WIND Mobile “fixes” blocked port issue… customers happy again

Kate O'Brien

January 14, 2010 8:56am

So if you signed up with Wind on their “Infinite Mobile” data plan you might have realized that they unknowingly blocked ports, basically stopping you from accessing and using popular sites and apps like YouTube), MSN, Google Talk or GPS.

There has been much discussion on the Wind Mobile site with the title “***Dear WIND Please ADMIT that you’re blocking ports, and work quickly to end it!***”. WIND does stand behind their tag line of “the power of conversation” as they we getting slammed by their community. With this COO Chris Robbins has stepped up and as usual communicated every step of the way about resolving the unknown issue.

He stated: “High level, there was no plot to limit specific applications. The decisions we’ve made up until now were essentially for 3 reasons:
1. To differentiate between our two unlimited data plans (one is for “mobile internet” on your phone, and one is for laptops). For most customers, these are different uses and have different value.
2. To optimize the customer experience on each of those plans to best suit the vast majority of customers using them.
3. To protect our network. The reality is that we’re the first operator in Canada to launch unlimited data. There are stories from around the world about how this can negatively affect network integrity, security and capacity issues and that’s not good for us, or for our customers.

Those are all valid reasons for managing our ports and applications, but we also did miss some things and we focused on the “average” customer, rather than all of our customers. So we’ve made changes.

We’ve added real time video streaming (although the Technical guys told me I couldn’t ask how they did it!), SIP, VOIP, SSH, and VPN… in fact, most letters of the alphabet now are supported. However, we haven’t been able to get video streaming to work on the BlackBerry Bold 9700. We’re still working on that one, and we’ll let you know when it happens.

What does the updated Infinite Mobile service look like? It’s essentially for people using their mobile phone to access the internet. That means that it’s optimized for mobile applications, mobile websites/internet and mobile email.

Here’s the full list (get even more detail in our FAQs):

  • Email (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, …)
  • Streaming (new)
  • Consumer applications like Facebook, Twitter, Google Maps, VOIP, Fring, Skype, Jabber, Yahoo Messenger, MSN, Fring, … plus whatever other consumer applications to come!
  • Other access / applications added today like SIP, SSH, VPN, FTP

While there are new mobile applications all of the time, we’re pretty confident that they’ll work with what we’ve got, and – if not – we’ll fix it. Just let us know!

  • Tyler Mills

    Wow, big kudos to them for actually sticking to the open communication bit and actually opening up access for the data.. My respect for WIND seems to be increasing daily

  • jon

    They’re noe done fixing. There are still reports of Google services and ftp not working on their network.

  • justawiseguy

    Just to clarify something as a Wind user,the whole community was not bashing our service and it was only a small minority of pathetic techies that started a riot…faithful customers knew changes were coming and remaining loyal.Wind has only been in business for a month and they’ve done more for CS relations than any of the Big Three have done in the last decade ripping people off simply to make a profit…don’t listen to the hypocrites who in their effort to get what they wanted immediately have lost us some business and be assured that the large majority here are very happy.

  • TNSF

    First operator in Canada to launch unlimited data? No, not true.

  • Jesse Dyck

    Definitely agree with Jon. They’ve made a great impression through their communication and by working on this fairly quickly, but it sounds like there are still issues of certain ports being blocked, so they’re not done yet. The internet is open by nature, so a service provider should place very little (if any) limitations on it’s service (port 25 blocking is expected by this point).

    Ultimately though, this is a much larger issue of Net Neutrality. WIND’s lucky they don’t have a large customer base yet and aren’t too big in mainstream media, otherwise this could have easily escalated to a lot of bad PR that a brand new carrier looking to attract new customers does NOT need. It’s expected that they’ll have some issues early on, how they handle those issues will tell a lot about the company and it’s future as a successful wireless provider in Canada.

  • Jim R

    I’m not a Wind customer yet (I’m in Vancouver). But I don’t see why it makes sense to label people as “pathetic techies” who “started a riot”, because a number of folks were unhappy that they could not use the Internet the way it is meant to be used, and the way Wind led them to believe it could be used on the Wind network.

    And, yes, I too would have been upset if I was paying $35 for data services that seemed to allow at most email. Even Fido doesn’t block ports for heaven’s sakes (I can’t believe I’m saying something good about Fido).

    • Rumy

      Fido is blocking ports.

      The agps data on android devices and the official google voice app for android do not work over 3G

  • mof

    wind is just pulling the wool over all your eyes people…..they are selling you the rogers unlimited surf package that costs 10 dollers for 35 bucks its a total joke and as far as im concerned untill the unblock all ports like every other carrier in the freeworld i will call these guys scammers till the cows come home.

  • chris

    The port problem is NOT fixed. I just got off the phone with Wind tech support and they said that, for example, the Fring application (VOIP, SMS, IM, etc) only works on THEIR HTC Maple phone, and nothing else.

  • Robert

    I have recently purchased the Bold and I am also unhappy with the port blockage. At first I purchased their stick amd it does not work with Vista. Not what they told me when I purhased it. I have been back since over the last couple of months and was told

    1) The stick is still not working with Vista
    2) The stick kicks out after abougt 15 minutes and is their largest return item (Hamilton Ontario).

    Since I am job huntung in the computer sector it is crucial that I am connected to email and am stuck with a slow tethered blackberry (just to access email).

    Outside of their internet technical difficulties I am quite happy with their phone service and prices.

    I guess it would be too much to ask for salespeople to be honest up front prior to the financial outlay of buying a cell phone. I am glad I purchased a SIM chip based phone as this will leave my options open if I decide to change carriers.

    I am quite certain that the bad image they are causing will cost them more money then the occasional heavy user.

    I do wish them the best of luck in sorting out their technical problems as it is nice to see someone challenging the monopolies.

  • Paul Simon

    After repeated tryout of contacting the 2nd level customer relation team regarding my unlimited infinite add-on, i am writing this message.
    When i had signed up with Wind Mobile and added the unlimited long distance $20 infinite add-on, there was no specific statement which said that I could only talk 150 minutes per day. However, without providing any advance notice, my long distance service add-on has been permanently disabled. Although I was told that someone would be calling me back regarding this matter, there has not been any contact so far.
    It is clearly a breach of contract without providing any advance notice. PROMISE BREAKER WIND MOBILE !!!

  • mike

    I was on hold for over 15 minutes before I hung up. Their coverage is limited and their service is poor. I was just trying to find out what the code is to block an outgoing call. I couldn’t even find this information on Wind’s search engine. Furthermore, a salesman offered me one month free for switching to Wind but I wasn’t given the free month. I believe this is their form of ‘Bait and Forget’. Overall, don’t switch to Wind because they can be full of hot air.