Which Wireless Plan? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 2007-12-16, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
apn
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 569
Which Wireless Plan?

My Bell contract just expired and I'm looking for a couple of mobiles for my wife and me.

We're both very light users and only need the phone for the occasional emergency or the "I'm at Loblaws and <whatever> is on sale, how many should I get..." calls.

The basic Bell/Rogers (I hate Telus) family plans (2xSAF) seem to be running at around $55-60 for a pair of phones, which I can get for little/no additional outlay. However, I've started thinking that PrePaid would be a better option since many offer no SAF, and don't charge for callerID and other features. The downside is that 1) airtime is more expensive and 2) I have to shell out for a couple of handsets.

Looking at the PrePaid plans, I picked up some info from;

Code:
Solo:        $3.95 SAF, 40c/min, max $30 top-up expires @ 75 days
Virgin1:     $0.00 SAF, 30c/min, max $100 top-up expires @ 365 days
Virgin2:     $0.00 SAF, 10c/min ($10/mo), max $100 top-up expires @ 365 days
PC Mobile:   $0.00 SAF, 20c/min, max $50 top-up expires @ 60 days?
Rogers:      $?.?? SAF, 40c/min, max $100 top-up expires @ 365 days
I think there are other options like 7-Eleven and I think PetroCan, but I haven't researched those yet.

Based on the rates and top-up expiry, I'm thinking that Virgin2 (above) is the best option for my wife.

Code:
Virgin2       50mins = $15, 100mins = $20
PC Mobile     50mins = $10, 100mins = $20
Virgin has the longer expiry period, but no US roaming. However, that's not a priority for a secondary mobile.

Question now is, is that the best choice for the scenario I've described or are there better deals out there?

Next, what's the best option for a primary mobile, for-which we do want US roaming?

Solo is out of the question with SAF and 40c/min rates. I can't use Virgin since no roaming options. PCM expiry is short. Does anyone have any experience with Rogers? Do they charge SAF and other fees?

Another option is answering Bell's "please come back" calls and seeing what kind of sweetener they'll offer on a post-paid renewal. However, if I renew and my wife does use 100mins/mo ($20), then on a monthly basis, I'm close to a 150min family-shared post-paid plan.
apn is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 2007-12-16, 04:28 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 826
Rogers has some interesting rate plans now and they also offer a 365 day card. I'm just unclear how they all work. The faqs give just enough info to make you want to call in for further info. The All Day plan sounds good but I don't know what they mean by the min top up charge. Is that per month? Is it in addition to the 100 dollar top up?

Would it not make sense for you to go with Rogers if you want US roaming? Why buy an extra phone and have to keep it going as well. CHecking the roaming rates for Rogers, it seems it would be cheaper to use a pay phone.

Panny TC-P60GT50, Vizio SB3651-E6 Soundbar, Harmony One, Android Box
congo is offline  
post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 2007-12-16, 05:37 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Woodlands, MB
Posts: 608
Right now, I'm looking at Virgin Mobile.. I might go with them. I'm a light talker and they have a $10 plan I'm interested in.

http://www.virginmobile.ca/site/home_en.html

They have some pretty good plans and you get everything included with each plans. There are no extras for call display, voice mail, three way calling or call forwarding. Also there are no 911 access, or system access fees. So if you don't go over your plan minutes, a $10.00 plan will only cost $10 a month plus PST and GST.

Also, There are no long term contracts, everything is month to month... Because of this they don't have subsidized phones, so if you want a real fancy phone, it will cost a couple hundred bucks. But they sell basic phones $70 - $80 If you buy a 70 buck phone and lose it, you just buy another one for 70 bucks They have a sale on right now for phones purchased before Christmas.

As I understand, they use CDMA phones and piggyback on Bell cell sites so the coverage should be the same as what you would get with a Bell phone.
jwt873 is offline  
 
post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 2007-12-16, 06:44 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 826
I'm on Virgin now and thinking of getting a new phone but want to see what others are offering as well since I can take my number with me. I currently paid the $100 one year top up which has saved me money so far. I was topping up every three months but I kept carrying over.

Panny TC-P60GT50, Vizio SB3651-E6 Soundbar, Harmony One, Android Box
congo is offline  
post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 2007-12-16, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
apn
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 569
Quote:
Would it not make sense for you to go with Rogers if you want US roaming? Why buy an extra phone and have to keep it going as well.
Yes, I'm thinking that the primary phone (US roaming) will need to be directly on one of the major carriers. I see that PC Mobile offers US service, but you have to arrange it before traveling, plus they're 60day expiry is a turn off.

I need a 2nd phone for my wife's occasional use, which is why I'm thinking that a Virgin PrePaid is the most economical option, although I don't know all the caveats and I should take a look at the other resellers on Rogers, namely 2-Eleven and PetroCan, others?

Quote:
I'm looking at Virgin Mobile.. I might go with them. I'm a light talker and they have a $10 plan
Are you sure that you're not mistaking this for their zero-airtime $10 plan that subsequently entitles you to 10c/min calling? This was what I called Virgin2 above.

Looking at http://www.virginmobile.ca/site/en/p...dFeatures.html
Unless I'm missing something, it appears that $20/mo is the first plan that actually includes airtime.

The breakeven point for the $10 plan seems to be 50 minutes. That is, if you're going to use more than 50mins/month it's cheaper to pay the $10 fee to get a 10c/min rate. Less than 50mins/month is cheaper on the 30c/min rate.

Other considerations for me are that long distance isn't really a big factor, but I do travel to the US a few times a year, so roaming is important.

I'm thinking the best way forward is for me to estimate our collective monthly talk time and then calculate the 3yr cost of services with the various carriers, including handset purchase.

At 150mins/month a post-paid faimily plan will run us about 55*12*3 = $1,980
At the same rate, a $10 Virgin plan will run us 100+100+(20+.1*150)*12*3 = $1,460, assuming the handsets are $100 each.

So a Virgin plan saves $520 over the 3 year term, and allows rollover of the unused minutes Only problem is, I need one phone to work in the US.

My last question is if Rogers charges a SAF for its Pay As U Go service? Bell's Solo is charging $3.95/mo SAF, which immediately makes it more expensive than the other PrePaid options.
apn is offline  
post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 2007-12-17, 01:50 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Edmonton
Posts: 88
Why in the world would you use a Canadian Cell-Phone in the U.S.??

MUCH cheaper to just buy a cheap prepaid cell-phone in the states for use in the states. I have a TracFone that I bought that only cost $30 and included 80 minutes of airtime (no long distance either - you can call anywhere in the U.S./Canada for the same rate)
CanucksRock is offline  
post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 2007-12-17, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
apn
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 569
Quote:
Why in the world would you use a Canadian Cell-Phone in the U.S.??
For emergency use while traveling/vacation, amounting to 3-6 trips per year.

I'm thinking that it will be less expensive to pay $$ for long distance vs. shopping-for and buying a TracFone and letting most/all of the minutes expire.

I guess I'm still used to the Europeam model, where you fly from one country to another and simply switch on your phone, and it works

Having looked at the available options, I'm basically settled on the Virgin $10/month plan (10cent anytime minutes) for my wife, but thinking Rogers PayGo may be best for me.
apn is offline  
post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 2007-12-18, 07:05 AM Thread Starter
apn
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 569
I think I finally have it figured out...

We'll try the $10/month Virgin plan w/ 10cent anytime minutes for my wife and I'm going to look for a cheapo Rogers plan w/ a cheapo phone (selection is crummy, but I can buy an unlocked phone).

Unlike Bell/Telus, the advantage of Rogers being on GSM is that I can buy and use pre-paid SIM cards in the US or other countries for as little as $10. The cheaper cards seem to expire in 30 days, which is fine, but the $100 cards are good for a year.
apn is offline  
post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 2007-12-18, 10:24 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Woodlands, MB
Posts: 608
I've since signed up with Virgin on the $10 plan. As you pointed out, it is $10 plus .10 cents for every minute you use. For a light talker, it's pretty cheap for me. I only use about an hour a month, so I'm looking at $16 per month + taxes. That's much less than my current $25 plan that costs near $40 once all the extra fees are added.

I did miss the part where you mentioned Virgin has no US roaming. I wish I didn't miss that because I realized this after I had signed up... Ugh.. I do travel in the US now and then and that might be a problem. (I'm going to Hawaii in February).

On Rogers GSM phones... I don't know how it is now, but 5 years ago I drove from Toronto to Winnipeg through the U.S. with a Roger's phone. Once I got out of Detroit I had 'No Service' for most of the way through Ohio and Indiana. None of the many cell towers I saw along the way supported GSM. I wasn't impressed. It might be different now, but then, I only got coverage near major centers.
jwt873 is offline  
post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 2007-12-18, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
apn
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 569
Quote:
my current $25 plan that costs near $40 once all the extra fees are added
Agreed. We have the same motivation for going prepaid. The other major advantage IMHO is rollover, which as far as I can tell, non of the CDN post-paid carriers offer. However, I do know that Cingular/AT&T offers this Stateside, so we may see it in the next decade

All things considered, I think Virgin is the best bet for prepaid, and if it wasn't for the no-roaming limitation, I'd be buying two mobiles. I'm going to sign up for a $100 automatic top-up, which I figure will last 6 months or so.

I'm not a huge Rogers fan, but the GSM service does have an important benefit over CDMA i.e. the "world phone" option. In addition to International roaming you have the option to buy a cheap pre-paid SIM card in the US, Europe or Asia.

I'm planning to get the cheapest phone Ted offers on a prepaid plan, then pickup an unlocked SonyEricson W810i or something similar in the States. I can then put Ted's SIM in that and I'm done. Then I have the $$ option to roam or simply buy a cheap prepaid SIM if I think I'll actually need the phone while travelling.

Quote:
5 years ago I drove from Toronto to Winnipeg through the U.S. with a Roger's phone. Once I got out of Detroit I had 'No Service' for most of the way through Ohio and Indiana. None of the many cell towers I saw along the way supported GSM.
With Cingular/AT&T and T-Mobile having nationwide GSM networks in the States, I imagine (hope) that the coverage is pretty good in all but the most desolate areas. BTW, I was on Maui a few years ago and couldn't use my CDMA phone. However, that was later covered by the time I went back for 2nd and 3rd trips.

Hawaii is awesome. You'll love it
apn is offline  
post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 2007-12-20, 07:39 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Winterpeg
Posts: 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by apn View Post

I'm planning to get the cheapest phone Ted offers on a prepaid plan, then pickup an unlocked SonyEricson W810i or something similar in the States. I can then put Ted's SIM in that and I'm done. Then I have the $$ option to roam or simply buy a cheap prepaid SIM if I think I'll actually need the phone while travelling.

You don't need to buy a phone to get a rogers sim card. Go to any rogers store and ask for one. It was about $25 when I bought mine a couple years ago.
sk1d is offline  
post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 2007-12-20, 08:26 PM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,544
Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwt873 View Post
On Rogers GSM phones... I don't know how it is now, but 5 years ago I drove from Toronto to Winnipeg through the U.S. with a Roger's phone. Once I got out of Detroit I had 'No Service' for most of the way through Ohio and Indiana. None of the many cell towers I saw along the way supported GSM. I wasn't impressed. It might be different now, but then, I only got coverage near major centers.
5 years ago is a big difference from today. you can use Rogers Wireless in almost everywhere in the us, Yes even Pre Paid (Pay As U GO) can roam in the USA too. which is a Bonuis.
17671 is online now  
post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 2007-12-21, 09:04 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Woodlands, MB
Posts: 608
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo
5 years ago is a big difference from today. you can use Rogers Wireless in almost everywhere in the us, Yes even Pre Paid (Pay As U GO) can roam in the USA too. which is a Bonuis.
That's good to know.. Thanks.
jwt873 is offline  
post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 2007-12-21, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
apn
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 569
Quote:
You don't need to buy a phone to get a rogers sim card. Go to any rogers store and ask for one. It was about $25 when I bought mine a couple years ago.
Sounds good, but how does the activation process work i.e. is the SIM pre-activated or does the process lock my planned W810i to the Rogers network when I enter the IMEI code?

The only reason I'd buy the cheapo phone is for the activation process i.e. keep my real phone clean and unlocked, plus use it as a backup.

I'm going to FS/BB later today to pickup the Virgin mobile, so I'll ask while I'm there.

Last edited by apn; 2007-12-21 at 10:31 AM.
apn is offline  
post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 2007-12-21, 07:12 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Winterpeg
Posts: 224
I didn't give them my imei. I activated over the phone and told them I had no clue what they were talking about, but she still activated the sim card. My phone is not locked to rogers as I've used other sim cards in europe.
sk1d is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome