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Thread: Least expensive TEXT-ONLY Canadian cellphone plan option?

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    Least expensive TEXT-ONLY Canadian cellphone plan option?

    It's a bit of a long story but I'm looking for a text only plan. I know most of the mainstream carriers have $15/$20/month plans with a variety of different options, but I'm curious if anyone knows any better deals out there with perhaps one of the more obscure MVNO's.

    Talk is irrelevant, data is irrelevant..just need unlimited in and outgoing text.

    We have 2 lines with Freedom and I was hoping they'd have something out there as an add-on, but the cheapest they have now is $25/month..not competitive for my needs.

    Thanks in advance for any pointers.
    HoFo'er for 11 years and counting.

    Quality, Not Quantity.

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    Disclaimer: All my posts, replies, comments and/or opinions expressed on www.howardforums.com are my own contribution only. The views expressed on this page do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Fido, its management or employees.
    Fritz Z24...

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    Thanks, but $15.75/month Fido's offerings are even more expensive than even Rogers, and the $10.75 plan is only 50 messages a month.

    Was advised elsewhere that 7-11 SpeakOut is $10/Month for unlimited text so long as you maintain a basic minute plan balance..still trying to work out what that ends up costing a month to month basis with the understanding that those minutes may eventually expire, etc.

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    Freedom is $20 per month ($25 -$5 discount)

    I guess better question is WHAT are you doing with line?

    Just want a spare number for privacy or is this a separate phone for the kiddies?

    7-11 speakout has cheap txt plans, $10 for unlimited
    Public Mobile works out to be about $16 per month for unlimited global txt (plus each year reduce your cost by $1, down to $11 per month minimum)

    You complained about $15 & $10 plans above though so how low do you want to go?
    Public $120 Province Wide + 12GB - $6 Autopay - $9 Loyalty - $45 Refer = $20 per Month
    Telus SK North American Wide 7GB = $65
    Chatr (Mobi) $40 North America Wide + 6GB + 30 Mins Roaming
    Freedom $35 ($37-BTS) North America Wide + 8GB + 1GB Roaming

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    Quote Originally Posted by pepper99 View Post
    Thanks, but $15.75/month Fido's offerings are even more expensive than even Rogers, and the $10.75 plan is only 50 messages a month.

    Was advised elsewhere that 7-11 SpeakOut is $10/Month for unlimited text so long as you maintain a basic minute plan balance..still trying to work out what that ends up costing a month to month basis with the understanding that those minutes may eventually expire, etc.
    Seriously, what’s your monthly budget for this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Peppermint View Post
    I guess better question is WHAT are you doing with line?

    Just want a spare number for privacy or is this a separate phone for the kiddies?
    Like I said, long story. Suffice to say it's a text based automation project.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Z24 View Post
    Seriously, what’s your monthly budget for this?
    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Z24 View Post
    You complained about $15 & $10 plans above though so how low do you want to go?
    Like I said, I'm hunting out the absolutely least expensive option, that's the whole point here. If I was happy to just settle on the easiest option option vs the least expensive option I'd have just called up one of the Big3 and signed up to whatever they offered, but $6/month savings between Fido and SpeakOut (for example) is a $72/year difference, not exactly a token amount.

    SpeakOut wasn't even on my radar, so mission accomplished, but just hashing out the the MVNO thing now - all the technicalities on how long balances last before expiring, etc etc etc can change the decision.

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    Aren't there VoIP options out there too?

    Or do you you require a native, cellular based option?

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    If you feel like splurging, 13.50 on Koodo Prepaid gives unlimited global SMS & MMS.
    (auto-pay, otherwise $15)
    Talk/data boosters do not expire, cheap PPU, there if you need.
    You can let the service lapse for 3 months and not lose the number.

    Quote Originally Posted by pepper99 View Post
    Suffice to say it's a text based automation project.
    To confirm a cellular device used for monitoring is up and has network connectivity, MMS can return reliable confirmation of delivery-on-device, like a ping.
    The SMS delivery notice is only that the SMS centre has received and queued the message, not device receipt or status.
    The device could be offline, SIM removed or battery dead, you'd still get the SMS 'Delivered' response.

    For live recipients MMS can return message read notifcation (opened), as well.
    Respective MMS permissions need to be set on each device.
    Test before depending on the confirmations.

    To convert a text message to MMS, just add a subject.

    --
    Full MMS messaging on Koodo prepaid does not require a data add-on.
    Without data or talk add-on, you can audio message back and forth via MMS.
    Android devices need data enabled to send or receive MMS (subject lines will be displayed). (iOS too?)
    Last edited by pjw918; 12-27-2017 at 03:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pepper99 View Post
    SpeakOut wasn't even on my radar, so mission accomplished, but just hashing out the the MVNO thing now - all the technicalities on how long balances last before expiring, etc etc etc can change the decision.
    Speakout is quite good, 365 day balance expiry on all loads
    $25 is minimum load, and they do have a small service charge (less than $1 for 911 monthly)
    Larger loads (eg $100) tend to get bonus value too
    Rogers network

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Peppermint View Post
    Speakout is quite good, 365 day balance expiry on all loads
    $25 is minimum load, and they do have a small service charge (less than $1 for 911 monthly)
    Larger loads (eg $100) tend to get bonus value too
    Rogers network
    I've had a good experience with Speakout, I've been using it for my son's text only plan. At $10/month plus change for the 911 fee it seems reasonable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjw918 View Post
    If you feel like splurging, 13.50 on Koodo Prepaid gives unlimited global SMS & MMS.
    (auto-pay, otherwise $15)
    Talk/data boosters do not expire, cheap PPU, there if you need.
    You can let the service lapse for 3 months and not lose the number.
    I heard about this auto-pay discount elsewhere but can't find any reference to it on Koodo's website. (EDIT: Scratch that, found it...duh..not sure how I was missing it...)

    And is $13.50 all in, or is that plus 911 fees etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stately Automat View Post
    I've had a good experience with Speakout, I've been using it for my son's text only plan. At $10/month plus change for the 911 fee it seems reasonable.
    Thx, looks like that'll be the route I'm going unless it ends up being only $1/month different or something on Koodo (depending on any extra fees, see above quote), then it may be easier to go directly with a carrier vs a MVNO.

    Presuming SIM's are readily available at 7-11 stores for SpeakOut?

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    The only thing I don't like about the SpeakOut plan is that if you forget to reload the account on time and the text plan fee eats into the minimum $12 talk time on the account, they delete the text plan from the line and you end up paying 15c per outgoing text. And then you need to reload the minimum talk time requirement ($12) back on the account before you're even allowed to add the unlimited text option back on.

    Thing is, the phone in this setup may go long periods without any monitoring, so any carrier based messages (IE, "You're balance is low, you are now paying 15c per outgoing text!" would probably go unnoticed until it's too late and a bunch of $$$ is unnecessarily/accidentally eaten up.

    At least with the Koodo plan it's simpler in that regard. It'd only take one mess-up on my behalf with the SpeakOut plan to eat up many months worth of savings between it and just going with Koodo.

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    You can enable an autopay on Speakout as well

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Peppermint View Post
    You can enable an autopay on Speakout as well
    Fair enough, thanks, anyone know what their minimum topup is?

    I remember for years that my kids were on Fido’s $15.75/month text plan but their top ups were either $15 (75 cents short) or $20 (too much, so balance Carry over) so there were months that top ups needed to be bought in $20 increments, then every few months we only needed a $10/$15 one, so setting up auto load on the usual $20 amount would have ended up with us having a huge credit on the account by (requiring manual intervention and hassle) to avoid. When you messed up and there wasn’t enough on the account to fund the regular plan it’d quietly go to pay per use and my kids would blow through $15 in a day.

    It’s almost as if Fido went out of their way to make it so that this would happen, and then Fido could just reap some extra profit. I was unsurprised.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pepper99 View Post
    And is $13.50 all in, or is that plus 911 fees etc?
    On the Koodo $15 base plan, there is no 911 fee. Speakout charges 1.25 monthly.

    As the number won't be used for calling, choose an AB nunber for minimal tax, 5% GST only. Other provinces will range 12-15% tax with their PST.

    You'll pay $20 for a Koodo prepaid SIM. When you set up the online account to activate, you'll find a $20 credit. That will be used for the first month of your base plan, leaving a $5 credit balance.

    Monthly total on autopay with 5% AB tax is 14.18.

    To confirm the cell device is up and connected with an MMS 'ping' (above), you would need a data add-on with Speakout (.50 for outbound MMS). Koodo includes unlimited MMS, no data add-on required.
    .
    Last edited by pjw918; 12-29-2017 at 10:09 AM. Reason: Speakout 911 fee

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