Public Mobile hints at launching $200 Android devices

Ian Hardy

August 24, 2011 1:55 pm


Public Mobile is one of Canada’s new wireless carriers and they’re not for everyone. They cater to a specific demographic who hates spending tons on money on wireless. During the 2008 Spectrum Auction Public invested over $52 million and gained coverage from Windsor to Quebec City.

There’s no word official word on their subscriber numbers, rumours circulating reveal they are above the 150,000 mark. If true, those are solid numbers for their limited coverage and limited device selection, especially since analysts at one time stated the G-band was unwanted and could never work. An interesting interview today from with Bruce Kirby, VP of Strategy & Business Development, at Public. Kirby says that “We’re still not profitable … but we’ll get there far ahead of anyone else” (Wind Mobile and Mobilicity).

When Public initially launched CEO Alek Krstajic said they are going after the “low income value conscious” customers. It was originally their intent to only offer talk and text plans and devices, but customer needs evolved and they soon released their “Buzz” data phone, along with a $5 unlimited email add-on. Kirby noted in the interview that they are currently “testing three  or four new handsets, possibly low-end phones running Google’s Android software it can sell for less than C$200 without a subsidy”.

Personally, I never thought I’d write Public Mobile and Android in the same sentence. But wouldn’t it be amazing if they did release and Android device, most likely it’ll be a ZTE.

Source: Reuters

  • Zetta

    this means rim is dead

    • Mike W

      I’m every organization dealing with corporate or sensitive data is scrambling to drop RIM right now…

  • Funky Co Medina

    These $200 Androids are way superior to rim’s $600 BB Bold refresh

  • phoneguy

    oh this is big for PM and consumers that want a high end device without paying high end prices…good job PM

  • Yulp

    are they bringing the BlackBerry Tour as well? What about the Style? Pearl Flip?

    All hero phones

  • Nathan

    HAHAHA Yeah right after android cell manufactures lose there licenses for not making their android code available to the public at the time of launch. RIM isn’t going anywhere, they are here to stay, there isn’t a device or OS that can beat their security.

  • Giggity

    Interesting. PM has really low-end phones, so adding something a bit more advanced to the line-up should work out well for them. People who previously stayed away from PM solely due to their poor phone selection may soon want to take a second look.

  • phoneguy

    ps PM as of yest has approx 240,000+ subs :)

  • Apollo

    Good for Public mobile. It is nice to see them adding good phones to their line up.

  • JSmith

    Rumour has at least one if not more Android coming to PM by end of September, and a few others. Lineup will start to be improved, coverage as well. Still think PM is the one to beat eventually out of the new entrants.

  • wtv

    ZTE BLADE.

    • phoneguy

      how do u know this for sure?

    • wtv

      I’m just saying, I don’t know what they plan to do. But it would be a decent device for PM.

  • Vineet

    Anyone on PM’s network…Hoz the coverage, call quality, any call drop issues etc…etc ..
    PLS Advice

  • Jonesy1966

    Seriously, what’s the point? PM’s data is virtually useless.

    • phoneguy

      pm is launching 3g data in the future

  • yougottobe

    to bad pm is not out west (alberta) edmonton calgery or i wood be with pm

  • F0N3CH0P5

    This could prove very interesting if all of the above statments and comments are true.

    Time will tell now won’t it…

  • JSmith

    You have to guess with Androids launching on PM that 3G is next step. (y)

  • jon

    2G data speeds on a slow Android device. That’s going to be fun.

  • Amar

    Public mobile sucks with their CDMA garbage. No matter what phone they get, Canada doesn’t need or want them. They just hinder the ability that us Canadians can buy any phone now and use it anywhere or whenever we want. Sure the 1700 band problem with WIND/Mobi but PENTABAND will fix that problem. CDMA has no way to fix that problem. It just hinders the open concept of Canada being only SIM which is used worldwide.

    • phoneguy

      wow ur special dude and what about wind and mobi they are on a fake sim network meaning they can only use there phones and there phones can only be used with them…PM is smart as hell and came out on the g-band frequency bc when LTE hits PM hits a switch and they are automatically on LTE…go to wind u loser and enjoy dropped calls everywhere

    • Amar

      First of all r*********d. I’m not on the WIND network. I’m on Rogers, two how is that a fake sim network? Are you retarded? Because any phone WILL work with WIND and Mobi’s network, it would just be roaming since they don’t have backup 2G like Rogers. But any of their phones WILL work with Rogers. So you don’t understand anything. By the way, PM just bought a new network, you really think those morons are going to switch to LTE? It’s sim based fool. Took Verizon over a year to get it up from coming from that garbage CDMA network. In fact WIND/Mobi are already LTE ready since Rogers is use THEIR band the 1700 spectrum for LTE. What a fool. Learn something about tech noob.

    • phoneguy

      do some research u genius and u will see PM is on the g-band frequency and can easily switch to LTE thats why they came out on this frequency in the first place and no wind/mobi are not working on LTE they will have to switch there network and they dont share the same spectrum as rogers thats why u cant unlock a phone and go to wind/mobi or unlock there phone and go to rogers.

    • number4

      You are the most misinformed i***t I have ever seen post on this site. Do you realise how easy and cheap it is to switch from cdma to LTE. They bought the sprectrum for a tenth of the price. That was a steel and a very smart move. Wind and Mobi will probably never make it to LTE on their own… its going to be a piece of cake for PM.

    • Robert

      @numberfag

      Nah you’re more misinformed. Amar is right and even if they bought it at a cheaper price, they need to pay companies even more to make devices run their new LTE network if they go for it and for it to be backwards compatible. It actually would be more expensive from CDMA to LTE from GSM because those use the same format, and so it wouldn’t be hard to get similar devices. Also new frequencies could be broadcasted similarly since they got similar technology. You do realize LTE is developed from GSM/HSPA?

  • Bob Jonas

    Wrong it’s the Huawei Sonic

  • TheUnibomber

    Amar,

    While from a technical standpoint you are correct. I’ll give you that 100% and back it… Regardless you can not sit there and tell us that Canada does not want Public Mobile.

    I don’t know if you have walked through some of the slums of the GTA from Oshawa to Scarborough to area’s of Brampton and Mississauga or even the welfare line. There are tens of thousands of “Canadians” that have bad credit, or dealing drugs, prostitution, hiding from the Government for what ever reason that have no other alternative when it comes to cellular services.

    This is where public mobile has come into place.

    They are offering an affordable service for those that can not handle a $50.00 Rogers, Bell, Telus plan and than on top the overage charges of (for realism sake) $50-100.00 per month.

    For “those” people this is a winning chance to have a cell phone that won’t tie into their fixed income leaving them struggling more than they are…

    On a side note there are also a few people like myself that would gladly use Public’s service for talk (not so much text) to keep my superphone bill down as much as possible.

    Again, you had a very good dispute regarding networks but you really jumped the gun hard trying to convince us all that “Canada doesn’t need Public Mobile”.

    Let’s leave that one up to their consumers…

  • Jeremy

    800 MHz has better propagation than 1700/2100. You may not like CDMA, but there are many advantages (fewer towers needed, resulting in a much cheaper to operate service).

  • Amar

    @ phoneguy go reread my comments again because you dont know how to read. Secondly the unibomber I am not saying their price points are the issue, the issue is the technology being used, from what I saw a majority were happy when bell and telus switched to GSM HSPA. Obviously their price points are decent, although they still dont push as much as Wind/Mobilicity.

  • Robert

    And learn to spell.

  • skrpg.com

    you’re forgetting… public mobile has horrible 1x slow speeds. and why go with a low-end android phone for $200 when you can buy a google nexus s for $350 from mobilicity?

  • Joe

    Wake up people. There’s a reason why they got the spectrum for 1/10th the price. You think everyone including Bell/Telus/Rogers is dumb enough to let that go unchallenged if the spectrum is valuable?

    The whole easy upgrade to LTE thing is non-sense. Show me one implementation of PCs-G for LTE? On AWS you have MetroPCs already launched, Rogers launching soon, Bell/Telus to follow also on AWS LTE. WIND has already done some testing on AWS LTE, and AT&T will also be using AWS for LTE whether the T-Mbile buyout goes through or not because, just like Rogers, they own a ton of AWS spectrum.

    In any case, good luck to Public Mobile. There is still a market for basic phones and they can cover it pretty well. They shouldn’t try to feed false hope, because ethe only way for them to launch LTE is to get 700Mhz spectrum.

  • Globuline

    I think an android phone public mobile its the best idea of PB. because the other phone is too much basic. i have a public mobile phone and i change when android arrives.

  • Globuline

    It is true ? i hope an android with public mobile, i will change my phone.

  • Cellvage

    PM built the network from the beginning, to be LTE ready.

    Almost literally a software upgrade to go LTE for PM, where others will need to revamp their entire structure. Some have the cash already from gouging the rest of us and some will be borrowing more and digging an already huge hole deeper. You gotta give PM credit for the foresight.

    More importantly is the 93% roaming capability. That’s a huge move and congrats.

  • Someone Who Would Prefer To Remain Anonymous

    I have it on fairly good authority that the Android phone to be released in the next couple of weeks will be the ZTE Blade.

    And yes, I agree with Cellvage. The roaming is awesome. I was in northern ontario last month MILES outside of their roaming area, and was still able to use my phone without paying a fortune.

    I am an insanely happy Public Mobile customer.

  • maestro

    I also think it’s going to be the ZTE Blade because U can have it in UK for 99pounds (160$CAD). The ZTE Warp is over 250$USD