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Why getting a Canadian phone number is so important - And how PhoneBox can help you

Updated: Aug 17, 2023


“You know, when I arrived in Canada, I didn't care that much about getting a local phone number. I already had a great contract with a company from my home country which included no roaming charges, unlimited minutes, and a bunch of data, so much that I couldn’t use it in one month. It was an amazing service and way, way cheaper than any of the local companies. But, no one told me that here it is important to have a local number as it is usually the first point of contact when you are looking for a job.
I spent 8-weeks job hunting with no response from anyone, literally no one. This was until a friend of mine suggested me to change my number to a local one, and BOOM! I got 3 interviews within a week, and actually landed a job from my very first interview 😎. I just hope someone had told me sooner about this” Alberto, from Mexico.

This is a struggle a lot of people from our community have gone through, the hard decision of whether we need to get a local phone number or not. And most student take a long time deciding because local plans are just crazy expensive! Particularly for international students who most times live paycheck-to-paycheck and on a tight budget, where every penny counts.



Thus, we asked Thrivvers what are their network provider recommendations for newcomers. Their suggestion: GET A PREPAID mobile plan!


“It’s way cheaper than local providers and it also gives you the opportunity to decide if later on you want to change to a local provider or not” Mateo, from Spain

And it makes sense if you think about it! Most local network providers will ask you to commit to a plan for at least a year in order to get a decent price. Therefore, going to a prepaid option makes a lot of sense.


Look at PhoneBox, for example.


All of their plans include unlimited Canada-wide calling as well as unlimited international text messages, so you can choose between different mobile data plans that suit your needs. Their cheapest option starts at only $35 a month and it includes 7GB of data!


Now, you might not have an idea of what prices in Canada are like and, therefore, when we tell you can pay only $35 CAD for 7GB, you are probably thinking “And so?” Well, what if we told you that the average price in Canada for a 2GB plan is about $75 CAD!? Now you probably understand better our point of view don’t you? 😉 Going back to Phonebox, they manage their plans through digital sim cards, eSIM’s, which make the whole activation process way easier! Heck, you could even activate your plan before arriving in Canada! Instead of going through the whole process of waiting to arrive here, not having any data, or spending your money by activating the roaming option which can get way too expensive.


Fun fact… PhoneBox was actually founded with the intention of helping international newcomers and fulfilling their needs. So much so that most of their employees actually started as international students, so they understand completely what it’s like to be in your shoes.

  • If you are about to come to Canada and you are interested in a plan like this you can find more info here

  • If you have any other tips or suggested plans for newcomers please let us know as we are always looking forward to hearing your recommendations.


Special thanks to the Thrivvers that recommended PhoneBox to other students. We hope to continue supporting you, share this content with other students and be your voice to reach more and more people.


With love, the Thrivve team.


Did you enjoy this article and need more help? Contact us here and we’ll get you connected.

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