Virgin Mobile Canada officially opened its doors on 2 March 2005 in Canada. Virgin does not have their own towers and equipment in Canada, but rather is acting as a reseller of Bell Mobility's CDMA services. Therefore there will be absolutely NO difference in coverage and service quality, but there ARE differences in both costs and phone choices.
Unlike Virgin Mobile services in other parts of the world that provide GSM mobile services, the Canadian company sells CDMA services. Therefore if your are an overseas Virgin Mobile customer, you will not be able to roam in Canada using Virgin services; likewise, Canadian Virgin Mobile users will not be able to use their CDMA phones overseas with Virgin services. The good news is that the American and Canadian Virgin Mobile companies are both using CDMA.
At present Virgin is offering services in BC, Alberta, Ontario and Québec. For BC and Alberta residents, Virgin will roam on the Telus network outside of Bell Mobility's coverage areas.
Virgin offers three different plan types that all have their advantages and disadvantages:
The minute2minute plan is $0.25/min for the first 5 minutes used per day and then any additional minutes are $0.15/min for the rest of the day. The day2day plan has a $0.40/day charge, but rates are $0.10/day. The All Nighter plan is $24/month for unlimited calls bewteen 6pm and 5am; add unlimited incoming calls for $7/month and any airtime during the day is $0.20/minutes. All plans include a lot of free extras, such as Voicemail, Call Display, Call Waiting, 3-way Calling, and Call Forwarding (charged as airtime). Long distance is 25¢ per minute anywhere in North America.
Phones may be purchased through their website (www.virginmobile.ca) or from selected retailers, including Future Shop, Mac's, London Drugs, Chapters, 7-11, Zellers, etc.