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With Telus revamping their hardware upgrade program quite some time ago, and Rogers recently following suit, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that Bell is doing the same. Telus and Rogers have stepped up to offer early upgrade options for those who can't wait the full 2+ years to get another device at a discounted cost, and Bell's new program is looking similar.

According to recently leaked information, Bell will be making the changes tomorrow, May 22nd. The leaked document shows that "Select clients will have the opportunity to upgrade early by paying a fee on their Bell Mobility monthly invoice." They go on to say that the early upgrade fee will be calculated based on their eligible hardware upgrade date and can be paid either monthly or in one lump sum. Unfortunately the monthly option won't be available at launch, but should be active shortly afterwards. The monthly payment option is unique in Canada for device upgrades, and will hopefully be the center of Bell's focus when marketing this new program.

In addition to early upgrade eligibility being introduced, the document also makes mention of an "Eligible for Special Hardware" option. Basically, select clients will be able to upgrade to a device from a pre-determined list of special hardware. No word yet on what makes a customer eligible for this special early upgrade, but it's bound to have something to do with revenue generated and the type of device you own.


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Rogers is getting set to launch their Early Hardware Upgrade Program in just under a week, on Thursday, May 5th. The program, which will allow customers to upgrade to a new device early for an additional fee, is very similar to Telus' early upgrade process. Here's how it works:

Customers who wish to upgrade early will pay $10-$20 for each month remaining until they would officially be eligible, in addition to the standard upgrade cost of the device. Exactly how much you pay for each remaining month depends on what type of device you currently have, and Rogers breaks them down into three categories; 1) voice or quick messaging devices, 2) feature devices, tablets, and smartphones, and 3) premium devices (including iPhone and BlackBerry Torch). Those with voice/QMD handsets will be charged $10 for each remaining month, while smartphone/tablet users will pay $15, and premium device users will pay $20 for each remaining month. If the contract-free price for the device comes in lower than the early upgrade costs, you will pay the lesser of the two.

For example, if you have a BlackBerry Bold 9700 and have had it for 18 months, you would pay $15 (early upgrade charge) x 6 (months remaining until standard 24-month eligibility), in addition to the normal 3-year price of the device you're upgrading to. So, you would pay $90 + the upgrade cost of the device.

One more detail was revealed in recently leaked screenshots, stating "we are also changing the standard HUP wait period, which will now vary from 18-30 months depending on the customer's current device." While the early upgrade program comes as great news, this extra little bit is vague and could be a bad thing for some people. Rogers currently has a 2 year waiting period for upgrade eligibility, so this means some people will have to wait an extra 6 months, or at least pay 6 months more of early upgrade costs. Others may benefit from it however, reaching eligibility 6 months earlier than they currently would. We'll be sure to let you know once more details become available.


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Sasktel has made it evident for months that they intended on releasing the iPhone 4, but we finally have an official launch date! According to Sasktel's website, the iPhone 4 will be launching the Apple iPhone 4 next Tuesday, April 26th. The 16GB will come in at $159 on a 3 year term, or $649 outright, while the 32GB model can be purchased for $269 on a 3 year contract, and $749 contract-free.

Those purchasing the handset outright, be warned that it is still locked to Sasktel. If you aren't eligible for an upgrade or don't like the idea of contracts however, it's certainly a viable option. So who's buying an iPhone 4 from Sasktel?


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Competition has been roaring in Canada when it comes to unlimited plans and offerings, and most carriers are doing their part by introducing affordable packages. Virgin Mobile is certainly no exception, as they have recently launched new $35 and $45 Unlimited plans. The $35 Unlimited City Calling Plan is available only for CDMA handsets, and only in major cities including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal. It offers up unlimited local calling, along with unlimited Canadian, U.S., and international text messaging.

The $45 Unlimited Calling Plan is available for all handsets and in all locations (except Manitoba and Saskatchewan), and offers up unlimited local calling, unlimited Canadian, U.S., and international text messaging, along with call display. Additionally, any data or long-distance packages are eligible to be added on to the $45 plan, so it's a great starting point for customers looking to build a personalized solution. Both of these packages are officially available now, so get in contact with Virgin Mobile if you're interested!


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We recently let you know that Bell was preparing to launch the HTC HD7 in just a few short days, but for those who can't wait until the February 10th release date, we have some leaked pricing to share. The HD7 will cost $99.95 on a 3 year term for both new customers and existing ones eligible for a full upgrade. Outright pricing is set to be $599.95, but some discounts can be applied for existing customers with partial upgrade eligibility.

The HTC HD7 features a 4.3" (480x800) display, 5MP camera with dual-LED flash and 720p video recording, and connectivity options including Wi-Fi, bluetooth, and GPS. The HD7 is a great device for gaming and media, so if you're thinking of Windows Phone 7, this is definitely one to consider.


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Telus has introduced a couple new policies recently that could result in customers getting upgrades sooner, and seeing lower, more proportionate early cancellation fees. The new hardware upgrade program introduces an Early Device Upgrade fee, which is calculated based on the type of the device you last received, in addition to the number of months remaining on your contract.

Here's how the upgrade fee is calculated:

Voice or Feature Phone - $5 x number of months remaining in contract. Includes standard flip phones, sliders, non-data devices
Smartphone or Feature phone (with minimum data commitment) - $10 x number of months remaining in contract. Includes BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Phone 7 devices
Premium Device - $15 x number of months remaining in contract. Includes iPhones

Here's the example provided on the Telus website:

Pat has an LG Keybo and wants to upgrade to an HTC Desire. He has 15 months left on his contract. What does Pat pay to upgrade?

Pat pays $75 (15 months x $5) in addition to the new device cost ($79.99)

There are a couple of rules that come along with this new upgrade program, like that you must complete at least 6 months of your current contract before being eligible for upgrade at all, and customers on the Credit Limit Program are no eligible for any early upgrade offer.

The cancellation policy is also based on which device you last received, but is more specific. Essentially, your early cancellation fee is calculated using the exact discount you received on your last device, and the time remaining on your contract. There is also a $50 admin fee for non-Quebec customers. It's important to note that this new cancellation fee policy applies only to customers who activated or renewed on or after November 21st, 2010. Other customer who wish to cancel would still have to pay $20 x the number of months remaining on their contract.

Here are some examples of how the policy works:

At activation, the customer receives a $400 discount on a 36 month service term. After 20 months, their cancellation fee will be:
Monthly pro-rated discount = $400 / 36 months = $11.11/month
Remaining discount = $400 - ($11.11 x 20 months) = $177.76
Non-Quebec: Total Cancellation fee = $177.76 + $50 Admin fee = $227.76
Quebec: Total Cancellation fee = $177.76

So there you have it, two new policies coming out of Telus. What do you think about the new early upgrade program? What about the new cancellation policy?


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Rogers has recently implemented changed to their hardware upgrade program, changing eligibility from 24 months to 30 months (2.5 years), news that has been confirmed via Customer Care as well as RogersBuzz on Twitter. It doesn't come as much of a surprise since other carriers have similar timelines for upgrading devices, but it definitely isn't great news for those of us who like to switch up their devices and stay on top of the market. According to Rogers employees, some customers may be eligible for upgrades before the 30 month mark, though no guidelines or HUP structure is available to consumers. Additionally, the change won't affect the current iPhone upgrade program, so it looks like some customers may still be in the clear on this one.


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We recently let you know that Mobilicity has plans to launch the Google Nexus One, and now they've updated their site to include an unlimited data add-on! The new add-on, which costs $20 per month, provides "truly unlimited" data usage to customers within Mobilicity coverage zones. The new package can be added on to any existing price plan, so users won't have to spend a certain amount each month to be eligible. Nice work, Mobilicity!


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Bell has a new promotion going on for new customers who activate in retail stores, offering up a $50 credit on regular phones, or $75 on smartphones. The offer ends on September 16th of this year, and to be eligible you must activate a voice and data plan on a 3 year term. If you're looking for a new line on a contract, this drops the Bold 9700 to just $24.95, and the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant to just $74.95.


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Telus has introduced a monthly data bonus of 5GB for new customers who sign up for the $65 (or greater) Clear Choice price plans, a pretty amazing incentive to choose Telus right now. To be eligible, customers must sign up for any Clear Choice voice and data plan that costs $65 or greater. Since the $65 plan already includes 1GB, customers taking advantage of this offer will get at least 6GB of monthly data usage for a minimum of $65.

According to the fine details of the offer, it's available to customers using any phone and is available until October 5th of this year. It seems as though existing customers are out of luck with this promotion, though the document does state that customer service representatives are to "follow existing escalation process for renewals".


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