Student Phone Plans in Canada – An Overview
For international students studying in Canada, budget is one of the most important factors to consider, and a good student phone plan is a crucial part of that budget. A reliable data plan, coupled with ample talk time and text messaging capabilities, is essential for staying in touch with family back home and building a network in Canada. With the increasing reliance on smartphone applications, it’s more important than ever to have a data plan that won’t let you down.
However, finding the ideal phone plan can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with other tasks that come with moving to a new country. The cost of student SIM cards in Canada can vary greatly depending on the services you require. While Canadian phone plans are known for being some of the most expensive in the world, the government recently gave the top three service providers a mandate to reduce prices by up to 25% over the next two years. As an international student in need of a phone plan, understanding your needs can help you find the best deal on the market.
How much will you pay for a cell phone plan in Canada?
Canada is infamous for its high cell phone plan prices, particularly when it comes to data. If you’re looking for a plan that includes the latest iPhone and enough data to stream Netflix on your daily walk, be prepared to spend a pretty penny. While we’ll do our best to outline the most competitive options, there’s a good chance you’ll end up paying more than you would in your home country.
The cost of Canadian phone plans can vary significantly depending on the services you choose. If you’re satisfied with a basic plan that only allows for calling and texting, there are some affordable options available.
However, in today’s world, most people want some data included in their phone plan. Unfortunately, data has a significant impact on the price of phone plans in Canada. According to a recent government report on telecommunications pricing in Canada in 2019, a phone plan with 5GB of data costs between $57 and $101 per month. Given that many people require more than 5GB of data, heavy data users should be prepared to pay a premium for their plan.
To provide some context, let’s compare the cost of a Canadian phone plan to those in other countries. The following comparison is drawn from the same report:
Cost of a typical cell phone plan with 2 GB of data in 2019 (CAD)
|Average Monthly Price
Bring Your Own device (BYO) Vs Purchasing a Plan Through Providers
Many immigrants who move to Canada opt to bring their own devices with them for various reasons, including cost-effectiveness and the security of having their important data with them. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) plans are often cheaper than purchasing a phone plan through providers. This is because BYOD plans do not require large upfront fees or an additional payment plan for a phone.
However, BYOD plans can be complicated for those unfamiliar with the process. The phone you bring with you needs to meet specific requirements. Firstly, it must be unlocked, meaning it should not be tied to a single service provider. Secondly, the phone must be compatible with Canada’s mobile networks and their frequencies.
Purchasing a new smartphone that meets these requirements in Canada can cost anywhere from $200 to over $1000. This is one of the primary reasons why buying a phone plan through a provider may not be the best option for international students who have just moved to Canada. A new smartphone can be a significant investment for them.
With the cost of buying a new phone out of the way, all you need to consider is how much data you require and the number of minutes you need every month. It’s also important to note that BYOD plans do not come with a contract. If you purchase a plan from a provider with a phone, you’ll be tied to that provider until you’ve paid off the phone’s cost. This is something that you can avoid with the flexibility of BYOD plans.
Prepaid Or Postpaid (Contract) Plan
When it comes to selecting a phone plan as a student in Canada, it is important to prioritize your needs. Prepaid plans, also known as pay-as-you-go plans, are a popular choice among students because they allow you to pay for the services you will be using in advance. This means that you have a limited amount of calling minutes, text messages, or data, and once you have used them up, you will need to pay more to continue using those services.
On the other hand, monthly postpaid plans allow you to pay for the services you have utilized at the end of the month, but you need to choose a plan that suits your requirements. If you use services that are not included in your plan, you will be charged extra. However, some service providers offer data overage protections.
It is crucial to have a clear idea of the services you need. For instance, if you plan to make a certain number of international calls every week, choose a plan accordingly. If you will be connected to Wi-Fi most of the time, select a data plan that is not expensive.
Ultimately, prioritizing your needs is the most important aspect of finding the best student phone plan in Canada.
How much does a new phone cost in Canada?
The cost of a new phone can vary significantly depending on the type of phone. If you are looking for a basic phone without internet capability, you can find one for under $100. However, if you want a smartphone, you can expect to pay at least a couple of hundred dollars. For one of the latest models from a well-known brand, the price can easily exceed CAD $1,000. As of April 2021, a new 256 GB iPhone 12 from Apple costs CAD $1,339.00.
High prices are one of the reasons why some people choose to purchase their phones through a service provider. This way, they can spread out the cost of the phone over a longer period of time instead of paying a large fee upfront.
Priority Setting for Phone Plans
When an international student arrives in Canada, they face several priorities, such as finding suitable accommodation, managing daily meals, and adjusting to their college schedule. However, purchasing a phone plan can often become a rushed decision if left until after arrival, which can result in unnecessary costs.
Therefore, it is advisable to start thinking about your phone plan as soon as you book your flight to Canada. Before selecting a plan, it is crucial to do thorough research. Begin by determining the amount of data you may require on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Evaluate your calling and texting habits to determine the number of minutes or messages you might need.
At Canadian SIM we understand the trials and tribulations that come with being an international student, looking for a phone plan in Canada.
This is why we provide Canadian SIM cards for Indian students even before you take off for Canada. Activated 48-hours prior to your arrival date, you can ensure that you receive a cost-effective post-paid plan tailored for Indian students heading to Canada. Land in Canada, and video call your family immediately!
Whether you live in Canada for 4 weeks, or 4 years, we have the best Canadian SIM card to help you reach out to your family and friends. Whether it is calling and texting locally or internationally or streaming your favorite shows and movies on your phone, we have your back.
Check out the many benefits of Canadian SIM here. You can even request your own Canadian SIM card from us here.