Cell Canada

Canadian Cellular Industry News, Insight, & Noise

Archive for August, 2008

Rogers Listens – Updates Data Plans for the iPhone, Bold, & N95

Posted by Gary on August 29, 2008

For those eager for an iPhone or Bold, Rogers has rolled out an update on it’s data plans that deserves some attention.  The plans are reasonably globally competitive and compared to the original Rogers data plans pre-consumer backlash, they are wins for Canadian consumers. 

Even more importantly, Rogers has taken smart steps to derisk the data purchase.  Rogers will now not charge for the first three months on a data plan to help consumers see reporting on their usage levels and then select the optimum plan.  As well, they have placed a $100 cap on excess usage.  Providing a limit on risk or unknown exposure to charges that has left consumers burned and wary in the past.  Both very smart moves addressing two major data plan barriers to entry for consumer.

We are still fans of the $30 6GB plan.  Sign up now.  It will disappear at the end of September and we will not see anything similar until late 2009/early 2010 when the new entrants begin to enter the market.

Price Original 2008 Pre-Iphone Market Response Restructured
$15 2MB 2MB N/A 2MB
$25 4MB 4MB N/A 500MB
$30 N/A 300MB 6GB 1GB
$50 N/A 500MB N/A 2GB
$60 30 MB 1GB N/A 3GB
$80 500MB 3GB N/A 8GB
$100 1GB 6GB N/A N/A
Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Student Cell Phone Plan Deals

Posted by Gary on August 25, 2008

Back To School Student Cell Phone Plans are summarized very well by Firestorm on RedFlagDeals.com. 

Though most of these are better deals than standard market plans, they still pale when compared to corporate plans and employee purchase plans that can be acquired with a bit of homework.  Also, as we recommend in 10 Tips for Saving on Your Cell Phone Bill, ensure that you compare at a total bill level.  Many of the plans below require another $15 for Caller ID and Voicemail, or have similar expensive basic bolt-ons that drive up their price by $10/month to $30/month for most people.

Firestorm’s summary:

                                                                            

Rogers
Not listed on website.

Add these to ANY plan as long as you’re a student:
Evenings start at 6PM for free for 3 years
Home Calling Zone for $5 off/month for 3years
If you sign up for 3 years with $15 or $20 Value Pack, you get $5 off each month for 3 years [remember, $15 value pack includes unlimited web browsing and $100 off any vision phone]

$25 + $6.95 + $0.50 + tax
100 Weekday Minutes
1000 Evening/Weekend Minutes starting at 9pm
500 Incoming Minutes
My5 + 5 (so 10) Local

$45 + $6.95 + $0.50 tax
450 Weekday Minutess
Unlimited Evening/Weekend Minutes starting at 9pm
Unlimited Incoming Minutes
My5 + 5 (so 10) Canada-Wide

Telus
$35 + $6.95 + 0.75 + tax
200 Weekday Minutes
Unlimited Evening/Weekend Minutes starting at 6pm
MyFaves 10 Canada-Wide
Unlimited Web Browsing on PCS devices (not smartphones)

$50 + $6.95 + 0.75 + tax
200 Weekday Minutes
Unlimited Evenings/Weekend Minutes starting at 6pm
MyFaves 10 Canada-Wide
Unlimited Web Browsing, E-mail (PDA smartphones and blackberries only), and Instant Messaging

Bell

$25 + $8.95 + $0.75 + tax
100 Local anytime minutes
Unlimited local calling and texting with 10 numbers
Unlimited local night and weekend (9 p.m. – 7 a.m.)
Call Waiting, Conference Calling

$35 + $8.95 + $0.75 + tax
250 Local anytime minutes
Unlimited local night and weekend (9 p.m. – 7 a.m.)
Unlimited local and Canadian long distance calling and text messaging to your 10 favourite numbers
500 sent and unlimited received picture and video messages
Call Waiting, Conference Calling

$45 + $8.95 + $0.75 + tax
350 + 100 Local anytime minutes
Unlimited local night and weekend (6pm – 7am.)
Unlimited local and Canadian long distance calling and text messaging to your 10 favourite numbers
500 sent and unlimited received picture and video messages
Call Display, Message Centre Express, Call Waiting, Conference Calling

(DEAD) $40 + $8.95 + 0.75 + tax
250 Weekday Minutes
100 Canadian Long Distance Minutes
Unlimited Evening/Weekend Minutes starting at 9 PM
Unlimited Local Incoming Calls
Unlimited Mobile Browsing in Core Network areas (100 minutes in other areas)
Call Display

Virgin
$35 + tax: myCrew 35

* 200 Anytime Minutes
* Unlimited Evening and Weekend Calling Starting at 7pm
* Unlimited Nationwide Talk and Text to 5 Buddies
* Bonus – Get 5 Extra Buddies for 10 in total
* No System Access Fee, No Activation Fee

$45 + tax: myCrew 45

* 400 Anytime Minutes
* Unlimited Evening and Weekend Calling Starting at 7pm
* Unlimited Nationwide Talk and Text to 5 Buddies
* Bonus – Get 5 Extra Buddies for 10 in total
* No System Access Fee, No Activation Fee
Limited Time myTimeTM Bonus

Want unlimited 9-5 calling? Now you can get 8 hours of unlimited daily calling with myTimeTM.

$35 + tax: myTime 35

* 200 Anytime Minutes
* Unlimited Calling within the daily 6-hour calling block
* Unlimited Calling all day Saturday and Sunday
* Bonus – Get 2 Extra hours for a total 8-hour calling block
* No System Access Fee, No Activation Fee

$45 + tax: myTime 45

* 400 Anytime Minutes
* Unlimited Calling within the daily 6-hour calling block
* Unlimited Calling all day Saturday and Sunday
* Bonus – Get 2 Extra hours for a total 8-hour calling block
* No System Access Fee, No Activation Fee

                                                                              

 Anyone find additional student / back to school cell phone deals?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 25 Comments »

Apple Opportunity #2 – The iPhone OS

Posted by Gary on August 15, 2008

As we discussed in “Apple Opportunity #1 – An OS Inflection Point”?, there have been some highly publicized numbers coming out of Apple lately:

* Apple is expected to sell over 4 million 3G iPhones by the end of the September quarter.  Roughly 4x the totals from a similar post-launch period for the first iPhone.

* The iPhone App Store saw over 60 million downloads in its first month of existence.

These numbers are all very impressive but the naysayer will hold true and naysay.  Yes, Apple sold 4 million iPhones, but the number in insignificant when taken against the 1.15 billion mobile phones sold in 2007

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Apple Opportunity #1- An OS Inflection Point?

Posted by Gary on August 15, 2008

OSX market share approaches 8% in July 2008.  Up 2% from a year earlier.

Apple is expected to sell over 4 million 3G iPhones by the end of the September quarter.  Roughly 4x the totals from a similar post-launch period for the first iPhone.

The iPhone App Store saw over 60 million downloads in its first month of existence.

These numbers are all very impressive but the naysayer will hold true and naysay. The numbers are still vary small in the grand scheme of things.  Yes, OSX market share is approaching 8% but don’t forget that Windows is still at 90%.  Yes, Apple sold 4 million iPhones, but the number in insignificant when taken against the 1.15 billion mobile phones sold in 2007.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Blackberry Bold Released

Posted by Gary on August 6, 2008

The much anticipated Blackberry Bold has been released in Chile with Movistar.  It appears that it will miss the expected August 6th date with Rogers but it should be available soon in Canada.

 

I suspect that these interative delays for the Bold in Canada are based on carrier testing iterations with RIM.  It’s common for carriers to exhaustively test devices before releasing them for sale.  Every carrier has a slightly different network configuration and different issues may be found by different carriers.  The handset manufacturers iterate resolution of these issues with the carriers until the handset is deemed to be green lighted for release.  At this late stage, the issues are usually very minor but at the same time, carriers want to avoid expensive customer service calls and will push to resolve as many issues as possible before releasing a device.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

GSM in Canada: Bell, Telus & The New AWS Carriers

Posted by Gary on August 6, 2008

Canada is soon to be flush with GSM technology based carriers.  This, along with the upcoming significant increase in new carriers born out of the AWS auction, is great news for Canadian mobile consumers. 

The mobile industry, like many technology driven industries, is a global industry.  Global demand and market share dictate priorities for research and development expenditures.  GSM has taken a significant lead in global market share over CDMA technology.  This lead has grown from 55% global market share for GSM in the year 2000 to over 85% of global market share in the year 2006.  A good amount of this growth has come as fast growing mobile markets such as China and India have chosen the GSM standard over CDMA.  The last remanants of CDMA carriers, primarily those in North America and South Korea have begun to indicate that they will be moving over to GSM technology standards in their next set of network evolution investment.  In fact, evolution of the CDMA technology has been effectively halted after the release of EVDO Rev.B.  The outstanding question for most CDMA carriers is whether they wait and suffer competitively relative to GSM carriers for two or three years until GSM 4G LTE technology is commercially available in 2010/2011 or whether they undertake a significantly capital intensive two step approach and move to UMTS, 3G GSM, now and then step to LTE in 2011/2012/2013.

In the USA, Verizon has publicly stated that it will be shifting to the GSM technology camp by overbuilding its network with LTE as soon as it is commercially available.  In Canada, it is well known in the industry that Telus and Bell have issued a joint RFP for UMTS and are currently field trialing the technology from the four short listed vendors.  They will certainly move to GSM technology though whether they do it in two steps, UMTS first then LTE, or in one step, wait for LTE, is not known. 

The new AWS auction based cellular carrier entrants; Shaw, Videotron, Bragg, DAVE, and Globalive, will all certainly come to market with UMTS based services, starting sometime in late 2009.  Initially, as they build out their networks, they will offer services delivered via resale of the Rogers UMTS network.

What does this mean for consumers? 

For one thing, this means that Rogers will no longer have technology based exclusives on the best phones.  Hot new devices such as the iPhone, Blackberry Bold, etc. will be available on all networks at once – whether through the locked phone market or the unlocked phone market.  This loss of GSM phone exclusivity will force better handset and plan offers from Rogers otherwise they will risk losing customers to the other carriers.  As we discussed in 10 Tips For Saving on Your Cell Phone Bill, it is best to avoid 3-year contracts that lock you into high prices in advance of the upcoming increased competition. 

Additionally consumers will be able to change phones by simply moving their SIM to a new phone.  As in Europe and Asia, there will be a competitive aftermarket for unlocked GSM phones on the North American spectrum blocks. 

A similar benefit in reverse is the ability to keep your physical phone but purchase a temporary in-country SIM when travelling to avoid roaming costs.  We discuss tips for saving on roaming in 10 Tips for Saving on Your Cell Phone Bill as well.

At Cell Canada, we are very excited about finally getting competitive access to some of the best phones in the world at dramatically better phone and plan pricing.  Bring on the Nokia N96, the Blackberry Bold, the Apple iPhone, Sony Ericsson Xperia1, and the other upcoming great phones with plans on any of six carriers in our local market.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Great Cheap Phone Services

Posted by Gary on August 4, 2008

Alligato Mobile – Simple and low cost long distance calling from cell phones (alligatomobile.com)

GrandCentral – Free and feature rich single number service (grandcentral.com)

Lypp – Cost effective audio conference calls (lyyp.com)

Maxroam – Cheap multi-country roaming service (maxroam.com)

These are a few of the services that we will be discussing in more detail in future posts.  We are big fans of innovative services that combine the power of the web with traditional telecom to create consumer centric solutions.  We are also big fans of cheap and free.  We have a long history with the economics of the industry and know that cell phone long distance shouldn’t cost 30 cents/minute within Canada, and conferencing shouldn’t cost 60 cents per minute, and roaming certainly shouldn’t cost over $1/minute. 

We are always on the lookout for entrepreneurial businesses that have developed solutions to offer consumers true value in the niches where the carriers are hoarding margin.  We will talk about these services and others on this blog and welcome any suggestions on services that we should try.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »