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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I am European and just moved to NB few days ago.
One of the first priorities is to buy a new mobile phone, hence, choose the right plan for my needs.

I do not use the phone that much, therefore I found a prepaid plan from Bell that matched my needs.
When I went to a Bell point and tried the SIMcard, it could not work with my old Nokia, therefore I have to buy a new phone.

I still want to have a prepaid plan but want a phone that allows me to use skype. The guys at Bell told me that they do not offer Data + Voice on prepaid.

I wonder if you can lead me to a provider who provides a wireless prepaid phone which allows Skype installation.

Also, is it true that all cellphones sold in Canada are locked by the carrier and therefore is basically impossible to find an unlocked phone like in Europe??

Thank you guys for your help.

BTW, I am in Fredericton.

Cheers
Alex
 

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If you buy your phone from a provider it generally comes locked. However there are places to find unlocked phones in Canada. I don't live in New Brunswick though so I don't know anything local to them.

The Big 3 providers in Canada are Bell, Telus, and Rogers. Bell also owns Virgin Mobile Canada and Solo Mobile, Telus owns Koodo, and Rogers owns Fido and the soon-to-launch Chatr. All three of these companies use the same 850 MHz spectrum for 3G and all will sell you a SIM card for a compatible phone. Bell and Telus also operate a 2G CDMA network which they only allow you to use with phones purchased from them, and Rogers also operates a 2G GSM/EDGE network which they will allow outside GSM devices on with one of their SIMs.

Canada recently held an auction of AWS 1700 MHz spectrum. The only two new companies who I know of who purchased spectrum licenses in New Brunswick are Wind Mobile and Bragg/Eastlink. I have no idea what Bragg/Eastlink are planning on doing with their spectrum. Wind has launched in a few major cities elsewhere in Canada but their Maritime plans unfortunately don't look imminent yet, which is too bad because I suspect they would best fit your need.

Unfortunately I don't know that any of the Big 3 or their "flanker" brands offer plans with prepaid data. Canada has long been mired in post-paid setups on 3 year contracts. While you can get an unlocked phone (though not necessarily easily) you may be stuck with postpaid plans.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi,

thanks for your reply.

I see what you mean, in fact I found in the meantime some internet shop which supply unlocked mobile phones, so that's no issue anymore.

The question I am probably going to ask is stupid, but better ask...
Say I buy an unlocked Nokia 5800, do I necessarily need a data plan to communicate wireless via skype?

Indeed, I see Wind Mobile is not in NB yet, it seems so strange to me that nobody provides data on prepaid plan, maybe a should check some smaller provider and see whether they provide it.

Any other advise is very welcome.

Cheers
Alex
 

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I'm not familiar with that phone, but if it has WiFi you could use that instead. You need one or the other though.

I don't know if New Brunswick has any local carriers, as I said I'm not familiar with the area. Almost every small carrier in Canada has been purchased by the Big 3, the big exceptions being Manitoba (MTS) and Saskatchewan (SaskTel). Unfortunately nobody else won any AWS spectrum licenses there, so until Wind arrives or Bragg/Eastlink does something with their licenses there won't be any new providers coming.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK guys, it is now clear to me:

  1. I need to buy an unlocked wi-fi phone
  2. I do not need a prepaid data plan because Skype will work in presence of a wireless network, so I can simply buy a voice prepaid card, Skype will come for free with the hot spot.:)

Does anybody know a shop in Fredericton to buy unlocked phones?
Otherwise, I will buy online, perhaps is quicker :rolleyes:

Thanks for your advise!

Cheers
Alex
 

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Puremobile.ca

Just bought an unlocked GSM from them for less than $100. I will use Rogers pay as you go here and AT&T Gophone when in the States. On Rogers you can buy a $100 card that has a 1 year expiry.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Norm01
Puremobile.ca

Just bought an unlocked GSM from them for less than $100. I will use Rogers pay as you go here and AT&T Gophone when in the States. On Rogers you can buy a $100 card that has a 1 year expiry.
I got an unlocked phone and now need a decent prepaid plan.

I had a look at the Rogers "pay as you go" you mentioned.
I guess you refer to the "Anytime" pay by the minute one?
Still remaining into Rogers I cannot understand the difference between the "Anytime" pay by the minute and "All Day", at a first glance the "All Day" is cheaper but I wonder whether you are deducted 25c x 5min./day, = 1.25 $ regardless whether you phone or not??

Otherwise, Rogers "Anytime" is 40c/min. very expensive, although you get free incoming calls from pay as you go customers.

However, I still think Bell "Anytime" per min. at 30c/min. remains the more balanced, especially if you do not use the phone that much.

I need now to get a phone number, so a SIM card with the right carrier, do you have any other suggestions or the just two mentioned are the cheapest??

I am just trying to take the right track, as I am new, I need to digest the terminology and all the tricks behind it.

Thank you folks,

Alex
 

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It's pretty simpleThe anytime $.40 is because of the low $10 top up, some people who use their phone for emergency only like this one as they only spend $10 a month.

The all day charges .25 for the first cumulative five minutes in the day and .15 for all minutes thereafter however minimum monthly top up will be $20.

I use the $.01 evening and weekends also with minimum top up $20 however I buy the $100 yearly expiry which means my minimum monthly is around $8 a month. You can also do this with the all day.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I understand and indeed what you use as a plan looks to be the best, because at least you get to pay only 1/c for weekends and evenings :)

I think 7/Eleven prepaid plan would be even cheaper but unfortunately I see there are no places in NB you can buy their cards :( am I correct? :confused:

Alex
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Also, I have another question:

if I decide to go for, say, Rogers, then at the end of my $100 credit a better plan from another carrier is on the market, say, Bell as an example,
can I keep the previous phone number I got with Rogers
or
shall I change phone number every time I change carrier??

I am asking because in Europe you can transfer the same number from one carrier to the other so that you do not have to go through the hassle to inform all your contacts that you changed phone number, but have no idea how is here in Canada??

Thanks
Alex
 

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Check out Petro Canada Mobility, pretty much the same as 7/11 and also works on GSM / Rogers phone, the issue with these guys and 7/11 is buying a SIM, they only sell phones with SIM in them.
 

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The one bright thing about this story is that Fredericton has free government sponsored Wi-Fi throughout the downtown/business, university and government offices area, according to somewhat old information (2004). I hope the OP discovers that this service has survived and thrived and he can Skype away to his heart's content and has a brief thrill before he learns Skype does not offer Canadian phone numbers for incoming calls.

Welcome to Canada. ;)
 
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