• Carriers

    by Published on 01-24-2019 02:05 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers

    Fido (and Rogers) are saying "gong hei" to new customers with some special promotions for Chinese New Year.

    Mobile Syrup is reporting on a pair of plans for Fido, both of which include 1,000 complimentary long distance minutes to China PRC, Hong Kong, Macau and/or Taiwan ROC. Both plans are BYOD; options are as follows:

    $48/month for 3GB
    $58/month for 5GB

    As-is the plans include international SMS and 500 minutes of Canada-wide airtime; unlimited minutes can be had for an additional $5/month. The 1,000 long distance minutes must be used within 24 months of activation.

    iPhone in Canada reports a similar, soon-to-be-made-public CNY deal from Rogers, though theirs is for subsidized devices on a tab:

    $80/month for 4GB plus a 4GB bonus on a Premium Tab Plan
    $90/month for 4GB plus a 4GB bonus on a Premium+ Tab Plan
    $100/month for 4GB plus a 4GB bonus on an Ultra Tab Plan

    Here you're basically saving $20/month off of the usual rates, and getting the same 1,000 free minutes to Asia.

    Sources: iPhone in Canada, Mobile Syrup

    by Published on 01-22-2019 03:05 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers

    Tefficient, a European consultancy firm, has released a new report on the global wireless market, with a not entirely-unexpected conclusion: that the availability of decent data-only plans results in high data usage. Austria and Finland are specifically called out, as is Canada.

    Let's cut to the chase, at the very end of Tefficient's 20-page brief:

    Our analysis shows a strong correlation between the data-only penetration of a country’s SIM base and the average data usage. Austria and Finland are the two data-only powerhouses of the world; Austria’s usage is higher, but Finland’s penetration is higher.

    But a prerequisite for this – and for high data usage in general – is that the total revenue per gigabyte is low. This is the case in India, Finland, Taiwan, Lithuania, Latvia, Thailand, Estonia and Austria. These countries are mobile data paradises for users.

    Canada and Belgium represent the other end. The total revenue per gigabyte here is roughly 70 times higher than in India and 23 times higher than in Finland. And consequently, mobile usage is lower than average.
    Put another way, Canadian mobile subscribers are collectively paying a lot of money for not a lot of value. And as I've written here before, super-fast 5G networks are going to be a tough sell here if prices stay high and usage stays low.

    Source: Tefficient PDF via Michael Geist

    by Published on 01-21-2019 04:05 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers

    In Vancouver Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou remains under house arrest, facing extradition to the United States. In mainland China Canadian citizens continue to be detained—with one previously-convicted individual facing a sudden retrial and resulting, perhaps arbitrary, death sentence. In this tense and escalating climate two of our Big Three carriers are taking steps to defend their use of Huawei infrastructure and handsets.

    Mobile Syrup reported over the weekend that some 30,000 Telus employees have received an internal memo from VP Eros Spadotto (great mob boss name, btw) detailing the innovative-centric (?) partnership between Telus and their Chinese equipment supplier:

    "Huawei remains a viable and reliable participant in the Canadian telecommunications space, bolstered by globally leading innovation, comprehensive security measures, and new software upgrades."
    Now another memo has leaked from Bell, instructing customer-facing employees to defend the carrier's sales of Huawei-made handsets:

    “The debate around Huawei involves the potential use of its wireless infrastructure equipment in new 5G wireless networks, which have yet to be launched. There are no concerns about the Huawei smartphones offered to Canadian consumers by Virgin Mobile/Bell and most other wireless providers.”
    While it would be nice to have the full text of these memos for context, one should still be able to appreciate the predicament that Bell and Telus are in, sharing infrastructure and, at least with Telus, a billion-dollar investment in Huawei 5G gear. It seems inevitable to me that Canada will follow the lead of other Five Eyes partners (most notably the US) and ban Huawei from our networks, sooner rather than later. That's bad news for Bell and Telus, but I imagine not quite so bad as being detained in a foreign country.

    Sources: CBC, Financial Post, Mobile Syrup (1) (2)

    by Published on 01-18-2019 03:18 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers

    I'm not sure exactly when 30-day BYOD contracts became exempt from the customary grandfathering that wireless subscribers are used to; maybe this is it?

    Customers who jumped on late 2017's 10GB holiday miracle here in Canada are about to get a $5 price increase, to $65/month. Cash-grabs so far have confirmed from Bell, Virgin, Rogers and Fido. If you think that Telus and Koodo will inevitably join in you're probably not wrong.

    For Fido and Rogers the new rate is already in effect, as of January 3rd. Bell and Virgin are holding off until March—but according to iPhone in Canada (who also whipped up the fancy lead graphic at the top of this post) Bell is also planning to apply the $5 price hike to all of their BYOD plans.

    So what can you do? Someone on Red Flag Deals managed to get a 3GB bonus by calling in to Fido to complain. Your mileage may vary, as they say, and there's no guarantee that this extra data will be permanent.

    Sources: iPhone in Canada, Mobile Syrup (1) (2), Red Flag Deals

    by Published on 01-17-2019 01:30 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Tips,
    3. Carriers

    Notice how I didn't say "best"... the fact of the matter is that of Taiwan's four national carriers—Chunghwa Telecom, FarEasTone, Taiwan Mobile and T Star—I've only ever used FarEastTone. And none of their SIM cards in my growing collection has ever let me down.

    If you're flying into Terminal 1 of Taoyuan International Airport you'll find counters for all four carriers just outside of immigration (to the right). But if you're flying into the yet-to-be-made-over Terminal 2 then you'll have to hunt down each one separately. I'm happy to save you that trouble: FarEastTone provides prepaid data SIMs charged by volume or by day, and you'll definitely want to choose the former because data is unlimited, and cheap! 5 days of service will set you back a mere $350 TWD, about $11 and change USD; my girlfriend and I got 15 full days for exactly $32.03 CAD each.

    Speeds, as you can see from my collection of tests above, were fine—maybe not as fast as peak 4G speeds on Bell in downtown Toronto, but perfectly usable. And because of the unlimited throughput I never once had to connect to hotel WiFi.

    So if there's a trip to Taiwan in your near future and you require a prepaid SIM then I think you'll be quite satisfied with FarEastTone. More on them and your other options at the links immediately below.

    Links: FarEasTone, Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki

    by Published on 12-21-2018 02:55 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Commentary and Analysis,
    3. Carriers

    The CRTC released its 2018 Communications Monitoring Report yesterday (direct link to the 34 page PDF right here), and we already have an expert reaction to it, from Dr. Michael Geist:

    The data points to a market dominated by three big carriers, with retail pricing that creates all the wrong incentives for a country focused on innovation. Rather than encouraging data use, the current marketplace forces consumers to ration their data and to subscribe to cheaper data plans with the hope of not running into overage charges.
    He's not wrong; I had a quick look through the report myself, and found this graphic to be especially telling:

    I'm thinking that 5G is going to be a really tough sell in this country if over half of its mobile subscribers have a monthly data bucket of 2GB or less.

    It could be that we're just a nation of cheapskates, who simply don't see much value in mobile data. But the long lines at carrier stores for that 10GB holiday miracle this time last year would seem to suggest otherwise.

    Source: Michael Geist

    by Published on 12-17-2018 11:30 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers

    Good news for mobile subscribers in Alberta and BC... Freedom Mobile has confirmed expansion plans for those two provinces. Expect their LTE network to launch in the cities of Red Deer and Victoria in February, 2019.

    Here's the planned coverage map for Red Deer. New store locations will be as follows:

    1. Parkland Mall
    2. Bower Place

    And here's the coverage map plus the five planned store locations in Victoria:

    1. Westshore Town Centre
    2. Mayfair Shopping Centre
    3. Uptown
    4. Hillside Shopping Centre
    5. The Bay Centre

    There's also some new coverage in the works for Ontario. Look for a 4G signal in the following cities:

    1. Belleville
    2. Brockville
    3. Cobourg
    4. Cornwall
    5. Pembroke

    ... Just not until March of next year.

    Source: Freedom Mobile via iPhone in Canada

    by Published on 12-12-2018 03:01 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! Here's Magenta's latest holiday video. What are you guys wishing for this year under your tree?

    by Published on 12-12-2018 02:50 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers

    A Windsor, Ontario couple are recovering from a scary experience with Freedom Mobile and their Samsung phones. Kelly Smith observed her partner displaying acute symptoms of a heart attack, and was unable to call for an ambulance from either of their two phones—a Samsung Galaxy A5 and A8.

    She was eventually able to get through, and her partner is currently recovering in a local hospital. About a week later Freedom sent Ms. Smith the text you see above.

    The CRTC has looked in to the issue, and believes it to be specific to the Freedom-branded A5. As the text says, it was likely due to a faulty software update. A technician from Samsung visited to couple to examine their devices; after that came a phone call from a Samsung Canada executive, offering complimentary replacements.

    Since then there has apparently been another software update for the A5, this one promising better 911 performance over LTE. Has anyone here received that update, or the text message from Freedom?

    Source: CBC

    by Published on 12-03-2018 02:25 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers

    Look, I totally get that Freedom Mobile is in a tough spot right now, standing alone as the only (almost) nationwide alternative to The Big Three. But if the rumour about their latest promotion turns out to be true, I won't be the only Canadian doing this tomorrow.

    Let me first remind you of the predicament that FM is currently in. I don't think they're competing with the Big Three proper, per se—Bell, Rogers and Telus seem to thrive on family plans with shared data—but they are most definitely trying to win business from the second-tier "youth" brands, aka Fido, Koodo and Virgin. At the same time, they're being squeezed by third-tier carriers (Chatr, Public and Lucky) offering slower 3G data but at similar rates.

    So what they've come up with, according to an iPhone in Canada exclusive, is a $43/month plan with 3GB of LTE data and 6.5GB of 3G data. To alleviate the legendary suck of their legacy HSPA+ network they're also throwing in a one-time LTE "big binge" of 15GB.

    Confused? I'm pretty sure that's the point.... Most users won't realize how small their usable data bucket is until at least a couple of months in, when they've gobbled up their extra 15 gigs and, not coincidentally, any late-breaking holiday promos from Fido, Koodo or Virgin will have come and gone.

    Source: iPhone in Canada

    by Published on 11-28-2018 09:55 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers

    In case you haven't heard, Alert Ready is doing another system test this afternoon, at 1:55pm local time. It doesn't appear to be a synchronized test across the country—for example, mobile users in both British Columbia and Ontario will each receive test alerts at this same time. Quebeckers will receive their test an hour later, for some reason. Here's the blurb from the source:

    November 28, 2018 Public Awareness Test

    On November 28th at 1:55 PM local time (2:55 PM local time in Quebec), a test of the Alert Ready system will be conducted. The test will be distributed on TV, radio and compatible wireless devices. Please note, not all mobile devices will receive the test message. For general device compatibility, you can refer to the Alert Ready website here.
    It looks like only carrier-branded phones (and not even all of them) are compatible with the Alert Ready system. I'll be very interested to see if my unlocked OnePlus device will also get the alert.

    Source: Alert Ready, Canada's New Emergency Alert System

    by Published on 11-27-2018 02:40 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers

    So there's this site called The Logic which, near as I can tell, seems like a Canadian version of paywalled tech news site The Information. They claim to have gotten their hands on a classified government report; from the first few lines of their story it doesn't seem like there's anything there that we didn't already know: Canada's wireless market could benefit from some foreign competition.

    iPhone in Canada has read the full piece, and there's maybe a bit more to it than that (but not much). For example, the classified report states that since T-Mobile entered the U.S. market the average cost of wireless plans declined by 50 percent. Then there's Mexico, where prices dropped 75 percent after AT&T was allowed to do business there.

    So how could Canada facilitate international players setting up shop here? Well, the USMCA already calls for the elimination of of anti-competitive practices by telcos in member countries. Failing that, our government could always revise Canada's Telecommunications Act.

    You can read more details at the second link below. To read the full story, however, you'll have to sign up for a subscription plan with The Logic. Be sure to copy and paste the full text here if you do.

    Source: The Logic via iPhone in Canada

    by Published on 11-26-2018 03:00 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers

    $7.50 CAD seems to be the best per-gigabyte going rate for Big Three LTE data in Ontario—that is unless you happen upon a Fido store with a notice like this.

    Someone posted the photo above to Red Flag Deals, taken at the Markville Mall Fido kiosk, where new signups can get their Rogers-flavoured data for only $6.50/month.

    With a catch, of course.

    The catch is a $10 bill credit that's only good for 12 months; after that you'll be paying the same $75/month as you would on Koodo or Virgin. The good news is that your 10GBs won't be chopped down to 5 after 24 months like it would had you chose Koodo.

    And to be clear, Fido's 12-month $10/month bill credit applies to 4 and 6GB BYOD plans as well.

    Source: RFD via iPhone in Canada

    by Published on 11-22-2018 02:45 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers

    Don't be fooled by Koodo, like I was yesterday... If you want the best available deal on Big Three BYOD data your current best options (outside of Québec) are Fido and Virgin Mobile. Each of them are matching Koodo's 10GB data bucket for $75/month, with one important difference: after 24 months you'll still have 10GB per month!

    Some screenshots from the carriers' plan pages (set to Ontario) for proof:

    Plan details from Fido... I'm still fuzzy on their concept of "hourly data"; the important thing is that it's not part of your 10 GB.

    And details from Virgin Mobile... I actually just upgraded my own service; I was already paying $70/month for 8GB (and 500 minutes), so an extra 2GB for $5—plus unlimited calls—seemed like a no-brainer.

    I honestly don't know why Koodo doesn't make their promotional plans permanent; maybe they're still losing revenue from all you clever people still enjoying their out-of-market plans.
    by Published on 11-21-2018 01:20 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers

    If Fido and Virgin match this latest Koodo initiative—and there's no reason to think that they won't—we may have a new, slightly more affordable option for 10 GB data buckets from The Big Three. Last December's holiday miracle gave us 10 GB for $60; now it seems that Koodo is offering the same amount for $75. The details:

    $75 per month + applicable monthly tab charge
    • 10 GB of Shock-Free™ data
    • Unlimited Canada-wide anytime minutes
    • Unlimited messaging (text & picture)
    • Call Display, Voicemail, Call Waiting, Conference Calling and Unlimited Canada-wide Family Calling
    • Additional data $10/100 MB
    • $35 connection fee (including SIM card) applies when purchased in store
    • $0 connection fee (including SIM card) when you order online!
    • Receive 5 GB of bonus data every month – over 24 months that represents 120 GB of bonus data. *

    * Get the $75 No Tab, Tab Small or Tab Medium plan and receive a 5 GB bonus data every month – over 24 months that represents 120 GB of bonus data.

    That bit about the 120 GB of bonus data is, of course, a direct jab at Freedom. But in Koodo's case it also applies to small and medium tab plans—which, somewhat unexpectedly, are currently showing the same 10 GB / $75 per month rate.

    Source: iPhone in Canada

    UPDATE: According to Mobile Syrup this ends up being a 5 GB / $75 plan after 24 months—which makes zero sense, as the lower $60 per month plan would ultimately give you 1 GB more per month.

    by Published on 11-19-2018 07:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers

    Here's a Black Friday deal I've not seen before... Starting today, if you sign up for service with Freedom Mobile—or upgrade your existing phone on a tab— they'll throw in a one-time data top-up of 100 GB.

    Both iPhone in Canada and Mobile Syrup are reporting that a "Big Gig" plan at $60/month or more is required, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Here's the fine print, copied and pasted directly from the footer of Freedom's site:

    Big Binge Bonus

    Offer is available for a limited time and is subject to change or cancellation without notice.

    Eligibility for a Big Binge Bonus during the promotion period is as follows:

    5 GB – New customers only: Activate a Pay Before service on a current in-market $40/month or higher rate plan.
    10 GB – New customers only: Activate a Pay After service on a current in-market $40-$49/month rate plan.
    15 GB – New customers: Activate a Pay After service on a current in-market $50-$59/month rate plan, or a Pay After service with MyTab on a current in-market $40-$49/month rate plan. Existing customers: Upgrade your phone with MyTab on a $40-49/month rate plan.
    30 GB – New customers: Activate a Pay After service on a current in-market $60/month or higher rate plan, or a Pay After service with MyTab on a current in-market $50-$59/month rate plan. Existing customers: Upgrade your phone with MyTab on a $50-59/month rate plan.
    100 GB – New customers: Activate a Pay After service with MyTab on a current in-market $60/month or higher rate plan. Existing customers: Upgrade your phone with MyTab on a $60/month or higher rate plan.

    New activations with MyTab and phone upgrades with MyTab require a 24 month services agreement. Your bonus data will only be used after you have used up all the fast LTE data in your rate plan each month and, once the total amount of bonus data is depleted, it will not be replenished. The bonus data will remain available on your account for as long as you remain an active customer in good standing on an Eligible Plan. If you upgrade your rate plan after receiving your bonus data, any remaining bonus data will continue to be available to use with your new rate plan, but you will not receive a new allocation of bonus data. If you downgrade your rate plan or cancel your MyTab, any remaining bonus data will be removed from your account.
    Thanks to HoFo user sirtate for posting the link to Shaw's press release; let us know if you grab this deal!

    Sources: iPhone in Canada, Mobile Syrup, Shaw Newsroom

    by Published on 11-13-2018 12:53 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers

    Looking to score a free phone this holiday? For a limited time, the REVVL 2 is available for FREE after 24 monthly device credits when you add a line (regularly $168 or $0 down and $7 per month for 24 months on T-Mobile interest-free Equipment Installment Plan (EIP).

    Need a bigger HD display and battery? The new REVVL 2 Plus with dual rear-facing cameras, a bigger battery, an even larger screen and the same amazing warranty can be yours for $84 for a limited time. That comes out to only $3.50 per month when you add a line (regularly $252 or $0 down and $10.50 per month for 24 months on EIP).

    REVVL 2
    Camera: 13MP RFC/8MP FFC
    Battery: 3,000 mAh
    Color: Mirror Black
    OS: Android O
    Screen: 5.5” HD (1440x720) 18:9 display
    RAM: 2GB
    ROM: 32GB and expandable to 128GB
    Bands: LTE CAT 4, LTE Bands 2,4,5, 7,12, 66 & 71
    Security: Face recognition & fingerprint sensor
    Water/Dust Resistance: IP52
    Impact/Shock Resistance: IK02
    Dimensions: 147.1 x 68.8 x 8.5 mm
    Chipset: MediaTek MT6739
    Processor: 1.5 GHz Quad-Core


    REVVL 2 Plus
    Camera: 12MP + 2 MP RFC/8MP FFC
    Battery: 4,000 mAh
    Color: Mirror Black
    OS: Android O
    Screen: 6.0” FHD + (2160x1080) 18:9 display
    RAM: 3GB
    ROM: 32GB and expandable to 128GB
    Bands: LTE CAT 6, LTE Bands 2,4,5,12, 66 & 71
    Security: Face recognition & fingerprint sensor
    Water/Dust Resistance: IP52
    Impact/Shock Resistance: IK02
    Dimensions: 162 x 74.9 x 8.65 mm
    Chipset: MediaTek MT6739
    Processor: 2.5 GHz Octa-Core

    by Published on 11-09-2018 07:38 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers

    Although we've known about T-Mobile's streaming TV ambitions for over a year now the new FCC filing does hint at some form of imminent launch.

    Spotted first by Variety, this box is called the “T-Mobile Mini” in the user manual and is made by Kaonmedia, the same company that made set-top boxes for Layer3 TV.

    Per the diagram below there is a T-Mobile logo on the front, along with an Ethernet port, HDMI in/out, and of course a power port. There’s also support for USB, 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth LE.

    Although we still don't know the exact date of launch T-Mobile did hint that their new service would launch "later this year," with a mobile launch in 2019.

    by Published on 11-05-2018 03:43 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Devices,
    3. Carriers

    Good news tablet hunters! T-Mobile is launching Samsung's LTE-A flagship tablet this Friday.

    Features include:

    • Android Oreo
    • Facial recognition and an iris scanner
    • Quad speakers
    • S Pen stylus
    • 10.5-inch 2560×1600 Super AMOLED display
    • 13MP rear camera for your quick tablet photo captures and an 8MP front camera for video calling.
    • Octa-core Snapdragon 835 processor
    • Huge 7,300 mAh battery
    • 4GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage
    • Supports microSD slot expansion

    The device costs $700 full retail. You can EIP this unit for $28 down and $28 per month for 24 months with any data plan.

    However T-Mobile is sweetening the pot if you add a new line and activate a 6GB Simple Choice or T-Mobile ONE mobile internet plan or higher with autopay. With this option you'd pay $28 down but after credits you'll only pay $13.42 per month.

    Click here for the awesome optional keyboard: https://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/mo...2300420a240614

    by Published on 11-02-2018 09:30 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Carriers

    Looking for a great deal on a prepaid service this weekend that doesn't require signing up with a MVNO? I got ya on this.

    AT&T is getting into the holiday season early and wants all of America to know that you can save $20 on your monthly bill if you activate a new line of service on AT&T Prepaid Unlimited and setup autopay.

    Yeah I know existing users will say: "it's not fair," but chin up life isn't fair. I know some of you creatives can make any promo work so do your thing.

    This deal is only eligible for its $65 and $85 per month plans, which means you can get unlimited data for $45 or $65 per month. If you are a power prepaid user opt for the $85 plan minus discount since that will give you 10GB of mobile hotspot data and the ability to stream video through mobile data at 1080p resolution.

    Normally I'd say you better hurry but the good news is that you have time to think about it. To get the deal, you have to open up a new line of service online before Dec. 26, or in-store before Jan. 10.

    Happy shopping. Here is to a very competitive holiday season!

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