• Carriers

    by Published on 09-04-2013 03:16 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Rumors,
    3. Carriers

    Rumor has it that Mobilicity is currently in talks to transfer their 200,000 subscribers to Wind. This will allow Mobilicity to wind down their operations and cut their monthly losses. The idea is that they can hang onto their spectrum and wait till the 5 year ban on them selling their spectrum to a big three carrier to expire.

    Wind will not be paying Mobilicity much if anything for their customers. Wind gains because they'll get more customers which will help lower the amount they spend on each customer to keep their network running.

    This deal is subject to approval from Mobilicity's debt holders. ...
    by Published on 08-28-2013 08:31 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers
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    Last month the CBC ran a story about Ting, a Toronto-based company that offers wireless service to US customers -- specifically, it resells mobile bandwidth bought in bulk from Sprint.

    If this sounds at all familiar, it's pretty much the same way that the independent ISP TekSavvy operates; here in Ontario they buy bandwidth in bulk from Bell and Rogers, then offer it to customers via their own cable and DSL plans -- plans that are decidedly cheaper than what you'd pay Bell and Rogers, by the way. My TekSavvy DSL gives me a solid 25 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up for less than what I'd be paying Bell directly – and as an added bonus I get an exponentially higher bandwidth cap.

    Similarly, while Sprint unlimited smartphone plans can go as high as $70 USD/month, Ting breaks up voice, messaging and data into separate buckets. You only pay for the minutes and data used, plus messages sent -- incoming messages are free, I hope!

    Ting seems to be a popular choice where it's available. I myself have heard users sing its praises on at least one American podcast. And Sprint doesn't seem to have any problem selling them wholesale mobile service.

    Canada's Big Three carriers, though, are an entirely different story.

    ...
    by Published on 08-08-2013 04:53 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. News,
    3. Carriers
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    I have a Bell PDF explaining how their rate plans are changing as of August 9th. It's called 'How Consumer Rate Plans just got Better" - I'm not sure if this is to be said with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

    Anyways, it stuff we're already talking about here including:

    • How new 2yr and 30 day activations and hardware upgrades should work.
    • The new rate plans which include unlimited nationwide calling, text and MMS
    • New share-only plans
    • Promo plans for Voice and Voice and Data Lite (regular plans are Voice and Data Plus)
    • How migrations from 3yr plans to 2yr plans work
    • Why Bell's new plans are better than Rogers' and TELUS' new plans


    For those who don't know. 3 year contracts are out now - the max contract length is 2 years. Bell is using this opportunity to sort of reset their 3 yr plans. Basically, if you have a awesome rate plan that's lower than the new plans you can keep it but if you want hardware you'll have to switch to a rate plan that's compatible with 2 year contracts (Bell calls it an 'in market plan').

    The new plans have unlimited calling, text and MMS - basically because TELUS came out with it first and Bell is moving to match.

    While 2 year contracts are the max there are tiers of 2 year contracts based on how much you're over-paying I mean how you spend each month.

    1. There's voice only
    2. Voice and Data Lite
    3. Voice and Data Plus


    Plus means you're the type of big spender that Bell likes and you'll get the best subsidies on phones. Lite means you spend a little less and as such will receive a smaller subsidy. You get the idea.

    If you're having trouble seeing an image right click on it and view it/view in new tab to see it at full resolution. ...
    by Published on 07-30-2013 06:20 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Commentary and Analysis,
    3. Carriers
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    The words written in the new Wireless code are "good" to a point - they are what consumers want to hear (and most didn't know they wanted to hear it!) BUT does it go far enough to protect us? Not like we the consumers want. Already, Rogers, Bell and Telus have threatened (and are going to) raise their plan prices... simply because we no longer are leashed to them for 2 years. What this means for us, is higher device costs, and higher monthly rates, for less service, and less likeable customer care reps.

    The price plans as shown on MobileSyrup.com (here) are $10 higher or more, and have less data (what is this? 2009?!) and less minutes... but I guess that's what we have to get used to right?

    Then we have Verizon who makes a bold statement that they are now eyeing Canada. Bell is scared, as seen in their Open Letter to Canadians, and Rogers and Telus have both said similar things. Anyone remember Telus' CEO saying "Canadians' don't mind paying more per month"? Probably one of the most stupid things I've ever heard.
    ...
    by Published on 07-15-2013 10:41 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Commentary and Analysis,
    3. Carriers
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    TELUS just announced their new 2yr TELUS SharePlus plans. The plans consist of a separate voice and a data charges. You pick the class of device(s) you want to bring and then how much data you want shared between them. The new plans are meant to encourage users to use more than one device from TELUS (like a phone and a tablet).

    Here's the pricing:



    Let's whip out or calculators. With a 3 year term, let's assume you buy a Galaxy S4 for $200 and that it costs the TELUS $700. That means their subsidy is $500. TELUS would have $500/36months = $13.89 a month over your 3 year contract to make their subsidy back. Now with 24 months they need $20.83 a month to make their subsidy back which is $6.94 more. So, are plans going up by $6.94 a month?

    Let's assume you want a HTC One with unlimited nationwide talk and text with 2GB of data. Right now TELUS has a promotional plan called 'Unlimited Talk & Text -2GB Share'. It's $70 a month on a 3 year.

    With the new SharePlus plan, that would cost you $55 (voice) + $45 (data) = $100. Ouch. That's an extra $30 a month which is much higher than the $6.94 a month subsidy they were giving before.

    The advantage of the new plans are that you can add a couple of phones and share the data but to be honest, the data is so expensive I don't advise anyone to get them. Heck, if you want more data it gets very expensive very quickly. 6GB for $100!

    I'm sure many users will be thumping their 6GB/$30 plan and rightfully so.

    Now let's try to see this from TELUS' standpoint. Assuming most users don't cancel or change plans (which most don't). They were guaranteed 36 months x $70 = $2520 - $500 subsidy = $2020 over the life of the contract or $56.11 a month.

    Now, they're guaranteed 24 months x $100 - $500 subsidy = $1900 over 24 months or $79.17 a month. An increase of 41%! This is probably as bad as it's going to get.

    To me their 2 year plans are initial offerings. They're meant to do two things: 1) get customers to run out and sign 3 year contracts before they're no longer available 2) Take advantage of users who have been itching for 2 year contracts (and failed math).

    TELUS is putting their initial offerings in and waiting to see what Rogers and Bell do.

    The new plans launch on July 30th. ...
    by Published on 07-10-2013 11:06 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. News,
    3. Carriers

    Today, T-Mobile announced their new Jump program. For an extra $10 a month you're basically paying for device insurance. After 6 months of doing this you can trade in your T-Mobile phone for a new one and not have to worry about any more device payments. Your new phone won't cost you any more than what a new customer would pay.

    Doesn't make much sense does it? My guess is that T-Mobile is banking that you won't upgrade EVERY six months since most phones are on a 11 to 12 month release cycle.

    T-Mobile also announced the Sony Xperia Z which is sort of like a bigger, water and dust-proof version of the Xperia ZL I reviewed recently minus the infrared blaster and the Nokia Lumia 925.

    They also announced a new family plan. 4 lines with unlimited talk, text and web plus up to 500MB of data for only $100. ...
    by Published on 06-13-2013 02:11 PM
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    2. News,
    3. Carriers
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    Just got some info on when and how Bell is going to behave itself now that we have the Wireless Code of Conduct.

    First off, they're going to start on Dec 2nd 2013.

    To me the most interesting points are that Bell can't charge you a monthly fee, if you device is under warranty repair. While Bell has to unlock your phone after 90 days, you have to pay Bell's fee (which presumably won't be cheap). When you cancel, it now happens immediately, you don't have to give 30 days notice.

    When your data usage goes over $50/100 (domestic/roaming) Bell will ask you for permission before they continue to charge you.

    Here are the point:

    • Roaming data - data is cut off once you hit $100 of overage unless you agree to pay additional charges
    • Domestic data - data is cut off at $50 overage unless you agree to pay additional charges
    • Unlocking - you can get your device unlocked after 90 days at Bell's rate
    • Repairs - no monthly charges while your device is under warranty repair
    • Early termination fees - Cancellation fee cannot exceed value of device subsidy. Each month, the device cost/(number of months of contract up to 24 months) is taken off the remainder of your subsidy balance.
    • Cancellation - When you want to cancel it happens IMMEDIATELY. No more 30 days notice BS. Now we need a cable and telephone service code of conduct
    • End of contract - The contract continues on the same terms after expiry. They have to notify you 30 days before the end of term.
    • It looks like larger business accounts are excluded from the rules.
    ...
    by Published on 06-04-2013 08:37 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. News,
    3. Carriers

    The looks like the Canadian government isn't going to allow the TELUS purchase of Mobilicity to go through. Also; the license transfer denied, and the 700Mhz spectrum auction is now delayed until January.

    What does this mean for Mobilicity and the other incumbents?
    ...
    by Published on 05-14-2013 03:58 PM
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    2. News,
    3. Reviews and Hands-on,
    4. Carriers
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    Our very own HC - NO "i" just handed my his review for the ZTE F160. No, it doesn't have a 5" 4K display, 16 core processor or 8GB of RAM with dodeca-band LTE support. Instead, it's a feature phone (AKA dumbphone). Here it is:



    It's inevitable. Now that smartphones have out shipped feature phones for the first time. Mundane usage like voice calls and even SMS are declining for many subscribers as these activities are being replaced by social networking (e.g. Facebook, Google+), on-the-top messaging (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger) and VoIP calls (e.g. Skype, Google Talk).



    Here at HoFo, we mostly focus on smartphones these days. Smartphones like my brand spanking new Samsung Galaxy S 4 which is the very definition of ‘all the bell and whistles’.



    So when I told my fellow HC that I wanted to check out the F160 candy bar handset from ZTE, he wondered if I was really serious. ...
    by Published on 04-29-2013 09:31 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. From The Forums,
    4. Carriers

    Man, Sprint can't get a break!

    HTC’s conscious decision to focus on premium design for its HTC One flagship may come with an unintended consequenc: reception problem if the phone is held a certain way. Though we haven’t been able to confirm if the problem affects all global and U.S. releases of the HTC One, we have found–and are able to repeat–the problem on at least two Sprint Nextel HTC One units, one in theSan Francisco Bay Area and another in the New York Metropolitan Area.
    http://www.gottabemobile.com/2013/04...ttaBeMobile%29
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