Practical Life in Montreal


Mobile Phone in Montreal


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Almost everyone in Canada has a mobile phone. Cellphone GSM frequencies in Canada are 850/1900 and mobiles operating on 850MHz or 1900MHz will work in Canada. Nationwide 3G/3GS/4G coverage is available. Currently, mobile phone providers in Canada support either CDMA or GSM, although most are moving away from CDMA towards GSM.

Pricing

To get the best plan and price for your needs, it is highly recommended that you shop around. Cheaper prices are often offered to students and seniors. Multiple cell phone plans in one family can also be bundled together for savings. Basic mobile monthly plans start from $27/month, and range up to $250/month. Billing for over use of data, over use of daytime, evening and weekend minutes, or long distance charges can greatly increase your bill.

Mobile fees in Canada are expensive compared to Europe and Asia, and comparable with the United States. Many operate with high times charged at a high rate (low times are usually in the evenings after 17:00 and on weekends). Additional fees may be charged for caller ID, call forwarding, voice mail, call screening, call waiting, call return, three-way calling, 411 (phone directory) services, 711 (message relay for hearing or speech impaired) services, second line, call blocking, and 911 (emergency) services. There also may be charges for roaming between regions and provinces, and when traveling internationally. Some service providers offer free calling or text messages/SMS between you and 5 to 10 other numbers (regardless of their service provider). Typical international rates are $1.45-$7 per minute of talk time, $0.60 per text/SMS, and $5-$16/MB data.

Most mobile phone providers allow you to access your account and pay bills online, by telephone, or personally at an office or outlet.

Providers

Contracts

Mobile phone plans in Canada are complex and constantly changing, with different companies offer different prices and contract terms. Free mobile phones are available on many monthly plans, subject to multi-year contracts. Cell phone contracts are typically 1, 2 or 3-years. If you purchase your mobile phone outright, you may benefit from cheaper rate plans.

To obtain mobile services, visit a local service provider. You will be asked to provide basic contact information, as well as a credit cart number or credit history. If you do not have a credit history in Canada you may be required to pay a deposit on your account, or have a co-signer guarantee your account.

There are some basic points you need to consider for choosing the right deal.
Personal Use: Evaluate how much you use the phone, when, where you are calling, how often you use short message services (SMS), if you use the phone abroad, etc.
Coverage: Most important if you live in a remote place or regularly using the mobile while traveling in the countryside as most companies offer decent coverage.
Fees & Rates: Each operator offers several different plans and options. Investigate the plans carefully and evaluate your needs.

Pay As You Go

Prepaid phones offer maximum flexibility. Users pay in advance for credits which are used to make calls. When you need credit you can buy "top-up" cards from news agents, petrol stations and online (as well as directly from the mobile retailer).

Prepaid plans are another option. Plans start at $20/month. Take into consideration these points when picking a card:

  • Cost of the purchase of the SIM card itself, which sometimes includes a block of minutes of communication
  • Cost of recharging the card
  • Connection fees; some operators do not apply connection fees
  • Time of the validity to make and to receive calls


Related article: Landline phone in Canada

Update 21/05/2013



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