Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Rogers Says it Will Lower Price Plans

Rogers Wireless COO Nadir Mohamed said yesterday at the Canadian Telecom Summit in Toronto that the company would finally be lowering data rates to fit in line with today's cellular landscape.

Unlike the way things used to be in what seems like eons ago, mobile devices are now used for everything from surfing the 'net to sending and receiving e-mails, editing documents, streaming music and video, and even playing games. Naturally, the inflated data rate charges that are inflicted on Canadians are simply no longer relevant for the growing group of data-intensive users.

Many are reporting that this move from Rogers will be a huge leap for wireless services in Canada. But I'll wait and see the details and fine print of the actual data plans before making a judgement call. (Official announcements are scheduled to be revealed some time prior to the iPhone's arrival in Canada on July 11).

Despite what many reports are implying, Mohamed did not blatantly confirm (to be fair, nor did he deny) that the plans would actually apply to devices other than the iPhone. A representative from Rogers already confirmed to me last week that Rogers would indeed be developing a new plan for the iPhone, but made no mention about whether this plan would cross over to other devices. If anything, Mohamed seemed to focus predominantly on the iPhone and BlackBerry's upcoming Bold device (launch date TBA). Will more attractive data plans be available for owners/buyers of other smartphones as well? If I were to make an educated guess, I'd say that Rogers will offer a new plan for the iPhone and Bold, and eventually roll out new plans across the board upon monitoring customer response.

It's long been said that Canadians pay one of the highest rates for cellular services of all the developed countries. While U.S. carriers are launching unlimited data plans left, right, and centre, we have no such truly unlimited offering in Canada. I doubt we will see comparable plans to the U.S., any time soon, but hopefully we can take things one step at a time to create a more affordable wireless landscape that properly recognizes and tailors to the usage habits of mobile users today.

On that note, the Wireless Spectrum Auction, which is where telecom companies bid for the airwaves required for cellular services to operate, is still underway. Industry Canada has set aside a portion of Spectrum for a new entrant into the wireless space, which could potentially see another GSM/3G carrier enter the Canadian market. Mohamed reportedly refused to comment on the Auction.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A canadian company was the first to start the $15 unlimited data plans that eventually turned into the $15 and $30 plans that are getting adapted by the American Companies. Yes they don't include Unlimited tethering but thats pretty common around the world.