Cell phone networks in Canada can be quite expensive. They have a habit of charging for everything! So for example; you may have to pay for caller ID, to cancel your contract and to receive calls and text messages. Data in Canada is also quite expensive, however, there is so much free Wifi in Whistler you can usually do without it.
In Whistler village there are three phone shops; Rogers, Telus and Bell. All three provide bill pay and prepaid phone services. Bill plans usually range from $25 for basic to $65+ for long-term plans with data, voicemail and other add-ons. Most networks also provide the option for international text and calls. Though with Whatsapp, Skype and Viber these are not really that necessary at all.
If you start off in Vancouver it may be a good idea to pick up a phone there. You will be able to choose from a lot more providers. Be careful though when selecting your provider that it has signal and coverage in the Whistler area as not all phone networks do. Also, each area has it’s own area code, and calling between these areas can be classed long-distance. For example, newly issued Vancouver numbers will begin with 778 while Whistler numbers begin with 604. If you plan on basing yourself in Whistler then it’s a good idea to ask for a local Whistler number (604) if you are signing up for a new phone in Vancouver before traveling up to Whistler.
It’s advisable if you’re bringing a phone over from home to get it unlocked before you get here. There are no phone unlocking shops in Whistler, though if you ask around you can usually track someone down to do it for you. It can cost upwards of $50.