Cell Phones

Reception with "the other guys"

  • Last Updated:
  • May 17th, 2018 11:10 am
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[OP]
Newbie
Jul 28, 2017
25 posts
55 upvotes

Reception with "the other guys"

Looking into other options for more affordable cellphone plans for my parents. I'm seeing decent prices with Zoomer, Public and Freedom. However, from what I've heard people will often complain about Wind (Freedom) and their poor reception or awful service. The most attractive thing is these guys have plans for under $30 which is pretty nice when you don't need anything beyond some minutes and texting options.

Not worried about data. Looking at having reliable calling and texting. In and around the GTA area (East towards Oshawa/Cobourg and Toronto). Does anyone have experience with the "other" providers and any issues/complaints?

Thanks in advance!
6 replies
Newbie
Dec 4, 2017
96 posts
31 upvotes
"Other" than what? I.e. what is your current provider?

While there are many carriers, there are only a few actual tower networks (which affects reception) and backhaul networks (which affects the ability to carry voice/text/data traffic from towers to anywhere else).

The tower networks available to you are: Bell/Telus, Rogers, and Freedom. I'm not sure whether any others have spectrum in Toronto.

Bell and Telus share a tower network, and thus have the same coverage. At some point, they diverge in backhaul, so may differ in capability when there are crowds or other sources of strain on cellular capability. They make their resources available to their "flanker" brands and resellers: Virgin, Koodo, Public Mobile, Solo, PC Mobile, and other boutique resellers in some markets.

Rogers has its own tower network. Its service is also available through Fido, Chatr, 7-11 Speakout, Petro-Canada, Zoomer, Primus, Cityfone, and other boutique resellers.

Freedom has its own tower network. I am not aware of other brands that use it.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 28, 2017
25 posts
55 upvotes
IanBrantford wrote:
May 16th, 2018 6:50 pm
"Other" than what? I.e. what is your current provider?

While there are many carriers, there are only a few actual tower networks (which affects reception) and backhaul networks (which affects the ability to carry voice/text/data traffic from towers to anywhere else).

The tower networks available to you are: Bell/Telus, Rogers, and Freedom. I'm not sure whether any others have spectrum in Toronto.

Bell and Telus share a tower network, and thus have the same coverage. At some point, they diverge in backhaul, so may differ in capability when there are crowds or other sources of strain on cellular capability. They make their resources available to their "flanker" brands and resellers: Virgin, Koodo, Public Mobile, Solo, PC Mobile, and other boutique resellers in some markets.

Rogers has its own tower network. Its service is also available through Fido, Chatr, 7-11 Speakout, Petro-Canada, Zoomer, Primus, Cityfone, and other boutique resellers.

Freedom has its own tower network. I am not aware of other brands that use it.
*Other than the big 3, Rogers/Telus/Bell. Even their more famous "sister" brands (Fido/Koodo/Virgin) tend to be pricey as well.

Thanks for the response, very informative!
Jr. Member
Nov 16, 2014
126 posts
30 upvotes
Ladysmith, BC
Prepaid plans often work well for people with limited data needs. I'm with Koodo prepaid and average less than $20/month including voice, data, and text in Canada and when travelling to the US.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 28, 2013
13715 posts
4748 upvotes
Oakville
Stay away from Freedom if you want reliability, period.

Public mobile is great, but I wouldn't recommend it for parents because while their online-only customer service model is amazingly responsive... It might be a bit tough for parents to navigate if they're not tech-savvy enough to figure out how a forum works.

Zoomer is specifically geared to senior citizens, so they're a good option IMO. But as mentioned, prepaid is also a good alternative too.
Lucky Koodo $40/6GB recipient
Deal Fanatic
Oct 6, 2007
5797 posts
1952 upvotes
Kootenays
Koodo prepaid offers unlimited texts for $15/month. Going to auto pay gives a bonus of 100 Canada wide anytime minutes plus a 10% ongoing discount. Additional minutes can be bought for 500 minutes for $25 and they never expire. Add-ons can be purchased for US travel if necessary, as can data.

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