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.

8 responses to “Roger's Wireless And The Canadian iPhone”

  1. Tyler Ingram says:

    It does suck that they charge such a ridiculous price for data rates. With the built-in WiFi how often are you going to use web when you’re not near some sort of access point? Though I guess more people are locking them down so that you don’t piggy back on their wireless connection.

    If you’re over your 1GB limit you’re going to be paying $4k??

    Currently my company pays $100 flat rate fee data plan with Bell and I’m lucky they pay for it. But how would one go over 1GB in bandwidth on their cellphone anyway?

  2. Duane Storey says:

    I have an unlimited Bell Mobility data plan. It let’s me use their shoddy WAP browser or whatever, and only check email and surf mobile sites. Essentially it’s completely useless. If you tether to a laptop, you’ll pay by the kB.

  3. Tyler Ingram says:

    I downloaded Opera for my Blackberry (7250) and it’s alright but I tend to use my blackberry for movie look ups or using messenger live. Other than that it’s useless for internet yes.

  4. John Biehler says:

    @Tyler you could easily blow threw a gig of data on an iPhone in no time. Just sending 2 megapixel photos to Flickr from my iPhone while in California last year I managed to burn through over 175mb in a couple of days. Add in Youtube and Google Maps and true, full HTML surfing (the iPhone still loads the full page of data, even if it appears on the small screen) and you’ll be done with that gigabyte in no time at all.

    Not to mention the plethora of online apps and games that are coming soon via Apple’s iTunes App Store.

  5. Duane – I’m curious about one of the things you wrote, “The success (or failure) of the iPhone in Western Canada ultimately rests with how competitive Roger’s plans…” Why limit this statement to Western Canada? The same could be said about all of Canada, and in fact anywhere the iPhone is available.

  6. Duane Storey says:

    Ah, I only wrote that because I only was sure Rogers was an element in Western Canada. I believe it’s Fido out east? Or maybe that’s here? I’m so confused.

    Anyways, yes, it applies to all of Canada, I just am not sure the distribution of carriers across the country.

  7. […] blogged about the IPhone in Canada – “I’ve been hoping Rogers will step up to the plate when the iPhone is announced and […]

  8. Gotcha. Yep – Rogers out here for sure. As for back home (further East), not sure. I think it is still Rogers though…

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