Moving to Canada, Looking for iPhone tips

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by skerfoot, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. skerfoot macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2010
    I'm returning to Canada after spending a number of years in the USA. I've done some searches online for wireless carriers for the iPhone in Canada, but I'd appreciate some real, unfiltered local advice. I'll be moving to London, Ontario for the beginning of September. Here's the info that I'm looking for:

    1) who has the best coverage in the area?

    2) No nationwide coverage??!! No unlimited data?!!! #%*(%###. I've clearly been spoiled by not having to make any real choice on plan or carrier in the past. I'll be looking for a 2 phone plan. Each carrier splits things up differently. Any tips for picking a plan without getting screwed?

    3) Is there an advantage, besides being able to switch carrier at will, to buying the full-price phone from Apple? Are the plans discounted if you already have your own phone, for example? I've been searching through websites and haven't been able to find anything on this so far.

    4) My move will probably happen just before the iPhone 5 is released. Is there usually much of a lag between the US release and when the phone is available in Canada? I know I'm not going to be able to use our ATT 3G phones, and we're not going to be able to put off signing up for a plan for more than a week or so. It would suck to get the iPhone 4 only to have the 5 come out a week later.

    Thanks for any local tips.
  2. iApples macrumors 65816


    Mar 24, 2011
    The carrier that has the best coverage in Canada is definitely Rogers. Bell is also pretty big. I'm currently with Rogers, and I've never had any complaints about service.

    You will not be able to get unlimited data with Rogers, and they do have a monthly cap of 2GB. (I know they had a 5GB limit, but I'm not sure if that still exists anymore. I'm pretty sure the limit is now 2GB) My recommendation would be to pick up a cheap plan and pay $25 a month and then just take that SIM card out and use it with your iPhone. Then just use your iPhone on WiFi. If you absolutely need data, you may end up paying $70-80 a month, depending on your plan.

    Buying an iPhone from the Apple store will mean your phone is unlocked and you'll be able to use it on any carrier. Canada also has a few new companies out there (contract free) which have plans like unlimited data, talk and text all for like $30-40 a month (can't remember the exact price) Those companies are ones like Mobilicity and Wind. I've never used their services before so I really have no idea how it is.

    Apple products are normally released a month after the actual US launch. Except in Canada the supply is limited compared to the US. The iPhone 4 was still sold out all over Toronto (Biggest city in Canada) in January of 2011. The phone was released sometime in August. I'm positive the iPhone 5 will be the exact same way, if not worse.
  3. Rapscallion macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2010
    I've had Telus, Solo and Rogers as my carriers and I have to say I like Rogers the best out of all three, Telus wasnt that bad, but I hated Solo (which is owned by Bell) that is of course my opinion.
    I live in the Niagara region and I have great service at home and in the entire southern Ontario peninsula.
    As long as your ATT device is unlocked for other carriers it will be able to use Rogers service.
    The new iPhones in Canada usually go on sale 1 month after the US release date.
  4. eastercat macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Some of the carriers will unlock after you finish your contract, but others won't. You're lucky that you can buy a factory-unlocked phone. If I didn't have to worry about preserving my bb, I wouldn't bother.
  5. notjustjay, Jun 2, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2011

    notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    One thing to keep in mind is that all the carriers here want you to sign a 3-year contract. If you buy an unlocked iPhone, you can probably get away with a month-to-month plan and switch at will.

    I'm with Fido for my iPhone. Quite happy so far.

    Edit: Should also mention that my iPad is with Telus and it's been great too (though obviously I can't comment on voice call quality).
  6. skerfoot thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 28, 2010
    Thanks for the replies. Good to see that there is some consensus that Rogers is the best carrier for southern Ontario. Makes that choice a lot easier.

    I've been keeping up with the hearings over home internet plans and price gouging in Canada. I think they were also talking about wireless data too, weren't they? I'm glad to see that some companies, like Shaw, are starting to get a little more reasonable in their pricing. Too bad Shaw doesn't offer much service in London, as far as I can tell. That, and they're not a wireless carrier, as far as I can tell.

    Anyway, the point is that I'm willing to pay for decent service, I just don't want to get penalized in an overly expensive way by sliding over the data limit without noticing. We're not heavy users, but I've gotten used to not paying attention to the amount I'm downloading with an unlimited plan. I'll just have to keep an eye on it.

    As for buying an unlocked phone in Canada; I get that it allows you to switch carriers, or go for month to month plans, but purchasing from Rogers with a 3 year contract saves about $500 per phone. $1000 for two phones is a high premium to pay just to have the option to switch. Unless the plans are actually cheaper if you already have your own phone, I don't see how the economics add up to make buying a full price, unlocked phone worthwhile.

    I like the suggestion of unlocking my current phones for use in Canada. My contract has expired, so I'll check to see if they'll unlock it for me. I guess I could try to do that myself... I know lots of people here have done it already.

  7. Reach9 macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2010
    In America
  8. sviato macrumors 68020


    Oct 27, 2010
    HR 9038 A
    I have a few friends who attend University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario and they constantly complain about the crappy service they have with Bell, so I wouldn't go with them. I'm on Rogers' network and haven't had any problems.
  9. kenypowa macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2008
    For the past couple of years, whenever the new iPhone is launched, the big 3 networks would launch a promotion of 6GB data / month. But like everything else, you are tied into this ridiculous 3 year contract.

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