I am now using Public Mobile in Calgary

I am now using Public Mobile in Calgary

From Freedom to Public Mobile

I didn’t even last a year as a Freedom Mobile customer, but I have a feeling I’ll be back eventually. In June I put together a blog post on my experience on Freedom Mobile, and nothing I said there has changed. Freedom is still pretty good, just, slow. Today though, I made the switch and will now be using Public Mobile in Calgary for phone service.

Public Mobile came out with a smoking good deal, one that I could not let pass by. $40/mo for 4 gigs of LTE data, unlimited (provincial) talk, and unlimited global text. Here’s the info. This deal is only on until November 20th, so here’s an archive link if you’re reading this after that date (to see what you missed out on).

Sign up here: https://publicmobile.ca/en/ab/plans

To get the discount, you’ll need to select: 90-day, Province-wide talk, Global text, 12GB/90 days data.

 

In comparison, with Freedom Mobile I was paying $40/mo for 5 gigs of 3g data, unlimited (Canada-wide) talk, and unlimited global text. I realize I’m losing a gig of data in this switch, but checking my previous months of data, I barely even hit 3gb, nevermind 4.

Here’s my Freedom Mobile data usage:

Public Mobile in Calgary

(Freedom mobile used to be called Wind mobile)

Because I buy Internets from Shaw, I have access to Shaw Open wifi throughout the city, and that combined with my own wifi and the many forms of free wifi out there, I don’t REALLY need to use a lot of data. It was likely also in part because Freedom Mobile data is, well.. slow. It’s actually hard to use that much of it. Now on Public Mobile in Calgary with LTE… I’m sure it’ll be significantly easier to chew data up.

 

 

Pros and Cons of Wind and Public Mobile

Here are a few things that I like and dislike between the two companies and what they’re offering here.

 

Freedom Mobile Pros +

  • Really decent customer service.
  • Canada/USA talk.
  • Cheap, compared to the ‘big 3’ providers.
  • Pay upfront or choose to be billed afterwards.
  • Can pay your bill with Interac online debit.
  • 26 brick-and-mortar Wind stores in Calgary.
  • Discounted phones with the Wind tab.
  • Combine multiple lines on one account to save $ per month.
  • First month of service is free.

Freedom Mobile Cons –

  • Slow data, doesn’t work at all underground or inside large buildings.
  • High latency (ping).
  • You’re limited to “Wind Zones” for coverage, unless you’re paying for roaming.
  • New offers/promos not available to existing customers.
  • Only a $20 credit for referring someone. Max $120/year.
  • SIM cards cost $25.
  • A Shaw company.. if you hate Shaw, this is a big con.

Public Mobile Pros +

  • Being a Telus company, they use the Telus network (it’s fast).
  • New offers available to existing customers too.
  • $5 SIM cards.
  • Each referral credits you with $1/mo, with no limit you can bring your cost per month to $0.
  • Every year you’re with them, you get more $ off per bill. See here.
  • Add-ons roll over and do not expire.
  • Save $2/mo by auto-paying with a credit card.
  • Get up to $10/mo in credit by helping others in their Community forums.
  • 10/30/90 day plans.

Public Mobile Cons –

  • No Interac online debit or PayPal.
  • No customer call center or social media customer service.
  • They do not sell phones directly.
  • Upfront payments required.
  • No actual Public Mobile stores, just authorized retailers.
  • A Telus company.. if you hate Telus, this is a big con.
  • $30 per extra 1gb of data

 

Signing up with Public Mobile

Switching was pretty easy, I did it all online and didn’t have to talk to anybody!

I decided to sign up using Public Mobile credit vouchers, instead of a credit card. What are vouchers? You go to one of the retail locations and pay them, then use the pin codes for credit. I figured since I was going to make a blog post about Public Mobile in Calgary, I’d sign up using the more difficult of the two options, so others can see. You can find the list of retailers here that sell them.

The retailer I used was less than a block away from me (Daily King Convenience). There are 70+ of them in Calgary. Yes I counted.

Public Mobile in Calgary

 

I purchased these vouchers:

  • $100
  • $10
  • $10
  • $10

Total came to $136, after taxes. I should have only bought $120 worth of them as that would have covered the $120+tax for the 90 day plan (at $40/mo). Oh well, I have a $10 credit on there for next time.

Public Mobile in Calgary

My Public Mobile plan details

Public Mobile in Calgary

 

In addition, all of my APN/network settings switched over to Public Mobile as well. I didn’t have to mess with anything, just popped the SIM card in and everything was automatic. Sooooo much different than my experience switching to Mobilicity back in the day.. what a nightmare that was.

 

Public Mobile in Calgary: Thoughts So Far?

So far so good! Public Mobile in Calgary has been around for a while, and though I’ve considered switching before, their best offering was 2gb data for $40 per month. Kind of tempting but not enough to get me off the fence.

Here are some speed tests before/after. You can see where the switch happened..

Public Mobile in Calgary

 

The biggest difference I’ve noticed thus far is that I have service in our elevator!!! Holyshit! With Freedom Mobile service would essentially drop when getting into any elevators or stair wells or that kind of thing. I have not had a weak signal since jumping over to the Telus network. Living in a large apartment building, you spend a lot of time in the elevator. At least they have a landline in there if it ever gets stuck.

As I mentioned earlier, if Wind Mobile comes out with LTE next year, I’m betting they’ll come up with some pretty sweet deals, so perhaps one day I’ll switch back. Their customer service was great, though I only used twitter. Don’t think I even had to speak with them on the phone, other than when I had called to get some info before switching to them. Also, being a Shaw company, I know first hand the culture (used to work there, wish I still did) and how things work over there, so I fully trust them to do me right if any problems do come up.

I’ll update this post if any big problems or issues happen.

One last thing, referrals. You get $1 off your bill per month for anyone you refer to Public Mobile, as long as they have an active account. You need to give out your phone number to the person referring you.

I’d love to collect some referrals from anyone reading this – but, I’m not posting my phone number online. Madness. Hopefully they can someday do referrals by e-mail address.

TLDR; switched from Freedom Mobile to Public Mobile, it all went smoothly, Public Mobile is way faster, I’m paying the same amount, life is good so far.

  • Update: September 2017. Still using Public Mobile, it’s still great. Have tried using Freedom Mobile again recently.. still slow.
  • Update: November 2017. Freedom Mobile has introduced LTE in Calgary. See here for more information. I’m still happily using Public Mobile in Calgary, so I don’t have any first hand experience with this upgrade.

 

 

Authored by: Crackmacs

twitter loudmouth

There are 14 comments for this article
  1. Gerry Datahan at 9:04 pm

    Just switched from freedom mobile to public Mobile. Very impressed with data speeds and network coverage! I live in Chestermere so with freedom mobile, I would lose connection at times and use my roaming data, which is only 1gb per month or zero with freedom mobile. The only downside is that it is true LTE (freedom mobile has their own LTE version, which is a different type of technology or something, hence the great price). Why is true LTE a downside? Because it uses so much megabytes! One 15 minute YouTube video and I already used 400mb, so becareful with your data! Although I have 3gb data a month for 50 bucks so I’m not really worried haha. Pretty sweet deal, make the switch! But don’t make it too popular hehe

    • Crackmacs Author at 11:04 am

      Yeah I usually leave it set to 3g only because LTE is just too fast. Freedom Mobile is.. not fun. So slow. So unreliable. I get Telus owns PM and I don’t really like giving money to them, but the service is fantastic and I don’t really have any complaints. So worth switching.

  2. DS at 4:43 pm

    Hey I’m leaving in Montreal

    On August , i’ll move for one month tout Calgary.

    Do you know how can I use my phone over there?

  3. Elizabeth at 11:13 am

    Any updates on your experiences with Public Mobile? I see you are still using it so must be okay! But I am interested to hear if you have had any issues at all?

  4. Carolyn at 6:53 pm

    Another network to look out for! Will this work if you want to keep the same phone number?

  5. Monty at 2:36 pm

    Wondering about how to do this. I know about ordering the sim card, but what then? Don’t I have to get my phone unlocked? How’s that done? Do I then have to make a bunch of settings changes? And what about keeping my phone number? I’d like to switch, but I just don’t get how I actually perform the switch.

    • Crackmacs Author at 4:02 pm

      Hey Monty. Your phone needs to be either unlocked, or locked to Koodo/Telus. Public Mobile is a Telus company, so any phone already using their network is good to go.

      If you have a Rogers/Bell phone, you’ll need to phone them and will have to pay money to get it off their network. The cost varies between providers/phones, but I’d expect like $30-$50 kind of thing.

      As far as settings go, I personally didn’t have to change anything After popping the sim in and activating my account, everything worked without issue.

      Keeping your number, when you sign up through Public Mobiles website, there’s a form you fill out with your information and they can transfer your number in through that. I simply typed mine out, went through the process, voila. I can’t speak for anyone else but mine was totally painless and everything was smooth as butter.

      If you have more questions, the Public Mobile forums seem like the best place to go – http://productioncommunity.publicmobile.ca

      I’m not sure what Public Mobile deals are available right now.

  6. Joseph at 6:07 pm

    Hello:
    I am signing up right now and don’t know anyone on Public Mobile. Send me your phone number and I will use it as the referral. Thanks for the article.
    Cheers

    • Crackmacs Author at 6:52 pm

      Right on! Hope it’s smooth and pain free 🙂

      Really appreciate the offer but I’m not comfortable giving out my number to anyone except friends. Thanks though!

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