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Use cell phone in Canada: How to do it?

We will explain you how to use your cell phone in Canada: the alternatives to have internet, their prices and how to buy them.

Leoneska Ruiz

September 1, 2023

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Canada is a country full of beautiful places to visit and adventure. So if your next trip is to this North American country, then you should know all the ways in which you can use your cellphone in Canada.

Having an internet connection is one of the most fundamental items on a checklist when traveling. Since it will be necessary to keep in touch with your family and friends, look up an address or order a cab. 

That is why this article will tell you how you can use your cellphone during your trip to Canada. We will discuss everything you need to know about cellular services consumption and the different alternatives with which you can stay connected to the internet at all times.

eSIM for Canada

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Will my phone work in Canada?

Many people think that if they go on a trip, they will no longer be able to use their cellphones in another country or connect to an internet network. But, this is actually possible! However, you should confirm a few things about your phone before starting your trip. 

Foremost, you should verify that your cellphone has open bands. This is important because if they are not open, you will not be able to connect to a different network than the one from your operator, and you will be forced to use international roaming, which is quite expensive. 

On the other hand, you will also need to compare the network frequencies that your cellular works with, with those of the country you will be visiting. That way, you will know how fast your internet connection will be in this country. In the case of Canada, they handle the following network frequencies: 

  • 5G bands: n7 (2600), n38 (2600), n66 (1700), n71 (600), n78 (3500)
  • 4G bands: B2 (1900), B4 (1700/2100 AWS 1), B5 (850), B7 (2600), B12 (700), B13 (700), B17 (700), B29 (700), B46 (TDD 900), B66 (1700/2100), B71 (600)
  • 3G bands: B2 (1900), B4 (1700/2100 AWS A-F), B5 (850)
  • 2G bands: B2 (1900), B5 (850)

Do I need an international plan in Canada?

Purchasing an international plan for your trip to Canada is one of the best options for you to connect to the internet during your trip. Not only because they are very secure services, but also because they are cheap.

For example, if you decide to travel with the roaming of your domestic operator, the final cost could be quite high. On the contrary, nowadays, there are services such as SIM cards, eSIMs, and Pocket WiFi, which offer international plans, with which you can connect to good internet networks for a good price. 

So, after what we have said, we would say that yes! You will need an international plan for your trip, so you don’t have to worry about running out of internet or high-cost fines when you arrive from your trip. 

What are the International plans options for using my cell phone in Canada?

We have already told you about some of the options with which you can purchase an international plan to stay connected with your cellphone in Canada. However, you must know more in detail about each of the alternatives that you can count on. That way, you can choose the best option for you. 

That is why below, we will explain in detail the features, advantages, costs, and where to buy each of the alternatives with which you can purchase an International plan for Canada.

Data eSIM for Canada

First, we will talk about eSIM. This is a relatively new and quite innovative alternative, which is becoming very famous among travelers due to its main feature, the eSIM is a digital card! This means that it is effortless to acquire, activate, and use totally virtually. 

That is why many virtual stores have dedicated themselves to offering this type of service, such as Holafly, a virtual store. Holafly offers an eSIM for Canada that puts forward many benefits, such as 24-hour technical service, up to 500 MBs per day to share data, and a connection to one of the best internet networks in Canada, among others. 

eSIM for Canada
Unlimited data eSIM for Canada from holafly.

In addition, you can choose between different alternative plans for your trip, Holafly offers unlimited data plans, and you can choose between five, seven, ten, fifteen, and twenty days from 27 USD up to 54 USD. Also, remember that the whole process can be done online and will only take about 5 minutes. Once you finish your purchase, the eSIM will arrive in your email immediately, and you can start using your eSIM whenever you want! 

International SIM Card for Canada

As a second option, we will discuss the prepaid SIM card, an alternative that you may be more familiar with. Prepaid SIM cards work similarly as the ones you use at home. You will have to insert them into your cellphone, and most offer cellular data services. 

This SIM card is an excellent option for those who do not have an eSIM-compatible cellular phone, as SIM cards can be used from any device. 

Pocket WiFi for Canada

Now, we bring you the third alternative to stay connected to the internet during your trip to Canada. This is the Pocket WiFi, a small device that you can carry with you and that shares a network signal with other devices connected to it. 

The great advantage of Pocket WiFi, and the reason why many people use it as one of their favorite alternatives, is that you can connect several devices to the same Pocket WiFi, including phones, laptops, and tablets, among others. 

However, the downside of this service is that they are quite expensive, as renting one of these devices could cost you up to $100 for a single week! And not to mention the shipping fees, accessory rental, and insurance fee. 

Currently, many companies offer this type of service. For example, Cello Mobile is an American company that offers Pocket WiFi rentals. Renting one of these services with this company will cost you around $349.99 a week. However, you will also have to add delivery costs. And lastly, something important to mention is that if you lose the device or do not return it, you will have to pay a hefty fine to the company. 

Free WiFi in Canada

Lastly, we will tell you about the option that won’t cost you a dollar, free WiFi. This is an option that we are constantly looking for wherever we go. So, let us tell you that you can get free WiFi spots in many places in Canada. Like shopping malls, restaurants, bars, and even on many occasions in hotels. 

However, something you should consider regarding a free WiFi hotspot is that this is not the safest alternative since it is an open network; anyone can connect. In addition, you would have to be close to the WiFi hotspot to be connected, so it is not the most stable option of all. 

That’s why we recommend keeping this option as an emergency one or saving data from your international plan. That way, you will be able to enjoy a stable and secure internet connection at all times during your trip. 

Will my local Internet work in Canada?

Nowadays, most local operators offer their users the possibility to use international roaming. However, we recommend that you check in advance if your operator offers this service to the country you will be traveling to, in this case, Canada. 

Something to consider when it comes to roaming is that these services are quite expensive, and you could be spending between $10 to $15 per day, depending on the perks and advantages provided by your operator. Here we will talk about the roaming services of two very famous international phone operators. 

Use cell phone in Canada with AT&T.

AT&T is one of the most popular cellular provider company in the United States. So if you are a user of this operator, then you can use roaming for your trip to Canada. 

You should first know that you can choose between different methods, depending on your preferences. AT&T offers its users the International Day Pass, which costs $10 per day, and you will be able to use your phone services as if you were at home. 

On the other hand, you can also use the pay-per-use option, with which you will have to pay only for the consumption of services. The prices for each one for Canada are $2.05/MB, as well as $1 per minute of the call and $0.5 for each text message sent.

Use cell phone in Canada with O2 UK.

On the other hand, O2 UK is one of the main operators in the UK. This company offers great benefits to its users regarding roaming since those traveling within the European Union will not have to pay any additional fees.

However, in the case of Canada, UK users will be able to use the O2 Travel Bolt On plan, which is priced at $6 per day, and you will be able to use your phone services. This plan will be charged daily. 

What is the best option for using a cell phone in Canada?

We have reached the end of this article, and we hope that all the information provided will be of much help. As for our recommendation, we consider that the best option of all is the one that you feel most comfortable with and that covers your trip’s needs. 

However, in general, we can say that the best options of all are Holafly’s eSIM card. This is because they have excellent prices, and you can enjoy many benefits with each of these services, such as technical support 24 hours a day and connection to the best internet networks in the country with unlimited data

With this, we hope you can choose the best alternative for you so that you can have an extraordinary experience during your trip to Canada. See you next time!