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AH Primetime: Canada’s Mobile Phone Plans Compared

February 2, 2016 - Written By Cory McNutt

If you have been keeping up with the Canadian mobile news lately, you know that the Big Three – Rogers, Bell and Telus – along with their discounts brands – Fido, Koodo and Virgin – have raised prices at least $5 to $10 per month.  Other reports will tell us that while Canadians are receiving fast service, they are also paying more than other developed countries.  This means it is more important than ever to choose your plan wisely and deciding what you do with your current smartphone – take it with you or sell it.  Sphere, an online cell phone trade-in service has been kind enough to compile an infographic that compares the price of phone plans from some of the most popular Canada-wide carriers. Sphere wants to help you sell or recycle your old cell phone by providing you with “free shipping and packaging materials, along with making the process fast and efficient, [they] strongly believe that [they] can change the way that we, as Canadians, deal with upgrading our devices.”  Let’s take a look at their infographic and see just how the Canadian carriers stack up against one another.

For those that want a bare-bones plan with no data, you are bringing your phone and Wi-Fi is your best friend, the monthly prices range from a low $20 with Chatr (they use Rogers’ towers) to $35 for the Big Three, Fido, Koodo and Virgin.  In-between we have Wind and Mobilicity for $25 a month.  The Fido plan even throws in 100MB of data…just in case you need a little.  There are some plans where you can stay away from paying for data and still get a phone in the process.  Sure, it is going to cost you more adding a phone to the deal, but it could be a way to finally trade-up from a flip-phone to a phone with some brains to it. Typical phones in this price range are a Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime and a Moto G – nothing real fancy, but solid starter phones.  Rogers has the worst phone selection in this price range, while Koodo and Virgin offer more flexibility via their ‘Tabs.”  Wind is cheapest at $30 per month and for a better selection of phones, Koodo is $39 and Virgin tops out at $45.

If you are what they call a “medium” user, there are plans for you as well. Sphere grab some plans without a phone that were right around 1GB of data – you may stream a video now and then, but for the most part, you just want to have a little data reserve when you are away from your Wi-Fi.  Wind comes in at only $30 a month – Wind and Mobilicity ($45) are actually unlimited data, but slow it down after you reach your allotted 2GB with Wind and 6GB with Mobilicity.  All of the other plans are 1GB and range from $40 at Chatr and a high of $75 at Bell.  So you think of yourself as a “medium” user, but you need a phone on your plan?  The carriers are more than happy to sell/discount you a phone so you can scream through that 1GB of data.  Koodo and Wind have you pay for your phone on a “Tab” so the monthly rate can vary based on the device you purchase.  Also, you would have to add $10 – $15 a month for an iPhone 6S and Wind does not carry them.  Wind is cheapest at $40 a month while Rogers and Bell top out the list at $75 per month.

Now let us look at a “heavy” user, and I am not talking about somebody that likes desserts – we are looking at a power user that needs connected 24/7, always on the go and is not familiar with the term Wi-Fi.  This chart shows plans as close to 5GB of data Sphere could find and pricing is for those that will Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).  The cheapest plan is Wind at $34 and the most expensive is Bell at $100.  Rogers at $90 and Fido at $95 both give you two years of Spotify Premium for free with their plans.  For the power user that wants a brand new phone to help go through all of their data, Sphere has a listing for that.  At $44, Wind is once again the winner, but you have to make sure they cover your area and have a device that suits your needs.  The most expensive plans are $100 a month at Rogers and Bell, with Fido topping the list at $110.  Again, if you want an iPhone 6S, look to add an additional $10 a month to these prices.

Check out the Sphere “Cell Phone Plan Comparison’ tables in the infographic – with prices rising all of the time, maybe it is time for a change and check out Sphere to recycle or purchase your smartphone.

Infographic January 2016 Compare Canada Plans