• Big Three Flanker Brands Raise BYOD Rates (bonus data remains)

    The bad news? Fido, Koodo and Virgin Mobile have all raised their rates on BYOD plans—as I understand it, the new pricing applies everywhere except Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Québec. The good news? Rates have only gone up by $5/month, and the old rates are still available without unlimited calls.

    After going back to the dark side last month, securing an acceptable phone plan ($60 for 6GB), I was thinking about bumping my monthly data bucket up to 8GB before the prices went up. I paid a visit to my local Virgin Mobile kiosk where, sure enough, the prices have gone up.

    Here's a sample of the current BYOD plans:



    What's changed is that you'll have to pay an additional $5/month if you want unlimited minutes. I can't help but be reminded of Freedom Mobile's "Big Gig" plans here—to be fair, though, those Freedom plans include zero free minutes, while Fido, Koodo and Virgin will at least give you 500. Remember too that Koodo's bonus data is only good for 24 months.

    Choose your poison at Fido, Koodo or Virgin Mobile.

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    This article was originally published in forum thread: Canadian Wireless Pricing started by pjw918 View original post
    Comments 47 Comments
    1. kwandar's Avatar
      kwandar -
      Quote Originally Posted by pjw918 View Post
      I think that Fongo (combination of Fido costs at $15 for 2Gb and $2 a month for outbound texting) should be added.

      That is $17 a month for 2 Gb plan. A bit of a one-off, but serves the function at a far better cost.
    1. Fritz Z24's Avatar
      Fritz Z24 -
      Quote Originally Posted by kwandar View Post
      I think that Fongo (combination of Fido costs at $15 for 2Gb and $2 a month for outbound texting) should be added.

      That is $17 a month for 2 Gb plan. A bit of a one-off, but serves the function at a far better cost.
      * Data Plans for Tablets
      Get a tablet with Fido or bring your own to get 2GB of data for $15 per month.

      * Available to Fido postpaid wireless customers.

      * Available to Fido postpaid customers with wireless plan (voice only, data only, Fido Home Phone and prepaid plans not eligible).

      https://www.fido.ca/consumer/tablets?setLanguage=en
    1. pjw918's Avatar
    1. CGY Guy's Avatar
      CGY Guy -
      Yikes, it's time to pat myself on the back for changing my Koodo plan to the $55, 1GB+2GB, and 1000 Int'l bonus plan.

      Damn, those plans are spendy... :/
    1. krazy's Avatar
      krazy -
      Quote Originally Posted by CGY Guy View Post
      Yikes, it's time to pat myself on the back for changing my Koodo plan to the $55, 1GB+2GB, and 1000 Int'l bonus plan.

      Damn, those plans are spendy... :/
      Especially when you compare it to Australia (which has just about the most similar population characteristics and economy as Canada):

      http://www.optus.com.au/shop/mobilephones/SimBYO
      http://www.vodafone.com.au/plans/sim-only
      https://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-ph...-and-rates#byo

      And that doesn't even include the MVNO's that have even cheaper offers
    1. pjw918's Avatar
      pjw918 -
      Canada’s hated System Access Fee is alive and well
      Device activation and SIM card charges are the wireless industry’s unholy offspring
      Peter Nowak May 11
    1. pjw918's Avatar
      pjw918 -
      Canadian Government on Wireless Services: High Prices, Low Adoption, and Unaffordable For Too Many

      The government leaves no doubt that it believes the current market offers too little choice, leading to high prices and low adoption rates for wireless services (particularly for low-income Canadians).
      --
      Privy Council Order in Council 2017-0557
    1. Mr.Peppermint's Avatar
      Mr.Peppermint -
      Quote Originally Posted by pjw918 View Post
      Canada’s hated System Access Fee is alive and well
      Device activation and SIM card charges are the wireless industry’s unholy offspring
      Peter Nowak May 11
      US is way worse than Canada in this respect
      Even T-Mobile has tons of extra charges
    1. pjw918's Avatar
      pjw918 -
      MVNOs need not apply.
      ('cause, you know, their pricing would be un-Canadian)

      Canadian cellphone startup has success stateside, but shut out at home
      Globe and Mail, July 2
      Peter Nowak

      Like many Canadians, Derek Ting and Jon Lerner were frustrated by their high cellphone bills. As computer engineering students at the University of Waterloo, however, they had the skills to do something about it.

      The duo cobbled together an app that duplicated the text messaging function found on smartphones, allowing them to send and receive short messages via their phones’ data connections, thereby bypassing their carriers’ texting charges. At the time, 2009, those fees were substantial.

      The app, which they released publicly as TextNow, quickly went viral. Millions of users downloaded and installed it, providing the friends with a base for a larger operation that would ultimately become TextNow Inc., one of Canada’s more ambitious – but least known – startup success stories.

      The Waterloo, Ont.-based company has since grown to 10 million monthly users, 100 staff and an office in San Francisco, with an eye to becoming bigger still.

      “Our goal is to rethink telecom from the ground up and to figure out how to make it more innovative,” Mr. Ting said. “We want to be available not just to millions of customers but billions.”

      The company’s break came in 2013, when Mr. Ting decided to move away from offering just free text messaging and into full-fledged, paid wireless service.

      After securing a wholesale deal in the United States with Sprint Corp., TextNow became what’s known as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), a company that rents wireless network capacity to provide service to its own customers.

      At the time, Sprint was the third-largest cellphone carrier in the United States. Its market share of about 15 per cent was far below that of leaders AT&T and Verizon, which each had about a third of the country’s subscribers. So Sprint was motivated to sign up customers of any kind – retail or wholesale.

      The deal helped TextNow land investment from a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, which allowed it to hire more staff and add new features.

      Besides basic connectivity, the company also lets customers use their phone numbers on computers and tablets and store voice messages in the cloud.

      TextNow does not disclose how many monthly users are on its paid service, which starts at $13.99 (U.S.) a month, but Mr. Ting says the company is experiencing big growth. It made Deloitte’s Fast 500 growth index in November, posting 277-per-cent revenue growth between 2012 and 2016.

      ...the company doesn’t offer its paid service in Canada because of what Mr. Ting says is a significantly different market dynamic. A few MVNOs exist, including brands such as President’s Choice and 7-Eleven, but their comparative pricing isn’t much different than that of Bell, Rogers and Telus. The Big Three have 90 per cent of the market, each with almost an equal share, so they don’t offer MVNOs’ attractive wholesale rates, Mr. Ting said.

      “U.S. carriers are much more motivated to play offence against each other, but here they’re just playing defence,” he said.
      Despite that, the company doesn’t offer its paid service in Canada because of what Mr. Ting says is a significantly different market dynamic. A few MVNOs exist, including brands such as President’s Choice and 7-Eleven, but their comparative pricing isn’t much different than that of Bell, Rogers and Telus. The Big Three have 90 per cent of the market, each with almost an equal share, so they don’t offer MVNOs’ attractive wholesale rates, Mr. Ting said.

      “U.S. carriers are much more motivated to play offence against each other, but here they’re just playing defence,” he said.

      Other Canadian companies that have tried to negotiate similar wholesale arrangements agree.

      “There’s nothing happening at all [with MVNOs] in Canada,” said Elliot Noss, chief executive of Toronto-based Tucows Inc., which operates the Ting wireless brand in the United States.

      Spokespeople for Bell and Telus did not return requests for comment. Rogers says it is focused on continued facilities-based investment. “We provide domestic roaming to other carriers and work with resellers that don’t own a network where it makes business sense,” says spokeswoman Sarah Schmidt.

      Emir Aboulhosn, founder and chief executive of Otono Networks, has had similar MVNO experiences through his Zip SIM and Roam Mobility brands, both of which take advantage of low wholesale rates from T-Mobile, the current No. 3 provider in the United States.

      Roam Mobility does offer service within Canada to visiting travellers but at comparatively higher rates than it does in the U.S.

      Despite that difference, Mr. Aboulhosn is sympathetic to the Canadian carriers’ position; with equal market shares, he understands the need to be more defensive.

      “They’re only going to work with you when the risk of cannibalization is next to zero,” he said. “If someone comes in on their network and undercuts them, what’s the net benefit to them?”

      Concerned with Canada’s high wireless prices, the federal government is stepping into the fray. Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains recently ordered the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to reconsider its thinking on wireless wholesale.

      The CRTC has so far rejected the idea of mandating MVNOs. This year it clamped down on Sugar Mobile, an operator that was trying to introduce a TextNow-like service in Canada through an existing roaming agreement with Rogers.

      Mr. Ting says government or regulatory intervention is the only way to open the Canadian wireless market to small telecom companies such as TextNow.

      “We’re hopeful that our government will step up to the plate and do something about it,” he said. “It’s time for them to do something bold.”
      Mr. Ting says government or regulatory intervention is the only way to open the Canadian wireless market to small telecom companies such as TextNow.

      “We’re hopeful that our government will step up to the plate and do something about it,” he said. “It’s time for them to do something bold.”
    1. pjw918's Avatar
      pjw918 -
      TNW Wireless calls on CRTC to compel Bell and Telus to provide wholesale roaming agreements
      MobileSyrup, July 4

      Toronto-based TNW Wireless has filed an application with the CRTC to compel Bell and Telus to provide it with wholesale roaming agreements.

      The company has also requested that the CRTC rule that TNW’s iPCS Cloud Spectrum technology “is compliant with current CRTC rules and regulations regarding wireless roaming in Canada.” To date, however, Bell and Telus have refused to provide TNW with roaming agreements, citing concerns that TNW will allow permanent roaming on their respective networks.

      Meanwhile, TNW says that when using its Wi-Node, a subscriber’s phone completely disconnects from the network of any roaming partner to sync with its own network, which TNW argues does not constitute as “roaming.” As a result, TNW says it is “therefore fully compliant with both the letter and spirit of Canadian telecommunications regulations.”

      As well, TNW says it believes its iPCS tech “strikes the perfect balance” between the CRTC’s desire to give major providers the incentive to invest in their networks and stated government policy that allowing Canadians to take advantage of a variety of companies and their services.

      “No doubt Bell and Telus will rely heavily on the CRTC’s decision in March of this year against Sugar Mobile’s use of public Wi-Fi to provide some of its service” said Lawry Trevor-Deutsch, president of TNW Wireless, in a press release.

      "This is probably one of the most important applications to come before the CRTC in some time as the outcome will greatly affect the Canadian competitive landscape."
      “However, iPCS is a very sophisticated technology and not just an over-the-top application. It was developed to be fully compliant with all current regulations and we believe the Sugar Mobile decision is not relevant in this case. This is probably one of the most important applications to come before the CRTC in some time as the outcome will greatly affect the Canadian competitive landscape.”

      --
      TNW Wireless
      CNW press release
    1. pjw918's Avatar
      pjw918 -
      Rogers increases data overage rate by $20 per gigabyte
      MobileSyrup, July 5

      Rogers is increasing its data overage fees from $5 per 100MB to $7 per 100MB, or $70 per 1GB. The extra $2 equates to a 40 percent increase, or a $20 increase per gigabyte.

      Telus charges $100/GB after the first GB @ $50.
    1. CGY Guy's Avatar
      CGY Guy -
      The others will follow suit as well. What a phuqing joke.
    1. xtachx's Avatar
      xtachx -
      Quote Originally Posted by CGY Guy View Post
      The others will follow suit as well. What a phuqing joke.
      Bell already charged $70/GB and Telus charges $50 for the first GB and then $100 thereafter. Rogers is late to the party this time.
    1. pjw918's Avatar
      pjw918 -
      Rogers, Bell increase data overage fees in time for back-to-school season
      Financial Post, July 8

      Canada’s two largest wireless operators increased their data overage fees for new customers before the busy back-to-school shopping season, a move industry watchers suggest is designed to convince customers to upgrade to pricier plans to avoid extra charges.

      This week, Rogers Communications Inc. increased its overage fees to $7 per 100 megabytes from $5 per 100 MB, matching BCE Inc.’s increase to $7 per 100 MB in April. Canada’s wireless regulator dictates that carriers must stop data overage charges at $50 per account per billing cycle unless a customer expressly consents to keep racking up their bill, so higher fees mean consumers will hit the $50 limit more quickly.

      The fee hikes come as data consumption becomes increasingly important for carriers’ bottom lines. As consumers burn through data streaming and sharing videos on their mobile devices, the major operators’ average revenue per user has risen as people upgrade plans or get dinged with overage fees.
      ...
      Industry players and consumer advocates think the price changes reflect preparation for a deluge of new customers in the fall, a popular time to buy new phones, rather than a reaction to the wireless code updates.
      ...
      [PIAC] believes the overage fee, now $70 per gigabyte, has no connection with the actual cost of providing the service. PIAC remains disappointed with the Competition Bureau for not keeping a closer eye on retail telecom pricing, he said.

      “It looks funny to people to see identical price increases on the same aspect of wireless service in roughly the same period from major market leaders.”
      “They need to do a little looking at least and sabre rattling to keep the players honest until a really viable fourth player shows up,” Lawford said. “It looks funny to people to see identical price increases on the same aspect of wireless service in roughly the same period from major market leaders.”
    1. CGY Guy's Avatar
      CGY Guy -
      Tell me what the pros are for being Canadian again? We're constantly being screwed with our dollar, gas costs, food, travel costs (in country), and cell service. Not to mention the cost of booze...

      Wake up Canada, you're being sold a pack of lies.
    1. shaz0311's Avatar
      shaz0311 -
      Quote Originally Posted by CGY Guy View Post
      Tell me what the pros are for being Canadian again? We're constantly being screwed with our dollar, gas costs, food, travel costs (in country), and cell service. Not to mention the cost of booze...

      Wake up Canada, you're being sold a pack of lies.
      Very true, I've found out that I would receive the same pay I get now, working in the U.S.

      Plus everything is much cheaper, new car, cell plan, home utilities, stable market for jobs (in my sector) makes the idea of moving to the Northeast U.S. more feasible.

      Sent from my SGH-M919V using HoFo mobile app
    1. pjw918's Avatar
    1. mch's Avatar
      mch -
      Quote Originally Posted by shaz0311 View Post
      Very true, I've found out that I would receive the same pay I get now, working in the U.S.

      Plus everything is much cheaper, new car, cell plan, home utilities, stable market for jobs (in my sector) makes the idea of moving to the Northeast U.S. more feasible.

      Sent from my SGH-M919V using HoFo mobile app
      Yeah, it is sad, speaking as a Canadian who has lived in the US for about 25 years working in tech. Better/more job opportunities. Lower cost of living. Higher salaries, in tech at least. Health care is the one thing that is more expensive in the US.

      Whenever I consider moving back to Canada, the lower salaries and higher cost of living makes me reconsider. I occasionally do a Canadian job search, and the total comp numbers discourage me pretty quickly.
    1. krazy's Avatar
      krazy -
      Quote Originally Posted by CGY Guy View Post
      Tell me what the pros are for being Canadian again? We're constantly being screwed with our dollar, gas costs, food, travel costs (in country), and cell service. Not to mention the cost of booze...

      Wake up Canada, you're being sold a pack of lies.
      While Australia (with an even lower population density than Canada's) gets competition right with MVNO BYOD offers of as low as $17 per month for 5GB of data and unlimited calls/texts, tax included