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A little while back, we saw Videotron launch a $30/6GB data add-on, and it didn't take long for a variety of other carriers to follow suit in the province. Bell and Virgin Mobile began offering their Quebec subscribers the same package, and Telus also did the same. Now, Rogers is responding to the competition, and has also made their own $30/6GB add-on available for Quebec customers. Theirs, like the others, is available for a "limited time", and speculation points to a July 31st expiry date. It includes 6GB of data usage and unlimited Social Networking, and requires you to renew on a new 3 year term.


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Likely in response to Videotron and Virgin's(Quebec-only) recent introduction of their $30/6GB data package, Telus has gone ahead re-introduced their own 6GB promo add-on for Quebec customers. It's unfortunate that the rest of Canada can't benefit from this recent competition, but it's still great to see carriers working to win customers over in some markets at least.

The 6GB add-on from Telus is available for all device types, including iPhones, and will work for both 4G and CDMA handsets. It is available to new, existing, and renewing customers, and overage charges come in at the standard 5 cents/MB. The package is being offered on a promotional basis only, and will no longer be available after July 31st, so be sure to contact Telus if you're interested in adding it to your line.


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Rogers, Bell, and Telus offer up a 6GB data plan seasonally, usually corresponding with each year's iPhone launch, but now Videotron is looking to get in on the competition. They have recently introduced their own 6GB data plan, which is priced at $30 monthly. Unfortunately, the offer is listed as "available for a limited time", so if you're looking for more data usage allowance and are with the popular Quebec carrier, be sure to get ahold of them soon to add it to your account. With any luck, Videotron's introduction of this data package will put the pressure on other major carriers, and they too will re-introduce this type of package. Great job, Videotron!


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A few days ago we let you know that Rogers was getting set to launch their 4G LTE network sometime in 2011 in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Vancouver. According to the announcement, the network will also become active in 25 more cities in 2012. Bell has responded, releasing a document internally that states that their LTE trials have concluded, and that they are also working on launching in the near-future. In the document, they say "Bell has completed 4G LTE trials and we are currently deploying 4G LTE as well. Our competitors will not get in front of Bell's network leadership." No word on launch dates or which areas Bell's LTE network will be available in at launch as of yet, but we'll keep a close eye on Bell (and other networks) to keep you up to-date-on 4G LTE network deployment in Canada!


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Sasktel has recently introduced the red variation of the BlackBerry Torch 9800, a nice colour arriving just in time for the holidays. The red version comes in at the same price as the standard black version, which is $180 on a 3 year term, or $665 contract-free. The Torch is possibly RIM's most popular device right now, featuring an impressively responsive touchscreen, slide-out full QWERTY keyboard, and BlackBerry OS 6 featuring a new UI and WebKit browser.


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Both KOODO and Virgin Mobile have recently introduced new $35 incoming plans, that are similar, but not exactly alike. Virgin Mobile's $35 plan includes: unlimited local incoming calls, unlimited evenings and weekends starting at 6pm, unlimited text messaging, 150 anytime minutes, and call display. The KOODO $35 plan offers: unlimited incoming calls, unlimited 6pm evenings and weekends, unlimited text and picture messaging, unlimited local family calling, up to 150 anytime minutes, call display, call waiting, conference calling, and per-second billing. Nice to see carriers responding to competition by offering better plans, keep it up!


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The three major carriers each have some type of handset protection or replacement program, and Sasktel has joined in offering a Wireless Sevice Protection Plan of their own. The plan will cost customers either $6 or $7 monthly, depending on the value of their device, and covers accidental damage, loss, theft, and malfunction (after the manufacturers warranty expires), however normal wear and tear and cosmetic damage are not covered. Customers who pay for this additional service can make up to two claims per year, but will still be responsible for a deductible ranging from $75 - $225 in order to get a replacement handset.


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As you know, Chatr Wireless launched today, offering yet another option for Canadians residing in major cities looking for an affordable and simple solution for their mobile services. We got the opportunity to speak with Garrick Tiplady, the Senior VP of Chatr, and this new brand from Rogers is definitely one to look out for.

Chatr launched today in 5 major cities(zones) across Canada: Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver, with a Montreal launch planned for this fall. Customers living in these areas can pick up one of four devices, and can use their service in any Chatr zone without worrying about long distance or roaming charges. The device line-up, which ranges from a simple bar phone to a sliding full QWERTY messaging device, is expected to remain the same for some time, and includes 4 phones that are offered contract-free:

- The "essential" Nokia 1661 - $60
- The "flip" LG GB125R - $75
- The "slider" Nokia 2680 - $95
- The "QWERTY" Samsung Gravity - $130

During the conversation, Tiplady let us know that Chatr is focused on delivering a worry-free experience, at the root of which are 3 things - simplicity, certainty, and quality. Keeping things simple, Chatr offers only two price plans, and makes it very easy to understand offers. Ensuring customers know exactly what to expect, the price plans available are the $35 Unlimited Talk and $45 Unlimited Talk & Text packages, so the possibility of unexpected overage or pay-per-use charges is significantly reduced. Finally, Chatr boasts a reliable experience, using Rogers' physical network to provide excellent coverage that Canadians have come to trust.

With other discount brands launching mobile internet sticks recently, we asked if we could expect the same thing in Chatr's future. In response to customer demand, Chatr is focusing on talk and text services only, with no intentions to launch data services as of now.

Offering unique options for payment, customers can either sign up for "no worries auto-pay", which is a pre-authorized payment service that keeps things as simple as possible. The second option is to top up your account before your anniversary date (day of the month you originally signed up) each month using your credit card or top-up vouchers from Chatr Wireless retail locations.

The main thing we got out of this is that Chatr aims to keep things simple, offering a limited selection of handsets and price plans, and focusing on users who know what they want without hassle or confusion. If you're looking to find out even more, or find the nearest Chatr store, be sure to check out Chatr Wirless


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We've been keeping you up-to-date on Rogers new discount brand Chatr, and recently let you know the July 21st launch was delayed until further notice. Thanks to various leaks, we now know the brand is set to launch on July 28th, and that Rogers has cleverly named Chatr in-store reps "Chatalysts". In addition to the rescheduling of the brand launch, we also know Mobilicity has threatened Rogers with legal action should they follow through with the launch as planned, sending a letter to formally warn the company. A few weeks back, chairman of Mobilicity John Bitove claimed Rogers should not be allowed to launch because of the "Abuse of Dominant Position" in the Competition Act, where it states "use of fighting brands selectively on a temporary basis to discipline or eliminate a competitor" is prohibited.

We'll be sure to let you know once more information is available regarding the launch and Rogers' response to the warnings given by Mobilicity as soon as they're available.


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Mobilicity has recently added a few services to their $35 unlimited price plan, which now includes voicemail, call forwarding, three-way calling, and call waiting. Other features already included in the $35 plan are unlimited text, unlimited local talk, and caller ID. No specific information on why they've added these features, but it could be in response to the imminent Chatr launch and upcoming Solo relaunch.


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