As the third largest wireless carrier in Canada, Bell Mobility has more than 8-million subscribers as of the start of 2016. According to Bell, they have the largest LTE network in Canada as of 2016 with nearly 10,000 towers from coast to coast.
Bell Mobility offers both prepaid and postpaid plans. Postpaid plans currently range from $35 to $185 per month. Prepaid plans offer options between $16 and $66. All plans include unlimited text messages in Canada with many including unlimited text messages in the US.
Need a phone to go with your service plan? Bell Mobility offers device financing with two-year terms and upgrade options!
Share Plans: Connect multiple lines to the same account with access to a shared pool of data for reduced costs and easier data management.
Roam Better: This feature enabled flat-rate per-day roaming in the US and more than 100 destinations around the world.
Mobile TV: Provides access to more than 45 channels from your phone for a low monthly fee.
Anti-Spam Features: As part of their Bundle tiers, Rogers offers anti-spam plans to block calls and texts from annoying marketers and other third parties.
Awards and Recognitions
How's the Network Coverage and Speed?
While Bell Mobility doesn’t list a specific percentage, it does claim to have the largest coast-to-coast LTE network in Canada with coverage for more than 32 million.
Data from OpenSignal breaks down Bell network types as follows:
- 50% LTE (4G)
- 33% HSPA+ (4G)
- 11% HSPA (3G)
- 6% UMTS (3G)
You can check coverage and network types in your area at their support page.
Notable considerations include:
- HSPA speeds in many Northern Territories are reduced to 1.5Mbps
- Prepaid HSPA service not available in many Northern Territories, including Cambridge Bay, Rankin Inlet an Iqaluit
- HSPA Extended zones will incur long distance fees for plans without Canada-wide calling.
Bell was ranked the fastest network for the nation in PC Magazine’s “Fastest Mobile Networks in Canada 2016” study for the third year in a row. Average national LTE download speeds measured at 59.72Mbit/sec while uploads came in at 19.27Mbits/sec.
Additional data from OpenSignal shows an average 4G download speed of 17.6Mbit/sec and 4G upload speeds of 8.5Mbit/sec. 3G download speeds clocked in at 3.4Mbit/sec while uploads averaged 1.1Mbit/sec.
Do They Charge Roaming Fees?
Within Canada roaming charges will depend on your service plan. However, most will not experience roaming within Canadian coverage areas.
If you’re traveling to the US or internationally, you’ll find a variety of roaming options to help you manage costs.
If you’re traveling to the US activating the Roam Better U.S. add-on allows you to enjoy unlimited talk and text as well as 100MB of data per day for $5. You can top up your data each day for only $5 more.
You’ll also find 30 day travel passes for light use while on the go. Prices range from $20 to $40 per month and include between 200MB and 1GB of data.
Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) rates for US roaming are as follows:
- $1.45 per minute for voice calls
- $0.75 per sent text
- $6.00 per MB of data used
For international travel, the Roam Better International add-on offers unlimited talk and text with 100MB of data per day for $10. Topping up your data each day only costs $10.
International PAYG rates and travel bundles vary by destination. For a comprehensive list of options, see their support page.
What About Long Distance Fees?
For calls placed within Canada, long distance fees will depend on your plan. Both prepaid and postpaid plans are available with Canada-wide calling for worry-free phone time. If you choose a local calling plan, long distance fees will be calculated based on the location of the tower your phone is connected to at the time of placing the call.
If you’re planning to call outside Canada, Bell Mobility offers a number of add-ons to help keep your bill affordable. Options include:
- No long distance charge for calls to the U.S. for $20 per month
- No long distance charge for calls to China and Hong Kong for $15 per month
- 1000 long distance minutes to India for $20 per month
For frequent international calls to multiple locations, Bell Mobility offers the International Long Distance Saver add-on. For only $5 per month you unlock access to lower per-minute rates to more than 200 countries.
You can find more about specific international calling rates on their support page.
Does Bell Offer Wi-Fi Calling?
Yes. If you have a supporting phone, they allow calling over Wi-Fi at no additional charge. They do not currently offer an app for Wi-Fi calling on non-supported phones.
For phone compatibility and additional usage information, consult their Wi-Fi Calling page.
How About Voice over LTE (VoLTE)?
Yes. Bell offers both Voice and Video over LTE. Video over LTE calls use your mobile data. The Bell site estimates that video calls use approximately 6MB per minute.
To use this feature, you'll need to be in a VoLTE coverage area and have a supported phone.
Not sure if your phone is compatible? Check the list of options at their How to Use Voice and Video over LTE page.
What is Their Tethering Policy?
According their support page, tethering is limited to postpaid device only.
In addition to this, according to the Terms of Service, charges for the data used while tethering may vary depending on your plan.
The terms state:
“Certain Rate Plans or Add-ons that include data may apply to on-Device transmissions only – so if you use your Device as a modem or tether, then you may be charged Pay-Per-Use Charges for data Services. Bell will notify you (or other subscribers on your account) at or before you (or they) reach Additional Usage Charges for data of $50 per subscriber on your account, per billing cycle.”
If you wish to tether with this carrier, we’d recommend contacting them to ensure you won’t end up with any nasty bill surprises.
Do They Offer Data Rollover?
No, data top-ups, add-ons or monthly data buckets do not roll over from month to month.
Do They Offer Add-ons or Bundles?
This carriers list of add-ons is one of the largest of the major Canadian carriers. Whether you’re looking to add entertainment options or keep costs low on calls to friends and family, you’ll find options to help.
Popular add-on choices include:
- Mobile/Tablet TV: For $8 per month you can stream 45 live and on-demand channels to your mobile device. Data uses do apply, however Wi-Fi viewing hours are included as well to keep data in check.
- Anti-SPAM: For $5 per month you can avoid those pesky marketers and promotional messages on your mobile device.
- Message Centre: Upgrade your voicemail experience with increased storage for $8 per month.
- Call forwarding: Add unlimited call forwarding to your line for $3 per month and never miss a call again!
- Visual Voicemail: Enjoy a simple to use interface that avoids that hassles of dialing in to check your voicemail for $5 per month.
- Roadside Assistance: Peace of mind when travelling the country costs only $5 per month.
For savings on multiple add-ons, Bell Mobility offers bundle packs letting you pick your favorites. You can find details on their bundles page.
Do They Offer Bring Your Own Device/Sim-Only Plans?
Yes! Most carrier unlocked HSPA or UMTS devices with support for 850MHz and 1900Mhz will work with this carrier
For full details on bringing your own phone check their SIM card page.
Do They Require a Credit Check?
There are no credit checks for prepaid service. However, monthly service agreements will require a credit check. At the time of writing, this is a "hard" credit check. This means it 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, Goverment-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 What is The Credit Limit Program page.
Do They Charge an Early Termination Fee?
If you have a device finance agreement or term contract, you will pay an early termination fee to end services.
The Terms of Service note:
“If you cancel a Bell Service that is subject to a Commitment Period prior to the end date, you must pay Bell a Cancellation Fee. The Cancellation Fee will be your remaining Device balance (or, for Device Payment Customers, the sum of your remaining Monthly Device Payments) at the time of cancellation, as determined in accordance with the ‘Early Cancellation Fee’ section shown on your Critical Information Summary (‘Cancellation Fee’), plus any applicable taxes.”
Can I Port My Number To or From Bell Mobility?
Yes! This carrier follows all Local Number Portability requirements.
To transfer your number:
- The account with the number you wish to transfer must be active
- Bell Mobility must offer service in the area you wish to transfer to or from
- Number portability must be available in the area you wish to transfer to or from
In most cases, the process takes no more than 72 hours.
They offer additional information regarding number porting in their Terms of Service, stating:
“Transfers to Bell. Bell will ask your existing service provider to “transfer-in” or “port-in” your existing mobile number if you:
(i) confirm that you have the right to make the request; (ii) authorize Bell to share with your existing service provider your information relevant to the transfer request (which may include personal information); and (iii) complete and sign any required request form. You are responsible for payment of fees and taxes owed to your existing service provider.
Transfers from Bell. If you or your new service provider ask us to, and your assigned account and mobile number are active, Bell will process a “transfer-out” or “port-out” request for your mobile number to your new service provider. You are responsible for all Charges, Fees and taxes associated with the transfer from Bell, including any applicable Cancellation Fee and unpaid account balances. Please refer to Section 55 to understand how to end your Agreement.”
Will Bell Mobility Unlock My Phone?
Yes! Unlocking requirements are as follows:
- The phone must be a Bell Mobility phone
- You must have or have been a Bell Mobility customer
- The phone must not be blacklisted
- The phone must be HSPA or LTE compatible
- Your account must be in good standing
- If you received a device subsidy, you must have service active for 90 days prior to unlocking
For current customers, the unlock fee is $50. For former customers, the unlock fee is $75. Fees are due at the time of unlocking.
Unlocking is started by logging into your MyBell dashboard.
For additional questions about Bell pricing, features and coverage, be sure to check our Bell 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 definitely appreciated and will help make this page better for everyone.