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The Great Canadian Telecom Duopoly roundup

Yep.  It’s the semi-weekly Great Canadian Telecom (GCT) Roundup, taking a look at what’s happened in Bell and Rogers are doing lately (this week there’s some bonus Telus news).

To start it off, the Montreal Gazette is reporting (in a story who’s title “Consumers r skrood by ph compnEz – agn” can be considered either a painful attempt at 1337 speak, or a dig (not digg) at the literacy rate amongst internet users, that Bell and Telus are considering charging customers per sms received starting in August, with speculation that Rogers/Fido will soon follow.   SMS pricing is already outrageous as 15 cents per message, that adds up to a minimum of a whopping 49 cents per kilobyte, compared to even the pro-rated 7 cents per kilobyte of data.  At 7 cents/kb one megabyte would cost about $70.  Could it be that the telcos are trying to make up in SMS fees what they consider is the losing battle in lowered data prices?

It’s not even the pricing that is the concern, but the fact that customers will be charged for messages sent TO their phones.  Imagine this philosophy applied to the post office, and it’s wrong-headedness becomes quite clear.

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Bell is getting a bit of a verbal spank from Google, as the search giant (AKA all knowing eye of the internet) weighed in to the CRTC regarding Bell’s throttling practices.  In essense, Google’s 15 page statement to the regulatory body states that throttling is illegal…

“Bell claims its throttling of peer-to-peer applications is a reasonable form of network management. Google respectfully disagrees. Network management does not include Canadian carriers’ blocking or degrading lawful applications that consumers wish to use…”

The CBC article also notes that, prior to previous reports, the final ruling in the CAIP-Bell dispute is expected in September.  It originally expected by the end of last month.

Having Google add their voice to a number is encouraging.  Somehow, I don’t think we’ll be facing the same bandwidth caps that one of Japan’s largest providers plans on implementing starting in August.  If you’re from the US or Canada, you might not want to read the following…

OCN, the carrier operated by NTT Communications, will introduce a daily upload limit of 30G bytes from Aug. 1. Customers that exceed the amount will first be asked to observe it, but those that repeatedly break it will have their access suspended, the carrier said Wednesday.

Downloads will continue to be unlimited.

DOWNLOADS WILL CONTINUE TO BE UNLIMITED? Seriously this really doesn’t need any more commentary, as it speaks for itself.  Sure, Japan has a population density that far outstrips that of most parts of North America, but what about all that dark fibre?

On the Rogers half of The Great Canadian Telecom Duopoly ™, has caved to pressure from either it’s potential customers, or more likely, it’s competition, when it increased the amount of data in it’s $30 iPhone plan from 400 Mb to 6 Gb.  I suspect it has more to do with the unlimited data offerings coming in from Bell and Telus, ranging anywhere between $7 to $30 a month.  If I were as hyperbolic as our resident Apple-obsessed RebelScum, I would point out that anyone willing to pay an extra $20 a month for capped data is just a slave to the big white fruit, but I don’t roll that way.

Then again, I’m gonna start paying for those daily “Grab me a coffee too please” text messages.  If one thing is clear in a duopoly-driven environment, it’s that if one window opens, three doors are shut.

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  • http://www.ryanfox.ca RebelScum

    “In the mobile phone world, competition is a relative term.” — S.E. Kramer

    Hyperbolic, obsessed or otherwise, I actually feel that the new plan for the iPhone is very good…but that’s only because I already have a very good cell plan that includes Voicemail and Call Display, and free rogers-to-rogers. For new subs…not so much.

    All hope is not lost in teh Text Message scandal: Apparently, Jim Prentice is not a Rogers customer.

    http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/457302

  • http://www.dougplanet.com Doug Groves

    I agree that 6Gb for $30 isn’t bad, but remember that’s not a permanent price at this point. Though you didn’t mention it in your article (I added an Ed Note:) that pricing is only available to customers who buy a phone by the end of August.

    As for SMSing… we’ll see what happens. Can Jim Prentice actually do something right? Either way SMS prices are WAY too high, even at the standalone 15 cents each for sending, considering how little data they take.

  • http://www.ryanfox.ca RebelScum

    ~pricing is only available to customers who buy a phone by the end of August.~

    Very good call, thanks for the edit 🙂

  • admin

    That’s why I mostly edit at night… mostly. 😀

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