Starting today, all cell phones sold in Canada must be unlocked, thanks to a CRTC ruling from June that updated the Wireless Code to ban the sale of locked cell phones and unlocking fees.
Prior to the ruling, most major Canadian carriers locked phones to their own network, which meant that you couldn’t use your phone on other networks in Canada or abroad without paying an unlocking fee, a practice that generated a whopping $37.7 million in revenue for Canadian telecoms in 2016.
Now, wireless customers with a locked phone can unlock their devices for free! To start, you'll need to have your phone's IMEI number -- this can be found in settings on most Android or iOS phones. The unlocking process will vary depending on your carrier and most require your account to be in good standing. We’ve listed resource pages for several Canadian carriers along with methods on how to unlock below.
How to Unlock
|• In-store - visit a Bell store|
• Online - log in and request an unlock via your MyBell account page
• Phone - call 1-800-667-0123
|• In-store - visit a Bell MTS store|
• Online - log in and request an unlock via your MyAccount page
• Phone - call 204-225-5687 (residential) or 204-225-4249 (business)
|• In-store - visit a Chatr Mobile store|
• Phone - call 1-800-485-9745
|• In-store - visit a Fido store|
• Phone - call 1-888-481-3436
|• In-store - visit a Freedom Mobile store|
• Phone - call 1-877-946-3184
|• In-store - visit a Koodo Mobile store|
• Phone - call 1-866-995-6636
|• Online - visit the Public Mobile Community page|
• Phone - call 1-855-478-2542
|• In-store - visit a Rogers Wireless store|
• Online - live chat with Rogers support
• Phone - call 1-855-381-7835
|• In-store - visit a SaskTel store|
• Online - live chat with SaskTel support
• Phone - call 1-800-727-5835
|• In-store - visit a TELUS store|
• Online - live chat with TELUS support
• Phone - call 1-866-558-2273
|• In-store - visit a Vidéotron store|
• Online - request an unlock via their self-serve tool
• Phone - call 1-877-380-2611
|• In-store - visit a Virgin Mobile store|
• Online - log in and unlock via your Virgin My Account page
• Phone - call 1-888-999-2321
The biggest benefit of unlocking is the flexibility to use your phone with multiple carriers. If you ever decide to switch networks or travel, you won't have to buy another device or pay an additional fee in order to get service. Unlocked phones also carry a higher resale value on the used market, since buyers don't have to worry about compatibility issues.
Visit the CRTC mobile phones page for more information or to learn more about the Wireless Code.