Koodo vs Public Mobile

Picture of Alexis Le Marec
Alexis Le Marec
As an avid user of social media and online applications, Alexis shares her expertise on how technology influences our social interactions and our daily lives. His practical advice will help you navigate the connected world with ease.

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Koodo and Public Mobile may be cousins and part of Telus, but that’s where the similarities end. The two operators target completely different audiences and do not operate in the same territories. While one might think that they are each attached to a particular province, Koodo and Public Mobile are complementary in the Telus galaxy for other reasons. Koodo targets a younger population and those in their thirties, while Public Mobile targets people with lower incomes. While the rates are similar, the two operators offer different options. For example, Koodo will allow you to carry over unused data, while Public Mobile encourages actions to reduce your bill, such as participating in the online community of promotional codes that you can share with your family or friends to refer them.


Originally Koodo should not have existed in the first place. It all started with the agreement between Virgin Plus and Bell in 2005. Realizing that a market was slipping away, Telus signed an agreement with the American company Amp’d Mobile in 2007.  However, not everything went according to plan. In 2008 Amp’d Mobile went bankrupt, putting Telus in an uncomfortable position. Chilled by this experience, Telus then decided to create its own brand to no longer be dependent on a third-party operator. This is how Koodo was born, from the ancient Greek word Kudos, which means satisfaction when a job is well done. Koodo is a brand created from scratch to reach a new young clientele looking for packages without contracts, something that it does not offer. Koodo offers post-paid plans as well as residential telephony.

For 2 years, Koodo only sold a la carte packages until 2010. It’s this year that Koodo has evolved and started to offer phones while maintaining affordable rates. Although Koodo remains a Telus brand, it is evolving technically to keep up with the public. In 2011, it upgraded to the HSPA+ network and launched monthly plans with no long-distance charges. Three years later, in 2014, Koodo also began offering residential telephony and prepaid subscriptions.

Public Mobile

It is in March 2010 that Public Mobile was founded by Alek Krstajic, a former Bell executive. Unlike Koodo, Public Mobile is originally an independent BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) operator that benefited from a $48.3 million fundraising in 2009. It is one of the independent operators that were launched as a result of the Canadian government’s initiative to encourage competition in the cell phone industry. From its inception, Public Mobile has targeted low-income earners. In addition to affordable plans, the operator has focused on ways to lower its bill while involving its customers. They are the ones who will help Public Mobile to get known by sharing codes or helping other users on the forum, and they will earn points for this and can save on their package. So for each action, the points accumulated are as many dollars that they will deduct from their subscription, up to a maximum of $20 per month. With such a policy, the formula quickly became successful and it is more than 280,000 customers that Public Mobile had in Toronto, Niagara, Hamilton and Montreal when it was bought in 2013 by Telus.

Call quality

There is no difference between Koodo and Public Mobile when it comes to the quality of calls made with a cell phone. As Telus properties, both operators use their parent company’s HSPA+ 4G network. The call quality is therefore the same as Telus customers on the 4G network.


Koodo’s home phone service is based on its wireless network. The phone must be connected to a terminal provided by Koodo and contain a SIM card. If you want to subscribe to this service, you must make sure that you are getting a good signal from Koodo. To do this, you can check the map of networks near PlanHub which details the antennas and their signal strength.


While Koodo immediately used Telus’ infrastructure, Public Mobile as an independent company operated on its infrastructure. However, since its acquisition and given the technological evolution such as the transition to 4G LTE, its network has gradually been switched to Telus’. Koodo, like Public Mobile, uses Telus’ infrastructure to operate and benefits from its technologies. Of course, using Telus’ infrastructure allows us to lower our operating costs.

Cellular plans

Here are the plans offered by Koodo and Public Mobile. As you can see, the cellular plans offered are not exactly the same. Koodo offers a little more choice on the data side, but this allows it to provide additional packages compared to Public Mobile. Under 40$ the amount of data is still to Public Mobile’s advantage with a 4G speed included in all plans, unlike Koodo which still offers 3G. The rates are also more in favour of Public Mobile.

However, when comparing subscriptions between $40 and $50, Koodo has the advantage of offering more packages and choices than Public Mobile. At $50, the two operators finally offer a similar package.

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What phones are offered by Koodo and Public Mobile?

Koodo offers many of the latest generation phones, both iOS and Android. The choice is mainly concentrated around the flagship models of Apple, Samsung and Google. There are also some Motorola and TCL phones.

Here are some of the phones offered:

Koodo also offers refurbished phones with a choice between Apple and Samsung.

For its part, Public Mobile only sells refurbished phones. The choice is however restricted and limited to phones that are more than 3 years old. Their advantage is that they are very affordable.

Network coverage

Public Mobile and Koodo are subsidiaries of Telus and use its network, they have the same coverage as Telus, 99% of the Canadian population. However, 99% of the Canadian population does not mean 99% of Canada. To find out which areas are covered by the Telus, Koodo and Public Mobile networks, please consult our coverage map.

Advantages and disadvantages


Benefits Disadvantages
No fee for online activation Customer service under fire


Many choices of packages


Packages can be a little more expensive than the competition


The possibility of carrying over your data


Data rate charged for the $33 package


Public Mobile

Benefits Disadvantages
Public Points Reward System


Online-only customer service criticized for its slowness


Price + competitive data under $40


Prehistoric chat service in the time of ChatGPT


No credit check


Does not work outside Canada and the United States



Reputation and differences

With a more dynamic and youthful communication style, Koodo has several stores, unlike Public Mobile, which only operates online. Koodo also offers more options than Public Mobile, for example by allowing data to be carried over to the next month.

Regarding customer service, Koodo can be reached by phone or via online chat. However, it is criticized by customers for its slow response time.

For its part, Public Mobile enjoys a good historical reputation because of its Mobile Points service, which allows you to save money on your plan by sharing promo codes or participating in the online community. This one, however, has been criticized since its redesign in 2015 which allows you to earn fewer points than before. Still, it remains very interesting for subscribers who want to save big on their package.

Regarding customer service, it’s important to understand the subtle differences. For example, Public Mobile distinguishes between former customers who subscribed before January 27, 2015, who can contact a phone support service, and those who subscribed after that date, who can only communicate via email. For this reason, you will find very different opinions regarding the latter.

Many Planhub users leave comments about the operators. Here we have summarized the opinions given about Fizz and Oxio but don’t hesitate to check them out, many users also share referral codes.

According to the reviews left on PlanHub, Public Mobile is praised for the quality of its network as well as for its points system. Most of the criticisms concern the slow response of customer service when a problem arises.

Koodo does offer customer phone service, but it is criticized by PlanHub users for the difficulty of reaching an operator. The coverage and quality of the network suffer from very little criticism.


Who owns Public Mobile?

While Public Mobile was initially independent, since 2013 the operator has been a subsidiary of Telus, which bought it for an undisclosed amount.

How do I reach Public Mobile?

Public Mobile can only be reached by email at https://www.publicmobile.ca/fr/qc/get-help in Quebec or https://www.publicmobile.ca/en/on/get-help in Ontario. For other provinces, please select your province at the top of the screen.

Otherwise, a SiMon chatbot is available, but its features are more than limited, and may even provide you with answers in English when you use French.

Only former Public Mobile customers who purchased a subscription before January 27, 2015, can contact customer service at 1-855-478-2542.

How do I pay for Public Mobile?

To pay for your subscription, you will need to log into your Public Mobile account and visit the PAYMENT section. Then enter your billing number as a new invoice in your online banking account so you can make transfers.

How do I reach Koodo by phone?

Koodo can be reached by phone at 1-866-99-KOODO or 1-866-995-6636.

How do I access my Koodo account?

To pay for your subscription, you will need to log into your Koodo account and visit the Payment section. Then enter your billing number as a new invoice in your online bank account so you can make transfers.

Who owns Koodo?

Koodo was created in 2008 as a subsidiary of Telus. Koodo has been owned by Telus since its inception.


By focusing on Koodo and Public Mobile, Telus is reaching two distinct audiences and can offer packages that do not compete with each other. Each has its own niche! Under $40, Public Mobile offers more choices, while between $40 and $50, it’s Koodo’s turn to offer numerous packages. Since 2021, Koodo has decided to revise its options and offers services such as data carryover. However, if there is one thing that both operators share, it is the criticism of their customer service. It’s a shame because it perpetuates the idea that an affordable subscription will necessarily come at the expense of customer service. Fortunately, they are making up for it in other ways, such as Public Mobile and its Mobile Points offer, which allows you to save up to $20 a month on your plan, and that’s not counting the use of promo codes. Choosing Public Mobile and Koodo is like subscribing to Telus but without the extra cost of Telus customer service.

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