Rogers set to unveil new data plans for Canada



Caught this on

Bigger, more affordable buckets of data on offer for Web browsing, email
Jun 20, 2008 04:30 AM

There’s still no official word on the monthly cost to own an iPhone in Canada, but Rogers Wireless will today reveal a new data-pricing model that aims to make mobile email and Web browsing more affordable for average users.

Though still a far cry from American-style “unlimited” plans, the division of Rogers Communications Inc. is preparing to offer subscribers significantly bigger buckets of data at lower rates than previously.

The move follows comments made by COO Nadir Mohamed this week that Rogers’ wireless pricing would “evolve” to accommodate the rising popularity of smartphones, which offer mobile Internet access and multimedia functions in addition to voice calling.

“This is the right move and a bold move on their part,” said analyst Amit Kaminer of consulting firm The Seaboard Group. “I think they delivered what they promised. It’s good for (CEO) Ted Rogers and company and … for the users, too.”

Under the new model, smartphone users can choose between “flex” and “non-flex” plans with buckets of data that range in price from $60 for 1 gigabyte to $100 for 6 gigabytes. The plans are purchased in addition to a voice plan.

By contrast, BlackBerry users are currently paying about $100 for 1 gigabyte of data on Rogers.

While the new “flex” plans are slightly more expensive than “non-flex,” subscribers who use more than their monthly allotment are automatically bumped up to the next tier to “guarantee them the best rate,” whereas “non-flex” users are simply handed overage charges.

A Rogers spokesperson said the new data plans are meant to be “device-agnostic,” meaning they can be used with different smartphones.

Apple Inc.’s iPhone is an exception. There was no word from Rogers yesterday on pricing when it begins selling the iPhone on July 11, but Internet rumours said the cellphone, iPod and Web browsing device would be sold alongside a $30 “unlimited” data plan.

$60 for a gig, not bad, $100 for 6, not bad.

If they’re going to offer $30 unlimited with the iPhone…where do I sign?

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