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Using a European cell phone in Canada, BC

Using a European cell phone in Canada, BC

Dec 6th, 2015, 04:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Using a European cell phone in Canada, BC

My daughter will be in BC, Canada for 4 months. I am not sure if her Nexus 5 can use the CDMA network. It certainly uses the GSM network here in France. My questions are:

Would it be best to buy a cheap phone with a Canadian SIM card to call locally and/or to use apps like Whatsapp etc.

I saw that Wallmart sell such phones. Are they available in Canada?

What's the best provider in BC for such use?

Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated.
aitchb65 is offline  
Dec 6th, 2015, 10:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,209
Is her Nexus 5 unlocked? If yes she could buy a SIM card from Rogers or Fido (they're the same company/GSM network/Fido is a little cheaper) Their coverage is very good.

Elizabeth_S is offline  
Dec 6th, 2015, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 4,412
CDMA is an obsolete technology. Its two major users in Canada, Telus and Bell, will be shutting down their CDMA networks in the coming year. The same goes for GSM which Rogers will be shutting down in 2018 as there are only a couple of remote locations depending totally on GSM.

All three major carriers now use the LTE and HSPA+ networks. A European Nexus 5 should be compatible with LTE here. However, as Elizabeth_S points out, one will need an unlocked phone to use a card from one of the Canadian carriers. Telus is probably the best carrier for BC, although Rogers and Bell will also cover most inhabited areas of the province.
laverendrye is offline  
Dec 7th, 2015, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 5
Some major corrections need to be made to the previous post.

GSM is far from obsolete as it is a voice technology and LTE and HSPA are data technologies. With 4G LTE it is possible to transmit voice over the data network using VoLTE ( similar to Voice over IP ). However this hasn't been implemented in Canada yet so virtually all voice calls in Canada are transmitted over a separate 2G GSM voice network. Rogers has a trial of VoLTE in Canada but only for one specific LG model phone. With HSPA networks they are data only so all calls are made over a separate 2G GSM voice network.

The second point is that Telus and Bell share a national network of cell towers so all of their customers have access to all Bell/Telus towers.

As well it is much cheaper to buy from a discount brand than from the 3 major carriers directly. They use the same networks so there is no difference in coverage. There is Koodo, Virgin Mobile, Fido, as well as MVNO operators such as Petro-Canada, and 7-11. The only differences in coverage would be whether a SIM card uses the Rogers or the shared Bell/Telus network. The Bell/Telus network would be better for the mountains, Newfoundland, and remote regions.
tofinosurfer is offline  

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