Let’s Make a Deal (on LTE Data)!

Let's Make a Deal Board Game

Today’s post is the foundation for a discussion I’m going to have with my better half over the weekend. We’ve been fairly happy with our carrier, Koodo, over the past year and a bit, but all these review devices with temporary SIMs from Bell and Rogers are starting to get to us. Long story short: we think we can get faster LTE data, for less.

Currently I’m paying a not-horrible $75/month for 4GB, and her a more modest $60/month for 2GB. Our overage rate is the pre-wireless-auction standard of $10/GB. I have to say though, that every single month I get warnings that I’m about to go over my data bucket, and for me Koodo’s upload speeds have been consistently slower than Bell or Rogers in and around the Greater Toronto Area.

What follows is my my humble opinion of the best LTE data deals available to wireless customers in Canada. Because it’s LTE WIND and Mobilicity are, unfortunately, out of the picture. And this being Canada, technically only one of the options that I’m about to describe is available to the general public.

Door #1: Iffy on the MiFi

Now that voice and SMS are more or less commodities, one strategy would be for the both of us to port our numbers to whomever offers the most texts and cheapest calling rates. Data would be handed off to my Rogers MiFi, which offers up to 5GB of LTE data for up to $40/month, and $10 per additional GB after that.

Problem is, as much as we enjoy each other’s company we’re not always together, so we’d probably have to get ourselves a second MiFi.

Rogers still offers the same mobile Internet rate described above—a much better deal than Bell, by the way—but I don’t think I can sell my girlfriend on getting another device to charge and carry around. Plus, the cheapest rate I can find for a plan with unlimited SMS is $25/month, so while I’d be saving money she would probably end up paying $5 more.

TL;DR $65/month for 5GB of LTE data, no contract. $200 MiFi purchase.

2. Assimilate

So my significant other is a government agent. I could tell you more but then she’d have to kill you. 😉

As I’ve written about before, she’s eligible for a corporate plan from Rogers available only to government employees. Last time we checked this plan offered 5GB of data for $50/month, which is good. But that plan was only available on a three-year contract, which is not so good. Three years is a long time; she might well dump my sorry ass before the end of our contract—then where would I be?

At any rate, she’ll be in touch with someone at work to get an update on this plan. I’ll report back with more details as I get them.

TL;DR $50/month (I think) for 5GB of LTE data, 2 or 3-year contract.

3. Be That Guy

The other option is, of course, to march over to my nearest Bell store or Virgin/Koodo kiosk and see if I can scam two activations on the plans specific to Thunder Bay/Manitoba/Saskatchewan. A quick check on rates shows the following:

Nothing here seems quite as good a deal as that Rogers corporate plan, assuming Rogers rates are the same. And while lots of forum members from across the country seem to be enjoying these more reasonable rates, there’s no guarantee that what happened to TelecomZombie won’t happen to them at some point.

TL;DR $55-$70/month for 5-6 of LTE data, YMMV.

As far as I know, all of these options offer cheaper LTE data than what’s advertised nationally from the Big Three and their ilk. So which door would you choose?