Mobile data rates: Canada’s national shame

Posted by & filed under Canada, Gadgets.

With the US release of the iPhone permeating even Canadian news, I’m finding that my current smartphone solution just isn’t as desirable as that which I cannot buy. These days, I’m more than happy with my Treo 650, despite PalmOS showing its age. I expect a Linux-based Treo will follow the recent Palm Foleo by the end of the year. However, I don’t actually even use the data side of my smartphone.

That’s right, I have a smartphone with no web access at all. Why? Well, the 650’s wifi capabilities kind of suck, but it’s usable. However, if I want to use EDGE, I don’t have a lot of options.

Canada has three national mobile phone companies: Bell and Telus, which are both CDMA, and Rogers, which uses GSM. (It’s actually four national companies, if you include Fido, which is now owned by Rogers, and which uses the Rogers network, but has separate branding and billing plans, including things like per-second billing.)

Despite having an otherwise highly developed telecommunications network, there is a flaw: Canada’s cellular companies are gouging us on data fees. Observe. Sadly, at one point, Fido had a $20/month unlimited EDGE plan, as well as a $30/month unlimited incoming/outgoing calls plan. Needless to say, after their acquisition by Rogers, both of these were quietly canceled.

So right now, my want-to-buy device seems to be the Nokia N800 tablet. It’s a tiny 800x480, WiFi/Bluetooth web browsing, media-playing, handwriting-recognizing, 8GB-extensible Linux device. There’s no phone, but then again, I already have a phone.

So, who wants to buy me one?

4 Responses to “Mobile data rates: Canada’s national shame”

  1. Udo

    Hi Cat!

    I used to have Nokia and Sendo smartphones. But now i have HTC Magician ( http://www.mobile-review.com/pda/review/htc-magician-en.shtml ) for nearly 2 years now. I am really really happy with it altho it has M$ Winblows and i have to reset it from time to time.
    But 2 years is the absolute max i can have a cell without the urge to get a new one. I ve been using the Magician to read ebooks and web pages and play games and sometimes even to watch a South Park episode.
    But on sunday i decided to get a new one and my main criteria was a bigger screen ( well more pixels ) and the the only geeky solution i could find was the HTC Universal ( http://www.pdagold.com/articles/detail.asp?a=257 ). It has 4 times the resolution as the Magician ( it has VGA ) and WLAN + UMTS. Its a VERY big, but i dont care. From what i read it used to suck bigtime with Windows Mobile 5, but now WM6 is out and can be installed and it seems to be very neat. I hope i will get it in two days and might report back with my findings ;) .. ugh past 3am .. /me has to sleep now.

    Bye bye

  2. angryman

    I just got a SMS from Rogers which says that they going to apply long-distance rates on top of my current air time rate to all long-distance incoming calls.
    This is just ridicules.
    In Canada we have worse mobile service in the world and this is not a joke. Most developing countries have lower price rate for much better quality mobile service. I will vote for anyone on next election who can promise that we will have the mobile service provider that can deliver high quality service with a reasonable price rate. There is no one country in Europe has so high price rate and so poor quality service!!!