Q: Will my cellphone use be dramatically different while in Montreal than it was when at home?
Is this your first cellphone? Are you used to keeping in touch with friends by calling them often or sending numerous texts? Bear in mind that numerous factors will influence the use of your cellphone. While it is hard to assess beforehand just how much your phone habits will change, try anticipating various scenarios before choosing the plan that suits you.
Consider the following possible uses of your phone: local or long distance talk; text messaging and email; Facebook and Google access; robust contact manager and calendar; and downloading music, games or applications. You can always change your plan to accommodate your calling habits over time.
Q: Can I just use the cellphone I brought from out of town?
If you have a cellphone plan from another city within Canada you have the option to call your carrier and ask for a local telephone number. This will eliminate having all your calls turn into long distance calls while in Montreal. Otherwise, you can sign up for a new Montreal-based plan that may work to your advantage because of the student promotions.
If you have a cellphone plan from another city outside Canada, it is likely that you will be subject to paying both long distance charges as well as roaming fees for voice and for data plans. These costs add up very quickly and vary by carrier. You should check with your local cellphone provider to see if it pays to keep your existing line. It is normally recommended for out-of-country students to set up a new Montreal based plan to save costs.
Q: What do I do with my local Montreal cellphone in the summer if I return home for two months?
Calls made outside the Montreal region will be subject to roaming fees in addition to the minutes used. Roaming plans can be added on during any month to accommodate your travel plans. Here are some other options:
If you’re going to another Canadian city, you have the option of changing your phone number to that local area code and continue using your phone under your current plan (this will save you long distance charges).
If you live outside Canada, it may become cost prohibitive to use your cellphone for those months. You do have the option of reducing your monthly plan for those months to a basic plan and then changing back when you return to school.
Q: What paperwork/documents do I need to open an account with a cellular phone provider?
If you are a Canadian resident, you will require your student ID card plus two of the following four pieces of ID: driver’s license, social insurance card, passport or credit card. This can be under the student’s name or parent’s name if the student is under 18 years of age (or 19 years if from British Columbia).
If you are not a Canadian citizen, you will need your passport and a credit card along with your student ID card. The credit card and passport should be under the student’s name or a parent’s name if the student is under 18 years of age. You will also need the local address where you will be living (residence, apartment, etc.). There is a possibility that you will be required to pay a fully refundable $100 cash deposit upon activation. This amount is credited to your account 12 months into the contract.
Q: What if I only plan on staying at McGill for one or two years? Must I commit to a three-year plan?
Both one- and two-year plans are available. Please keep in mind that with a three-year plan, most or all of the cost of your cellphone is subsidized based on your commitment. With either a one- or two-year plan, you will have to pay for a portion of your phone. Pre-paid phones are another option, and are available through local shopping outlets around Montreal.
Q: What is the best way to keep long distance charges to a minimum?
Getting a package where you pre-pay for a certain amount of airtime included in your monthly agreement is the best way to save on long distance charges. Without a package, the per-minute charges can be steep and it can therefore really contribute to increase you monthly expenses.
Planète Mobile, a Rogers™ Wireless authorized dealer, will be at Parents Tent
to answer your questions. Students wishing to get a phone and open an account will be able to do so on site.
Click on the logo to learn more about the plans and devices available through Planète Mobile.