Mobile/Cell phone use

Jun 27th, 2006, 03:56 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 25
Mobile/Cell phone use

We'll be travelling from Vancouver to Jasper and then to Calgary in September and want to have a phone with us. We are from the UK and thought we might be able to buy a pre pay sim card to use from a Canadian network rather than use our UK phone at £1.49 a minute. We'll be using for confirming bookings and emergencies if anything goes wrong with car etc. Any suggestions?
emmap is offline  
Jun 27th, 2006, 04:47 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 666
Can't advise you as to the availability of pre paid sim cards, but I do want you to be aware that when we toured that area in the fall of 2002, we purchased a Canadian package from our US Verizon carrier only to learn that we had very limited service in the mountain areas between Vancouver to Calgary. Be sure to check on cell phone reception in this area before proceeding. With or without a cell phone, you're going to love BC/Alberta!
Retired_teacher is offline  
Jun 27th, 2006, 05:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,208
The prepaid mobile market is a bit different in Canada than the UK.

There are 3 mobile networks (Telus, Bell, Rogers) and 3 resellers (MVNOs) Virgin, President's Choice, Sears.

All offer prepaid products - Virgin and President's Choice rates are best - they run on the Bell network.

The main difference with prepaid here is that the carriers don't just sell the SIM card - they sell the handset too. So you'll likely have to make an investment of $50-$75 CDN depending on the offer.

Given that you'll be in Alberta and BC the Telus network will probably have the best coverage - but as the other poster pointed out coverage in the Rockies can be spotty.

One other thing to remember is that in Canada the "receiving party pays" - unlike in the UK where the "calling party pays" - so if people call you from the UK it will come off your minutes.

Have a lovely trip!
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Jun 28th, 2006, 12:34 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 25
Thanks for the advice really useful.
emmap is offline  
Jul 11th, 2006, 12:21 PM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 26
you can buy prepaid cards in the uk to use in Canada -ask your network what network is is one example, others do the same.Enjoy the trip
maggiebb is offline  
Jul 11th, 2006, 04:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,057
You should also be aware that The two GSM frequencies used here are different from the two used in the UK. (We have been through this exercise going the other way.) Unless you have a quad (or tri) band phone it won't work. Another detail is that in addition to GSM coverage we also have a completely different system known as CDMA...which your phone will be blind to. My guess is that you will get frustrated with the whole thing and forget about it! That's what we did.
Gavin is offline  
Jul 11th, 2006, 11:33 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 430
Forget your mobile. There is nearly no coverage on your route and the roaming price from your operator in UK is very high.

By a telephone card in Canada and you can do your reservations from every public telephone.
tom22 is offline  

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