One of the most important things to know before moving to or visiting Canada is whether your cell phone is compatible with Canada; if your phone will work with Canadian mobile networks, as our networks differ in some ways from the rest of the world.
To keep you in touch with family, friends, and coworkers, we’ve put together this guide to the frequency bands used by Canadian carriers.
This will assist you in preparing for your trip and deciding whether to bring your phone and get a SIM card while in Canada or to purchase a new phone.
Will My Phone Function On Canadian Networks;
To work in Canada, your phone:
- Unlocking is required (if it is locked, see: How to Unlock Your Phone in Canada)
- The protocols and frequency bands used by Canadian carriers must be compatible (see below)
- A SIM card from a Canadian carrier that has been activated is required.
- It should not be reported as lost or stolen.
Here’s how to find out exactly what protocols and frequencies your phone supports for a more in-depth, precise confirmation that your phone is compatible:
1. Locate The International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) code.
You should be able to find the model number and IMEI of your phone in the settings or owner’s manual:
Settings > Wireless & Networks > More > Android
Settings > About phone > Status > Cellular networks
Apple: Go to Settings > General > About.
On your phone, enter *#06#.
Apple, Samsung, and other manufacturers’ websites
2. Obtain The Frequency Bands Using The IMEI.
Go to www.imei.info and enter your phone’s IMEI. The output should show which frequency bands it supports.
3. Contrast With Canadian carriers
Compare the bands supported by Canadian carriers to those supported by your phone in the tables below.
Canada’s Mobile Phone Network Technologies
The phone’s operating frequency bands and protocols/standards, the frequencies and standards supported by the provider, and your proximity to the provider’s service territory all influence compatibility with a mobile network.
These factors determine a mobile network’s accessibility and have a significant impact on the speed at which data is sent and received.
To access the LTE network, for example, you’ll need an LTE-compatible device, an LTE SIM card from a service provider that supports LTE, and to be in an area where LTE coverage is available.
Protocols Used By Each Canadian Network Operator
2G and 3G phone technologies that use GSM and CDMA frequency bands are being phased out in Canada.
Except for Rogers Wireless, all carriers serving the provinces have discontinued GSM support as of December 31, 2020. Telus and Bell, two major mobile network carriers, stopped supporting CDMA networks in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
In Canada, Where Can You Bring Your Phone (BYOP) And Buy A SIM Card?
SIM cards can be purchased at the airport (at exorbitant prices), at carrier kiosks in malls and shopping centers, and directly from carriers online.
Bell, Rogers, and Telus are the major carriers, but cheaper options are frequently available through their discount brands such as Public Mobile, Koodo, Chatr, Fido, and Freedom Mobile.
Simply purchase a SIM card from one of the carriers listed above using your unlocked device. You should be able to get one for around CAD $10, and the setup should be simple.
You might want to consider ordering a SIM card online and having it delivered to a Canadian address before you leave. While this may appear to be a convenient option, it can quickly become inconvenient if the delivery time does not coincide with when you arrive in Canada.
To activate the SIM card, contact the carrier from which you purchased it or go to one of their stores. Once activated, insert it into your phone and follow the activation instructions provided by your carrier.
A Telus SIM card costs CAD $20, Rogers, Lucky Mobile, and Chatr CAD $10, and Virgin Mobile and Koodo CAD $0. The cost of the SIM card itself is consistent and does not give a good indication of the value of the provider’s plans.
Canada is known for having some of the world’s highest phone plan prices. A BYOP phone plan from a discount provider with 5GB of data and unlimited Canada-wide minutes and texting costs between CAD $40 and $50, according to our comparison of the best-prepaid cell phone plans in Canada.
Pay-per-use and calls to the United States cost between $0.40 and $0.60 per minute.
Prepaid or postpaid?
Prepaid and postpaid services are available in Canada. Both options provide the same service; the only differences are when you pay and the rates you pay.
Prepaid service, also known as pay-per-use, requires payment in advance for a specific amount of services, such as minutes, texts, or GB of data. When you run out of funds, you must replenish your account.
Customers who use postpaid services sign up for a plan that includes a specific package of services that renews monthly.
They receive a bill at the end of each month with the same charges (unless they incur overage charges by exceeding the allotted limits), whether or not they used all of the minutes/data available to them.
We’ll Look At Some Of The Best SIM Cards And Cell Phone Plans For Use In Canada.
Get one of the most powerful networks SIM cards from the T-Mobile website or Amazon with ease.
One of the best signals in the United States is now available in Canada as well. In Canada, you’ll want to use this burner SIM card.
There is 5GB of data included, as well as unlimited texts and calls for 15 days.
Take the hassle out of buying a new phone in Canada or attempting to unlock your phone.
Verizon offers some of the best cell phones available in Canada.
Verizon’s system is configured slightly differently than a SIM card. There are no SIM card options available through Verizon.
There have been reports of third-party sellers selling Verizon SIM cards for use in Canada, but we do not recommend doing so.
You’re probably still wondering if Verizon service is available in Canada. No, it does not. Your standard US plan will not work in Canada.
But hold on, there’s more. Yes, the second answer is correct. Your US wireless plan follows you wherever you go with TravelPass.
With 4G LTE speeds, use your phone as you would anywhere in the United States. You will only be charged for each call or text message you send.
Depending on how much data you use during the day, a TravelPass session can last up to 24 hours.
Aside from that, the standard rates apply, just as they would in the United States.
The cost is $5 per day.
Verizon Wireless also provides prepaid cell phone service. It provides 15GB for $45 per month.
This is convenient if you don’t want to stay on Verizon for long or are only using the phone for travel.
Cost: $40 per month.
This is one of the high-quality limitless data prepaid plans that work on a 5G Verizon network. This is one of
Get limitless data, calls, and texts alongside free cell hotspots.
Grab a cheap telephone that can effortlessly be unlocked and insert a Canadian-compatible SIM card and you’ll be good to go.
Mint Mobile, by far the most affordable option, offers 10GB of data for the low monthly fee of $20.
This network provides both 5G and 4G LTE networks with unlimited talk and text.
Grab a prepaid phone, unlock it, and you’ll be on your way up north in no time! To allow use in a good portion of Canada, use a burner SIM Canada card.
This article is not intended to be an iPhone versus Samsung piece by any means, but these are the top two contenders in this category.
Samsung produces some of the most technologically advanced phones on the market, competing with, of course, the iPhone.
But none of this is important.
It makes no difference which phone company you choose as long as you can travel with it and it is Canada-friendly!
Samsung offers a variety of Galaxy models, the most recent being the Galaxy S21, with the S22 due out soon.
Galaxy models dating back to the S7 and above are capable of roaming the networks in Canada.
This provides you with a wide range of options on a variety of carriers. Purchase an unlocked Galaxy today and travel to Canada with ease.
If you’ve had your telephone for endless years, or many years (I am conscious that some of us nevertheless have flip phones), chances are it may additionally no longer work anymore.
Most 4G phones will now work in Canadian provinces, but not all of them.
iPhones are excellent at keeping their phones up to date with the most recent technology, security, and processors. This means that, up to a certain point, your iPhone will work perfectly in Canada.
As long as all of the aforementioned conditions are met.
If your iPhone 6 through 12 is unlocked, has an international cell plan, or has a Canadian SIM card ready to be inserted, you should be good to go.
Your carrier should provide you with a map of coverage across Canada, and you should double-check the coverage.
Check that you will have adequate coverage for your trip to Canada. The further north you go, the less likely reception and carrier services are.
The Nokia phone brand has received an overwhelming response across Canada.
Nokia has branded five of their phones for customers who live in or travel to Canada, with a fair price point for even their top options of phones.
Most Nokia phones are already unlocked, regardless of carrier. This is a huge benefit because it eliminates the need for you to go through the hassle of trying to unlock it yourself!
Even better, because these phones are geared toward Canada and the networks they use, you should have no trouble connecting to any of the numerous networks that roam across the country.
The five phones available are the classic Nokia 3310 3G, the Nokia 1, 3, 5, and the Nokia 6.1.
Any of these will be suitable for Canada!
All cell phones will not work in Canada. Their processors simply cannot handle the various types of networks available in Canada.
This is why unlocking a newer model phone or having a Canada SIM card on hand will make traveling much easier.
The most difficult obstacle to getting your phone to work in Canada isn’t always the carrier.
It is occasionally the phone itself. If you’ve had your phone for several years, or many years (I know some of us still have flip phones), chances are it won’t work anymore.
Even in the last ten years, technology has changed tenfold, and cell phone coverage and service have come a long way. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in terms of cell phones and cell phone coverage in the last thirty years.