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.
- Flexible bundle options
- Affordable U.S. roaming add-ons
- Unlimited Canada-wide talk and text available
- Unlimited US calling available
- No phone financing or purchasing
- International roaming support limited to the U.S.
- 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
- Uses the Telus Network, Ranked #2 in Tutela's 2018 “Mobile Experience Report”.
- Uses the Telus Network, Ranked #2 in PC Magazine’s 2016 “Fastest Mobile Networks in Canada” report.
- Public Mobile currently has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau with 35 complaints closed in the past 3 years.
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)?
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: UMTS 850 / 1900 MHz, LTE 700 / 1700 / 2100 MHz
Data network: HSPA, LTE, 5G
Review Sources and Citations
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