Posts Tagged 'cell'

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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Are you ready to switch phone companies?

Wind Mobile has moved quickly since getting the green light from the industry minister. Retail locations have opened up and they have teamed up with Blockbuster as a distribution partner. Just some quick numbers.

The cheapest plan $15 a month
$5 voicemail
$5 unlimited texting
No contracts

The only thing that might hold customers back is the initial cost of buying the handset. $450 for a Blackberry Bold 9700 might scare some people off. In the long run, it still works out to be cheaper but most consumers are used to the “free phone” business model other companies have been doing. I think a lot of consumer don’t realize that their monthly charges over the course of their contract ends up paying for the subsidized phone buy costs more in the end. The no contract thing forces Wind to charge customers the full price for the handset upfront.

The other thing bugging potential new customers is the inability to port a phone from another carrier. I think once they build up a bit of a user base activating an unlocked gsm phone on Wind shouldn’t be a problem. As well the number of handsets should expand. Porting a phone number as well should be available soon.

If you have no plans to switch you still might be in luck. The added competition should force your existing wireless service provide to offer you a more competitive contract. Rogers, Bell, and Telus have had it good for a while now and the recent text messaging fees they have been cashing in have padded their profits nicely. Just make sure you aren’t paying for those free text messages. Hopefully we’ll see a return to good customer service.

Police Cell Phone searches still require a warrant

Criminals can all breathe a collective sigh of relief with the court ruling. The close decision I think reveals a technology gap with what judges believe phones do and what they think they do. Which obviously is a problem when you are dealing with supreme court judges, most of whom think Motorola flip phones are “da bomb”.

One simple analogy is obtaining a search warrant for phone records. If the cops need to go to a judge to get the phone records for a home phone, why shouldn’t the same apply to a cell phone? Especially if the cops want to see what phone numbers were recently dialed? What if the phone is locked and requires the ‘*#’ combo? Does that count as being openly available for anyone to see? In the end if this keeps a criminal out of jail, of course that’s bad news. But I don’t think anyone is willing to sacrifice their rights to put a few more people behind bars.

So a quick recap, you get arrested, the cops cannot search your phone without a warrant, which requires reasonably cause. So stop talking about the crimes you’ve committed and start using code words. Get hip to the lingo my homie.

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?

LG 150 recalled over safety concerns

Although LG only has a small market share when it comes to cell phones a 129,000 owners are rethinking their trusty phone. LG was forced to recall the LG 150 over radiation concerns. Under lab testing the phone exceeds the safety limit in Canada and the U.S. The Canadian government informed the company back in March 2008 however it was only after a second letter was sent in January 2009 that LG finally acted and issued a recall.

Hmm, 10 months of radiation should be all that harmful … right? Never was a big fan of LG products to begin with. My crappy microwave broke after a few months. My monitor found it’s way into the trash after a year. Although their LCD tvs are quite nice. Who am I kidding? Anyone who’s anyone has the Jesus Phone so no need to worry, go back to your tweeting and facebook.

Intel Atom hits 2Ghz

Just my luck. Pick up a Dell Mini 9 and Intel comes out with 2Ghz Atom processors. Faster, smaller, efficient processors. Now it’s a race between VIA nano and Intel Atom. Who’s going to top the benchmarks and sway consumers to buy their products. Most likely you’ll be seeing these processors in cell phones in 6 months. Full blown Windows platform (or perhaps even a Google platform?) ultra mobile net pc in a cell phone package. Sliding 3″ screen with touch screen interface and keyboard. Forget netbooks. Who’s going to make the computing capable cell phone with usability.


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