Cell/ mobile phone plan is so expensive in Canada, ranging from $30/month to $100+/month depending on optional services and data usage.
However, as someone who has switched between 4 phone service providers over the last few years, I have concluded a few affordable cell phone plans for students with good services and enough data usage for regular day-to-day usage.
I assume all students already have a phone with them nowadays. Which makes the Bring Your Own Device “BYOD” the best affordable cell phone plan among all service providers.
Unless you want to get the latest and greatest iPhone or Android phones, those phone plans that come with new phones typically cost you $40+/month higher than BYOD plans and with a fixed-term contract.
PhoneBox is a Canadian wireless provider owned by Rogers Communication; it offers prepaid and monthly phone plans to clients within Canada and across the world. PhoneBox offers an affordable alternative to students, immigrants, and visitors who do not want to commit to long-term contracts, which would be best for students who don’t want to commit to a long-term cell plan right away.
On top of that, PhoneBox also offers services where they ship SIM cards to your home country before you even land in Canada.
PhoneBox Short-term Prepaid Plans start at $9/week, with 2 GB data weekly usage.
Fido is a Canadian mobile network operator owned by Rogers Communications – which is one of the biggest network operators in Canada. However, unlike Rogers, Fido offers one of the most affordable phone plans with good customer support, network coverage, and stability.
Fido’s current starter phone plans start at $37.5/month, with 2GB data monthly usage.
Koodo Mobile is a Canadian mobile flanker brand owned by TELUS and targeting younger customers. It offers relatively the same coverage and services as Fido. However, there are fewer physical stores you can find across Metro Vancouver compared to Fido.
Koodo’s current starter phone plans start at $15/month, with 250MB data monthly usage.
Chatr is a virtual network operator owned by Rogers Communication. Since it has the same parent company as Fido, its services and coverage are almost identical.
Chatr’s current starter phone plans start at $25/month, with 500MB data monthly usage
Public Mobile is a Canadian Self-serve mobile brand owned by TELUS. Similar to Koodo Mobile, there are only a few physical locations you can find across Metro Vancouver. Public Mobile’s coverage is the same as TELUS, and the only difference is that Public Mobile users need to choose in advance whether they want Province-wide, Canada-wide, or Canada-U.S. calling with your plan.
Public Mobile 4G Speed phone plans start at $35/month, with 3GB data monthly usage
Virgin Plus is a value-packed brand owned by Bells. It doesn’t only offer mobile phone plans, and it also offers Internet services and on-demand TV, all at affordable prices. As Virgin Plus runs on Bell’s network, which covers nearly 100% of major cities with their high-speed LTE network.
Virgin Plus current 4G LTE starter plans start at $15/month, with 250MB data monthly usage
Freedom Mobile Inc. is a Canadian wireless telecommunications provider owned by Shaw Communications. It offers the cheapest phone plan for students, but also has the weakest coverage among other companies in Vancouver.
Freedom mobile starter plans start at 35/month, with 10GB data monthly usage