“Solo Mobile will no longer be activating new customers”

Ian Hardy

April 13, 2012 7:44 pm


This is an interesting turn of events. Solo Mobile was launched in 2000 and is a sub-brand of Bell Mobility. The entry-level and low cost prepaid player has been overshadowed by competitors such as Fido, Koodo, Chatr, Wind, Mobilicity and even Bell’s other sub-brand, Virgin Mobile. The last time we’ve seen Solo release a new handset was on October 13th with the Android-powered Samsung Galaxy Gio. Since then the brand has been dark.

We’ve been tipped that Solo Mobile will officially stop “activating new customers.” According to the internal doc we received it states that “As of May 17, 2012 Solo Mobile will no longer be activating new customers (both postpaid and prepaid). Existing Solo Mobile customers will not be impacted by this change; they will continue to enjoy great rates, amazing Canada-wide coverage and affordable devices.”

There’s no word on how many subscribers Solo has as their number are always combined in with Bell’s quarterly reports. Bell ended 2011 with 7,427,482 subscribers. However, current Solo customers will continue to have access to the same services and monthly rate plans, plus given the option to port over to Bell. If you’re a current Solo customer and want to stay, you’ll be thrilled to know that 3 new handsets are miraculously available to you:

- Samsung Galaxy W ($59.95 on a 2-year and $249.95)
- Samsung Galaxy 551 ($9.95 on a 2-year and $199.95 outright)
- Samsung C414 ($19.95 on a 2-year and $119.95 outright)

There’s no other details about why Bell has decided to cease Solo activations, possibly to put all their focus into two brands (Bell and Virgin), or could be all the new wireless competition has taken its toll financially. Perhaps a 3-brand strategy doesn’t work and Rogers Chatr Wireless will possibly be next – which is what we’re hearing, but still unconfirmed.

We’ll have more info soon!
(Thanks tipster!)

  • John

    This is kinda backwards, why stop customers coming to their flanker brand.

    • Reggie Noble

      Because Virgin are already Bell’s flanker brand. There’s no need for a company to have two.

      I’m surprised that Bell didn’t kill of Solo from last year.

    • ToniCipriani

      Solo was killed earlier, but then it was brought back when Rogers brought out Chatr.

    • Crue

      It’s actually funny that Bell reacted to Rogers’ Chatr by resurrecting Solo. It shows Bell will simply copy Rogers even if it’s a riduculous move. At least Bell is looking to correct their mistake, but I wonder if Rogers will?

  • Alex Perrier

    *STEVE BALLMER YELLS ACROSS THE STAGE*

    Thank you Ian for addressing this once and for all! Solo has finally fallen asleep to never wake up. The problem is that Virgin should still be owned at least in part by Virgin Group. Both that brand and the Solo brand aren’t like they used to be.

    i am sure the Solo handsets are simply Bell handsets with a Solo SIM card, perhaps some software, and with Solo OTA updates instead of Bell’s.

    Chatr has been dormant recently. But should they close, please keep their employees! Move them to Fido or some other place! They are among the best in the Big 3 mobile industry! :)

    • Alex Perrier

      i’m talking about specific employees here. If you happen to be frustrated with Chatr reps or other operators’ reps, please share.

    • josh

      i’m gonna start off right now by saying chatr is a complete WASTE OF A COMPANY. i had the displeasure of working for these fools.

      They are strictly here to shut down all the entrants so Rogers doesn’t lose base customers.
      Chatr does not have a single promo for their customers. They have an 80 dollar bonus credit for signing up BUT you need a credit card… the reason for that? so they can ensure payments each month since its prepaid service… sounds pretty selfish to me.

      1. chatr has no BBM
      2. chatr has no data over 100mb
      3. the phone selection is rather horrid
      4. there is no real promo for the customers for signing up unless they are suckered to use credit card
      5. the employees didn’t even get a decent discount
      6. chatr is a complete greed company which does not deserve anyones business.

      if anything go for a company who is trying to work for the people like WIND who gives customers credit just for signing up in general.

      the reason i say this is because Alex sounds like a fanboy and quite frankly i don’t see what he sees with this horrendous company. just saying

    • WP74Life

      Alex, I don’t want to sound bad but everything you write on MobileSyrup get downvoted. Even if it makes sense. Maybe you should change your name.

    • Alex Perrier

      Most of the points here are valid, but some people downvote me just because it’s me. Here, i was simply saying that certain Chatr *employees* were exceptionally awesome. i still disapprove of the Chatr brand itself, and there are good reps at other companies too.

      Networking is a passion for me, because i like to unite people together for a greater purpose. i took Cisco courses and plan to take more because i want a career in networking. This is why i appreciate news about telecoms, especially good news. i did not like it when Bell gobbled up Virgin, but the past is the past.

      Regarding my other interests, i am waiting for the time when Canada is willing to have an honest and truthful conversation about the sanctity of prenatal life. i also believe good morals are important, and would like to see more people live with these.

      The natural outdoor weather in Canada is beautiful, that is true.

      Please try to understand why i am passionate about networking.

    • 2dfx

      Stuff it Perrier, nobody tolerates your s**t.

  • goose

    does anybody like this guy?^

  • Nikos

    Chatr employees among the best in the big 3 industry??
    that sounds awefully biased to me..

    • Alex Perrier

      The ones that i happen to talk to. i want them to have solid employment instead of just being carelessly fired. That’s not to dismiss the other companies. There are certainly other reps elsewhere that are good, too. i’ve had a good experience with TELUS, but some other calls weren’t that great.

  • Terry

    I expected this. 2 sub-brands is too much in an industry with no real difference other then two factors (reception and price)

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Rogers eventually gets rid of Chatr too.

  • Sub-Joker

    @Alex, I really think you should either find a job or find a girlfriend. you spend soooo much time here…. and you comment on everything 2-5 times with huge paragraphs.

    seriously, go out and enjoy the sun at least, it’s beautiful here in montreal today.

  • Jack

    Solo has been “dead” for a long time now. I was not at all surprised when I saw this headline.

    How many people do you know that use Solo?

    • Marc

      Actually I still use Solo and have no intention to change. I have a completely unlimited plan (text, calls, and data. + caller ID and voicemail) for the low price of 32$+tx.

      And that is all with no Zones. Can’t get better.

  • Darren Clarke

    Yes, Chatr will be going soon. No eta yet

  • Wil L.

    It’s because people know Solo sucks so Bell decided to scrap the brand. People that don’t know much about cell phone providers think of Solo, Virgin, Koodo, MIKE, and Fido are their own separate companies hence the “discount brand” tricking stupid people to believe that they are going to a good company to look for a plan.

    Bell has put shame to all their brands. They are equally (and maybe a bit more) as bad as AT&T in the States.

    Corporations need to learn how to protect consumer ethics that actually brings them business thus more profit for the CEO.

  • james

    well i can ensure you that the chatr brand is extremely successful. josh seems like the fool.

    • james

      Oh and Josh you would have worked for Mosiac and not Chatr.

  • uranus

    @Alex you are babbling again. Limit yourself to 1 comment per post and keep each post to no more than 1 sentence. And you have a right to an opinion about pre natal life but it doesn’t belong in this forum.

  • T1MB1T

    Wind is the best! you all know it! just come to my forum and see how much it is loved! Do not read the posts from the fake members just trolling. I have been on wind for 5 years and not a single problem Alex you are a putz. Why not just quit no one likes you.. except warren and I am a little uneasy when you and he go into tonys office and lock the door

  • anonymuous

    afaik, Chatr actually gives you a second 100MB as a possible bonus for using credit card payments. Still silly-low, but oh well.

    Here in Montreal, without wind/mobilicity, you either have to go to the big guys .. or public mobile. So I opted for that, and although the it’s kind of meh, unlimited (but so slow..) data and provincial calling for 35$ is hard to beat (+3$ for caller id).

    • anonymous2

      Why not Videotron ?

  • nuclearbroccoli

    I see that Rocco is pretending to be T1MB1T again…..

  • Scazzz

    Solo was never killed earlier, they have always been Bells low end brand. Solo used to be internal to bell and was the name of their pre-paid service, before it was branched off and became a seperate entity. Its gotten to the point where the cost of keeping it seperate, acquiring licenses for handsets and marketing is not cost effective for its already low profit margins.

    Virgin already had a better PR and was easier to market, that its now the new main-stay. Keeping solo makes no sense at this time…

  • Otter

    As I have been saying for awhile.
    Vote with your dollars.

    Chat-r was NOT created with the customer in mind. Rogers could have simply dropped its prices. Or Fido’s prices if they really cared.

    By supporting companies with your money that are created SOLELY to try and run competitors out (see the front page Rogers ad where they state: “Say goodbye to all those new carriers”) you are digging your own grave.

  • Otter

    Anyone interested, should read competition laws in Canada, and objectively look at Chat-r. Ask the question:

    Which is more likely?

    That Rogers launched Chat-r to lower prices, and increase competition in Canada?

    Or that they created Chat-r to ONLY compete and make it harder for new companies. to operate?

    Without Mobilicity/wind there would be NO market for a cheaper alternative. Because no one had a choice.
    Think in the last year how much bell/telus and rogers have lowered their prices? Rogers even stated on an ad: “Say goodbye to all those other companies”

    I don’t know how much more proof anyone needs that Rogers only does things to kill competition. Chat-r needs to go.

  • Patrick

    As a Solo customer, I’ve been happy with its service but not its handsets. So when that story came out that the Galaxy 551 came out as an upgrade, I walked to my nearest Bell store and was flat out told that they were NOT doing upgrades to the Galaxy 551.

    So whoever came up with that story should have a look at their sources because the service rep there all but laughed at me right in the store.