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What is the difference between pre-paid plans for cell phones, and monthly plans?

Just Moved In

Is the service the same for both plans? I am wondering if it is, because I don't understand why it is, that I can get almost everything included in a pre-paid plan, such as unlimited incoming, unlimited outgoing, international texting... and the works...

But for some reason, I cannot seem to find the same plans offered, even remotely, for monthly plans? 

Other plans for 'monthly', cost JUST as much, and only include TWO of the many things that pre-paid includes.

I am really confused now. Does pre-paid offer the same level of cell phone tower service, or is that service less?

Will I be able to, for example, get cell phone service that stays consistent as I move throughout my city, on pre-paid? Or does it cut in and out?

What is the difference between the two. I tried googling this and searching already, but I really don't know anymore who or even what to ask?

I am not sure if I made this clear, but I want to make sure that pre-paid doesn't have low 'internet bars', doesn't have areas of 'non-service' etc...

I had pre-paid before through another company, and found that I couldn't even use my phone throughout most of my city, and the internet was dropping all the time too, even though I was paying industry standard in pricing to get 4g.

If somebody could help me, it would be greatly appreciated. I live in Edmonton, and I want to purchase a phone and plan tomorrow... however I sincerely doubt that anybody in person at a telus store would know the difference, or would truly be able to answer my question about the connectivity of phones, when moving throughout the city, between the two plans.

I am looking for the works too... unlimited incoming, unlimited outgoing, you name it, including internet.

If anybody has any suggestions or ideas, please let me know.


Community Power User
Community Power User

A few differences I have experienced (we have both a pre-paid and a post-paid phone) :

Pre-paid does not work internationally

Pre-paid does not offer the same value for large volumes of minutes or data as does post paid.

Pre-paid does not usually include 'free evenings and weekends' unlimited calling, free minutes or nation-wide long distance, unless you buy additional services.


My experience was that prepaid is particularly useful if you use your phone rarely, and may work best in addition to a land line. A post paid phone can meet many folks need for all their telephone needs. I have not seen coverage differences between the two services on the Telus network; both appear to be treated the same. If you want phone service with 'the works' you may need to look at post-paid options.


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CPU Alum
CPU Alum

I want to add....

  • pre-paid by Telus will give you more reliable coverage than pre-paid by many discount carriers.  Yes, seriously talk with co-workers and neighbors on what carriers they use and where they have discovered deadzones.  Many discount carriers do not work inside buildings or subway tunnels.
  • pre-paid Telus starts at $10 a month minimum and then you are charged based on consumption.
  • unlimited data by discount carriers might only be 2G, not necessarily 3G, and highly not likely LTE
  • I can get my pre-paid Telus phone working outside of Canada by having the phone unlocked and sticking a foreign SIM into it.  I use Roam Mobility or ATT for my US travels.