Posts Tagged 'wireless'

Bell should be worried

At least in “La Belle Province”. Videotron is set to launch their new wireless phone service in Quebec which has been traditionally dominated by Bell subscribers. Videotron on the other hand has the cable services market locked up and is prepared for a price war. The residents of Quebec will enjoy a nice price break on their phone bills and new subscribers can get locked into cheap wireless plans going forward. Other brands (Public Mobile, Chatr, Wind Mobile) have had little impact on Bell’s stronghold. Expect bundle offers, heavy discounts, and frequent price deals. (link)

Tethering for Rogers customers

No wired connection, or wifi, or 3g subscription usually means no Internet right? Well not if you’re a Rogers Wireless customer with a data plan. A data plan with at least 1GB that is. Looks like Rogers has decided to extend it’s tethering program and make it a permanent fixture of data plans going forward. So no extra charges if you decide to use your smartphone as a wireless modem. Unless you are roaming in the U.S. then you’re shit out of luck. Hit up a Starbucks or McDonald’s I hear they have free wifi.

“The move is likely a reaction to the launch last fall of HSPA+ networks at Bell and Telus.” (link)

Should You Lock In for another 3 years?

With the wireless industry in Canada to become more competitive in the new year existing carriers are trying desperately to keep their customers. Offering shiny phones for a brand new 3 year commitment. So should you do it? I guess it really comes down to whether you’re happy with your service provider. In some rural areas you don’t really have a choice with the service provider you have but some of the major city centers will have customers jumping ship for greener pastures. Here’s what to expect:

Rogers - phones for $1, initially requires a data plan but can be canceled later, 3 year commitment. Rogers services bundle discounts 15% CSRs are bending over backwards to get you to sign up for another 3 years, no need to threaten to cancel either.

Bell - talk and data plans from $40/month, new deal with the Source to distribute their phones. I believe they also offer a bundled service discounts. No really good phone deals. I’m guessing they are betting on the Olympics to boost their customer base along with touting their high speed wireless network.

Telus - smartphones for $0, $50 for 3 year contracts requires data plan. Great marketing as usual. Have you seen the hippo commercial? Now available at Black’s Camera locations.

Wind - building up steam with their cheap, no contract plans. The only downside is that you have to buy the phone up front. The company seems to be very responsive and listening to the community. Number portability not a problem. Some real promise with the way this company is defining itself.

Dave Wireless – other than no contracts not much has been revealed. New company Dave Wireless says it won’t compete on price.

Public Mobile – no contract (I see a recurring theme here) $40/month for UNLIMITED talk and text. It looks like they are aiming for the entry level market to try to scoop customers away from Koodo and Fido. Phone offering doesn’t look great at the moment.

It looks like pricing should should get a bit cheaper for all but premium services (data) will still end up costing you $50+ a month. I’m still wondering who’s cell towers the new service providers will be running off of. You can be sure that which ever salesperson you speak to they will be extra nice in an effort to get your business. I think one of the barriers to switching for existing customers is the “bundling” aspect. Many already enjoy the “bundle discounts” from having multiple services with one company. Definitely a smart move by those companies who implemented it.

Competition is still good. Hopefully this will be a good time for you to negotiate a better plan with your carrier or even cut ties and move on. Now, what shiny phone should I pick?

Globalive gets green light

Looks like the Canadian wireless market is going to get some competition, finally. Globalive Wireless has received the green light from Industry Minister Tony Clement despite the CRTC’s decision the deny them. The issue was whether the company was Canadian owned and operated. (details)

Mobile wars

Looks like momentum is shifting in the Canadian wireless market. The roll out of the HSPA network for the olympics, then the iPhone came to Bell and Telus, and now victory in court. I’ve always found the so called “intangible” claims to be silly. The most reliable network? Really? How exactly is that measured? You might as well say that you have more cell towers so you don’t get dropped calls. And soon Rogers won’t be able to claim that they are the fastest either. So whats left for Rogers? Jack up cable bills to cover the loss in wireless revenue.

This is nothing like the At&T vs Verizon slapfest. However the momentum shift is very similar. Users have been complaining about AT&T and their iPhones for a long time. However the divide between service levels in Canada isn’t quite the same as it is in the U.S.

West is dominated by Telus. East is Rogers. Bell is sprinkled across the country. Major cities are pretty much covered by all of them. If you’re out in the county, you might find service lacking.

LG phone strangely absent

Rogers wireless scored a coup by getting the LG Eve (GW620), one of a few select wireless providers to get one however something is strange. Despite showing up on their website and commercials, I’m not seeing the phone out the real world. Nor am I seeing any popular technology gadget sites talking about it or even reviewing it. So what’s the deal?

Is the phone a dud? Reception issues? Camera quality perhaps? On paper the specs look decent and the phone appears to be a reasonably well designed device. Compared to the Motorola Cliq they’ve removed the directional pad to make texting easier. Touchscreen? Yes. QWERTY keyboard? Yes. Wifi? Yes. 3G? Yes. Very nice specs and with a cheap price over a 3 year contract. At this price point it should be getting scooped up by students everywhere. Perhaps iPhone contracts are getting in the way. Well Christmas IS just around the corner maybe we’ll see more handsets out in the wild shortly.

Can anyone comment?

Updated Dec. 30/09
AH HA! So it is indeed a dud! One of my friends was chatting with Rogers reps on the phone and in-store and the phone is a mere $400 for a reason. RF performance is below average, touch screen is uber sensitive to the point that it is annoying, no physical phone button sucks, non intuitive UI, Android less than stellar performance (hardware issue?). As well if you’re considering the Sony X1, don’t. That phone is also a major dud. Looks like I’m heading to ebay to pick up a Motorola Droid/Milestone.

Electronista Review
Howard Chui Review

Rogers Wireless cash grab

Rogers announced that it will be removing its $6.95 system access fee (yay!). However in its place they will be charging a new “government fee” of $2.46 (or $3.46 depending on your province) per month and raising all existing plans by $5 … um WTF ROGERS! Pretending to give back with the right hand while stealing with the left hand. Don’t give met that bullshit excuse that your including “free services”. I’m gonna cancel and go to Fido … -er wait, you own that too. FUCK! Well then I will go to … Bell? Telus? Geezus! Canada get some competition in here!

Isn’t it bad enough that Rogers raises my cable bill every year for no reason but to financially rape me? OR how about the constant phone calls and mail they send me offering “cheaper home phone” services (which actually end up being just as expensive as my current service). Oh my gawds, why?! Anyone else getting tired of this monopoly?


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