Mobile Devices

UBC employees requiring a mobile device for their work should enroll with a UBC plan, which will be paid directly by their unit.

Mobile Device Eligibility

A maximum allowance of up to $300 every 3 years can be contributed by the unit towards the purchase of a mobile device for:

  • All executives, deans, directors, senior managers.
  • Individuals who must be accessible due to job requirements (if pre-approved by one administrative level higher with appropriate justification).

Other positions who are required to be connected to the university at times outside the normal business hours or who are mobile in their roles (e.g. UBC Facilities, SHCS or UBC IT) can access mobile device pools but will not have a dedicated device assigned to them unless approval from one administrative level higher is obtained. Unless there is an expectation that the employee will remain available for work purposes, employees who are on leave are expected to return their UBC-funded mobile device or personally pay for the plan if they wish to continue to use the mobile device while on leave.

Our Negotiated Mobile Device Plans

Your mobile device for work must be enrolled with a UBC plan, which will be paid directly by your unit, unless otherwise determined by you and your one administrative level higher. UBC has negotiated competitive plans and device options, which have resulted in an excellent selection of zero cost devices:

Plan Reimbursement

Only the lowest-cost level of the corporate rates negotiated by UBC will be covered, unless a higher volume plan is justified and pre-approved by one administrative level higher. If you choose to remain on your personal plan, the reimbursement of the plan expense will be up to the first level of corporate rates negotiated by UBC and requires pre-approval by one administrative level higher. You will also be asked to provide a copy of the invoice, otherwise it will be considered a taxable benefit. Any additional charge incurred as a result of personal use must be repaid to the university.

Managing your Mobile Device Expenses While Traveling

When using your mobile devices on university business travel, please discuss reimbursement arrangements with one administrative level higher in advance (i.e. regarding plan changes to accommodate travel).

Mobile Device Travel Tips
  • Use the least expensive means of communication such as roaming plan packages, SIM cards, or free secured WIFI whenever possible.
  • It is your responsibility to manage roaming rates and UBC will not reimburse excessive roaming costs incurred by the traveler. Attempts to reduce the cost incurred through negotiation with the vendor should be made to determine the final cost claimed for reimbursement. UBC will limit reimbursement to the lowest cost travel data plan as offered by UBC’s preferred vendors.
  • Access to the internet should be conducted through free WIFI when travelling, using VPN. Temporary data packages for device or laptop can be purchased prior to travel if approved by one administrative level higher as necessary.
  • Be aware of the roaming rates including airtime minutes, text messages and data usage (i.e. Skype, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)). Review your cellular rates at the travel destination to determine the appropriate economical travel option.
  • Having an unlocked device for travel use with a purchased SIM card for the destination of travel, or adding a travel package to your existing cellular plan are other options to mitigate the costs.
  • Track and monitor your usage where possible.
  • Minimize cellular data usage by turning off data roaming, fetch data and background apps.
  • Refer to the UBC Privacy Matters website for more information on security abroad.

    In case of any discrepancy with this webpage, the full expense rules will always take precedent.