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1304 posts

Uber Geek


# 109507 20-Sep-2012 23:45
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I'll be in Vancouver for two weeks and had originally planned to go without mobile access. Until I discovered some sweet apps that will be useful when I am travelling around. So, I need data. 

Has anyone had any experience with prepay providers over there? Looking for recommendations - thanks. 

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Ultimate Geek

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  # 689160 21-Sep-2012 01:01
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I was just investigating this as my sister and brother-in-law are about to go on holiday in the US/Canada.

Sadly, the state of prepaid mobile data access seems to have regressed since I was there 18 months ago - not that it was particularly great to begin with.  Many operators make the distinction between mobile phones, and smartphones (e.g. Rogers offers a daily $1 unlimited browsing package for mobile phones, but it is only 10Mb for smartphones).

This pages summarises things quite well: http://prepaidwithdata.wikia.com/wiki/Canada





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Uber Geek


  # 690786 24-Sep-2012 18:56
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Thanks Kevin. I've done a heap of research into this over the past few days and am becoming convinced that mapping the city's WiFi hotspots might be the way to go instead ;) 

Canada certainly seems to be poorly served for mobile prepay data. 

 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek

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  # 690788 24-Sep-2012 19:04
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Elpie: Thanks Kevin. I've done a heap of research into this over the past few days and am becoming convinced that mapping the city's WiFi hotspots might be the way to go instead ;) 

Canada certainly seems to be poorly served for mobile prepay data. 


The only plan I could find that might be worth checking is the 7-Eleven prepaid SIM card - $10 for 30 days of unlimited data (intended as a feature-phone http-only plan, but it sounds like there is full 3G/HSPDA+ unrestricted access).  Only comes as a full-sized SIM though, so if you have a micro- or mini-SIM device you'd need to cut it down.

ajw

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Uber Geek


  # 690791 24-Sep-2012 19:07
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Check mobilicity out.

http://mobilicity.ca/plans/



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Uber Geek


  # 690799 24-Sep-2012 19:26
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ajw: Check mobilicity out.

http://mobilicity.ca/plans/


Have you used them? I was under the impression that they will only accept Canadian credit cards. 

ajw

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Uber Geek


  # 690800 24-Sep-2012 19:30
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Sorry haven't used that company.



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Uber Geek


  # 690873 24-Sep-2012 22:58
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KevinL:
Elpie: Thanks Kevin. I've done a heap of research into this over the past few days and am becoming convinced that mapping the city's WiFi hotspots might be the way to go instead ;) 

Canada certainly seems to be poorly served for mobile prepay data. 


The only plan I could find that might be worth checking is the 7-Eleven prepaid SIM card - $10 for 30 days of unlimited data (intended as a feature-phone http-only plan, but it sounds like there is full 3G/HSPDA+ unrestricted access).  Only comes as a full-sized SIM though, so if you have a micro- or mini-SIM device you'd need to cut it down.


I heard back from them and they claim that port 80/443 are the only ports they allow. It's for web browsing only. 

I don't see that as an option, for me anyway. The minimum cost is CAN$10 +$25 for the base plan. Plus taxes. Then you have to add the CAN$10 for UMB browsing access. At a total of CAN$45 + taxes its near enough to the data plans offered by the big three. 

On Telus Mobility, for example, they offer data + messaging for CAN$20 plus Data 25 for an extra CAN$25. That gives messaging plus 600MB data. http://www.telusmobility.com/en/BC/prepaid/rate-plans.shtml

This is what I am considering now. An added incentive for me is that they have txt messaging in/out for Twitter. 

 
 
 
 


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Uber Geek

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  # 690883 24-Sep-2012 23:43
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Elpie: Thanks Kevin. I've done a heap of research into this over the past few days and am becoming convinced that mapping the city's WiFi hotspots might be the way to go instead ;) 

Canada certainly seems to be poorly served for mobile prepay data. 


Canada has good data plans......but you're right, prepay sucks. They don't want people on pre-pay...so you find you don't get much for your money...and it expires in as little as 30 days.

I have a Bell Canada account I keep ticking over for $20 / month...and when I'm about to travel there I phone them and add 5GB of national data to it for a month. It works out to be convenient and keeps my credit profile alive in Canada. When i went back there in 2007 after 25 years in NZ I found parts of the Canadian government thought I was dead (despite holding valid passports for all that time).  I had to prove I was still alive in order to get my Social Insurance Number re-activated. For credit purposes, I may as well have been a 16 year old who had never held a job. It was difficult to open a bank account. 

  

 




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1304 posts

Uber Geek


  # 718778 17-Nov-2012 15:03
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I just got back and FWIW here are my experiences...

Finding a Telus store in Vancouver was not so easy. Getting them to sell a prepay plan for a non-US or Canadian phone was even harder. The best deal is: http://www.telusmobility.com/en/BC/prepaid/rate-plans.shtml but you need to establish that your phone will work across their 4G network. 

In the end, I took the Vodafone NZ option of 200Mb data for NZD$50. It turned into overkill and a waste of money. In Vancouver, BC there is free wifi everywhere. At most, all you need to pay is a cup of coffee. Vodafone roams on Rogers and Rogers coverage is slow, spotty, and outside of the city (eg. in the area between Vancouver and Squamish) coverage was almost non-existent. It worked in Whistler but not in environs. 

I used Viber for calls and messaging and got decent call quality at every free wifi spot I tried. 

At the end of the day, all I needed data for was for navigation. Everything else was able to be done across wifi that didn't cost me a cent. 

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Uber Geek


  # 718816 17-Nov-2012 16:59
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Elpie: I just got back and FWIW here are my experiences...

Finding a Telus store in Vancouver was not so easy. Getting them to sell a prepay plan for a non-US or Canadian phone was even harder. The best deal is: http://www.telusmobility.com/en/BC/prepaid/rate-plans.shtml but you need to establish that your phone will work across their 4G network.


Although telus's definition of 4g is seriously 'gilding the lily'

According to them 4g includes HSPA+ ie what Telecom run their NZ network on now,
it also includes DC-HSPA+ ie what Vodafone z run in selected locations,
and finally it also includes LTE which is what telecom NZ are trialling in the near future..


19282 posts

Uber Geek
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  # 718837 17-Nov-2012 18:08
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wellygary:
Elpie: I just got back and FWIW here are my experiences...

Finding a Telus store in Vancouver was not so easy. Getting them to sell a prepay plan for a non-US or Canadian phone was even harder. The best deal is: http://www.telusmobility.com/en/BC/prepaid/rate-plans.shtml but you need to establish that your phone will work across their 4G network.


Although telus's definition of 4g is seriously 'gilding the lily'

According to them 4g includes HSPA+ ie what Telecom run their NZ network on now,
it also includes DC-HSPA+ ie what Vodafone z run in selected locations,
and finally it also includes LTE which is what telecom NZ are trialling in the near future..



Not accurate INFO

Telecom & 2Degrees also have HSPA+ DC sites and Vodafone did it's LTE trial quite a while back we have about 130 odd DC sites live and this will expand to approx 600 in the coming months

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Master Geek


  # 718909 17-Nov-2012 21:24
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We have just come back from a 5 week trip to Canada with the most time spent in BC. Tried all the main Telcos but like Elpie we just settled for the hotel free wi-fi and Blenz Coffee stores. Although all of the staff were friendly it was just too complicated to sort out a plan for our needs and we felt the $C60+ wasn't worth it.

Good luck and enjoy Vancouver, it's a beautiful city.



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Uber Geek


  # 718949 17-Nov-2012 23:49
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Kiwifan: We have just come back from a 5 week trip to Canada with the most time spent in BC. Tried all the main Telcos but like Elpie we just settled for the hotel free wi-fi and Blenz Coffee stores. Although all of the staff were friendly it was just too complicated to sort out a plan for our needs and we felt the $C60+ wasn't worth it.

Good luck and enjoy Vancouver, it's a beautiful city.


Just to add for others considering going there - Blenz coffee shops and Starbucks all offer free WiFi. In the larger, busier Starbucks stores nobody seemed to care if nothing was purchased. These two coffee shop chains are EVERYWHERE. Several of the mall food courts offer free WiFi, as does the library, and the YVR airport WiFi was really good. In downtown Vancouver it seemed we were never more than half a block from free WiFi. 
In the greater Vancouver area, and outside of the city, this was a very different story - there was nothing (except perhaps in Starbucks, which I didn't try outside of the city) - not even coverage from Rogers, via Vodafone roaming. 



1304 posts

Uber Geek


  # 718951 17-Nov-2012 23:54
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johnr:
wellygary:
Elpie: I just got back and FWIW here are my experiences...

Finding a Telus store in Vancouver was not so easy. Getting them to sell a prepay plan for a non-US or Canadian phone was even harder. The best deal is: http://www.telusmobility.com/en/BC/prepaid/rate-plans.shtml but you need to establish that your phone will work across their 4G network.


Although telus's definition of 4g is seriously 'gilding the lily'

According to them 4g includes HSPA+ ie what Telecom run their NZ network on now,
it also includes DC-HSPA+ ie what Vodafone z run in selected locations,
and finally it also includes LTE which is what telecom NZ are trialling in the near future..



Not accurate INFO

Telecom & 2Degrees also have HSPA+ DC sites and Vodafone did it's LTE trial quite a while back we have about 130 odd DC sites live and this will expand to approx 600 in the coming months


For those sporadic times when I was able to connect to Vodafone roaming on Rogers, I was on HSPA+ in Vancouver. Trying to convince skeptical Canadian telco ninjas that a NZ Samsung Galaxy S3 was fully capable of working on their 4G/HSPA+ network was an exercise in futility. They wouldn't test it with one of their SIM cards so I just gave up. 

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