PREPAID FAQ

PREPAID FAQ

DOES PC MOBILE OFFER SIM CARDS?

You can purchase a stand-alone PC mobile SIM card. Our PC mobile SIM cards are $10. These LTE Multi SIM cards include a Regular, Micro and Nano SIM card, widening your range of phone options. They are available where President's Choice products are sold and can be found on the side panel of the "Prepaid Cell Phones Express" kiosk. Here is a link to our store locator to find a store location nearest you.

Store Locator

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SELF-SERVE

Discontinuation of the old PC mobile Self-Serve option

On June 30, 2017, the current Self-Serve option on your mobile browser was discontinued. This option was replaced with a new MyPCmobile app which is now available for download.

The new MyPCmobile app just got even better!

  • Now available on Android and iOS with a completely new look and feel

  • The continued ability to manage your account without incurring any data charges

  • The app is the easiest way to manage your PC mobile account 24/7 – check your balance, top-up, manage add-ons, change your caller ID status or reset your voicemail password

Download the MyPCmobile app for Apple devices by clicking on the Apple App store icon below (this will redirect you to the Apple App Store).

Click the Apple App store icon to download the app: Download on the App Store     App Icon:


Download the MyPCmobile app for Android devices by clicking on the Google Play icon below (this will redirect you to the Google Play Store).

Click Google Play to download the app: Get it on Google Play     App Icon:


Important: The MyPCmobile app is compatible with iOS devices version 9.0 or newer and Android devices version 5.0 or newer. If you have an older iPhone or Android model, you will not be able to download the app on your phone.

For the best experience, upgrade your phone to our most recent selection of smartphones and download the new MyPCmobile app from the Apple App store or the Google Play app store.


IT'S EASY TO MANAGE YOUR ACCOUNT 24/7!

You can manage your account balance and expiry date, plus add funds, features and more. Here's how:

  • Call Us: Just dial #PCMO (#7266) FREE from your PC mobile phone or 1-877-284-6361 from any other phone.

  • Download the MyPCmobile app: The app is compatible with iOS devices version 9.0 or newer and Android devices version 5.0 or newer. To install the app, visit the Apple App store or Google Play store and search for MyPCmobile.

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CDMA NETWORK DISCONTINUATION

CDMA Network Discontinuation

PC mobile completed its service discontinuation of the CDMA wireless network on April 30, 2019. As a result, CDMA devices no longer have access to the wireless network, and associated services such as calls (including 9-1-1), text and data are no longer available.

Customers in remaining CDMA coverage areas in Manitoba, Ontario, Québec and the Atlantic provinces were notified of the service discontinuation and provided an opportunity to transition to PC mobile’s 4G LTE network. Customers with CDMA devices that have not yet transitioned to 4G LTE have until June 28, 2019 to contact PC mobile for options.

PC mobile uses the same 4G LTE network as Bell, which covers more than 99% of the national population.

PC mobile is committed to providing our customers with the most advanced wireless technologies to serve their needs.

For questions regarding the CDMA discontinuation:

  • Until June 28, 2019, please call 1-866-849-4729 to discuss options.
  • After June 28, 2019, please call 1-877-284-6361. You will need to purchase a new device in order to continue with your PC mobile services.

Below is a list of regions affected and CDMA service discontinuation end dates.

End Date Regions

April 30, 2019

Manitoba
Ontario
Rest of Québec
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia

December 31, 2018

US Roaming (including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands)

June 1, 2018

Fort Nelson, British Columbia
Québec City (and the South Shore), Québec
Kenora, Ontario
Yukon
North West Territories

July 5, 2017

Saskatchewan

June 30, 2017

Alberta
British Columbia (excluding Fort Nelson)
Gaspé region in Quebec

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9-1-1 SERVICE

What is 9-1-1 service?

9-1-1 service provides a three-digit code that you may dial from your mobile device during an emergency to reach an emergency operator and access emergency services. Not all municipalities provide 9-1-1 service so it is possible that you may be in an area where 9-1-1 service will not work.

In areas where 9-1-1 service is available, it can be provided in one of the following forms:

  1. Basic 9-1-1 (B9-1-1)
  2. Enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1)

E9-1-1 service is the most common form, but there are areas of Canada where only B9-1-1 service is provided. The differences are explained in the sections below:

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ALERT READY

Wireless Public Alert Awareness FAQs

Alert Ready is a service designed to deliver critical and potentially life-saving emergency alert messages to Canadians. The Alert Ready system was developed in partnership with federal, provincial, and territorial emergency management officials, Pelmorex Weather Networks (Television) Inc., the broadcast industry, and wireless service providers to ensure you receive emergency alerts immediately and know when to take action to keep you and your family safe.

To see if your device will receive these messages, please check the list of compatible devices.

The list below outlines the current compatible devices. More devices will be added shortly.

  • Alcatel A50, Go Flip
  • Apple iPhone 5s, 6, 6s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, SE, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, X
  • Blackberry Motion
  • Huawei P10 Light, P10
  • LG V30, Q6
  • Samsung Note 8, GS8, GS8+, J3 Prime, GS7, GS7 Edge, A8, GS9, GS9+
  • Sony Xperia XZ1

For more information, please visit AlertReady.ca.

Frequently Asked Questions

Update: The scheduled test alerts for ON and QC have been cancelled due to flooding.

1. Who sends emergency alerts?

Federal, provincial, and territorial governments are responsible for issuing emergency alerts.

Federally, emergency alerts are issued most frequently by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Each provincial or territorial government decides who will have the authority to issue alerts within their jurisdictions. For example, emergency alerts could be issued by provincial or territorial emergency management offices or in some cases, by municipal emergency management offices or local police and fire departments.

Media companies, including television, radio stations, cable and satellite distributors, as well as websites receive these emergency alerts and relay them to their consumers.

As of April 2018, wireless service providers will also distribute emergency alerts to consumers on wireless public alert-compatible wireless devices using Cell Broadcast when they are received from alerting authorities.

2. What types of emergency alerts are issued via Alert Ready?

The Alert Ready system allows alerting authorities from each level of government to issue a wide range of public safety messages. However, broadcasters and wireless service providers are only required to distribute emergency alerts for situations that pose an immediate threat-to-life.

Issuing alerts outside of this list (e.g. heavy rainfall or blizzard warnings) is at the discretion of each of the broadcasters. Wireless service providers will only receive and relay messages that are issued for threat-to-life situations.

3. How do I know if the alerting authority in my area will issue emergency alerts?

Federally, emergency alerts are issued most frequently by Environment and Climate Change Canada. It is important to note that the federally issued emergency alerts can reach your compatible wireless device in any part of the country even if your province/territory is not using the Alert Ready system.

Visit the How are alerts broadcast in my province/territory? section of AlertReady.ca for information on how emergency alerts are used in your province.

4. What are the different ways I will receive emergency alerts?

You can currently expect to receive emergency alerts via Canadian radio and TV, cable and satellite operators. Beginning in April 2018, emergency alerts will also be sent to compatible wireless devices.

5. Can I choose which way an emergency alert is sent to me?

No. Regulations require all commercial, campus, community and Indigenous radio and television broadcasters, cable, satellite and IPTV providers, as well as wireless service providers to distribute emergency alerts.

There is no sign-up or opt-in required. Emergency alerts will be automatically sent through these broadcast channels, and to your compatible wireless device.

You cannot opt out of receiving threat-to-life emergency alerts.

6. What do emergency alerts look and sound like?

Emergency alerts, on radio, television and compatible wireless devices, begin with a distinct sound, known as the Canadian Alert Attention Signal. Emergency alerts sent to compatible wireless devices will also cause the phone to vibrate. The sound and vibration conveys a sense of urgency and reinforces the alert message. For an example of the Alert Attention Signal, click here.

On compatible wireless devices, the emergency alert will display an "EMERGENCY ALERT/ALERTE D'URGENCE" banner, followed by text that describes the situation and provides instructions on what actions to take and where to find more information. At the top of each emergency alert, the issuing government agency will be clearly indicated.

7. Will emergency alerts be sent out in different languages?

Alert Ready supports emergency alerts in both English and French. However, the language used for alerts is determined by each alerting authority. Generally, alerting authorities will issue emergency alerts based on the official language requirements of their organization or jurisdiction. Broadcasters and wireless service providers send emergency alert texts exactly as they are received from the alerting authority.

8. Are emergency alerts available in alternate formats to accommodate the visually and hearing impaired?

Yes, alternate formats can be issued, but not every alerting authority or every device will have the capacity to produce alternate formats. For emergency alerts distributed via compatible wireless devices, emergency alerts may be read to the recipient if their device supports this accessibility feature. The vibration feature that accompanies emergency alerts sent to wireless devices will help to make hearing impaired people aware of the alerts.

9. Will emergency alerts be for my specific area?

Yes. The alerting authority determines what areas are affected by an incident, weather or environmental situation, and uses a standard system that will typically correspond with municipal, regional or provincial boundaries.

Emergency alerts intended for wireless devices are issued to a defined geographic area, which can be as small as a few city blocks, so that only people in the defined area receive the emergency alerts. Compatible wireless devices in the targeted area will receive the emergency alerts within seconds of being issued, provided the phones are powered on and connected to the LTE cellular network.

10. What should I do if I receive an emergency alert?

Upon receiving the emergency alert, it is important to take action safely. Within the emergency alert, alerting authorities will include the information you need for any action you need to take. This could include but is not limited to: evacuating an area, limiting unnecessary travel or taking shelter in place, etc.

11. How will I know when an emergency alert has ended?

Alerting authorities may choose to distribute an "all-clear" message at their discretion once the situation has been resolved. The all-clear message would be distributed via broadcast services only and not sent to wireless devices.

In addition, they may cancel or update an emergency alert anytime if the situation has changed or is considered "all-clear." Radio, television, cable and satellite companies have the option to notify the public when an emergency alert is no longer in effect based on this information.

As part of an emergency alert message, alerting authorities must also set a time when they expect the alert to expire. The expiry time is different from the "all-clear" message, as it is set in advance and does not necessarily indicate when an emergency is over. Because each emergency alert issued requires that an expiry date and time be included, alerting authorities estimate when they think the alert will need to be updated or cancelled.

12. Are a lot of emergency alerts being issued?

The amount and type of emergency alerts vary by jurisdiction. Emergency alerts for threat-to-life situations are infrequent.

13. Will multiple emergency alerts be generated for the same event if sent by multiple alerting authorities?

This situation is very unlikely.

However, emergency management officials are experts in their fields who coordinate activities, including public alerting and monitoring emergency alerts issued by neighboring jurisdictions.

14. What type of security is in place so that I know the emergency alerts are being sent by an authorized agency?

The operators of the Alert Ready system and government officials at all levels take security very seriously.

In addition to the security measures that government agencies take every day to ensure that only authorized personnel has access to their system additional passwords and user identification are needed for users of the Alert Ready system. Separately, Pelmorex Corp., the operator of the Alert Ready system, has additional measures in place to prevent unauthorized access.

15. Will all wireless devices receive emergency alerts?

No. In order for emergency alerts to be received on a wireless device, three conditions must be met.

The wireless device must be:

  1. An LTE smartphone (LTE is commonly referred to as "4G LTE");
  2. Wireless public alerting (WPA)-compatible; and
  3. Connected to a LTE cellular network at the time the emergency alert is issued.

16. What does it mean to have a wireless device that is WPA-compatible?

A wireless device that is compatible is (1) an LTE-device, and (2) has special software embedded in it which allows for messages sent by your service provider, via Cell Broadcast, to be received in the standard Alert Ready format.

Emergency alerts that meet the Alert Ready format allow you to know when an alert is received (because of the tone and vibration), and also provides confirmation that it is issued by legitimate sources.

Please refer to the list of compatible devices found at the top of the FAQs page.

17. Are these emergency alerts sent as a text message?

No. While the emergency alert may look like a text message, it is not a text message.

Emergency alerts are sent via Cell Broadcast. Cell Broadcast (CB) is a mobile technology that allows messages to be broadcast to all compatible wireless devices within a designated geographical area. Cell Broadcast is designed for simultaneous delivery to multiple users in a specified area, and is not affected by network congestion because it uses dedicated network signalling, different from voice and data capacity.

Cell broadcast can be compared to radio broadcast. Radio towers broadcast music to people in defined geographic areas as long as the individuals can pick-up the broadcast signal and have their radios turned on. Cell Broadcast messages similarly are delivered to those compatible wireless devices that are within range of cell towers and antennas in the designated area.

18. Are other mobile devices (e.g. tablets) capable of receiving emergency alerts?

Wireless service providers are required to distribute Emergency alerts to compatible wireless smartphones that can access LTE (cellular) networks.

Additional wireless devices, such as tablets and wearable accessories, may receive some form of the message, but they will not likely be received on the device in the Alert Ready format.

19. Will emergency alerts interrupt or end voice-call or another activity in progress?

No, emergency alerts will not end or terminate a voice-call or data session in progress.

If you are on a voice-call when the emergency alert is received, you will be made aware of the alert by a notification tone (similar to call waiting). When your call terminates, the alert will be displayed on your wireless device.

If you are on a data session, your session will continue, but it may be briefly interrupted by the emergency alert appearing on your wireless device screen.

20. Will I receive an emergency alert if my wireless device is off or set to silent?

A compatible wireless device that is turned off will not display an emergency alert. If the emergency alert is still active when the wireless device is powered on, and it is still in the alert area, the wireless device will then display the alert.

A compatible wireless device that is set to silent will display an emergency alert. If your device is set to silent, no tone will accompany the emergency alert. However, this behavior can differ depending on your device and in some instances, the alert tone may override your user settings. The emergency alert tone will usually play at whatever the current volume setting is on the wireless device.

21. If my wireless device is off for an extended period of time, will the emergency alert appear once I turn my phone back on?

If the emergency alert is still active when the compatible wireless device is turned back on and you are within the emergency alert area, the emergency alert will be displayed. If the emergency alert is no longer active or if you have travelled outside of the alert area, it will not be displayed.

22. Will I receive an emergency alert if my phone is connected to Wi-Fi?

A compatible device will receive emergency alerts if it can still communicate with the LTE cellular network, while on Wi-Fi. If the wireless device is not within reach of the LTE cellular network (or is set to Wi-Fi only) it will not receive an emergency alert.

23. What should I do if I receive a test message on my wireless device?

Test messages will be identified as such. These messages are intended to "test" the functionality of the system and do not require the consumer to take steps to secure their safety.

However, you may be required to acknowledge receipt of the emergency alert in order to allow your wireless device to resume normal functioning. In the event that you cannot acknowledge the alert, the tone and vibration will continue for 8 seconds; depending on your specific wireless handset, additional reminders may occur.

24. What should I do if I receive an emergency alert on my wireless device while driving?

It is important to take action safely, especially if the emergency alert is received while operating a vehicle. If you are driving, it is important to remain calm and pull over at your earliest opportunity to view the emergency alert.

25. Will I be charged if I receive an emergency alert on my wireless device if I don't have unlimited texting within my mobile plan?

Wireless alerts are sent on a specific cellular channel that is separate from normal text messages; while the alerts may look like text messages, they are not text messages and are not billed like text messages.

Also, emergency alerts are sent to wireless devices in a specific geographic area and do not require the phone numbers of those devices. As such, there is no ability to identify, and therefore bill, the messages that are received.

26. Can I opt out of receiving emergency alerts on my wireless device?

No. Emergency alerts received on your compatible wireless device are relevant to you and require immediate attention. Government regulations mandate that all compatible wireless devices receive all relevant alerts.

Unlike radio and television broadcasting, which often has broad areas of coverage, wireless public alerting is geo-targeted and can be very specific to a limited area of coverage. As a result, if an emergency alert reaches your wireless device, it means you are located in an area where there is an imminent danger.

27. Will I receive emergency alerts on my wireless device if I'm travelling to or from another province or jurisdiction within Canada?

Yes. Emergency alerts are issued to a defined geographic area, such that only people in the defined area will receive the emergency alerts. If you are travelling and happen to be in another province when an emergency alert is issued, your compatible wireless device will receive the emergency alert within seconds of being issued, provided your phone is powered on and connected to the LTE cellular network.

28. Will I receive emergency alerts on my wireless device relevant to where I live while I am travelling away from home?

No. If you are travelling, you will only receive emergency alerts that occur where you are.

29. Will I still receive emergency alerts if wireless device towers are affected by the situation?

Emergency alerts are broadcast from wireless device towers and antennas within the area specified by the alert issuer. Compatible wireless devices connected to the specified towers/antennas will receive the emergency alert. The towers/antennas therefore must be operational to send emergency alerts. If you are in an affected area but your wireless device is unable to connect to any wireless device towers because of the situation, you will not receive the emergency alert on your wireless device.

30. Will alerts sent to my wireless device be used to gather data about me?

No. Emergency alerts are sent using Cell Broadcast; Cell Broadcast can only transmit information to your wireless device. This means that no data is being gathered about you, your wireless device or your location when emergency alerts are sent out.

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SIM CARDS

How to insert my SIM card

For most mobile phones and smartphones:

  1. Carefully push the SIM card out of the wallet-sized plastic card carrier.
  2. Turn your phone off.
  3. Remove the back panel of your phone and the battery. You'll see a SIM card slot.
  4. Your SIM card has one corner missing. Fit the SIM card into the slot so that the corners match.
  5. Replace the battery and battery cover.

For an iPhone:

  1. Insert the end of the SIM eject tool (included in box) into the hole in the SIM tray.
    Tip: If you don't have a SIM eject tool, you can use the end of a paper clip.
  2. Press firmly and push the eject tool straight in until the tray pops out.
  3. Pull out the SIM tray and place the SIM card in it, following the shape of the tray.
  4. Carefully push the SIM tray containing the SIM card back into the iPhone.

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ITMPs

Internet Traffic Management Practices (ITMPs)

Our service provider Bell is continually investing in our networks to keep up with the growing demands of our customers’ communications needs in order to provide the best experience possible. In certain circumstances, Bell may need to manage speeds or other aspects of our networks. This ITMP notice describes such measures.

Mobile Broadband for First Responders:

What is Mobile Broadband for First Responders?
Mobile Broadband for First Responders (MBFR) addresses the needs of emergency first responders, public safety officials and critical infrastructure personnel using our LTE network. MBFR provides these customers with priority access to the LTE network during rare periods where demand for LTE network resources exceeds expected peak capacity (MBFR Events).

When might MBFR Events occur?
MBFR Events are rare. Some examples include natural disasters, threats to public safety or widespread power outages. They occur when demand for LTE network resources exceeds expected peak capacity. This could be a result of demand exceeding engineered thresholds for (i) the actual physical network resources of the cell site and/or (ii) the processing capacity at one or more cell sites.

What are the impacts of MBFR?
During a MBFR Event, non-MBFR users may experience negligibly slower speeds and slightly delayed response times when using certain data services, such as browsing and watching videos. In rare cases, data services and/or voice calls may need to be re-initiated. 911 service is never affected.

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GPS Location Accuracy Advisory

GPS Location Accuracy Advisory

GPS Location Accuracy Advisory

You may have recently been contacted by PC mobile regarding potential impacts to location accuracy during 9-1-1 calls on your device.

This is due to the GPS Week Number Rollover (WNRO) event, which will occur as early as April 6th, 2019, location accuracy for GPS devices, including 9-1-1 location accuracy for certain mobile wireless devices, may be impacted. This is a global GPS issue and not restricted to the wireless industry or 9-1-1. The Week Number Rollover refers to the limitation of values in the GPS message format counter. After the counter reaches the 1024th week, it will reset to zero, which is what will occur as early as April 6th. 

Properly configured devices should not be affected. However, some hardware chipsets incorrectly handle the April 6, 2019 rollover.  Because GPS Time is used for user location determination, an improperly configured device may result in improper location information associated with 9-1-1 calls. In addition to location accuracy during 9-1-1 calls, device applications that depend on GPS location may also be impacted.

Most devices are properly configured. However, the following devices are known to PC mobile to be affected beginning April 6th. Certain devices have a software patch available to correct the issue. If no patch is available, you may need to purchase a new device to ensure the functionality works. The following list provides known impacts and possible resolution for known affected devices purchased from PC mobile:

Alcatel 1

The latest software for this device will be available to provide a fix for WNRO.
Please ensure you are running the latest software by checking your phone settings. Please use WI-FI to download the latest software if you do not want to use data or unable to use data. Depending on your plan, data charges may apply.

Check for updates by following these steps:
1. Touch Apps
2. Touch Settings
3. Scroll and touch System
4. Touch About phone
5. Touch Updates
6. The phone will check for updates
7. If an update isn’t available, touch Home. If an update is available, wait for it to download and install.

Alcatel A50

The latest software for this device will be available to provide a fix for WNRO.
Please ensure you are running the latest software by checking your phone settings.  Please use WI-FI to download the latest software if you do not want to use data or unable to use data. Depending on your plan, data charges may apply.

Check for updates by following these steps:
1. Touch Apps
2. Scroll to and touch Settings
3. Scroll to and touch About phone
4. Touch Updates
5. The phone will check for updates
6. If an update isn’t available, touch Home. If an update is available, wait for it to download and install

Alcatel ONETOUCH Pixi3

A software update will be coming to provide a fix for WNRO.
Please ensure you update your device software once it becomes available.  Please use WI-FI to download the latest software if you do not want to use data or unable to use data. Depending on your plan, data charges may apply.

Check for updates by following these steps:
1. Touch Apps
2. Scroll to touch Settings
3. Scroll to and touch About phone
4. Touch System updates
5. Touch the Refresh icon to check for updates
6. If an update is available, touch the Download icon
7. Wait while the phone downloads the update
8. Touch the Install icon to install the update

Alcatel ONETOUCH Idol X

To explore your options please contact us. You may need to purchase a new device to ensure GPS location accuracy.

Alcatel ONETOUCH Idol Mini

To explore your options please contact us. You may need to purchase a new device to ensure GPS location accuracy.

LG Optimus L5 II

To explore your options please contact us. You may need to purchase a new device to ensure GPS location accuracy.

Sonim XP5560 Bolt 2

To explore your options please contact us. You may need to purchase a new device to ensure GPS location accuracy.

Sonim XP5560 Bolt 2 IS

To explore your options please contact us. You may need to purchase a new device to ensure GPS location accuracy.

Sonim XP5520 Bolt

To explore your options please contact us. You may need to purchase a new device to ensure GPS location accuracy.

Sony Xperia XA

To explore your options please contact us. You may need to purchase a new device to ensure GPS location accuracy.

 

If you need any assistance or have any questions, please Contact Us and a PC mobile representative will assist you.

From a PC Mobile Phone:
#PCMO (#7266) - this is always a FREE call
From Any Other Phone:
Toll-free 1-87-PCT-INFO-1 (1-877-284-6361)
By Email:
PCmobiletalktous@loblaw.ca
Hours Of Service:
Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 9pm nationally
Saturday: 9am to 6pm nationally 
Sunday: 11:30am to 5pm nationally

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Universal Network-Level Call Blocking

Universal Network-Level Call Blocking

PC mobile continues to work to keep up with our customers’ ever-changing communications needs in order to provide the best experience possible. In an effort to do this, PC mobile is implementing Universal Network-Level Call Blocking (UNCB).

UNCB will help to protect Canadians against certain types of unsolicited calls by blocking calls when Call display information is blatantly inaccurate.

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