Launched in 1996 as Microcell Solutions Inc., Fido is now a subsidiary of Rogers Wireless Inc. They have over 1.3 million subscribers in Canada.
Pros: You can get a very cheap airtime rate if you mostly call on nights and weekends. Free incoming minutes can also keep your bill low.
Cons: Their plans can get confusing, which makes it difficult to figure out which is the best plan for you.
Fido offers four different top-up cards. Minutes on the 10 dollar card cost 30 cents each. MInutes on the 20, 30, and 50 dollar cards cost 20 cents each, and evenings and weekends, starting at 7 p.m., cost 5 cents per minute. Fido also offers the option to pay 1 dollar per day for unlimited incoming local calls, with outgoing calls costing 30 cents per minute. There is also the option to pay 1 dollar per day for unlimited evenings and weekends starting at 6 p.m., with weekday calls costing 30 cents per minute.
Read more about Fido plans
Customer Service: Fido customer service is available through a toll free number from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends, local time. Customer service can also be reached through e-mail.
Credit Check: None
Payment Options: Payment can be made with a prepaid airtime voucher, which can be purchased at many locations nationwide. Credit card payments are also accepted.
Text and Picture Messaging: Text messaging is 15 cents per outgoing message to other Canadian customers. Text messages to the U.S. cost 25 cents. Customers can also buy a daily text messaging package, 30 cents for 10 messages or 50 cents for unlimited messaging. Incoming text messages are free. Picture and video messages are 35 cents per outgoing message. Incoming picture and video messages are also free.
Data Plans: Mobile web is available from Fido for 5 cents per KB a la carte.
Downloadables: Fido has a number of ringtones, graphics, games, and music available for varying prices.
International Calling: International calling is available to a number of countries. Call customer service or visit their website for rates to specific countries.
Roaming Charges: Roaming with Fido prepaid is charged at $2.50 per minute and 40 cents per text message.
Calling Features: Voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, and call forwarding are included at no additional charge.
Activation Fee: There is no fee to activate your Fido prepaid phone.
Long Distance: Long distance calls can be made to anywhere in the U.S. or Canada for 30 cents per minute plus normal airtime.
411 Calls: Directory assistance with Fido is available at an additional charge. Call customer service for rates.
Earliest Minute Expiration: The 10, 20, and 30 dollar airtime cards expire in 30 days. The 50 dollar card expires after 60 days.
911 Calls: Calls to 911 are free, but there is a 50 cents monthly 911 service fee charged each month.
Phones: Fido offers some of the newest handsets available on the market. Most of these are flip phones, but there are a few candybars and one smart phone available. Unfortunately, with the prepaid deals, the phones are rather expensive, ranging from $55 to $450.
Some Available Cell Models: Motorola W233 Renew
Motorola KRZR K1
Sony Ericsson T303A