Buying a sim card in Victoria

Jul 5th, 2009, 06:36 PM
  #1  
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Buying a sim card in Victoria

This is all relatively new to me. We live in California and have been told that we can use our cell phone in Canada once it has been unlocked. We then put in a sim card. We unlocked the phone, but I'm not sure where we purchase the sim card.Where do we buy a sim card in Victoria and is there more to this process than just buying the sim card? Anyone who can explain this to me simply, I would be most grateful. Thank you.
annetti is offline  
Jul 5th, 2009, 07:47 PM
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Phones that have SIM cards work on GSM networks. In Canada only Rogers/Fido are GSM, so you would have to buy a SIM card from them (Fido used to be a separate company but is now owned by Rogers).

Cell phone companies "lock" the phones they give/sell you with their cellular plans so only their SIM cards will work in the phone. Unlocking allows the phone to accept any carrier SIM card.

Each SIM card will have its own phone number assigned to it. So you will have a Canadian phone number when you use your phone with a Rogers/Fido SIM card.

I would check your carrier and see what kind of roaming plan they have with Rogers. It may be less hassle than getting a new SIM card. However, most malls in Calgary have at least one or two stores that sell phones/plans for all the carriers. I suspect it would be the same in Victoria.
ShelliDawn is offline  
Jul 6th, 2009, 05:07 PM
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What carrier do you have? I was able to us my Verizon Wireless on Vancouver island without any modifications. As discussed on another previous thread, you cannot buy and register a pre-paid cell phone in Victoria unless you have a credit card with a Candian billing address.
SusieQQ is offline  
Jul 7th, 2009, 06:41 AM
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Sheila, thank you. SusieQQ: We have t-mobil. We need a mobile on a day-to-day basis, since we will have not have a land phone or access to one for over a month. Roaming charges are .49 a minute so we were looking for another option. I think we understand (finally!) how the sim card will work, hopefully, we are right, and it will not be complicated. Thanks again.
annetti is offline  
Jul 7th, 2009, 07:35 AM
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annetti---would t-mobile have a special monthly package that you could add to your current account that would include roaming charges so that you are not paying a per minute rate for the calls? If so it might be a cheaper way to go than a month of calls at 49cents per minute.
Rogers (largest cellphone company)have stores and kiosks at the local shopping malls so it won't be difficult to get what you need.
decee is offline  
Jul 7th, 2009, 07:45 AM
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I do not think getting a local sim in Canada will get you a whole lot better rate than tmobile's $0.49/min. Plus,you will get a different number (a Canadian one) with a local sim anyway, so ou will have to give your Canadian number to anone in the US that may need toreach you.
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Jul 7th, 2009, 09:42 AM
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decee: T-mobil could not offer me a monthly rate in Canada. I tried that route. I'll try Rogers, but if Mrcamp is correct, I may have unlocked my phone for no purpose if the sim card rate is comparable. Thanks, mrcamp.
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Jul 7th, 2009, 03:15 PM
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Anetti. To put this to bed I phoned Fido at 743 Yates street.
Needing a Canadian credit card He said is bunk. We have thousands of Asian students flying here for ESL he said and they all bill back to their homeland.
$30 will buy a one month plan with unlimited North American minutes.
If he is right, you are good to go. 743 Yates is one block closer to the water than the market on Yates.
icithecat is offline  
Jul 7th, 2009, 04:12 PM
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Thank you again, Icthecat. Is that for a cell phone or a sim card? $30 sounds perfect to me. An unlimited calling, too!
annetti is offline  
Jul 7th, 2009, 05:03 PM
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I went to the Fido website to see what plans they have and didn't see the one icithecat mentioned. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist though. Here's some links to the Fido plans:

http://fido.ca/web/page/portal/Fido/...o=monthlyPlans

http://fido.ca/web/page/portal/Fido/...o=prepaidPlans

You may want to call them, the number on the website is 1-888-945-3436
ShelliDawn is offline  
Jul 7th, 2009, 05:17 PM
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$30 is just the monthly plan cost. I did not ask how much the card would be and they are closed now. I said you had your own phone. The card I assume would be a one time outright purchase. As you can tell, I know less about this than you do. Hell, you own a phone! Probably could be reactivated when you return next year. he he.
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Jul 7th, 2009, 05:20 PM
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icithecat, you may call it bunk, so here is what happened to a friend of mine. He went to a Walmart in Victoria and bought a pre-paid cell phone. He went on line to register it in order to use it. He could not do so without a credit card with a Canadian billing address. So, he called them. And they said yes, that was right you need a credit card with a Canadian billing address. He took the phone back to Walmart and got a refund. End of story. He obviously didn't know anything about this Fido and just did what he had done in other countries and bought a pre-paid cell phone at a retail store.
SusieQQ is offline  
Jul 7th, 2009, 06:31 PM
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Like I said SusieQQ...........
If he is right,
icithecat is offline  
Jul 7th, 2009, 07:33 PM
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Shellidawn: Thanks for the websites and tel no. I will try tomorrow. People are incredibly thoughtful on this board. Thanks.
annetti is offline  
Jul 9th, 2009, 06:26 PM
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Well, Sheiladawn, the tel no you provided above was extremely helpful.

For others interested, Fido charges $35 CA for the sim card;you then pay $30 for a monthly plan for 150 minutes. At the end of the month, even if you do not use the 150 minutes they will expire and you must pay $30 again for another 150 minutes. I have decided that we will just go with roaming charges (.49/minute) as mrcamp above suggested. It will probably be cheaper (and easier, too)in the long run, since we will have computer access. Who knew it would be so complicated!
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