What You Need To Know

Owned by Telus, Public Mobile offers 3G and 4G mobile service using the Telus network. Known for their customizable bundles, they offer greater flexibility than many prepaid carriers. Their 10-day bundle is a great option if you only need occasional service or a temporary line.

Public Mobile’s prepaid bundles start around $15. Voice minutes and texts are unlimited if added to your bundle. The big difference in costs comes with data. The most expensive monthly bundle runs $80 per month before taxes and fees.

Public Mobile is a SIM-only service provider. There are no device purchasing or financing options. However, their 3-in-1 SIMs fit most phones. If you have an unlocked phone already, getting started is as simple as buying a SIM, activating it and inserting into your phone.

What’s Good?

  • Flexible bundle options
  • Affordable U.S. roaming add-ons
  • Unlimited Canada-wide talk and text available
  • Unlimited US calling available

What’s Bad?

  • No phone financing or purchasing
  • International roaming support limited to the U.S.

Notable Features

  • Flat-Rate Bundles: Available in 10-, 30- and 90-day increments, you can choose how long your service is active for added flexibility.
  • Unlimited Canada-wide and US Calling: Have friends or family in the States? You can talk all you want with Public Mobile.
  • Public Mobile Rewards: Earn discounts on your monthly bundle through enabling auto payment, helping out on the community forums, referring friends or maintaining service for a year or more.

Awards and Recognitions

How’s the Network Coverage and Speed?

Public Mobile uses Telus’ network. This means you get the same coverage and speed as Telus without the costs!

You can check coverage and network types in your area at the Public Mobile support page.

The Telus network ranked second for download speeds in both the 4G and 3G network categories in Tutela's 2018 "Mobile Experience Report", tests showed an average speed of 15.68Mbits/sec for 4G downloads and 5.30Mbits/sec for 3G downloads. Uploads speeds averaged 8.70Mbits/sec across both 4G and 3G networks.

The 2016 PC Magazine study “Fastest Mobile Networks in Canada,” showed download speeds for the Telus network averaging 53Mb/sec and upload speeds averaging 15Mb/sec.

Ookla’s “Speed Test Market Report Canada” reports slightly slower speeds. Their 2016 tests showed download speeds of 27MB/sec and upload speeds of 10Mb/s.

Do They Charge Roaming Fees?

All bundles include coverage from coast to coast.

Roaming in the U.S. is available with their 10-day bundles. Costs range between $8 and $20 for different tiers of talk, text, and data.

Public Mobile does not support roaming outside the U.S. or Canada. If you have an unlocked phone, you should consider a travel SIM or pick up a prepaid SIM at your destination for optimal savings.

What About Long Distance Fees?

Long distance fees will depend on the talk tier you choose for your bundle.

If you’re calling outside your province often, you should consider a Canada-wide or Canada-wide and U.S. Bundle as the price difference from the add-ons are negligible and you won’t have to worry about how many minutes you use.

If most of your calling is local, the Long Distance add-on offers 200 minutes for $8 and includes calls to the U.S.

For $15 you can get 400 long distance minutes within Canada, the U.S. and a range of international destinations.

You can find out more on their All About Our Plans and Add-Ons page.

Does Public Mobile Offer Wi-Fi Calling?

No. Public Mobile does not support native Wi-Fi calling or offer a Wi-Fi calling app.

How About Voice over LTE (VoLTE)?

No.

Can I Tether My Phone?

Tethering is allowed on any device that supports the feature.

NOTE: Laptops, tablets and other devices will likely use more data than your phone would. Be sure to monitor usage carefully when tethering.

Do They Offer Data Rollover?

All monthly bundle data expires at the end of the month. If you purchase a data add-on, any unused data will roll over to the next month.

Do They Offer Add-ons or Bundles?

Yes! Public Mobile apart from the long-distance and U.S. roaming options listed above, Public Mobile also allows you to add data to your plan.

You can get 200MB for $10 or 1GB for $30. Since data add-ons roll over to the next month, the 1GB option is a far better value.

For a full list of add-ons, consult their Plans and Add-Ons page.

Can I Bring My Own Device?

You must bring your own device to use Public Mobile.

Use their IMEI Checking Tool on the Get Started page to check the compatibility of your phone before signing up.

Do They Require A Contract?

No. As all services are prepaid, you are free to quit using the service at any time.

What About Activation and SIM Fees?

Public Mobile does not charge activation fees.

However, to bring your own phone or tablet, you'll need a Public Mobile SIM.

SIM kits are available for $10 through their online store and major retailers.

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.

What About Early Termination Fees?

No. Without a contract or device financing options, there are no worries about fees if you cancel.

Can I Port My Number To or From Public Mobile?

Public Mobile follows all Wireless Number Portability guidelines allowing you to transfer your number from an existing landline or mobile line to your new Public Mobile line of service.

Requirements are as follows:

  • The account from which you are transferring the number must be assigned to the same name and address as your Public Mobile account.
  • The account you’re transferring from must be in good standing--including payment of any fees resulting from porting the number.
  • The number you’re transferring must be local to your service area.

To start the process, use the Public Mobile Online Activation page.

Will They Unlock My Phone?

Since Public Mobile does not sell phones, they cannot unlock them.

If you need assistance unlocking a phone from another carrier, consult our other Carrier Summaries for contact information and unlocking terms.


For additional questions about Public Mobile pricing, features, and coverage, be sure to check out our Public 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: CDMA
Data network: 1xRTT

Helpful Links

Official Website, Facebook, Twitter, Coverage Maps, Manage Your Account

Resources


Review Sources and Citations

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Critic Reviews


Bill Crush

Inexpensive plans with flexible data and talk options

Overall, Public Mobile offers some of the lowest rates because they are web-based and have no retail locations of their own. We also like being able to manage the account online without having to wait on hold. The best feature is that there is no contract and no surprise bills (because you prep...More

Overall, Public Mobile offers some of the lowest rates because they are web-based and have no retail locations of their own. We also like being able to manage the account online without having to wait on hold. The best feature is that there is no contract and no surprise bills (because you prepay)! Public Mobile literally does not have a phone number or support team. All customer inquiries are handled via the website and the online forum.

Read full review

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Tech Daily

Pretty good value for the money

from Tech Daily

Best for those who want to build their own plan – Public Mobile lets you pick exactly what you want in your plan and pay for that and only that – no frills. Those who need fast data will be happy with Public Mobile’s 4G LTE capabilities – This is a huge difference compared to Lucky Mobile and Chatr’s 3G only service.

Read full review

Best for those who want to build their own plan – Public Mobile lets you pick exactly what you want in your plan and pay for that and only that – no frills. Those who need fast data will be happy with Public Mobile’s 4G LTE capabilities – This is a huge difference compared to Lucky Mobile and Chatr’s 3G only service.

Read full review

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myCELLmyTERMS

Unlimited plans with cheap phones targeted at the urban, ethnic communities

from myCELLmyTERMS

Public Mobile doesn’t claim to be anything that it is not. Simple no frills phones targeted at those looking for fixed unlimited plans all within their local areas. And for this Public Mobile does its job. For those who are looking to Public Mobile to be a replacement for Bell, Rogers and TMore

Public Mobile doesn’t claim to be anything that it is not. Simple no frills phones targeted at those looking for fixed unlimited plans all within their local areas. And for this Public Mobile does its job. For those who are looking to Public Mobile to be a replacement for Bell, Rogers and Telus, I say, not quite yet. But I do expect that their flanker brands, Koodo, Fido, Solo and Virgin to respond to Public Mobile in the near future.

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Reception not good. I'm not sure if they are partially using VOIP, or what, but although people can hear me fine, reception is not good and I'm often just hearing syllables. Related to why it's so cheap?

Hi kk_71177, can you send us an email at info@publicmobile.ca with details and your phone number in the subject line? With network issues, we can sometimes fine tune our antennas to improve our coverage and constructive feedback helps us do that. Thanks!

I subscribed with Public Mobile and bought their phone "Rise" since February. It started great and in a few weeks I started having problems with the device. It freezes often (3-4 times a day) sometimes freezes when someone calls me that I cannot take the call. The voice is terrible and sometimes the network fades and the call breaks up. I visited a Public Mobile store and the sales person tried to escape by several ways. Once he told me it should be frozen here and I see it frozen by my eyes. Another time he asked for the original paper purchase invoice (despite he can retrieve it from the system.) Really my experience with Public Mobile is terrible. I feel I am mistaken to switch from my previous service provider.

This company is S*** with a poor costumer service. They make you buy a phone full price, but when the phone have issues no one can help you. I have the kyocera and all the screws of the phone are out, no one can help me, because the phone has a scratch the warranty is void. They are aware of the issues and hide behind there stupid policies. I called costumer service and the agent are impersonating managers! They ask me to buy another phone again wile the probleme is with the phone. This is special never seen that. They say manager call you in 3 days no one contact yoy back. You write at there website no one answers. On Facebook they answer and say we will contact yoy but no one does. Seriously i am out going to Chatr


Relatively cheap but you get VERY poor customer support! Even though they have customer support link in their website, it's dead - try calling their *611 and you'll only get automated voice menus and the keep you waiting with music but no one will answer.

User Reviews


public mobile user

dont do it

service is ok but never reply to questions regarding billing. Average service with horrible customer service and terrible explanation of billing. Take money from account that doesn't match the bill. 

Helen

Dirt cheap with the many reward discounts!

I signed up with Public Mobile a few months ago. I am happy with the service because I pay so little, not only because the plans are pretty cheap but because of the many opportunities for additional savings through their rewards programs! For this month, I get $14 off due to a combination of auto pay, referrals, and community rewards. I am on the $25 plan with 1GB of data/unlimited Canada-wide calls/unlimited texting, so I am paying only $11. I used to be on the $40 plan and would be paying only $26 with my savings, for 5GB! The other nice bonus about PM is that you are not locked in since it is prepaid, and you can change things up easily through your online account. After a month, I switched to the cheaper plan since I am home most of the time during covid (I plan to switch back once life is back to normal), and if I need more data, I can pay $15 for the 1GB data add-on which has no expiry date (the data stays on your account until you run out or cancel your PM account entirely). It all makes for a very cheap and flexible phone plan, so I am happy with it. It is also on the Telus network, so is much more reliable than some of its competitors (like Freedom). If you need a referral code to save $10 off when first activating your SIM (will become effective within 72 hours), you can use 5536W7

I signed up with Public Mobile a few months ago. I am happy with the service because I pay so little, not only because the plans are pretty cheap but because of the many opportunities for additional savings through their rewards programs! For this month, I get $14 off due to a combination of auto pay, referrals, and community rewards. I am on the $25 plan with 1GB of data/unlimited Canada-wide calls/unlimited texting, so I am paying only $11. I used to be on the $40 plan and would be paying only $26 with my savings, for 5GB! The other nice bonus about PM is that you are not locked in since it is prepaid, and you can change things up easily through your online account. After a month, I switched to the cheaper plan since I am home most of the time during covid (I plan to switch back once life is back to normal), and if I need more data, I can pay $15 for the 1GB data add-on which has no expiry date (the data stays on your account until you run out or cancel your PM account entirely). It all makes for a very cheap and flexible phone plan, so I am happy with it. It is also on the Telus network, so is much more reliable than some of its competitors (like Freedom). If you need a referral code to save $10 off when first activating your SIM (will become effective within 72 hours), you can use 5536W7

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V

Once you sign up, there is no way of reaching them

Absolutely terrible experience. The worst provided out there. Cancelled my plan for no reason and did not let me know! Then there is no one to talk to to even find out what happened. And can't sign in either. Stay way from them even though it is cheap. Absolutely not worth it.

Brent S

No customer service is a huge problem

 Had a plan for like 4 years. It isn't even cheap anymore compared to what's available elsewhere. Today my phone stopped making calls, completely out of the blue. Says it's not included on my plan, which again has been unchanged for 4 years. The service is fine until something goes wrong then you are waiting for days to figure it out

 Had a plan for like 4 years. It isn't even cheap anymore compared to what's available elsewhere. Today my phone stopped making calls, completely out of the blue. Says it's not included on my plan, which again has been unchanged for 4 years. The service is fine until something goes wrong then you are waiting for days to figure it out

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Gregor

cheap reliable service

low prices but if you want more data it still gonna be $40+ (for 5GB). Other than that much better coverage and reliability than Freedom, for similar price. 3G limit is not a problem as my phone jumps anyway to 4G and H+ (1GB plan). During activation the new sim may lock for 1h! so you need to wait and use incognito mode in the browser and fill in the fields again....

More

low prices but if you want more data it still gonna be $40+ (for 5GB). Other than that much better coverage and reliability than Freedom, for similar price. 3G limit is not a problem as my phone jumps anyway to 4G and H+ (1GB plan). During activation the new sim may lock for 1h! so you need to wait and use incognito mode in the browser and fill in the fields again.

Use my code if you find it helpful for $10 off after activation (applied in 72h) Code: 8N8859

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AA

Still great: Referral code for $10 credit: 4M69PR

So I have been with Public Mobile for about  1  month. Everything is still going good. They have the best prices. I have experienced no drop calls. I have nothing negative to say. After I joined, 3 of my coworkers joined too. Use my referral code for a $10 credit to your account at activation. Stay safe!

So I have been with Public Mobile for about  1  month. Everything is still going good. They have the best prices. I have experienced no drop calls. I have nothing negative to say. After I joined, 3 of my coworkers joined too. Use my referral code for a $10 credit to your account at activation. Stay safe!

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John Nolan

Don't wait for human response.

My service is suspended I owe no money but can't contact anyone.

What a poor excuse for a mobile provider.

Lj

Great low cost plans

No contracts low cost plans. Everything has been working great so far. If you need to activate your SIM card you can do it yourself online or in one of the listed stores in your  area. I did mine at London Drugs.


You can use my referral code and you will get a $10 credit within 72 hours of activation:  4M69PR

More

No contracts low cost plans. Everything has been working great so far. If you need to activate your SIM card you can do it yourself online or in one of the listed stores in your  area. I did mine at London Drugs.


You can use my referral code and you will get a $10 credit within 72 hours of activation:  4M69PR


You will then get a referral code too that you can pass to your friends.

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Angry person

I need to talk to a human being about why I can't make an international call despite having paid for the add-on. This phone provider doesn't have a ph

Nothing online answers my questions. Stupid to have customers serving as the experts. Who can I call? This is getting urgent and I may have to change to another provider just so I can make a business call to Europe.


Angry customer
Angry customer

I have been with Public Mobile for a month. I purchased an add-on yesterday so I could make a call to the UK. I still can't make the call. There is no-one to ask, the Q/A online is useless: this phone "service provider" doesn't have a phone number! A human being would be helpful to explain why they've taken my money but I still can't call internationally.

Helen

Cheap and reliable service

Just signed up with Public Mobile recently and am happy with how good the service is (they're owned by Telus so use the same network) or the low price! I am paying only $38 (auto pay) + tax for 5GB and unlimited talk and text! The cost will also go down over time with their rewards program. 3G LTE is no problem at all for social media, messaging, emails, browsing the web, streaming music, etc. If you sign up, use this referral code when activating your new SIM card for $10 off: 5536W...

More

Just signed up with Public Mobile recently and am happy with how good the service is (they're owned by Telus so use the same network) or the low price! I am paying only $38 (auto pay) + tax for 5GB and unlimited talk and text! The cost will also go down over time with their rewards program. 3G LTE is no problem at all for social media, messaging, emails, browsing the web, streaming music, etc. If you sign up, use this referral code when activating your new SIM card for $10 off: 5536W7

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