Roger's Wireless And The Canadian iPhone

Last modified on June 4th, 2008

I missed the boat on the first round of Canadian iPhone action last year mainly because I was (quite stupidly) locked into a crazy Bell Mobility contract. The current consensus of the rumour mill is that Apple is gearing up to announce the 3G version of the iPhone on June 9th, which would hopefully put that model into Canadian stores sometime in the near future. I have been patiently awaiting it’s arrival so I can call up Bell and tell them where they can shove my phone and my crappy contract.

The only problem is that Roger’s has been completely silent on what type of plan will be available for the Canadian iPhone here in Vancouver. As most people know, the data rates in Canada are fairly atrocious. I want to point out a graph that Boris did last year that highlighted just some of the craziness:

And while data rates have come down a bit in the last year, they are still nowhere near competitive with similar US-based plans. The success (or failure) of the iPhone in Western Canada ultimately rests with how competitive Roger’s plans for it will be. Granted there is a sizable portion of the geek community who will sign up regardless, but I think without a decent data plan the majority of people are going to hold off purchasing one.

I’ve been hoping Rogers will step up to the plate when the iPhone is announced and reveal a truly revolutionary (at least in Canadian wireless terms) data plan for its users. But a few recent blog entries have sort of dashed my hopes in that area. One such article points out how Roger’s has recently raised the price on it’s $65 1GB data plan up to $100:

the $65/month data plan which I’ve written about previously has gone away. Rogers will still give you 1 G of mobile data, but now they want $100/month. Hello? When the rest of the world has data rates that are plunging like a stone, Jolly Rogers is cranking their rates up. Sure smells like a monopoly to me. Is anyone at Industry Canada paying attention? Needless to say, I chose to stick with my pre-existing $65/month “deal”.

Plus, I’ve heard rumours that the data rates might only apply to email and web surfing, and potentially won’t apply to third party applications or tethering, which would obviously be disappointing.

So here we are, only a few days away from the Apple announcement, and still no word from Rogers. My prediction is we’re going to see a fairly lackluster offering from Rogers, along with an associated backlash from the blogging community. I hope I’m wrong. We’ll know in a few days.