Big Changes for Cellphone Competition in Canada for 2010?

You may have heard on the news last week that Globalive has been allowed to offer cellular phone service to Canadians (Industry Canada made the announcement on Friday). Bell, Telus and Rogers collectively lost $2.4 billion in stock value that day.

Globalive is launching a new brand (new to Canada, anyways): WIND Mobile. They just announced on their website that they are having a launch party of sorts tomorrow (today if you are getting the email updates), so one could expect that they will announce their full pricing lineup at that time.

I’ve heard through the grapevine that their plans will look as follows, but note that these are unconfirmed at this time:

Chat: $15 per month
Unlimited WIND to WIND calling (Canada wide)
Unlimited incoming text
100 province-wide voice minutes
50 text messages

Always Talk: $35 per month
Unlimited WIND to WIND calling (Canada wide)
Unlimited province-wide calling
Unlimited incoming text
50 outgoing text messages

Always Shout: $45 per month
Unlimited Canada-wide calling
Unlimited incoming /outgoing text messages

Data Plans
Infinite Mobile: $35 per month (used with any voice plan)
Unlimited internet for phones (tethering too)

Again, these are unconfirmed, and sourced from HowardForums. The pricing might be live on the website if you click here, if not – it should be shortly.

But Wait, There’s More

You may or may not know that Google is rumoured to be bringing out a GPhone – or Google Phone. The latest scuttlebut has it that it won’t operate on cellular service at all, but rather be a data-only device that uses VOIP to operate like a phone. So no voice and data plans, just an unlimited data plan and it will act like an unlimited voice and data device for, presumably, a lower price. Low enough to be game changing. Only question is, does this mean Google will now know even more about you and your habits?

Bottom line – if you are thinking about switching carriers anytime soon, it might be better to hold off until these two players announce their full intentions. You might switch to them, or you might have more clout dealing with client loyalty and retentions for the big three to keep your business…

Preet Banerjee
Preet Banerjee an independent consultant to the financial services industry and a personal finance commentator. You can learn more about Preet at his personal website and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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Showing 10 comments
  • Michael James

    Cool. My prediction about cell phones is coming true faster than I guessed. I’m looking forward to dumping my expensive $8 per month Petro Canada phone for a new VOIP phone that has no per-call charges. I may still be waiting for a while to get a phone that costs less than $8 per month, but I’m sure it’ll come eventually.

  • Henry

    For people who are with the big 3, please check out my article about retention plans: A retention plan is better and cheaper than Wind’s Always Talk plan.

  • Thicken My Wallet

    I consider the off-carrier strategy being pursued by Google to be game changing. Apple has already proven through its sale of apps that you do not need to be tied into a carrier to make money. PBX boxes are also coming down in price- another hardware separating carriers from their customers. I think we have focused too much on Wind and not the larger picture (I agree with Michael about his predication).

    Wind, in some respects, is playing yesterday’s game and Google is playing tomorrow’s.

  • Caitlin

    I was hoping that a new competitor in the Canadian cell field might actually have nice prices. These look like the same ol’ same ol’ that the current “discount” cell providers (Koodo, Fido, etc) have.

  • Doctor Stock

    Interesting price points… but I still think they could do better. I hope this actually incites competition… but I somehow doubt it. Typical Canadian style…

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