First published on November 6, 2011
One of the more common comments I get on other my other posts about cell phone plans is that foreigners are shocked to find out that there are no prepaid cell phone plans in Canada that have unlimited free incoming calls. Free incoming calls is the norm in many places: for example, I was told that in Germany, you even continue to get free incoming calls for a few months after you’ve run out of credit. However, WIND Mobile has quietly released its pay as you go service (called “Pay Your Way”) and is currently offering free incoming calls. They don’t state how long this offer will be available; nevertheless, it is the first such offer I have seen in Canada.
Compared to my usual pay as you go recommendation, 7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless, the WIND service has some drawbacks:
- Voicemail is not included (it’s $5 per month)
- A separate SIM card costs $25 (compared to $10 with 7-Eleven), although you could buy the cheapest phone, which comes with a SIM card, for $49
- WIND Mobile does not run on the more common North American bands (850 and 1900Mhz), so it is less likely that you can use your existing phone if you have one; see my previous WIND review for more information
In addition to the current free incoming offer, the WIND Mobile pay as you go service does have a few extra interesting features, such as a 20 cents per minute rate for calls made to anywhere in Canada and the US from within the WIND network. For the extra technically-inclined, you could test out a cheap callback service such as voip.ms to use the free incoming feature on WIND Mobile to make cheaper outgoing calls.