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The new company is $23/month with unlimited calling, unlimited texting and 1GB of data.

Previously my wife was paying $17/month for 10 mins of calling, 500 texts add-on and no data.

So the extra $5 was worth it. Plus I get a $1 friend discount on my account. At 60 cents/minute it only took a 8 minute call per month to make Virgin more expensive.
Yes Public Mobile is quite good. And when they offer a bonus of non-expiring 5GB of data or 60 minutes of US calling it makes it even better. I will now quit being a shill for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Thanks for all the comments. I followed up on most of them and created a cheat sheet for inexpensive cell phone plans if anyone else is interested. Some of the plan features mention above in this thread no long exist or are not advertised that I could find. So this is the state of the inexpensive mobile plans as of today that have a modest amount of data. The lack of MMS on Lucky was odd. Chatr does not offer data on their bottom package in Quebec. Fizz is not even trying either.

I am leaning towards Freedom.

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I've never used a prepaid plan, but the recent Rogers failure got me wondering about them. If I were to buy one, when does the clock start ticking? Will they expire after some period of time?

One thing that was mentioned in the news was that a few years ago, Rogers, Bell and Telus set up a contingency plan, when in the event of such a network failure, they'd use a competitors SIM in their phones.
 

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Plan features are usually the same regardless of whether auto top-up is used. That's definitely true of Koodo but they do offer bonuses and discounts for using it. I've used auto top-up with Koodo for years and have never had an issue.

If I were to buy one, when does the clock start ticking? Will they expire after some period of time?
The clock starts when the SIM is registered and the plan activated by applying a payment. It should be possible to register the SIM and keep a top-up card on hand for application at a later date. I don't know when an unused top-up card expires but I suspect it is company dependent. I think it's limited to no less than one year by law.

Can someone post the above plans without auto top up.
Or you could look them up yourself. Those plans do not fully represent all available options and the information may be obsolete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
@JamesK I see a few options. If you go prepaid you can also pay by the minute/MB in addition to a small monthly fee. Those don't expire since you are not buying a block. Public Mobile is interesting as it seems the data will last a year once allocated.

@atscrocks I think these plans are all available without Auto Top-Up. A few of the companies offer a perk like data with Auto Top-Up. I'll go back this evening and recheck and add this detail to my last post.
 

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With Koodo prepaid plans, blocks of voice and data that never expire as long as the account is active are available. Extra voice is as little as 5 cents/min. Data is pricey at $30/GB but I've seen much worse on prepaid and it never expires. Their basic $15 plan has unlimited texting and 100 minutes with a 250MB/mo data bonus for using auto top-up. There may be better deals available but Koodo uses the Telus/Bell network which is the best available in most areas outside major cities and the data speed is better than many other prepaid plans.
 

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@ExDilbert

I was thinking of just buying a SIM and leaving it in my desk, "just in case". What I'm concerned with, if everything is gone, as happened with Rogers, how do I get it activated, short of going to a store?

Also, I'd likely go with Koodo, as years ago I vowed to never get anything from Bell again. I do understand Telus & Bell share networks, but at least my money would be going to Telus and not Bell.

About 15 years ago, I was getting a lot of calls asking me to get Bell Satellite TV, despite my repeated requests they stop calling. I eventually complained to the CRTC and heard back from the Bell office of the president. I also switched my home phone from Bell to Rogers and made that vow to never use Bell again. My only contact with them is when my work requires it.
 

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I believe it is possible to purchase and activate the Koodo SIM online and not purchase any plan. I purchased the SIM and waited several months before activating it online. That's a little different but not by much. It looks like internet service is required to apply a prepaid card or purchase plans. Some companies offer a way of applying prepaid cards or purchasing plans using the phone but I don't see that option on Koodo's web site. I've always used auto top-up instead of purchasing cards. Koodo keeps prices low by offering very limited support options so it might be necessary to use Telus or another company that offers better support.
 

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Public Mobile discounts $2 for auto top up. That does not prevent you from paying with a credit card or whatever and not auto. They do text when the next amount is due.
I just enjoy the fact that I pay $25-2(auto) - 2(referral) -2(loyalty - $1/year)+ tax $19/mo
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
I made a few edits. Here is the table. Sorry but inline formatting is a bit wonky. PDF is attached.

$15 Mobile Phone Plans Compared (Prepaid)
CompanyParentSpeedData (MB)Calls (MINS)SMSMMSVM/CD/CWNotesExclusions
KoodooTelus3G0 or 250*100UNLIMUNLIMYES*Auto Top-Up
KoodooTelus3G250100UNLIM0YESRate Plan
LuckyBell3G0 or 250*100UNLIM0YES*Auto Top-Up
LuckyBell3G500 or 750*000NO*Auto Top-UpNo Calls or Text
Public MobileTelus3G250100UNLIMUNLIMYES
ChatrRogers3G250100UNLIMUNLIMYESAuto Top-UpQC No Data
FizzVideotronLTE10¢/MB25¢/MIN0YES
FreedomShawLTE417 (5GB/yr)UNLIMUNLIMUNLIMYESYearly $179
 

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You have mentioned very little usage. Speakout is still viable I believe, $25 get's you a year before expiry but .35/min....20/text off the balance. I believe free incoming text. So depending on usage they could be a good one. They offer$125 for $100 a few times a year which effectively reduces the per minute charge. I would still be on them but I was driving myself nuts every time I made a call...... .35/minute!!!! .45/min to USA Stupid me.
They do charge 1.25 a month whether you use it or not.

Turns out Speakout would be about the same monthly for me even if I don't pay attention to the minutes and just use the damn phone, except for having some data with Public Mobile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Good point. I guess the same goes for Petro-Canada. I see the least expensive plan with data from either is $35. Pay-per-MB is 15¢/MB. In my case I needed a modest amount of data in my plan. But, like you, I know paying for each MB, call and text would drive me nuts. I also had a case where I installed a word game app at home on my phone and while playing the game later it pulled down 300 MB of data over cellular in a matter of minutes. It was my fault as I had forgotten to disable cellular for that app. I just didn't think it would be that much data given it is a boring crossword game. If I had Fizz pay-per-MB that would be $30. Petro-Canada $45. LOL. It had to be the ads.
 

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I had Petro-Canada for a while. It was not a good experience. Data barely worked, if it worked at all. Coverage was poor due to being on the Rogers network. (That varies due to location.) The last straw was their billing. They had limited top-up options that matched their plan prices but didn't include GST. The result was that the added GST drained any extra balance and causes a shortage not covered by the auto top-up. When that happened they billed me for a cheaper plan I didn't want and refused to correct the unwanted billing. It turns out they knew about this issue all along but did not notify me. Customers must monitor their balance and do a manual top-up when it gets low in order to cover the GST. That defeats the whole point of auto top-up and unfairly enriches Petro-Canada.

Koodo includes the GST in the plan price, and there has never been a billing issue. They also only take enough money to cover the difference between the account balance and what is required so I am never overbilled. Then they refund the monthly credit so there is always $1.50 in the account unless I manually top-up to purchase extras.
 

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One last word. PetroC requires $100 topup for 365 renewal but Speakout requires $25 for a year so as a backup SO could make sense but kind of funny for a backup because as mentioned they are both on Rogers! :)
 

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I get LTE with Koodo prepaid though speed may be limited to 3D speeds. Other plans may be similar since I've seen the term "limited to 3D speeds.". When I was on the Rogers network, it was 3G with speeds limited to 2G, when it worked at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #78 ·
I also find it odd Bell's coverage map page says "5G, 4G LTE, HSPA and 3G network coverage map"

Yet the page makes no mention of 3G.

I wish they would just list the theoretical speeds of the various networks. Most people myself included had no idea until I looked it up. My parents who get 1Mbps internet would be happy with 1Mbps cellular.
 

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I also find it odd Bell's coverage map page says "5G, 4G LTE, HSPA and 3G network coverage map"

Yet the page makes no mention of 3G.

I wish they would just list the theoretical speeds of the various networks. Most people myself included had no idea until I looked it up. My parents who get 1Mbps internet would be happy with 1Mbps cellular.

HSPA is 3G.

Here's what I recently got on my cell phone. This is on 3.5 GHz "C band" Listing the theoretical speeds would be difficult, as they may have more than one "G" on a given band. For example, Dynamic Signal Sharing is used to run both 4G & 5G on the same band.
 
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