Prepaid data plan for tourist visitor to Canada

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  • Updated 8 months ago
I will be visiting Canada for 1 month as a tourist for the first time end this month September, and I would need data access to internet for emails and navigation maps on my Samsung S6 phone while driving from Vancouver through the Rocky mountains to Calgary, and also driving in Montreau, Quebec, Ottawa and Toronto cities.  I do not have any address in Canada, except hotels that I have booked and will be staying in, and I have valid Visa Credit cards from oversea (not Canadian) banks and Canadian cash. I have been researching various Canadian companies including Koodo that provide mobile phone/data services in the web, and I am interested in Koodo's prepaid data plans in https://www.koodomobile.com/rate-plans?INTCMP=KMNew_BodyMenu_Shop_Plans

Since I need the data plan for 1 month only on one-off basis, and I would need about 4 to 5 GB data in this period in various provinces in Canada. It seems the $85 data plan for 3GB+3GB would suit my need. Is my understanding correct?  

Does the Koodo data plan work across different provinces in Canada ? Are there additional charges for this?

I intend to go to one of the Koodo shops in Vancouver city centre when I arrive from Asia to purchase a Koodo SIM card, buy the above Koodo data plan, activate the plan there to get internet access on my phone, and I pay Canadian cash for this service.  I do not intend to sign any contract.  Is this possible?  If this is not possible, I would appreciate if you can provide me some advice.  Thanks very much.  

NT Lau
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NT Lau

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Posted 8 months ago

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Russell S

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Koodo has a great, non contract, pay as you go plan for $55.00 per month. You get unlimited province wide calling, texts and 2gb of data. This is about as good as it gets without a contract.
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David, Mobile Master

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You don't need data for mapping - get an App which will allow you to download the map data to your phone before you leave home. I use Copilot GPS, but others recommend Here Maps.

The $85 plan you describe is a contractual plan, available to residents of Canada - you need a Canadian address. Russell S makes the best suggestion of a pre-paid plan and it would likely be enough data for your trip, if you have your mapping already on your phone. You can buy extra data if you need using top-up vouchers from local stores.

Yes, data will work in all provinces in Canada.

You have an ambitious itinerary, enjoy your trip to Canada.
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Ivan, Mobile Master

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I've used both Co-Pilot and HERE. Prefer the latter as it is completely free. Had to pay for Co-Pilot, don't know if that's still their business model.
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David, Mobile Master

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I don't mind paying folks for their effort.
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Ray

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Since you will be driving through the Rockies, I would definitely second David's recommendation for an offline map, since there are many areas in the mountains without cellular service. I was recently there, and cellular reception is mostly non-existent outside the built-up areas of Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper. If you drive along the Yellowhead Highway (BC highway 5 and Alberta highway 16) there are long stretches without service. Have a wonderful trip.
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BobTheElectrician

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You should check your unlocked handset against www.willmyphonework.net to make sure it's compatible with Canadian networks in all respects.

I would recommend buying a prepaid SIM and taking the cheapest $15 a month plan since Province-wide calling will probably be of little use to you.

https://www.koodomobile.com/prepaid-plans?INTCMP=KMNew_NavMenu_Shop_PrepaidPlans

You need Canada-wide minutes, which can also be used to call home (5:1 ratio). Buy a $25 talk booster and $30 1 G data booster to get you started. Your outlay will be $20 for the SIM, less $20 for activation credit + $15 baseplan + $25 + $30 = $70 + tax.

The activation procedure takes place entirely on-line and requires no ID, just a valid email address. With reduced data requirements by downloading the maps on wifi at home before you begin your trip, you can probably get by with topping up with vouchers that can be purchased at many locations:

https://www.koodomobile.com/prepaid-vouchers

Enjoy your trip.
(Edited)
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David, Mobile Master

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BobTheElectrician, Koodo has a current $55 deal including all you suggest including in a purchase, if the OP is only in Canada for a month. If staying longer, your suggestion tips the scales.
(Edited)
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BobTheElectrician

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The deal breaker/maker is the calling feature. It's not obvious whether calling is important to original poster or if/how  province-wide minutes can be used to call back to Europe or another province. The $55 special may be a better deal, especially if data is most important.
(Edited)
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NT Lau

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All,
Thanks very much for all your comments and advice, which are very informative and helpful.  Much appreciated.  Looking forward for my first holiday in Canada. 
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Sophia, Mobile Master

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Canadians are a nice bunch, eh :D Wishing you a wonderful time in this beautiful country!