Problems with Mobile / Wireless Service in Canada

  • Posted June 2, 2009. Last modified June 7, 2010 by

Today I set out to try to find a replacement for my LG8100 phone which has had a very long and horrible life (going through the washer and dryer several times and still working). I am interested in getting some type of blackberry an iPhone, or would even consider one of the newly popular mobile usb modem sticks. The reason for this is because I want to be able to either tether to my laptop, or use the stick to access the Internet while I travel. For instance I am planning a month long cross-Canada trip this summer. All of the sticks seem to only work on 3g networks. They don’t have information on whether they can fall back onto legacy technology at all. Well this is useless unless I can somehow stick to major metro areas. Not very useful for a “mobile” Internet technology.

Next is the price for these things. While they seem to be too expensive (monthly) to me, I am willing to pay it since I understand the costs of setting up a network in a country as spread as Canada. However if I try to tether a Blackberry or iPhone to my computer, all of the major carriers in Canada seem to add on extra costs which make it impractical. The other reason why I do like some of the blackberry models is for international use. For instance when I was in UK this past month, I couldn’t use my LG8100 phone at all. Some of the newer Blackberries supported by Rogers and Telus that I have looked at support many technologies and seem like they make work.

Anyways, this post has mostly been a rant, so feel free to leave your experiences or some suggestions on what I might do to try to get some solution to my needs. I have tried asking the sales staff at some of the places to help me out and they have been useless so far. But thats another story.

Update: I have decided on a Blackberry Storm 9530 since it supports international roaming and has many of the features I would like in a phone. It looks like I will just settle on buying a separate mobile stick for use with my laptop. I don’t want to have to worry about all of the hassle of getting the extra software & the questionable legality that is involved with trying to get data through my phone. So far I am quite happy with the phone, it is quite a step from my LG8100.

4 comments on “Problems with Mobile / Wireless Service in Canada”


    The cheapest options are very grey market. These are the only two options I’ve found, any other is ludicrously expensive.

    If you get an iPhone you can jailbreak it and install PDAnet or another similar application that’ll turn the iPhone into a secured wireless access point to share 3G. The GSM iPhone will work anywhere and it’s a pretty good phone to boot.

    The other option is to get a Windows Mobile phone with an unlimited data plan, then install PDAnet and use it over USB. The Bell ToS doesn’t prohibit tethering, but this method tricks it into being billed as on-device. Not sure if this is illegal or not.

    Telus did have Blackberry options like $15/month unlimited browsing and another $15/month unlimited messaging/email. I believe it also came with a very small allowance for all other data. Might be worth a look depending on your usage patterns.

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