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Where can I buy a phone to use with Public Mobile?

Lachlan_M
Retraité / Retired
Retraité / Retired

Public Mobile is a new kind of no-frills business, built on simple ideals with a co-operative approach to wireless. We don’t sell phones but don’t worry, there are a number of options available for customers to purchase an affordably priced phone.   

 

These include retailers as:

  • Walmart (Prepaid Phone)
  • Best Buy (Prepaid Phone)
  • Staples (Prepaid Phone)
  • You can also purchase a factory refreshed phone from Orchard at an affordable price.  Find out more about Orchard here.

 

Direct manufacturers:

  1. Apple Store 
  2. Google Store 
  3. Microsoft Store 
  4. BlackBerry (BBM)
  5. One Plus One
  6. Alcatel 

You can also have your friend or family member’s old phone if they are upgrading their phone.

 

Ensure the phone is unlocked, compatible with our Canada-wide 4G LTE network and IMEI is available for use before completing a purchase. Click here to check phone compatibility and find out the network frequency here.

 


*To use data, add and select Public Mobile’s APN settings Click here.

235 REPLIES 235

I agree with @wetcoaster. GSM network refers specifically to a 2G GSM network, not generic SIM-based devices. There's no need to even mention SIM cards. As long as the correct technology and band combinations are referenced, the SIM capability will be included by default.

 

By the way @wetcoaster, Bell's CDMA network is still functional, for another year or so.


@RohanRon_ON wrote:

The best places to buy unlocked phones that I've found is at:
- CanadaGSM (dot) com
- Staples physical stores

- some Bestbuy Canada stores (avoid any US/American devices)

 

Make sure the bands are available on the device and that it will work on GSM network. Never buy any phone made for the US/American market as those will likely cause some troubles. A safe bet is to get phones either within Canada or import from Britain, European Union (EU), or Australia markets.


In most cases, you actually do want a phone for use in Canada that was made for the U.S. market. This is simply because these phones more often than not have the same frequency and technology compatibilities with the carriers in Canada.  The real exception to this would be the U.S. phones that are only made to work on CDMA networks.

 

Importing phones from Britian, EU, or Australia is actually one of the more risky things you can do compatibility-wise.  These phones will more often be incompatible with Public Mobile than when compared to American models. 


@RohanRon_ON wrote:

Most people understand there is are 2 types of phones: GSM-based (that use a SIM card) and CDMA-based (mostly US).

 

When I stated GSM, it means any phone / cellular device with a SIM-Card slot. That can be newer phones that have 2G / 3G / 4G / LTE bands as well. 

 

Hope that helps you wetcoaster.



 


 

@RohanRon_ON

The CDMA networks have been outphased in parts of Canada as of January 2017 (I could not find an ETA for the complete shut down of Bell's CDMA network in Ontario). By now every Canadian cell phone customer should understand the concept of a SIM card, so why not use the term?

The US providers that still use CDMA technology are Sprint, Verizon and US Cellular. Phones bought from them will most likely not be compable with the Telus / Public Mobile 3G network.

 

GSM = SIM  might ring true for some people but it is still only partially correct, 2G GSM is a network protocol, SIM card capability is a hardware feature. The technical terms need to be correct here in this pinned thread, started by a PM employee and supposed to give people correct information, because Public Mobile does not support the GSM protocol.

 

As it is, there are enough people who buy a cheap 2G GSM phone with no 3G compability (or bring their old one from Rogers or Fido) and then don't understand if it doesn't work with Public Mobile.

RohanRon_ON
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Most people understand there is are 2 types of phones: GSM-based (that use a SIM card) and CDMA-based (mostly US).

 

When I stated GSM, it means any phone / cellular device with a SIM-Card slot. That can be newer phones that have 2G / 3G / 4G / LTE bands as well. 

 

Hope that helps you wetcoaster.


@wetcoaster wrote:

@RohanRon_ON wrote:

The best places to buy unlocked phones that I've found is at:
- CanadaGSM (dot) com
- Staples physical stores

- some Bestbuy Canada stores (avoid any US/American devices)

 

Make sure the bands are available on the device and that it will work on GSM network. Never buy any phone made for the US/American market as those will likely cause some troubles. A safe bet is to get phones either within Canada or import from Britain, European Union (EU), or Australia markets.


 

@RohanRon_ON

Wowza! Please get your facts straight.

 

- Cheap GSM only phones will not work on Public Mobile.

(Rogers is the only network in Canada that offers 2G / GSM 850 and 1900 compability.)

(Europe's GSM networks, where they still are in operation, run on 900 / 1800 frequencies.)

 

- If you bring or order a phone from overseas it'll only work if it has a minimum of 3G UMTS/W-CDMA/HSPA frequencies B2 (1900) and B5 (850) - these are needed for talk and text plans since PM does not offer VoLTE.

(Networks in Europe are on 3G bands B1 and B8.)

 

- Similar with 4G FDD-LTE frequencies: B4, B5, B12/B17 are the minimum to make it work in Canada - common 4G bands in Europe include B3, B7, B20.

 

As long as the phone matches the minumum band requirements above, there is no reason not to buy an unlocked phone marketed to the US or an "international" version.

 

Our resident expert, @sheytoon has posted an excellent overview here: https://productioncommunity.publicmobile.ca/t5/Discussions/LTE-network-fundamentals/m-p/198799/highl...


 


@RohanRon_ON wrote:

The best places to buy unlocked phones that I've found is at:
- CanadaGSM (dot) com
- Staples physical stores

- some Bestbuy Canada stores (avoid any US/American devices)

 

Make sure the bands are available on the device and that it will work on GSM network. Never buy any phone made for the US/American market as those will likely cause some troubles. A safe bet is to get phones either within Canada or import from Britain, European Union (EU), or Australia markets.


 

@RohanRon_ON

Wowza! Please get your facts straight.

 

- Cheap GSM only phones will not work on Public Mobile.

(Rogers is the only network in Canada that offers 2G / GSM 850 and 1900 compability.)

(Europe's GSM networks, where they still are in operation, run on 900 / 1800 frequencies.)

 

- If you bring or order a phone from overseas it'll only work if it has a minimum of 3G UMTS/W-CDMA/HSPA frequencies B2 (1900) and B5 (850) - these are needed for talk and text plans since PM does not offer VoLTE.

(Networks in Europe are on 3G bands B1 and B8.)

 

- Similar with 4G FDD-LTE frequencies: B4, B5, B12/B17 are the minimum to make it work in Canada - common 4G bands in Europe include B3, B7, B20.

 

As long as the phone matches the minumum band requirements above, there is no reason not to buy an unlocked phone marketed to the US or an "international" version.

 

Our resident expert, @sheytoon has posted an excellent overview here: https://productioncommunity.publicmobile.ca/t5/Discussions/LTE-network-fundamentals/m-p/198799/highl...

RohanRon_ON
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

The best places to buy unlocked phones that I've found is at:
- CanadaGSM (dot) com
- Staples physical stores

- some Bestbuy Canada stores (avoid any US/American devices)

 

Make sure the bands are available on the device and that it will work on GSM network. Never buy any phone made for the US/American market as those will likely cause some troubles. A safe bet is to get phones either within Canada or import from Britain, European Union (EU), or Australia markets.

tehowennathe
Model Citizen / Citoyen Modèle

I recommend Best Buy. That's where I bought my unlocked Samsung Galaxy J5. They have a wide range of unlocked phones for every budget. 

srlawren
Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité

Long time, no see @s2scotty.  Hope all's well.


>>> ALERT: I am not a moderator. For account or activation assistance, please click here.

s2scotty
Great Citizen / Super Citoyen

If you have possession of the real device/phone, or are certain of its IMEI number, you may validate it for network compatibility at frequencycheck.com, at either of,

 

Find compatible devices for a carrier...

--or--

Find compatible carriers for a device...

 

Assuming that you want "compatibility" to mean "anywhere" PM intends service coverage, including roaming, then pick a phone that supports all four of the bands 2, 4, 5 and 7 and the interface/protocol UMTS/HSPA+ and LTE/LTE-A on each. These are the four bands and modes common to Telus-Bell(*) coverages (2017Q4) as well as PM's USA roaming partners.

 

Bands 12, 13, 17 and 29 (700Mhz) are increasingly in active service by both telus and bell and, therefore, likely publicmobile too; however, they are not --yet-- universal in their use/coverage (2017Q4) and they do not displace the {2,4,5,7} band set cited above. 700 MHz band-capable devices/phones are good phones to be buying going forward, especially if you tend to hold on to a phone for quite a while, as it is "future proofing." Rural, and rural-corridor, subscribers /may be/ the subscribers to first to realize the biggest benefits of {12,13,17,29} 700 MHz band-capable devices.

 

(*) Use "Telus," not "publicmobile," as the carrier to better evaluate network compatibility as PM is a child of telusmobility. Telus has native infrastructure in Western Canada and some in the major centers and corridors in Eastern Canada. Bell has native infrastructure in Eastern Canada and some in the major centers and corridors in western Canada. Each carriers' subscribers are supported by the other carriers' network in those areas where the subscriber's carrier does not have native infrastructure.

 

Cheers,

/S

 

srlawren
Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité

@arshad464 wrote:

Fully unlocked phone is better


@arshad464 agreed!  Glad to see all phones in Canada will be sold unlocked* as of Dec 1st!

 

* some older, locked stock may still be around past the deadline but carriers are including unlock codes with those units and insturctions on how to unlock it right away.


>>> ALERT: I am not a moderator. For account or activation assistance, please click here.

@arshad464, if buying a new SIM, it does not matter on the size of the card with Public Mobile, as they are all triple punch select cards.  Micro, Nano, and Mini (I keep forgetting the order) are all there, and you select the one that fits your device.

 

Added benefit, keeping the now unneeded sim card "holder", you've got all the size adapters in a handy storage device.

arshad464
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Fully unlocked phone is better

arshad464
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Better to buy public Sim first and then check on your cellphone,wish to buy 

Rockdaddy22
Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité

Thank you, appreciate the tips 🙂

jman
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

I have scored some pretty awesome deals with open box items at Best buy, clearance at Staples, and Amazon warehouse deals. Just to help those looking for unlocked phones. 🙂

Vaughn
Great Neighbour / Super Voisin

This is becoming easier to do. Purchase an UNLOCKED phone - which means not buying from a service provider. (ie. not from a Bell, Telus, or Rogers store directly). Try Staples or Best Buy.

Rockdaddy22
Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité
I do the same for Android 😜 We're all on the same team, on this forum anyway 🙂

pizza
Great Citizen / Super Citoyen

@Rockdaddy22 I tried very hard to not bash iOS the way I wanted to.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Rockdaddy22
Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité
Very diplomatic response 🙃

pizza
Great Citizen / Super Citoyen

@Rockdaddy22 Honestly, the Pixel 2 and the new iPhones will likely be around the same price. I can't stand iOS, though -- but it's better for some!

Rockdaddy22
Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité
Or just get the iPhone Pro/8 next month 😜

pizza
Great Citizen / Super Citoyen

I know there are already tons of comments and suggestions, but I just want to say that I love Google's line of phones, and you can buy them outright, fully-unlocked, and they work perfectly with Public Mobile.


Their new phones --- the Pixel 2's --- should be coming out in the next month or so if you want something super super fresh.

TheOldVR
Deputy Mayor / Adjoint au Maire

 

Might be interested... PM with info?

 

VR

RayBram
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen
Thank you for your response.

Rockdaddy22
Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité
I don't think there's anything wrong with starting a thread about the phones you have for sale. You

RayBram
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

I have several brand new public mobile phones for sale from $100 and up including the Samsung Rugby flip phone for $50.

Am I allowed to advertise those here? I don't want to break any rules so please let me know if I should refrain from this and instead post it in some buy/sell forum.

Ray: 4********

Rockdaddy22
Retired Oracle / Oracle Retraité
Thank you for all that great info 🙂

brr256
Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

I buy unlocked devices from international sellers.  Right now I'm using the UMI Plus that I purchased online at DX.com.  I just purchased my next phone from AliExpress.com, the UMI Z1 Pro, and am waiting for it to arrive in my mailbox.  I'm happy with UMI products, so until something goes wrong I'll likely be buying a new one each year.

 

BLU (BluProducts.com) has a wide range of devices from budget entry level devices to flagship specs at a seriously discounted price when compared to the Samsungs and LGs of the world.  They typically sell through Amazon, but Best Buy often sells their devices as well.

 

WILL THEY WORK?

 

I check two websites to answer my compatibility questions:

 

WillMyPhoneWork.net

FrequencyCheck.com

 

Good luck with your next device!

paulie
Model Citizen / Citoyen Modèle

I just bought one of these !

 

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01LYB4KG5

 

the price is $140 .... timed deal so get it quick !

 

 

david_l
Great Citizen / Super Citoyen

ZTE Axon 7 from Newegg Canada.