Today is the last and shortest of the posts directly related to the major questions and comments found in the comments from MMM’s Our New $10.00 Per Month iPhone Plans post, and we’ll primarily be focusing on Canadian solutions… but first, a new tool! My friend Yolfer over at Foundry In The Forest has created a spreadsheet calculator for folks looking to figure out if it would be worth switching wireless carriers to a cheaper plan if you’re under contract, and liking the idea (and given the consummate tweaker that I am), I created a stand alone web based version for folks to use. You can find it, use it, and link to it here: http://www.techmeshugana.com/tools/wirelessroi.html
And now, back to our topic…
The Great White North
So, what sort of options are there for you fine folks? Well, there’s more than you think! Upon my cursory examination, the major prepaid players in Canada appear to be Solo Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Fido, NorthernTel, PC Mobile, chatr wireless, Koodo, Wind Mobile, Mobilicity and Petro-Canada as the major players. I’m not too familiar with the landscape up there wireless telecom wise yet, so if you need details on caveats and issues with carriers and coverage, I would highly recommend a good long look at Howard Forums Canadian standard and prepaid wireless forums.
(Edit 10/26: Thanks to Kimberly and Daryl for reminding me that I completely glossed over and forgot about 7-11′s SpeakOut Wireless in the list.)
As for singling out any particular best of the best from the above options, it really appears to wind up being far too much of a conditional thing given how fine grained these packages are with specific regional calling areas, roaming fees, free calling packages during off-peak hours, the ability to call long distance or not, and little apparent deviation between the more attractive free to use how you like carrier plans. Monthly packages also appear to be far more attractively priced with the purely per-minute plans running on average around 25+¢ a minute. In a way, it’s like trying to compare a half dozen carriers like Cricket Wireless back when they had local and roaming plans with various minute packages and restricted local calling areas… there’s just too many options between them all to recommend a definitive option for most folks without knowing usage specifics. That said, Mobilicity seems to have some attractive unlimited packages running right now for you major metropolitan dwellers.
Anyway, what little additional info I have gathered of note is that Wind Mobile and Mobilicity have reception issues outside of major metropolitan areas, given the feedback provided by an individual posing as “Dom in Canada” over in MMM’s blog comments. I’m certain that some of the other GSM carriers might fall into similar situations, so check your potential carrier’s coverage maps before signing up!
Finally, if there’s any feedback, information or options I might have missed, please feel free to let me know either in the comments section or contact me directly!
Be well, everyone.