If you don’t want to read the details, skip straight to our Recommendation
Freedom Mobile for those that don’t know is the new carrier released by Shaw Communications after buying Wind Mobile. So one can essentially say it’s Wind Mobile however keep in mind that Shaw is heavily investing into this new wireless carrier to really bring value to subscribers. Freedom Mobile has over 1 million subscribers and comes in as the 4th largest carrier in Canada after the big boys. Time will only tell if it has what it takes to compete with the big 3.
Shaw officially took over Wind Mobile on March 1, 2016 and they renamed it to Freedom Mobile in November 2016. The launch of Freedom’s 4G LTE service, of which coverage has been a hot topic, was also launched in November 2016. As of late, Freedom Mobile has been making a big push to acquire new clients, heavily promoting specials like a $40 6 GB plan towards the end of September 2017. Add to that iPhones now actually work on their network and the words Freedom Mobile seem to be swinging around many people’s tongues. So the burning question is, are they any good?
Freedom Mobile Coverage
When it comes to coverage with Freedom Mobile, they break out their options as either on the Home network, Variable network or Away network.
- Home: Access the Freedom Mobile LTE network within your plan
- Variable: In these areas your phone will either access the Home Freedom Mobile network or an Away partner network. If you’re accessing an Away partner network, be aware that there will be roaming charges of $0.15 per minute, $0.05 per text and $0.05 per MB
- Away: In these areas you will always be using a partner network which means you’re subject to roaming charges of $0.15 per minute, $0.05 per text and $0.05 per MB
So Is Freedom Mobile Reception Any Good?
- Works pretty good if you’re in city centres
- 4G LTE seems to we working well in city centres
- Price for the coverage is great if you rarely go outside of the Home area
- December 2017: TTC Subway Platform & Some Tunnel Coverage – Seriously? Yes! – Freedom Mobile now works on every single TTC subway platform, including new line 1 extension platforms. It also works in the tunnel on the Yonge line between Bloor Street and King Street as well as from around the new Downsview Park station all the way north to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre station!
- If you travel between city centres i.e. Toronto to Ottawa there will be dead zones and roaming charges in between the two cities
- Go to the cottage often? Or Blue Mountain? Good luck getting reception
- 4G LTE network still needs work outside of the city centres
According to the Freedom Mobile website, over 1.3 million Canadians will get access to fast LTE data in 2019. In addition, they’ve also started to push their roll out of Extended LTE which is their Band 13 LTE (700MHZ low-band spectrum). What Extended LTE means is you should get stronger coverage in areas where you currently get just ok coverage as this spectrum has a better ability to penetrate walls. This should also help Freedom expand their network further. Extended LTE is available in the GTA – if you’ve noticed a difference let us know in the comments below!
So how is Freedom Mobile LTE?
Freedom Mobile’s LTE coverage has definitely already come a long way compared to when they first launched. LTE coverage is now standard anywhere they offer service on their network so that’s a good step. So is it any good you’re probably wondering? While many forums online have both good and bad reviews, we will be adding our own internal testing results shortly, so stay tuned!
Freedom Mobile Speed Tests
While there are various speed tests on forums showing download speeds of 100 Mbps, we were never able to reach speeds that great while doing tests around the City of Toronto, however we did come close! What we found was a range of of upload and download speeds, with average speeds and coverage being quite reasonable. The highest download speed we achieved was 62.8 Mbps which is quite good – we think the value for your money is amazing here with the data options Freedom Mobile provides if these speeds were consistent across all areas. It’ll be a little while until that network consistency is reached however Freedom Mobile and parent Shaw have been putting a concentrated effort on developing the network and increasing coverage. Here are screenshots of 6 of our speed tests:
Freedom Mobile Coverage Maps
Here are coverage maps from the Freedom Mobile website.
Freedom Mobile Coverage Toronto Core (Scarborough, North York, Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Mississauga and Brampton)
Freedom Mobile Coverage East – Pickering, Ajax, Whitby, Oshawa
Freedom Mobile Coverage West – Milton, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Brantford
Freedom Mobile Coverage North – Aurora, Newmarket, Gwillimbury, Georgina, Barrie
Freedom Mobile Coverage – Niagara Falls
Freedom Mobile Coverage – Peterborough
Freedom Mobile Coverage – Kingston
Freedom Mobile Coverage – Nepean, Kanata, Gatineau, Ottawa
Freedom Mobile Coverage – London
Freedom Mobile Coverage – Windsor
Freedom Mobile Coverage – Edmonton
Freedom Mobile Coverage – Calgary
Freedom Mobile Coverage – Vancouver
Freedom Mobile Coverage – Whistler
Freedom Mobile Plans
Freedom Mobile has recently introduced the Digital Discount. Before you review their plans, the Digital Discount is $5 per month off the regular price of eligible in-market plants.
- Activate a Pay After or Pay Before service
- Set up pre-authorized payments
- Use the Digital Discount code
Freedom Mobile offers the following ‘Home’ plans. There are 3 plans that include a variation of talk, text and data. In terms of pricing, they are very reasonable compared to the big 3. These plans are for those who usually stay in their Home network.
|Price||Home Talk||Home Text||Home Data||Voicemail & Call Display|
|$15 per month with Digital Discount||100 minutes Canada Wide – Unlimited incoming calls||Unlimited to Canada & US||250 MB||Yes|
|$25 per month with Digital Discount||Unlimited Canada Wide||Unlimited to Canada & US||500 MB||Yes|
|$40 per month with Digital Discount||Unlimited Canada Wide||Unlimited to anywhere in the World||2 GB + 2 GB Bonus||Yes|
For the above 3 plans, the following rates apply when on an Away Network in Canada & US
- Away Talk: Incoming and outgoing calls to Canada and the U.S. are $0.15/minute
- Away Text: Global texts and text to Canada and the U.S. are $0.05/text
- Away Data: Full-speed data at a rate of $0.05/MB or 1 GB for 30 days for $30 for the second and third plan
Freedom Mobile offers the following ‘Big Gig + Talk’ plans. There are 4 plans that include a variation of talk, text and a huge amount of data. In terms of pricing, again this is the cheapest out of all carriers for this combination of data and talk!
|Price||Home Talk||Home Text||Home Data||Away Data||Voicemail & Call Display|
|Big Gig + Talk 5 GB – $50 per month with Digital Discount||Unlimited Canada Wide||Unlimited Global||5 GB + 3 GB Bonus||500 MB||Yes|
|Big Gig + Talk 10 GB – $60 per month with Digital Discount||Unlimited Canada Wide||Unlimited Global||10 GB + 3 GB + One time 50 GB Big Binge Bonu||1 GB||Yes|
|Big Gig + Talk 15 GB – $80 per month with Digital Discount||Unlimited Canada Wide||Unlimited Global||15 GB + 3 GB + One time 50 GB Big Binge Bonus||2 GB||Yes|
|Big Gig + Talk 20 GB – $100 per month with Digital Discount||Unlimited Canada Wide||Unlimited Global||20 GB + 3 GB + One time 50 GB Big Binge Bonus||2 GB||Yes|
For the above 4 plans, the following are included on the Away Network in Canada & US
- Away Talk: Unlimited Canada Wide calling
- Away Text: Unlimited Global Text
Freedom Mobile also offers savings if you add multiple lines to the same account. They call this their ‘Better Together Savings’. The lines have to ‘qualify’ to be bundled, which we suggest you call and discuss with customer service, but just so you have an idea the savings are:
- 2 Lines: $2 off per month per line
- 3 Lines: $3 off per month per line
- 4 Lines: $4 off per month per line
- 5+ Lines: $5 off per month per line
- All plans offer very good value for the monthly fee
- Clear discounts if you open multiple lines with Freedom Mobile
- Once you’re outside of your Home area you’re paying roaming charges of $0.15 per minute, $0.05 per text and $0.05 per MB which can add up really quickly
- No roaming option to extend your plan for $7 – $12 per day the way Rogers and Telus offer – ‘Roam Like Home’
Freedom Mobile Phones
Looks like Freedom Mobile will be carrying both the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ and you can purchase them for $0!
- Freedom Mobile Prices: The S9 can be purchased for $0 if you add a $20/month MyTab Boost for 24 months on current $50+ plans and the S9+ can be purchased for $0 if you add a $25/month MyTab Boost for 24 months on current $50+ plans. Here are details on the S9 and here are details on the S9+.
- Limited Time BYOP Offer: Bring Your Own Phone and save an additional $10 per month for 12 months on any Big Gig or Big Gig + Talk Plans or save an additional $5 per month for 12 months on the Data Plan 1 GB Home 500 MB or 2 GB plan or Freedom LTE + 3 GB promo plan
Here are the phones that Freedom Mobile offers:
|iPhone Xs Max
|iPhone 8 Plus
|Google Pixel 2
|Google Pixel 2 XL
|Samsung Galaxy Note9|
|Samsung Galaxy S9||Samsung Galaxy S9+||Samsung Galaxy Note8||Samsung Galaxy S8+|
|Samsung Galaxy S8||iPhone 7
|iPhone 7 Plus
|Sony Xperia XZ2||Sony Xperia XZ1|
|LG V30 ThinQ||LG G7 ThinQ||LG Q Stylo +||LG X Power 3|
|Motorola Moto G6 Play||Motorola Moto E5 Play||LG G Pad IV 8.0||Haier PCD Z219|
|Samsung Galaxy A8||Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra||Sony Xperia XA2||Samsung Galaxy Xcover 4|
What is MyTab?
Simply put, with MyTab you can decide how much extra money you would like to be charged to your monthly bill in $5 increments which goes towards paying off the new device you just purchased over a 24 month period.
Here’s a quick example. The lovely new Samsung Galaxy Note8 costs $1,300 if you were to buy the device outright. With MyTab it can work out as follows:
This is the additional amount added to your bill each month for 24 months
|$5 per month||$120|
|$10 per month||$240|
|$15 per month||$360|
|$20 per month||$480|
|$25 per month||$600|
|$30 per month||$720|
|$35 per month||$840|
|$40 per month||$960|
|$50 per month||$1,200|
So where other carriers require you to sign a 2 year contract on price plans that are usually quite expensive to get the device at a decent price, Freedom Mobile definitely gets a high five for being transparent and flexible about what you pay for the device based on the MyTab option you choose.
BYOP: Keep in mind that you can also Bring Your Own Phone! You will also save $120 ($10 per month for 12 months) when you activate your own phone on a new line on a Big Gig plan in-store.
- You get to decide how much of the phone you want to pay off each month
- They have the latest Apple, Samsung and Huawei devices which are absolutely beautiful
- None really as long as you understand that paying $0 today doesn’t mean a free phone 🙂
So is Freedom Mobile worth it?
In our opinion, having a fourth major carrier in Canada is great for competition. The plans Freedom Mobile offers, especially the Big Gig plans provide the most amazing value for money available in the market. The fact that they now offer iPhones is amazing. The reception may not have been the greatest when they launched but we’re hearing it’s getting better and better, especially if you’re based in a core city. Overall, we think Freedom Mobile is an excellent choice!
- Great for those who want large amounts of data
- Good for those who are usually in the city/close to the core
- Cheaper than the big 3 (on a straight up plan for plan basis)
Any downsides? Who is Freedom Not For?
- If you spend a lot of time at the cottage or in rural areas
- if you’re on the road a lot travelling between larger cities and smaller towns
- If reception is imperative to your job function, such as for salespeople where a missed call can be detrimental
Frequently Asked Questions About Freedom Mobile
When is VoLTE coming to Freedom Mobile?
Well to start with VoLTE stands for Voice over LTE meaning phone calls will go through the 4G LTE network instead of the current 3G.
Unfortunately Freedom Mobile does not offer voice calls over 4G LTE yet. We assume they will wait until their network is stronger before releasing this feature.
On August 13, 2018, Freedom Mobile tweeted that VoLTE is now available on the LG G6 and G7 devices and claiming to provide ‘noticeably clearer and reliable voice calling.’
Definitely an exciting milestone forward. We’ll keep this page updated as they’ve stated that they’ll me making VoLTE available to other devices. Hoping the iPhones, Samsung S9 and Note 9, Google Pixel and HUAWEI P20 amongst other devices get this capability soon!
Does Freedom Mobile offer prepaid service?
Yes, Freedom Mobile does offer prepaid service. Go to the Freedom Mobile website and enter your IMEI number in their Bring Your Own Phone compatibility checker. If you’re phone will work on their network, the next step will allow you to order a sim card for free. The sim card should arrive in 4 – 5 business days, after which you can activate it on Freedom Mobile prepaid service.
Why is Freedom Mobile so cheap?
Since Freedom Mobile is a new entrant into the space and competing with the Big 3 Carriers is no easy task, it seems like they are using lower price points as a tactic to help increase the amount of subscribers. The lower price does not relate to the quality of the network by any means, Freedom Mobile is heavily investing in bettering their network. One big difference however is their coverage area and what is considered covered in your plan or your home area vs what is considering roaming or your away area. See the coverage maps above to get a better understanding of how Freedom Mobile coverage works.
Does Freedom Mobile sell the iPhone?
Unfortunately at this time Freedom Mobile does not sell any of the Apple iPhone devices. They do however offer the flagship Samsung devices and have recently started offering the Google Pixel 2.
Do the iPhone 8 and iPhone X work on Freedom Mobile?
There seems to be some discussion on Reddit confirming that the iPhone 8 has been working on the Freedom Mobile network.
Does Freedom Mobile have LTE?
Yes, Freedom Mobile does offer LTE service. As per the Freedom Mobile website, LTE is rolling out in stages in Fall 2017 and is already available in popular cities. See the orange shading in the above coverage maps to see where Freedom Mobile LTE service is already available.
What’s the Freedom Mobile Customer Service number?
What are your thoughts on Freedom Mobile? How is the reception? What about their customer service? Let us know what you think of Freedom Mobile in the comments below!
*Disclaimer: We have no affiliation with Freedom Mobile, this is an independent review of their services and offerings.