The Canadian mobile phone (cell phone or wireless phone) market is very different to that in the UK. There is less competition, higher prices, - and a few sea changes in the way they charge you for services.
Pay as you Go, or prepaid service plans are available, as are contracts, though you should expect to sign up for much longer than 12 months (up to three years) if you want a heavily discounted handset.
Coverage is much less widespread than in the UK, in major urban centres you can expect the same services you're used to. Video Calling, Internet Browsing etc. In more rural areas, you may not have access to these services, may experience dropped calls, and sometimes lose coverage altogether. The largest network in Canada is Rogers and you can see their coverage maps here - http://your.rogers.com/Store/Wireless/coverage/info.asp
Not all Canadian providers use GSM technology on their networks. Please see Can I bring my UK phone? section for more info.
- Rogers - http://www.rogers.com/web/Rogers.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=WRLS_HOME
- Fido - http://www.fido.ca/portal/home/homepage.jsp?lang=en
- Telus - http://www2.telus.com/cgi-ebs/jsp/selectRegion.jsp?rd=http://www.telus.com/%253f
- Bell Canada - http://www.bell.ca/shopping/PrsShpWls_Landing.page
- Virgin Mobile - http://www.virginmobile.ca/vmc/en/home/index.html
- Koodo - http://www.koodomobile.com/en/on/index.shtml
- Wind Mobile - Now known as Freedom Mobile: https://www.freedommobile.ca/en-CA
- Speakout - 711 - http://www.speakout7eleven.ca/
The four major providers all charge you separately for services you may take for granted in the UK, and for some you didn't even know existed. Koodo and Virgin Mobile do not charge you extra for most of these, or bundle them in with plans with no extra fee.
- Caller display
- Missed calls list
- Service access charge
- Emergency services access charge
- Text messages
Can I take my UK phone with me?
Yes, the majority of UK phones will function in Canada.
For details, please see the BE Wiki article entitled [Compatibility of Goods : Mobile / Cell Phones].