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Common Questions about cellphones

Can I bring my cellphone from home?

If you are interested in bringing your cellular/mobile phone from home, Canada’s three major cellular providers (and their sub-brands) can sell SIM cards that can be placed in existing phones.  You will need to ensure that your phone is unlocked and can run on the GSM network but be aware that event then there is no guarantee that your phone will work properly.

Can I use my cellphone plan from home?

If you will be in Canada for a short time, you may be able to add an international travel plan to your existing plan. Check with your provided regarding costs and restrictions. However, be aware that your friends in Canada will be charged international rates if they call or text you.

Can I use a Canadian cellphone plan in the USA?

You can add a travel option to your cellphone plan that will allow you to use it in the USA and not be charged high roaming rates. Be sure to check what the costs to use your phone in the USA will be before you travel. The USA is considered international travel by Canadian Cellphone Companies.

Do I have to sign a contract?

No, you do not have to sign a contract. You can set up a “pay as you go” plan.

Companies do offer discounted prices, plans with better options if you sign a contract but contracts can be from 24 – 36 months and there is an early cancelation fee applied. While on a contact you can change your plan but not who the carrier is.

What is a “tab”?

A “Tab”, when used by Cellphone companies, refers to the purchase of a phone when you sign up for a plan. Basically, the cost of the phone is added to the cost of the phone plan and you’ll pay a higher rate until the phone is paid off.

Which Cellphone Company/plan should I pick?

Some things to think about when selecting a plan:

  1. What is the coverage area – will your cellphone have reception outside of Kingston?
  2. What do you need?  Do you need a lot of data?  will you be making international calls? What will you be using your phone for?
  3. Cost – costs for plans in Canada may be more expensive than you are used to at home. We have one of the most expensive cellphone networks in the world.

This is a personal choice.  Each student will have different needs and there isn’t one plan or one company that will work for everyone. 

List of Cellphone Companies (may not be a complete list)
What are my rights?

The Wireless Code of Canada establishes basic rights for wireless consumers and provides requirements to all wireless service providers. Know your rights as a consumer before buying a cell phone plan from a service provider.