What You Need to Know
Owned by Shaw Communications, Freedom Mobile (formerly WIND Mobile) is the fourth-largest mobile carrier in Canada.
Though the carrier was once known for its slow speeds and limited coverage, investments by Shaw have led to increased 4G LTE availability and an expanding network offering more coverage around major urban centres.
They offer both postpaid and prepaid plans. Prepaid plans start at $9 with postpaid options starting at $15. Top-tier plans reach as much as $115 per month, per line.
If you need a phone, the MyTab program offers device subsidies in exchange for a two-year Pay After plan agreement.
You can also bring your own device to Freedom Mobile and enjoy service credit on most plans.
- One of the most affordable carriers
- No-contract plans available
- Bring your own device discounts
- Canada-wide calling on all plans
- Unlimited texting to US and Canadian mobiles
- Generous data packages
- Limited coverage outside of major cities
- Most customer service is self-serve or store-based
- Ranked last in Tutela's "Mobile Experience Report" for 2018
- Ranked last in PC Magazine’s “Fastest Mobile Networks in Canada” study for 2016.
- Ranked last in network speed in Ookla’s 2016 “Speedtest Market Report - Canada”
- Ranked #6 out of 9 in J.D. Power's "Canadian Wireless Customer Care Study (2017)"
- Ranked #7 out of 9 in J.D. Power’s 2016 “Canadian Wireless Customer Care Study”
- Ranked last in J.D. Power’s 2016 “Canadian Wireless Network Quality Study” for the Ontario region.
- Current F rating with the Better Business Bureau with 393 complaints closed in the past 3 years - most due to coverage complaints.
MyTab: Enjoy a discount of up to $650 on a new device in exchange for a two-year term agreement.
Better Together Savings: Bundling lines and mobile internet packages offers a monthly discount over keeping each service on a separate account.
Bundled International Calling: Many of Freedom Mobile’s upper-tier plans include drastically discounted rates on international calling without the need for add-ons and extra fees.
Awards and Recognitions
Unfortunately, awards and recognition for this carrier are scarce. This might be due to their different approach from many other carriers.
They're not trying to offer the most coverage or fastest speeds.
Their focus is serving the customers in their areas who don't need cutting-edge features but want lower rates.
How is Their Network Coverage and Speed?
According to Freedom Mobile, their network and extended partner networks cover up to 98% of Canadians. However, be sure to note the considerations below.
However, since their purchase by Shaw in early-2016, Freedom Mobile has contracted Nokia to rapidly deploy a new 4G LTE network.
You can check coverage and network types in your area using their Coverage Map.
Notable considerations include:
- Outside of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, and Toronto, you’ll be relying on partner networks. Depending on your plan, this could limit how you use your phone or the data available to you.
Ranked last for download speeds in both the 4G and 3G network categories in Tutela's 2018 "Mobile Experience Report", tests showed an average speed of 10.79Mbits/sec for 4G downloads and 4.70Mbits/sec for 3G downloads. Uploads speeds averaged 6.56Mbits/sec across both 4G and 3G networks.
It should also be noted that while these speeds aren’t ideal from streaming HD video or other bandwidth-intensive tasks--and they are undeniably slower than the rest of Canada’s major carriers--that doesn’t mean that data isn’t usable. It’s simply slower.
Do They Charge Roaming Fees?
As of April 4th, 2019, Freedom Mobile has changed the way they bill calls, texts, and data when outside your local network. While you'll still need to worry about International roaming, use across Canada is now much simpler.
There's no longer per-minute fees for calls and texts in your "Away" area -- now known as the "Nationwide" network. However, you'll still have a separate data allotment for "Nationwide" use.
For extended travel in the US and Mexico, Freedom Mobile offers roaming add-ons to help limit costs. Options range between $10 and $96 depending on the time you plan to be away and how much data you need.
For international travel, you’ll find three different options:
- 1GB Freedom Nationwide + U.S.: For $20 per month, this add-on adds 1GB of data to your plan for use in the U.S.
- Big Gig Roam Extra: Multiple packages make it easy to keep costs in check with options ranging from $5 to $10 per day for unlimited talk and text with extra data to use abroad.
- World Traveller Discount Plan: For $8 per month, you can unlock reduced pay-per-use roaming rates in 60+ destinations around the world.
For more information on international roaming rates and charges, see their International Roaming page.
What About Long Distance Fees?
All Freedom Mobile plans include Canada-wide calling to keep your monthly bills low.
Calling the US? Unlimited calling is only $5 per month extra.
Looking to call internationally? Freedom Mobile’s Big Gig World Saver Add-on offers substantial savings over per-minute rates to more than 200 destinations for $5 per month.
You can find more about specific calling rates and options on their International Calling page.
Does Freedom Mobile Offer Wi-Fi Calling?
Yes. However, they do not guarantee support for models not purchased from Freedom Mobile.
Current options include a range of phones from Apple, Samsung, LG, Motorola, Sony, and ZTE.
You can check the exact models supported on their their Wi-Fi Calling page.
How About Voice over LTE (VoLTE)?
VoLTE is currently available for a range of newer phone models.
For the latest list of supported phones, check their VoLTE support page.
Can I Tether My Mobile?
As long as you have a data plan, Freedom Mobile allows tethering. Instructions for most phone models can be found in your My Account dashboard.
Keep in mind that mobile devices are optimized to use less data than laptops, gaming consoles, and other devices. Monitor your data usage if you plan to tether to avoid any billing worries.
Do They Offer Data Rollover?
No, neither Pay Before or Pay After plans offer data rollover.
Do They Offer Add-ons or Bundles?
Yes! If you need to add features or usage to your plan, add-ons and bundles are a perfect choice!
Popular add-ons include:
- Unlimited U.S.-wide Calling: For only $5 per month, you can call across the border without keeping track of time.
- 1GB of Full Speed Data: Data bucket running low every month? For $15 you can add 1GB of data to any plan that is good for 30 days.
- Visual Voicemail: Upgrade your voicemail with transcription and increased storage for only $4 per month.
For more information on add-ons and bundles, check their support page.
Do They Offer Bring Your Own Device/Sim-Only Plans?
Yes! Not only do they support bringing your own device, they offer a small monthly discount for doing so.
Freedom Mobile offers an online compatibility checking tool to start the process. However, if you want to bring your number with you to Freedom Mobile, you’ll need to stop by a store to finish things up.
Do They Require a Credit Check?
There are no credit checks for prepaid service. However, monthly service agreements may require a credit check. At the time of writing, this is a "hard" credit check. This means the check will likely appear on your credit report.
Items needed include 1 of the following:
- Canadian Driver's Licence
- Canadian SIN Card or Letter
- Canadian Credit Card
Plus 1 of the following:
- Valid Canadian Driver’s License (Not applicable if used as one of the items above)
- Valid Canadian or Foreign Passport
- Work Visa
- Department of Defense ID
- Permanent Resident Card
- Native Indian Status Card
- CNIB Card
- Valid, Government-Issued Provincial/Territorial Photo ID
- Possession and Acquisition License (PAL)
NOTE: Credit checks from carriers that pull your credit bureau report may impact your credit score. If you're not sure the best options for your credit profile, we suggest contacting the carrier directly before attempting to obtain service.
For more information on credit check requirements and how they might affect your account, consult their Joining Freedom Mobile FAQ page.
What About Activation and SIM Fees?
Freedom Mobile charges a $10 activation fee for all new prepaid accounts and $45 for all postpaid / pay monthly accounts.
SIM kits are an additional $10 and are available through customer support or at retail locations.
NOTE: Fees often differ between retail stores and websites. Be sure to check both before signing up or adding a line to your account to maximize savings.
Do They Charge an Early Termination Fee?
This will depend on your plan and situation. In their Terms of Service, Freedom Mobile says:
“You agree to pay to us all charges that you’ve incurred up to the date we stop providing the Services, including for any Services provided or for any equipment that you’ve purchased including any unpaid MyTab balance.”
Can I Port My Number To or From Freedom Mobile?
Yes! However, you must stop by a store to port your number to their service. While specifics aren’t listed on their site, general requirements include:
- The account you’re porting from must be active and in good standing
- Freedom Mobile must offer service in the area from which you’re bringing your number
For help finding a nearby Freedom Mobile location, consult their Find a Store page.
Will They Unlock My Phone?
Yes! According to CRTC Wireless Code regulations effective December 2017, they must unlock your phone free of charge upon request.
- You must have active service with an account in good standing
- For subsidized devices, you must have had service for at least 90 days
You can find additional information on their Device Unlocking FAQs.
For additional questions about Freedom Mobile pricing, features, and coverage, be sure to check our Freedom Mobile Q&A Forum. It’s filled with questions and answers from people like you looking to get the most out of their mobile service!
If you spot any errors or missing information, please let us know! It's appreciated and will help make this page better for everyone.
Voice network: UMTS (AWS 1700/2100 MHz), LTE 600 / 700 / 1700 / 2100 / 2600
Data network: HSPA+, LTE
207 Queens Quay West Suite 710 PO Box 114 Toronto, ON M5J 1A7 Canada
1-877-946-3184 (or 611 from your cell)
Review Sources and Citations
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