Budget – The most important keyword for any student studying abroad. And when it comes to budget, one of the most important things after housing and food definitely is a good student phone plan.
Having a cell phone plan that allows for ample talk time and sufficient texts coupled with a data plan that does not quit, is a must for international students in Canada. How else would you keep in touch with your family back home while continuing to grow your network in Canada? It takes a strong data plan to be a silent member on your family WhatsApp group, or a social media influencer.
Finding the ideal phone plan once you land in in Canada can be harrowing, especially with the numerous tasks you will have on hand. The cost of student SIM cards in Canada vary greatly depending upon the type of services you require. With our growing dependence on phone applications, and the smartphone in general, it becomes crucial to have a data plan that will not fail you.
Canadian phone plans have the reputation of being some of the most expensive in the world. In fact, on March 2020, the government gave Canada’s top 3 service providers 2 years to slash their prices by up to 25%. Having said that, for those of you immigrating immediately to Canada, and in dire need of a phone plan, understanding what you require can help you get the best deal on the market.
BYOD Plans Vs Purchasing a Plan Through Providers
Many immigrants to Canada often have no choice but to carry their own devices to Canada, especially considering they have important data on them or for simple cost reasons. Bring Your Own Device or BYOD Plans, are often cheaper than purchasing a plan through providers. This is because you can save on large upfront fees, or avoid an additional payment plan for the phone.
BYOD too, however can get complicated for the uninitiated. Your phone needs to have certain requirements. Firstly it needs to be unlocked, this means that your phone should not be locked to a single service provider. Secondly, the phone you are bringing must be compatible with Canada’s mobile networks and the mobile frequencies of these networks.
Buying a new smartphone that meets your requirements in Canada, can range from anywhere between $200 to over $1000. This is one of the biggest arguments one can have against getting a phone plan through providers. Buying a smart phone can be a huge investment for a student who has just moved to Canada. Which is why purchasing a plan through providers may not be in an international student’s best interest.
With the cost of buying a new phone out of the window, all you will need to identify is how much data you want and the number of minutes you require every month. More importantly, BYOD plans do not have a contract. If you are buying a plan from a provider with a phone, you will be locked into the service provider till you have paid off the cost of the phone. That is something you can avoid with the help of BYOD plans.
Prepaid Or Postpaid (Contract)
Prepaid, also known as pay-as-you-go plans, are more commonly preferred among students, having said that there are also ample takers for the contract-based or monthly postpaid plans.
Prepaid plans allow you to pay for the services you are going to be utilizing from the service provider in advance. This means that you have a stipulated amount of calling minutes, text messages or data. Once you have exhausted your calling minutes, messages or data, you will need to pay more before you can utilize those services again.
A monthly plan allows you to pay for the services you have utilized at the end of the month. The caveat is that you will need to choose a plan that is best suited to your requirements. If you utilize services that are not included in your plan, you will be charged extra for the same. However, there are certain data overage protections that are offered by service providers.
It is important to have a clear idea of the services you require. If you know that you are going to be making a certain number of international calls every week, select a plan accordingly. If you know you are going to be connected to WiFi most of the time, choose a data plan that won’t dent your pocket.
This brings us to the most important aspect of finding the best student phone plan in Canada – Prioritizing.
Priority Setting for Phone Plans
When a student moves to Canada they have a number of priorities. From finding the right accommodation to sorting their daily meals to coming to terms with their college schedule, international students have a long list of tasks.
Buying a phone plan can often turn out to be a hurried affair when one tries to do so after landing in Canada. This is definitely not the situation you want to be in, especially considering the month-on-month investment it entails.
As soon as your flight tickets lands in your hands, you should start thinking about the kind of phone plan you are going to need in Canada. Make sure that you do your due diligence before beginning to look at plans. Having a clear idea of the amount of data you may require on a daily, weekly or monthly basis would be a good start. Analyze your calling and texting patterns to identify how many minutes or messages you may require.
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.