Options

Moving to Canada, phones?

ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilegeWestern coastal temptressRegistered User, Moderator mod
edited February 2020 in Help / Advice Forum
My wife and I are moving to Canada soon, and I'm trying to prepare all the nonsense that we're going to have to do upon landing. One of those is get a Canadian phone plan. We would like to keep our American numbers, though - we're fine getting new ones, but we don't want to lose the ability for people we know but haven't spoken to recently to get in contact with us. I had wanted to port our American numbers to Google Voice and forward the calls to our new phones, but it looks like you can't do that with Canadian end numbers anymore.

My present plan is to port our numbers to Google Voice so we don't lose them (and don't have to continually pay for a rarely used American plan), get a Canadian phone plan with generous data, and use that when talking to Americans. Not sure if I want to get a plan where roaming is built in or just pay-as-you-go for roaming fees when we're visiting family, but that's a secondary concern. I'm not looking for specific phone plans, though if anyone has anything they like I'm open to suggestions (we're moving to Vancouver, specifically, where we'll stay for at least a little while unless we cannot get jobs).

What I would like to know is if porting numbers to Google Voice and using data to interact with Americans, while getting on a Canadian plan for Canadian calls, is a sensible one, since I know very little about phones and such. If people have better suggestions, I'd love to hear them - as I said, I don't know a ton about the topic, and could be missing some obvious, easier solution.

Shivahn on

Posts

  • Options
    KetBraKetBra Dressed Ridiculously Registered User regular
    Just so you know, a 'generous' mobile data plan here will probably cost you a few arms and/or legs

    KGMvDLc.jpg?1
  • Options
    ReznikReznik Registered User regular
    I don't know anything about Google Voice, but as far as Canadian phone plans go, Rogers/Bell/Telus are the big boys (R/B especially suck, but you'll get nationwide coverage. I can't speak for Telus). You will pay out the ass for data.

    I'm with Freedom Mobile who are a smaller carrier and they basically don't exist outside of large cities. I'm paying about 43/mo for 6 GB data and that was on a promotion. But unless I'm mistaken, with Freedom if I go over my data cap, my data gets throttled but I don't have to pay exorbitant overage fees. I don't really ever go past 4 GB though.

    Do... Re.... Mi... Ti... La...
    Do... Re... Mi... So... Fa.... Do... Re.... Do...
    Forget it...
  • Options
    ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Western coastal temptressRegistered User, Moderator mod
    KetBra wrote: »
    Just so you know, a 'generous' mobile data plan here will probably cost you a few arms and/or legs

    I don't know that there's another option! Kinda fucked if I want to communicate with people in both countries. Well, no other option besides just refusing to communicate with Americans. We don't use that much data, I just need to not be at risk of my wife running over from talking with family on the drive home.

  • Options
    ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    You can tack on Canada and US calling to a wireless plan here without any real issues. But yeah, be prepared for sticker shock. Cell phones in Canada are fucking expensive because we handed a monopoly to three very greedy corporations. Just doing a quick check, you are looking at ~$125/month for two lines.

  • Options
    CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    Shivahn wrote: »
    My wife and I are moving to Canada soon, and I'm trying to prepare all the nonsense that we're going to have to do upon landing. One of those is get a Canadian phone plan. We would like to keep our American numbers, though - we're fine getting new ones, but we don't want to lose the ability for people we know but haven't spoken to recently to get in contact with us. I had wanted to port our American numbers to Google Voice and forward the calls to our new phones, but it looks like you can't do that with Canadian end numbers anymore.

    My present plan is to port our numbers to Google Voice so we don't lose them (and don't have to continually pay for a rarely used American plan), get a Canadian phone plan with generous data, and use that when talking to Americans. Not sure if I want to get a plan where roaming is built in or just pay-as-you-go for roaming fees when we're visiting family, but that's a secondary concern. I'm not looking for specific phone plans, though if anyone has anything they like I'm open to suggestions (we're moving to Vancouver, specifically, where we'll stay for at least a little while unless we cannot get jobs).

    What I would like to know is if porting numbers to Google Voice and using data to interact with Americans, while getting on a Canadian plan for Canadian calls, is a sensible one, since I know very little about phones and such. If people have better suggestions, I'd love to hear them - as I said, I don't know a ton about the topic, and could be missing some obvious, easier solution.

    Welcome to one of the most expensive places in the world to live!

    Is keeping your american numbers even an option? I'd be surprised if a Canadian telecom can use those numbers. I may be totally ignorant on that point though. I'd suggest going on the websites for Bell, Telus, and Rogers and using their chat support to ask the companies directly.

    Last time I was looking at plans, I used https://www.whistleout.ca/ to compare.


    :so_raven:
  • Options
    CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    edited February 2020
    From the Whistleout website, this is a decent summary of the state of the cellphone provider marketplace:

    https://www.whistleout.ca/CellPhones/Guides/Fido-vs-Koodo-vs-Virgin-Mobile

    One thing the article touches on but doesn't go into a lot of detail, is that if you go outside of the major centers in the Southwest Coast/Lower Mainland area, the Telus network has historically had the best coverage and reliability. You can get a connection inside most towns for all three providers, but coverage outside of them drops off pretty fast and only Telus seems to have widespread coverage between locations. I believe this is partial legacy from inheriting the BCTel infrastructure back when it was a crown corporation.

    Another thing to keep an eye out is the ability to access data networks across the city. For example, I currently have Shaw internet at home and this allows me to access ShawOpen hotspots all across the city and use the unlimited data through those. I think most carriers/ISPs have a similar type of arrangement, but Shaw seems to have pretty widespread service of this sort, since it appears as though they basically use their commercial internet customers modems act as internet hotspots as well.

    I also found free wifi a lot more widespread in Vancouver (and across Canada) to be more widespread than I found it in my travels in America or overseas in Japan/Korea.

    One co-worker mentioned that they got a fixed Skype number for a nominal charge that they could call through their cellphone (not using data, I don't think). I never went that route, since our relatives all ended up getting smartphones, so we can use VOIP app services to make calls but it might be an option for you.

    Caedwyr on
  • Options
    ComahawkComahawk Registered User regular
    Caedwyr wrote: »
    From the Whistleout website, this is a decent summary of the state of the cellphone provider marketplace:

    https://www.whistleout.ca/CellPhones/Guides/Fido-vs-Koodo-vs-Virgin-Mobile

    One thing the article touches on but doesn't go into a lot of detail, is that if you go outside of the major centers in the Southwest Coast/Lower Mainland area, the Telus network has historically had the best coverage and reliability. You can get a connection inside most towns for all three providers, but coverage outside of them drops off pretty fast and only Telus seems to have widespread coverage between locations. I believe this is partial legacy from inheriting the BCTel infrastructure back when it was a crown corporation.

    Another thing to keep an eye out is the ability to access data networks across the city. For example, I currently have Shaw internet at home and this allows me to access ShawOpen hotspots all across the city and use the unlimited data through those. I think most carriers/ISPs have a similar type of arrangement, but Shaw seems to have pretty widespread service of this sort, since it appears as though they basically use their commercial internet customers modems act as internet hotspots as well.

    I also found free wifi a lot more widespread in Vancouver (and across Canada) to be more widespread than I found it in my travels in America or overseas in Japan/Korea.

    One co-worker mentioned that they got a fixed Skype number for a nominal charge that they could call through their cellphone (not using data, I don't think). I never went that route, since our relatives all ended up getting smartphones, so we can use VOIP app services to make calls but it might be an option for you.

    Off topic, but for home internet in the Lower Mainland I recommend Juce over Shaw... They use the same infrastructure but Juce almost never goes down (once in the four years I was with them, and that was because internet was cut to the island for an afternoon). I used them when I lived on the island after a lot of technical and service issues with Shaw.

    What you say about Telus is weird to me, since I've had the exact opposite experience, finding that Rogers and Bell had better service, especially along the Yellowhead/Coquihalla. I mean, this is "better service" though, was basically just about complete crap for all three.

  • Options
    CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    I ended up going with Shaw, even though they weren't all that great of a company because they had a promotional deal for 600-700 gbit internet for what works out to be $67.20 per month and no caps. When I went hunting they were by far the cheapest.

    There may be some areas where Rogers is better, but I end up working at remote locations all around the province and in many areas Telus is the only one you can reliably reach outside of town limits. I'm sure there's some regional variation of course.

  • Options
    CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    And a separate issue came up where I needed to look into this in more detail. The interactive coverage map about half-way down this page has a map based display of the coverages as well as the written descriptions.

    https://www.whistleout.ca/CellPhones/Guides/Best-Cell-Phone-Coverage-in-British-Columbia

  • Options
    RingoRingo He/Him a distinct lack of substanceRegistered User regular
    I came in here to see if the OP was asking if Canada has phones

    Joke's on me though - after reading this thread I'm not sure they do!

    Sterica wrote: »
    I know my last visit to my grandpa on his deathbed was to find out how the whole Nazi werewolf thing turned out.
    Edcrab's Exigency RPG
  • Options
    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Registered User regular
    Why not just convince your family to use WhatsApp and pay like the five cents a call you need in a blue moon to call any US entities using Skype?

  • Options
    TubularLuggageTubularLuggage Registered User regular
    Ringo wrote: »
    I came in here to see if the OP was asking if Canada has phones

    Joke's on me though - after reading this thread I'm not sure they do!

    We do, but only the 12 wealthiest people in the country can afford to use them regularly.

  • Options
    WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    One bonus to shaw ( god I still hate them tho ) is depending on the area, is if you are a shaw customer you can use the shaw Wifi hotspots around the city.

    But it's dependent on your city how much of a bonus that is, some areas are covered great, some, not so much

    Steam! Battlenet:Wisemantobes#1508
  • Options
    ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Western coastal temptressRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Thanks everyone, I appreciate all the input, especially noting the differences between the US and Canada. Corvus, Keeping US numbers is an option iff we have an American service (and Google Talk counts, for these purposes). Otherwise, nope.
    Why not just convince your family to use WhatsApp and pay like the five cents a call you need in a blue moon to call any US entities using Skype?

    I will look into this possibility!

  • Options
    MugsleyMugsley DelawareRegistered User regular
    I'm making a bunch of assumptions, but can you not just have a TMo account in the US and pay for it since they have free coverage in Canada?

    Again, assumptions, but if Canadian plans are overly expensive, the cost for the US plan may still be cheaper (or on par with) than the Canadian plan.

    And I'm pretty sure I remember the reason you're moving to Canada, so this option may not be something you want to explore.

  • Options
    ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Western coastal temptressRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Mugsley wrote: »
    I'm making a bunch of assumptions, but can you not just have a TMo account in the US and pay for it since they have free coverage in Canada?

    Again, assumptions, but if Canadian plans are overly expensive, the cost for the US plan may still be cheaper (or on par with) than the Canadian plan.

    And I'm pretty sure I remember the reason you're moving to Canada, so this option may not be something you want to explore.

    I think they will kick you off if you are using the plan mostly in another country. Most things have roaming friendly plans with asterisks at the bottom saying "not for extended use." Otherwise, I'd definitely go for that.

    Wait why does this intersect with my reason for moving? I'm very confused. I'm not fleeing phone plans :P

    (why flee phones when you can flee the supreme court)

  • Options
    MugsleyMugsley DelawareRegistered User regular
    I thought that you also didn't want to give US companies money

  • Options
    a5ehrena5ehren AtlantaRegistered User regular
    T-mobile will definitely kick you off if you abuse the international roaming.

Sign In or Register to comment.