Rogers unlimited data plan an inroad for iPhone in Canada?

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Canadian wireless carrier Rogers Communications, often criticized for its exorbitant data rates, has just introduced a $20 per month unlimited data plan that could knock out one more barrier to an official iPhone launch in Canada.



The Toronto, Ontario-based carrier said customers could start adopting the new plan, dubbed the $20 Communicate Value Pack, on "feature phones" excluding the RIM Blackberry beginning today. In addition to unlimited on-device mobile browsing, it also offers 2500 standard outgoing text messages, 1000 outgoing picture or video messages, call display and voicemail.



Although it's believed the new plan from Rogers is an attempt to combat a $7 unlimited data offering from local rival Bell Canada alongside its HTC Touch handset, many see the move as key step towards an official iPhone launch in the region.



Steep wireless data rates have been singled out time and time again as one of the primary reasons Canadians have not yet been treated to the Apple iPhone experience.



In the U.S., AT&T's combined iPhone service and data plans start at just $59.99 for 450 anytime minutes, 5000 additional night and weekend minutes, and unlimited data. But in Canada, a comparable plan for Rogers Wireless -- the only carrier with an iPhone-compatible GSM network -- has long run about $295 per month.



"The barrier to the iPhone in Canada is not Apple," says Michael Geist, Canada research chair of Internet and e-commerce law at the University of Ottawa. "Rather, it is the lack of wireless competition that [...] leads to pricing that places Canadians at a significant disadvantage compared with other developed countries."



For its part, Rogers has been scrambling to secure a deal with Apple to bring iPhone to Canada for over a year now. Back in January of last year, the carrier sent out an email communication saying it was actively working with Apple to launch the iPhone in Canada "as soon as possible."



In an interview with the Globe and Mail earlier that month, Rogers chief operating officer Nadir Mohamed implied that his firm would make a good fit for the Apple handset, as it represents the only Canadian provider offering GSM service.



"I?m not saying whether we have agreements or anything [with Apple], but given the iPhone was launched on GSM, we?re in good position to reinforce that we?re the first and have the best-feature devices," he said.



Several months later, however, a Rogers corporate communications manager backpedaled on claims of an impending deal with Apple in an e-mail to CBC News Online.



"We haven't announced whether we will carry the iPhone," he wrote. "Everything in the media has been speculations to this point."



Update: Unfortunately, Rogers' new $20 Communication Value Pack is presently limited to just web browsing on cell phones with only those browsers authorized by Rogers for the plan. Browsing through other means, as well as use of email clients over the network, will continue to incur a 5 cents/KB charge.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    technotechno Posts: 704member
    Well lets hope that competition finally forces Rogers or another company to lower their rates to an acceptable point for the iPhone to finally come to Canada.
  • Reply 2 of 45
    Well, that's just what the article is saying. Rogers new rates ARE now in line with a potential iPhone launch.



    I think Rogers just blinked.
  • Reply 3 of 45
    iPhone hope in Canada news is my favorite type of news right now.
  • Reply 4 of 45
    I'm *very* tempted to buy a 16gb iPhone and break it just so I can use it on Fido up here in Canada. I'd switch to Rogers if they had a decent iPhone package... Now to sound like an petulant child, I want, I want, I want.
  • Reply 5 of 45
    moochmooch Posts: 113member
    woohoo! 16GB iPhone here I come!!! I hope it comes out before the summer.
  • Reply 6 of 45
    The plan will not work with lots of apps like google maps. Only for select phones (not for blackberries, PDAs, windows mobile devices, etc...)



    From the rogers site:



    Important: This plan includes unlimited on-device mobile browsing only. Plan is available on select phones only (PDAs such as Blackberry or Windows Mobile devices, PC cards and non-Rogers certified devices are not eligible). Data usage incurred on ineligible devices, incurred while tethering (using device as wireless modem for laptop) or incurred using non-Rogers (3rd party) applications downloaded to your device will be subject to pay-per-use charges of 5 cents/KB.



    \tWhat is tethering?

    This plan does not include any usage incurred while tethering. Tethering is when you use your phone as a wireless modem to connect to the Internet from a laptop computer. The phone can be connected to the laptop via USB cable or Bluetooth. Once connected, you can access the Internet wirelessly on your laptop using the Rogers Wireless network. While accessing the Internet wirelessly on your laptop, data charges are incurred at a rate of 5¢/KB.

    \tWhat are 3rd party applications?

    3rd party applications are applications like Yahoo! Go or Google Maps. These are non-Rogers applications which can be downloaded to the device and incur data charges at a rate of 5¢/KB.
  • Reply 7 of 45
    The Rogers plans only include WAP browsing, which is limited to crappy (IMHO) text-only based browsing of websites on phones like the Razr2/Shine. It's also limited only to Rogers-branded, IMEI tracked, non-smartphones.



    This is like the ANTI-iPhone plan. Frigging Rogers.
  • Reply 8 of 45
    I don't know who I'm more angry with:



    AppleInsider for the moronic reporting that got my hopes up.



    Rogers for the continued, non-competitive business practices that dashed my hopes.



    Or me, for still having hopes.



    Thanks, data-rate-tards!
  • Reply 9 of 45
    Weird they did this. I JUST (last Thursday) updated my plan so I could check mobile-mail on my crap-ass chocolate. The plan was the $20 communicate package which included everything they have now, except the internet was limited to 5MB a month.. that's quite a leap to unlimited.



    Maybe they are gearing up for an iPhone release in Canada. YAY!
  • Reply 10 of 45
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,002member
    More news that shows how Canada is slipping further behind the rest of the world when it comes to consumer-level communications technology. Even our wired internet plans are substandard and overpriced when compared to those in other nations. For a country in which the first long distance telephone call was ever made, it's really sad.
  • Reply 11 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by auxio View Post


    More news that shows how Canada is slipping further behind the rest of the world when it comes to consumer-level communications technology. Even our wired internet plans are substandard and overpriced when compared to those in other nations. For a country in which the first long distance telephone call was ever made, it's really sad.



    If the Canadian telecoms spent on development even a fraction of the time they spend worrying about disabling phones and crippling features, then Canada would be far better off. I'm not holding my breath, since I currently pay Rogers $50/month for unlimited wireless, just not on cellphone frequencies -- they clearly don't give a damn about the consumers, and that certainly includes not wanting to deal with Apple (who, oddly enough, actually seem to care about consumer goodwill -- go figure!)
  • Reply 12 of 45
    I saw this Communicate Value Pack on my Rogers statement, but didn't realize it featured unlimited data. I was about to cancel it, but may keep it to show my support for the idea, and to get some usage out of my cell phone's browser (cheapo Nokia). Can't wait for the iPhone.... come to Canada, baby!
  • Reply 13 of 45
    gigigigi Posts: 65member
    Tired to wait, this is another example that we need more competition here in Canada. They complaints about Quebécor (videotron) want a network to offer the best technology in mobile cell phone but they don't want to offer good rate!



    May of this year will be the month of the CRTC who will selling some new antenna for videotron, YESSS come videotron and fight those big sleeping company.



    Videotron dream to offer the iPhone here, but they need to win the auction in May first and after that built there own network hmmmm, not before 2009.



    http://www.avenirdusansfil.ca/home
  • Reply 14 of 45
    Question: I have a hacked Iphone working under Rogers and am able to use the edge network.. but I am afraid to use it much for browsing because I may go over the 5mb per month my plan enables.. With this unlimited data plan will I be able to browse web pages without any issues?
  • Reply 15 of 45
    The AppleInsider article states that the Unlimited plan only works with Rogers-certified browsers, so no, I don't think it would be safe to be using Mobile Safari with this plan, unfortunately.
  • Reply 16 of 45
    still crappy!! wap browsing only!! On authorized device meaning that only the device purchased from rogers will work...



    Rogers won't roll out the iphone until a 3G version is out...the infrastructure is already in place for 3G so they don't want to support the Edge while it is being phased out.
  • Reply 17 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Yash Keough View Post


    WTF Rogers? Get your act together.



    As an aside, what really pisses me off about Rogers is how they include Macs or pics of Mac hardware (like the Apple Key, keyboard, iMac) in their TV, online, and print ads to drum up business, yet don't support Macs or OS X when you call them for tech support.



    That smacks of false advertising to me...perhaps a little Mac-user class-action lawsuit might shake them up?



    In fact, I hope Apple includes a clause in their iPhone deal with Rogers that stipulates they can't have access to the device unless they start supporting Macs just as well as PCs running Windows.



    My two cents.
  • Reply 18 of 45
    Don't be mad at AppleInsider, I called Rogers and a customer service supervisor has informed me that the information on the website is incorrect and they are in the process of trying to get it corrected.



    I posted about my experience on the phone with them on my blog and have included screenshots that support what AppleInsider had reported. You can read all about it (and view the screenshots) here: Rogers new $20 unlimited mobile browsing plan an error?



    AppleInsider, you might want to post another update.
  • Reply 19 of 45
    Wow, absolutely unreal. This borders on bait and switch if you haven't read the fine print below the plans:



    Quote:

    * Plan includes unlimited on-device mobile browsing only. Plan is available on select phones only (PDAs such as Blackberry or Windows Mobile devices, PC cards and non-Rogers certified devices are not eligible). Data usage incurred on ineligible devices, incurred while tethering (using device as wireless modem for laptop) or incurred using non-Rogers (3rd party) applications downloaded to your device will be subject to pay-per-use charges of 5 cents/KB.

    Purchases limited to eligible wireless essentials which are not already included in existing Value Packs.

    Discount will not apply if your Value Pack subscription is cancelled.



    Imagine someone with a Blackberry or Windows Mobile device wanting to browse while not needing to have their wages garnished by Rogers. Rogers' limiting and controlling monopoly on GSM data is beyond disgusting.
  • Reply 20 of 45
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by VertiGoGo View Post


    As an aside, what really pisses me off about Rogers is how they include Macs or pics of Mac hardware (like the Apple Key, keyboard, iMac) in their TV, online, and print ads to drum up business, yet don't support Macs or OS X when you call them for tech support.



    Odd, I've been a Mac user longer than I've had Rogers Hi-speed internet. I could have sworn they support Macs.



    1) When I first bought hi-speed (back in 2000), they came to my apartment, hooked up the modem and made sure it worked on my Mac.



    2) The manuals (again circa 2000) included pages on setting up the software and debugging using a Mac. Notably, what required several pages for Windows, required only a few for a Mac - which I think was running MacOS 8 or 9? And this was in the dark days when Mac marketshare was dying a painful slow death.



    3) When I had troubles with my modem getting a signal, I called customer support. They asked what OS I was running (then OS X). They stepped me through the Network Utilities app to check the connection. I have memories of the rep turning to the Mac service page of his manual, looking at what it offered and saying "wow, this does everything".



    So what makes you say they DON'T support Macs?
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