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?

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