If you don’t want to read the details, skip straight to our Recommendation
Once your done reading this, be sure to check out our comparison: Lucky Mobile vs Public Mobile vs Chatr Mobile
Chatr Mobile Overview
While Chatr’s beginnings date back to 2010, it’s important to understand the role Mobilicity played in the brand developing itself. While there were many bidders for Mobilicity’s assets, Rogers ultimately won and purchased them in 2015. Within less then a year, Rogers rolled out their plans to shut down Mobilicity which involved moving subscribers to comparable brands at their discount carrier, Chatr, as well as rebranding many of Mobilicity’s retail locations to Chatr branded stores.
Chatr Mobile, originally known as Chatr Wireless, is Rogers Communications’ foray into the discount carrier segment. Started in 2010, Chatr offers plans based on the zone concept.
While available nationally, they do not offer data service unless you are in one of the ‘zones’. So their approach is slightly different than their competitors which we’ll continue to explore below. As of late 2018, Chatr Mobile has removed the ‘zones’ concept along with Lucky Mobile and now offers regular plans that are not confined by zones along with brand new nationwide plans.
Chatr Mobile Coverage & Network
Since Chatr essentially operates on the Rogers network, you can count on getting good reception nationwide, thanks to the strength of the Rogers network. Chatr only offers 3G data service, so the bands that work on Chatr are noted below. Keep in mind that if you’re going to bring your own device, it must work on one of these frequencies.
- HSPA: 850 MHz and 1900 MHz frequencies
Chatr Mobile Coverage
Below is a map of Chatr’s nationwide coverage, with the legend showing in-zone areas vs regular areas. An interactive map is on the Chatr site here which gives you a clear depiction of the different coverage zones. So what do these different zones mean in plain and simple terms?
Update – Zone plans have been removed.
Talk, Text & Data Plans (in-zone) Quite simply, in these areas, and only in these areas, you can use the talk, text and data that is included with your plan. These zones are limited across Canada and are: Halifax Quebec City Sherbrooke Montreal Ottawa Kingston Peterborough Barrie Toronto and all surrounding cities (GTA) Hamilton Niagara Falls & St. Catharines Guelph Kitchener Waterloo London Windsor Winnepeg Edmonton Calgary Kelowna Vancouver Victoria The features of your plan go along with you to any of these zones.
- Talk & Text Plans
This essentially is the broad, basic nationwide coverage as seen in purple of the map. It covers cities and rural areas, probably includes where most people will ever go. However, NO data.
Local Talk Plan (in-zone) This is very similar to number 1 however for those who only have a talk plan. You can use talk only in your zone or when travelling to other zones. The list of zones is exactly the same as in number 1 above.
Chatr Mobile Coverage Map
Chatr Mobile Plans
Chatr offers 3 different types of plans which align to the zone coverage mentioned above.
Call display, call forwarding and group calling are included in all plans.
Please note the below plan prices may vary in Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
For current Chatr plans please vist the Chatr website.
Local Talk Plan (in-zone) What happens if I’m outside of the zone? Incoming or outgoing calls are $0.40 per minute International calls will be $0.40 per minute more on top of the International call rate
2. Talk & Text Plans
|$10 per month||50 minutes anywhere in Canada|
$0.40 per minute after that
|50 International Texts|
$0.40 per text after that
|None||$0.40 per minute for voicemail retrieval|
|$25 per month||Unlimited Province Wide|
$0.40 per minute to other provinces
100 International Texts
$0.40 per outgoing text message after that
|$35 per month||Unlimited anywhere in Canada||Unlimited International Text||Add-on available||Included|
|$45 per month||Unlimited anywhere in Canada including to a US number||Unlimited International Text||Add-on available||Included|
$25/$35/$45 per month plans include International Talk Saver which allows you to cal internationally at Chatr discounted rates.
- $10 per month for 500 MB
- $15per month for 1 GB
- $25 per month for 2 GB
3. Talk, Text & Data Plans (in-zone)
|$40 per month||Unlimited anywhere in Canada||Unlimited International Text||4 GB|
(Bonus 500 MB if you Auto-Pay)
|$45 per month||Unlimited anywhere in Canada||Unlimited International Text||5 GB|
(Bonus 1 GB if you Auto-Pay)
|$50 per month||Unlimited anywhere in Canada including to a US number||Unlimited International Text||6 GB|
(Bonus 2 GB if you Auto-Pay)
What happens if I’m outside of the zone?
- Incoming or outgoing calls are $0.25 per minute
- International calls will be $0.25 per minute more on top of the International call rate
- Outgoing texts are $0.25 per message
- Data is $0.05 per MB
Keep in mind that Chatr does throttle down bandwidth to as low as 64 kilobits per second vs 3G which is 3 Mbps so you’ll want to try to stay within your alottment.
International Talk Saver
- China: $0.02 per minute
- Greece: $0.01 per minute to landline & $0.03 per minute to mobile
- India: $0.03 per minute
- Philippines: $0.13 per minute to landline & $0.17 per minute to mobile
Chatr Mobile Roaming
Chatr does not extend it’s parent Rogers’ Roam Like Home feature to customers and instead charges on pay per use. You’ll want to be extremely careful if roaming with your Chatr device as rates are extremely high. Full rate’s are available on the Chatr website but as an example, if you were travelling to Italy, rates are:
- $2.50 per minute for talk
- Incoming text messages are free
- Outgoing text messages are $0.40 each
- Data is $30 per MB
Yeah, quite steep!
Chatr Mobile Phones
Chatr does not have term contracts nor do they have any type of tab system. They have a variety of reasonably priced devices available to you in addition to having the option of bringing your own device. A Chatr sim card can be purchased for $10 and majority of the popular devices such as iPhones, Samsung Galaxy/Note series, Google Pixel and Huawei devices will work. These are the phones currently available at Chatr:
|moto e⁵ play – $150||LG K4 (2017) – $120||ZTE Z828 – $80|
|ZTE Z557 – $89||Alcatel Go Flip – $70|
- Do you need data? If so, data is only available in their ‘zones’ so you must be in one of the cities mentioned above and you need to spend most of your time in the city to make use of your data. They’re $40 per month plan provides good value.
- If you don’t need data, they’re $35 per month Talk & Text plan provides good value and their strong network will provide good coverage nationwide
- Decent International calling rates if you have a $25 per month plan or higher, again depends on where Internationally you would be calling
- No contracts, no credit checks
Be sure to set up Auto-Pay to get your data bonus if you select a Talk, Text & Data plan.
- 3G Data Speed – Be sure you understand how you’ll be using your data as 3G is not great for streaming video or anything that requires intensive download/upload speed
- Their ‘zone concept’ can be limiting to some – Be sure to understand the specifics of the plan you choose as some of the plans that have Unlimited Outgoing Calling only allow for those calls to be made to others in the same Chatr zone that you’re in
Chatr Mobile FAQs
Does Chatr have retail stores I can visit?
Yes, Chatr has it’s own retail stores in addition to phone support (some requests will incur fees) and online self-service options.
If I have a Talk, Text & Data Plan (in-zone), my usual zone being Vancouver, so the striped orange area on their coverage map, does that mean I have unlimited talk and text everywhere?
NO! You’re unlimited talk and text is only when you are in a zone, anywhere in the country. However, once you are out of a zone, per minute and per message rates will apply.
What happens after my finish my allotment of data in my plan?
The allotment of data in your plan is provided at 3G which is decent for email, light web surfing and a few other things. However, if you add a data top up, your speeds will be throttled down to 2G like speeds which is super slow to accomplish anything these days.
Are you a Chatr Mobile customer? How long have you been with them? How does our review compare with other Chatr reviews you’ve read? How would you rate their service on a scale of 1 to 10? Comment below!
*Disclaimer: We have no affiliation with Chatr Mobile, this is an independent review of their services and offerings.