Cel phone question

I’m a CityWest customer here in good ol PR. :smiley:
I have a small question.  I’m planning on going on a road trip in about three weeks or so; I’m heading East into Alberta then I’m heading back into BC, Vancouver.  I’ve held off until now on buying a cel phone.  I’d like to have one for safety when I’m on the road.
I’d like a cel phone that’ll let me roam around BC and Alberta and let me stay in contact.  What do you people do?  Do you buy a unit and just pay for minutes used?  Are you locked into a contract?  Any recommendations on a good basic phone?  I don’t need a lot of extra features like a camera.  I don’t know a lot about cel phones:-)
Thank you for any and all replies. :smiley:

if its just for safety and you’re not going to use it in rupert, get a rogers pay as you go in terrace on the way out…

It all depends upon where and how you will use your cell phone.  If you are only going to use it while travelling outside of Rupert I would suggest getting a phone from Telus because roaming is free or inexpensive with Telus, whereas you will be charged an arm and a leg if you use a CityWest phone in Telus territory.  If you plan to use the phone alot in Rupert when you get back you should probably get a CityWest phone (cheaper to use in Rupert than a roaming Telus phone).  And if you only plan to use the phone for emergencies (either in or out of Rupert) then get the cheapest package from CityWest.

I have had a cell for over 10 years now, and it’s great tool to have whenever the need arises.  I had a contract with CityWest, but paid that off, so now I just pay for the minutes I use a month.  You can pick basic plans to suit how much you think you’ll use your phone, and you can also beef it up to unlimited evenings and weekends (means your minutes don’t count towards your monthly total) for an additional $10 a month.

The only thing with a CityWest phone, is that once you are out of Rupert, you are stuck with roaming charges whenever you use your phone, because our network is so small.  If you were to have a Telus phone (based out of Terrace), you wouldn’t have roaming charges through most of BC (I think this is how it works, if not, let me know.)  When I’ve gone on trips, I usually end up paying an additional $10 to $25 for the roaming charges, and I tend to use my phone maybe 3-5 times a day while I’m gone.

If you just want the phone for safety and piece of mind, start with the smallest basic plan (100 minutes a month for $20) and the simplest phone.  Most phones hover around the $100-$200 range for the 1 or 2 year contract alone, but you might be able to get a simpler phone for less than that.

Rogers, pay as you go phones work well, but don’t work in Rupert. Like others have said, if your just using it for this trip a payas you go phone will be your best bet. No contract or ETF’s or roaming charges.

Me, working for T-Mobile USA have learned alot about how customers get fucked with contracts and other thing’s. The best thing to do, read over your term’s…  P.s Citytel’s packages SUCK ASSSSSSS. rip off for your minutes and SHITTY phones, with only phone packages. no text picture messaging or internet or any thing. its like buying a Ferrari, but not being able to drive it because there are no paved roads. GRR…


Not having text messaging in Rupert sucks ass.  If we were to have that, I’d instantly sink more money into a better phone and use it a lot more often.

I like it better than talking on the phone, my phone ( smartphone) is my life, text and email on a phone is great thing to have. To bad this new apple iphone is not going to be a big hit.

I have a Citywest phone for work, in Rupert.

I use my girlfriend’s fido/rogers phone when traveling. 

Citywest’s phones don’t roam so well, especially in the rest of Canada (and the USA).  Often they just won’t work at all.

Rogers has the largest network in Canada (and works the best in the USA), but doesn’t work in Rupert.  Oh, and you get text and data service, which Citywest just doesn’t offer.  You can also do pay-as-you-go.

Roger/T-Mobile are the best GSM companies out there, I work ( subcontracted out ) for T-Mobile. GSM phones rock, few key features,

GSM means SIM card you break your phone, you can take the sim card out and put it into another spare phone/ new one. Also allows you to store your contacts and numbers to the sim card so when you do purchase or get a new phone it all carries over.

My favorite is you can have a handful of GSM phones and use them at any time you want, by simply changing the SIM card to another phone.  i have 3 phones i use one has better batter life than the other and depends if im going out swimming and camping i take the cheap crappy inexpencive one, if it gets wrecked or water damaged i throw it out if not. Better to kill a 50-100$ phone than a 500$ pda phone.

CDMA you can’t do this.

Wow!!! :smiley:
Thank you everyone!!  I’m glad I asked the question about roaming as that would really have angered me if I couldn’t use the unit while in Alberta.  I don’t really need a phone here in Rupert so I think I’ll pick up a Rogers unit in Terrace on my way out of town.  Very useful information:-)
Would the cel phone store in Terrace activate my unit on the spot?  Which store in Terrace sells half decent cel phones?

yes, they will activate it on the spot, I’m not sure what store, as others will be able to tell you or give you directions.

If you have any questions poste em or feel free to msg me :smiley:


Thanks, Jason:-)

Lots of places Roger’s won’t work. Bell & Telus work everywhere. So does Solomobile.

Thanks, herbie:-)
Maybe one day we can have cel phones here in PR that’ll work everywhere too.

And remember that along many highways in BC on your way to and from Alberta there is no cellular coverage period - from any carrier.  Between Rupert and Terrace nothing (except for one very very short stretch at the hill corner just before Car Wash Rock), between Terrace and Hazelton nothing, between Hazelton and Smithers nothing, between Houston and Burns Lake nothing - you get the idea.  So it depends on just what emergency you think you need a cell phone for … better be in a city …

Maybe one day monkeys might fly out of my butt too!!

Good point, JJR.

LMAO :smiley:

It’s a matter of GSM vs CDMA.

Fido/Rogers works on practically any GSM network.  That means all over Canada, without roaming, on the Rogers network.  Same with the USA.  On numerous occassions my Citytel phone wouldn’t work, but the Fido one would.

If you’re doing any international travel at all, then you’ll want a Rogers phone.  It works in Europe, Japan, etc.  CDMA phones (Citywest, Telus, etc) won’t even work in roaming mode in Europe or on any GSM network.

But if your travel is the back country of BC, then yeah, Telus is probably what you want.

My prediction:  if Rogers or Telus ever offer service in Rupert, Citywest will lose the mobility market overnight.  Reason:  text and data services. 

in a town as small as rupert. what is the point of text and data
they ding you for everything.