I'm going to study abroad (in Québec) for 4 months. My question is related to my mobile phone plan.

I currently have a french mobile phone plan with Orange. The Orange website is... well quite unclear about what I should do in case of travelling abroad.

So I was thinking about terminating my current contract and taking a local mobile phone plan once in Canada. In this case, how long will it take ? What are the prices compared to France ?

If I stay with Orange, are there other issues I should consider (regarding mobile phone communication)?

  • Unfortunately we don't really do recommendations on Travel.SE. You'll have to edit the question to an actual problem you are facing, which doesn't involve subjective judgement to solve. – JoErNanO Jun 6 '16 at 14:45
  • Sorry in this case. I tried editing it a bit. – user43870 Jun 6 '16 at 15:33

I worked for Bell Canada for a while and this is a question that came up a lot, mostly with people vacationing overseas. I don't know much about Orange or French plans but here's some things to consider:

  • How does your current plan compare to other plans on the market? If you have an older plan, it might be cheaper than any plan you would be able to get if you cancelled.

  • What's the bare minimum you could pay for your current plan? You might have add-ons that you can remove or reduce while you're away while keeping your current account, ex. International calling, data usage.

  • Cancellation/payout fees. I don't know what it's like in France but in Canada, if you try to leave a contract, you have to pay off the balance on the phone. This can be several hundred dollars, way more than the cost of your bill for four months.

One thing to look into is if your phone can be used in other countries if it's unlocked. Unlocking a (Canadian) phone is usually between 35-50CAD, and a SIM card is 5 or 10$ depending on the carrier. Pay-as-you-go plans are quite cheap, but you have to buy a phone outright (min 100CAD) or already own one. If you can do that, then you might be able to save enough to justify not cancelling your current plan.

Also, getting a phone set up is pretty quick. If you're going with a prepaid plan, you'd probably be looking at about half an hour.

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  • Thanks, I looked up pay-as-you-go offers (for Orange). I found this : boutique.orange.fr/mobile/options/pass-go-usa-canada-appels That's 12€ a week... isn't it a bit expensive? – user43870 Jun 6 '16 at 16:51
  • This looks like it's a roaming plan. Try looking at Canadian plans from Canadian providers like Koodo or Virgin Mobile. Roaming plans will always be more expensive so you're better off getting a Canadian plan in Canada. – AxxieD Jun 6 '16 at 16:54
  • Could you point me to a roaming plan for Koodo Mobile for example? I'm having trouble understanding their website. – user43870 Jun 6 '16 at 17:00
  • You should be looking for a local/Canadian plan. You only need a roaming plan if you have an account set up in one country and are travelling to another. If you get the plan and set up the account in Canada, you don't need a roaming plan. – AxxieD Jun 6 '16 at 17:02
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    koodomobile.com/… These are the plans you'll want. – AxxieD Jun 6 '16 at 17:03