile, and PhoneBox are also players in the telecom sector.
The recent years have seen all networks dropping CDMA and moving to UMTS/LTE. 4G (LTE) and 3G is offered by all providers. You will rarely ever come across an area with 2G only.
A prepaid SIM card of Rogers and its sub-brand Fido can be purchased online, to be mailed to a valid Canadian postal address or in their own shops. SIM cards of these brands can also be delivered at several independent mobile retailers.
Micro, mini and nano SIM cards of Telus or its sub-brand Koodo can be obtained from their authorised stores. It is recommended that you activate the SIM cards in the store itself at the self-service internet terminals, as you need an online connection to do so.
Bell’s pay as you go SIM (only for data) can be availed at Bell shops. The SIM is activated in the store and the number assigned to the SIM will be provided to you there itself.
Corporate stores and kiosks, for both Rogers and Fido; do not levy any charge for purchasing a pay as you go SIM when taken with a post-paid plan, however, $10 is charged if you take a pre-paid plan.
Rogers offers prepaid plans without data on which data add-ons can be taken. The lowest cost monthly plan called the “Talk anytime” costs $0.75 per month and requires a minimum top up of $10. Fido’s rates are similar to Rogers. Their starting monthly prepaid plan comes at a cheap $0.75 per month and is called “40c Anytime”.
Telus does not offer a prepaid plan. The default rate for data outside plans or add-ons is $ 2 per MB. Their monthly packages begin with the cheapest one called ‘Lite 25’ where users get 100 MB for $25.75 with 50 mins domestic voice and free text.
Telus’ sub-brand Koodo provides a monthly base plan beginning with $15 which includes unlimited text and picture messaging but no voice. You can also take a booster of 100 MB for $10 to satisfy your data requirements.
Users can take Bell’s pay as you go SIM for data from Bell shops by paying $9.95 without credit. The packages offered by them begin with 20 MB for $2 to be used in 24 hours.
Now that you know which service provider’s SIM card you should opt for, keep in touch with your friends and family while traveling abroad. You may also download an international roaming app which will work well with a SIM card to lower international roaming charges. Enjoy your trip to Canada!
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