What Canada Telecom Needs To Grow

The Canadian Telecom Summit 2014 was held at the Toronto Congress Centre earlier this month. In one of his speeches during the course of the event, Rogers CEO Guy Laurence, made a bold statement – as an industry, telecom was resorting to complex pricing plans and methods that was not helping their customers get productive. One example of productivity that Guy mentioned was with respect to resolving issues through a call centre. Guy said that a lot of people do not want to talk to a call center person regarding these complexities because that inevitably stretches the discussion to 30 minutes or more. People want to go online and fix their problem in 3 minutes, not 30.

What Guy mentioned illustrates the growing need for telecom operators to make their after-sales support and service seamless and frictionless. With telecom operators today offering a wide range of services from landline, wireless, broadband, business networking, broadband TV, etc., customers find it cumbersome simply juggling through the various options thrown at them by the IVRS before they can talk to a customer service representative.

The good news is that the telecom operators are already looking at ways to streamline the operations. Guy Laurence is only six months into his job and has announced plans to streamline operations within the company to increase customer productivity. Rogers is not alone. One of the other companies that is seen to taking up rapid strides in this area is Manitoba based AllStream. Last month, AllStream became the first major telecom network in Canada to be MEF CE 2.0 certified. In a press release, AllStream noted that this certification is an acknowledgement of process innovation in their E-Line and E-Access line of carrier ethernet network services. These services in the company’s portfolio are aimed at simplifying the network infrastructure for organizations in multiple locations.

The announcement of simplification of processes is a great step for better telecom infrastructure in Canada. A study published by The School Of Public Policy last year noted that while the pricing policies of Canadian telecom providers was not out of the ordinary and compared well with similar markets worldwide, one of the main reasons that is ailing the sector is ‘political interference’ which in turn has been the reason for the general lack of innovation within the industry.

Various studies have shown that Canada is witnessing robust growth in modern telecom services including wireless technology. The subscriptions and consequently the revenue growth have been multi-fold over the past decade or two. The rapid growth could often make old restrictive practices redundant. The need of the hour is then for the government to take a re-look at all the policies and amend them in order to ensure telecom carriers can grow freely and widely in future. This, and the competition that will ensue will be the primary driver for simplification and process improvements that this industry so desperately needs.

Legally Unlock iPhone With $50 Fee On Rogers/Fido In Canada

Rogers Canada has announced a new device unlocking policy that makes it possible for iPhone and several other mobile phone users to legally unlock their device by paying a $50 unlocking fee. To be eligible for such an unlock, customers must have their account in good standing, should have paid the unsubsidized cost of the device at least 30 days prior to request or at least have fulfilled the contractual obligation.

Such customers may contact the Roger customer care at 1-888-Rogers1 and request an unlock. Do note that there is also a tax on top of the $50 and so the actual amount you will need to pay for the unlock will vary between $52.50 (for Alberta) and $57.75 (for Prince Edward Island).

Once the unlocking is done, the customer will have to restore their device by connecting to iTunes and the unlocked handset should be ready for use.

Get Free XBox 360 With HTC 7 Surround Or LG Optimus 7 In Canada

The holiday shopping season is in full swing and the carriers are doing all that they can in order to push the sales level up. Canadian carrier Telus has launched a new promotional campaign that will let users get a free XBox 360 unit with every purchase or renewal of a Windows Phone 7 handset. Telus presently carries HTC 7 Surround and LG Optimus 7 and buying one of these devices along with a fresh subscription or renewal of an existing plan will win you an XBox 360.

There doesn’t seem to be any fine print here though we just assume it to be a case of trying to woo the customers to handsets that may not have reached their targeted sale numbers. In case you are interested, do remember that this offer ends December 19th. And if you did not realize, it will also sign you up for a 3 year contract with Telus. Head over to the Telus website to learn more.

Unlocking Phone After Contract Expiry Could Become Mandatory In Canada

A new law is being proposed in the Canadian parliament that could make it mandatory for carriers to unlock the phones of customers after their contract expires. The bill, that has been proposed by Canadian Member of Parliament, David Orazietti has called for a number of changes in the telecom regulations that could make the entire experience more customer-friendly.

Proposals in this bill 133 include making it compulsory for carriers to ask for the subscribers’ consent before making changes to plans midway through a contract. Also, carriers will be required to warn the user when they reach 90% of their monthly cap on data, voice or messages. This is in order to prevent customers from exceeding their monthly quota inadvertently that many a time results in disproportionate increase in monthly bills.

The proposal is currently being debated in the province of Ontario and it is not clear if these proposals could be extended to other parts of the country.

Dell Streak Price In Canada Announced For Rogers

If you are in Canada, here is something coming your way. Rogers Canada has announced that the popular 5″ smartphone-tablet from Dell is now available for purchase on its stores.

Rogers has ensured that the device will be available for pretty much the same price as was anticipated. If you are willing to go with a contract, then a Streak can be yours for $149.99 – provided you sign up with the carrier for a three year period. Alternately, users looking for a contract-free offering can buy one at a price of $549.99. That’s not bad considering the specifications that are on offer.

Dell Streak is already available in countries like USA and UK. The company recently launched the device in India during the festive Diwali season. It will be interesting to see how the mini-tablet fares in the Canadian market.

Rogers To Be Carrier For Palm Pre 2 In Canada

Earlier this month, Palm made an announcement stating that the upcoming Palm Pre 2 was going to be launched on Verizon and also on a Canadian carrier. I have no idea why the statement bluntly stated ‘Canada‘ and not any particular carrier. But from the looks of it, it is going to be Rogers and not one of the CDMA carriers.

A leaked photo that is now doing the rounds has got us convinced that Rogers in Canada shall be offering the new Palm Pre 2 when the device launches in the North American country later this year. It is not clear whether Palm (or HP rather) intends to bring the new phone at the same time to all of North America. In that case, expect Palm Pre 2 to be available around the 11th of next month. That is when Verizon is expected to release their unit.

Samsung Galaxy S Captivate Pre-Order On Rogers, Canada Opens

Canadian carrier, Rogers has announced that the network is now accepting pre-orders for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S Captivate. The phone is expected to launch in the middle of October and shall be available at a price of $149.99 along with a three year contract.

It looks like Rogers is walking the extra mile to ensure that the launch is a success. Customers making a pre-order shall also win a free bluetooth headset with their purchase. Additionally, these customers shall also be eligible to win a $10,000 Samsung Prize pack.

While the exact launch date is not spelled out, Rogers does say that the bluetooth headset offer shall end on October 20th. That’s a pretty safe bet to then assume that the launch is expected to happen a few days on either side of the 20th. You can check out the phone for pre-order at Rogers website here.

Netflix In Canada : Launch And Subscription Fee Announced

After months of speculation, DVD rental and online movie streaming company, Netflix has finally announced their foray into Canada. The service can now be accessed at Netflix.ca and will come with a monthly subscription fee of $7.99 along with a possible free one-month trial sign up.

Netflix has come a long way since it was merely a DVD rental company in the US. Their content can now be streamed online from a variety of devices including desktop computers, Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation, iPhone, iPad and blu-ray players from Samsung & Toshiba. Support for Microsoft XBox 360 is expected to happen later this year. All of these connectivity options are available to Canadian customers as well. The Canadian service will be English-only to begin with though support for French is expected to happen very soon.

And in case you did not realize yet, the Netflix Canada service is online-streaming only. No DVD rental is being planned for the time being.

New Rogers Voice Plans For Blackberry Announced

Rogers Canada has announced a number of new voice plans for their Blackberry customers that brings attractive pay as you go options to the subscribers. There are now two new pay by the month plans that require subscribers to pay $40 or $55 a month. The two plans are not too different but for the fact that the $40 plan allows subscribers unlimited local voice calling between 3PM and 6PM; whereas the $55 plan makes the same offer between 6PM and 7AM on weekdays and for the entire duration of the weekend. You can also choose the Social plans that offer unlimited social networking on websites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.

The new plans are significantly higher than the older plans since charges are close to $25 more here on an average. But what’s interesting is that the new plans does not tie the subscriber to a three year contract. So you are free to sign out when you wish to.
Rogers Blackberry PAYG Voice plan

Gateway LT22 Price In Canada Announced – Features Review

Gateway is launching its new LT22 AMD powered netbook in Canada. The device, which is already out on sale in the stores is pretty similar to the Gateway LT32 that we had reviewed not so long ago. One critical difference between the two is in the display size. The new Gateway LT22 comes with a 10.1-inches display instead of the 11.6″ screen on the LT32. Consequently, there is also a drop in pixels packed. The LT22 netbook display comes with a 1024×600 pixel display resolution.

Apart from this, other features on the new Gateway netbook include an AMD Athlon II NEO K12 processor, a hard drive storage capacity of 250GB, built-in webcam, support for Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and comes with a 1 year warranty. The device is installed with the starter edition of Windows 7 operating system and has a 6-cell battery that will offer a back up for up to 5.5 hours.

If you are in Canada, you can now grab hold of a unit at a price of CAD350. That’s close to $337 in USD terms.