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Bell offers MTS customers a free iPhone 5 if they switch, but MTS says it’s a bad offer


Manitoba, like Saskatchewan, B.C., Quebec and Ontario, is a new battleground for carriers to duke it out. A couple day ago we saw Bell target Tbaytel customers by offering the “phone everyone is talking about for $0.” Now, according to a report in the Winnipeg Free Press Bell is at it again, but this time it’s regional carrier MTS.

Bell is apparently taking advantage of MTS’ declining market share – now sitting at 53% – in the province and going for the jugular. They are offering up the iPhone 5 for free to those customers who make the switch.

Sounds enticing for those who want the iPhone 5 a cheap price. MTS also carriers the iPhone and Kelvin Shepherd, president of MTS, says his customers should think twice before switching as his network stronger, faster and more powerful” than Bell’s. “If I wanted to tell you the bad things (about such an offer) I would tell you that a free handset on a network that is not very good in Manitoba probably does not equate to a really great offer. Our strength is we have 97 per cent coverage in Manitoba, Bell has less than 60 per cent. We have LTE (long term evolution, faster and more powerful than a 4G network), they don’t. We have more than 100 stores, they have a lot less than that.”

Source: WFP

(Thanks Chris!)

  • Brian

    Your customer service was enough to make me switch without any incentives from other carriers, MTS.

  • CW

    This recent discounting on the iPhone 5 is surprising. Previously they had very tightly controlled prices and maintained them at a premium over other phones (or at least matched with other flagship devices). Tim Cook must be getting desperate to maintain market share. This is a major flag for investors in a company that had previously been able to walk the high road and gain market share due to its well executed products and marketing.

    • JL

      Not Tim Cook or Apple. It’s the carriers. He gets the same amount of money regardless due to the contracts (it’s how Apple rapes the carriers and if they could they would sell you Android/ Windows phone over the iPhone any day).

      Don’t kid yourself no one will switch carriers because of an Android phone the ones who will are complete and utter nerds (Mobilesyrup Army unite) and understand the value proposition of going to one of the Big 3. The only way to get ordinary people to switch carriers is to discount the iPhone to the chagrin of the carriers. I’d say this is more of a sign of the days that acquisition of customers is so difficult they are willing to eat that cost.

    • Jared

      The carrier is eating the cost. Nothing to do with Apple.

  • jack

    what’s the price plan they’d have to switch to? like a 90$ plan?

    • boi

      minimum $50, pretty sure bell in manitoba has a decent $50 plan right now too.

  • Cellphone

    Its pathetic when a company has to bash another company to keep their customers.

  • PC

    Uneducated people choose MTS as their carrier. Choose Bell if you want a better smartphone selection, better national coverage, and cheaper plans. LTE will be coming soon.

    • EvanK

      Apparently Bellus LTE is coming in January, who knows with Rogers.

      This honestly isn’t a bad offer, Bell’s Manitoba 55 promo (2GB of data, unlimited Canada wide and 10 hours of Mobile TV) is enticing – a friend of mine is considering switching and a free 8X is enticing.

      Regarding MTS’ claims about LTE, for iPhone customers it doesn’t matter as their iP5 is HSPA only right now. When Bell launches their LTE network here I’m sure iPhone customers, and all other phones for that matter, will get LTE from day one.

  • PC speaks BS

    Lol @PC taking elitist potshots at MTS customers to serve his own cause.

  • Krones

    At the moment, coverage in MB is the only thing MTS has going for it. As a previous MTS customer, I left due to frustration with service, price and reception. MTS’ plans are out-dated at best and included limited (if any) national data.

    I’m no fan of Bell but MTS is grasping for straws here with their crumbling network (my friends who are still with MTS complain of dropped calls constantly), high plan prices and business model that appears to be from the days when they had a monopoly on Internet, wireless and TV in the province.

    I cannot recommend MTS to anyone because of the poor quality they provide in every facet of business they provide. Sure they may have stores everywhere but that doesn’t mean you sell a good product.

    • EvanKr

      Even the coverage wars is debatable. MTS covers small communities that don’t matter to the majority of the population. TELUS and Bell have got Winnipeg, Brandon, Portage, and most other major Manitoban communities covered, and now they’ve got cottage country and around the lake covered as well.

  • NOOB!!!

    Fk U BHELL!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sid

    To hell with them both. When’s Wind getting here?

  • cheenachatze

    Bell is actually trying to compete?? And if so, why not offer iPhone 5 for free throughout Canada? (Which they should have from the start, considering they tie our testicles for 3 years.)

  • Zee

    Stay where you are. Although offer is pretty, there is pure evil behind it. If you think is bad now, wait until you switch to “H”ell

  • John

    If you live in Manitoba, you have to be on crack not to switch to MTS. They have unlimited data. Something I wish we can get in Ontario.

    • EvanKr

      Unlimited data is Manitoba only, and doesn’t come cheap. There’s still an “excessive use policy” that caps you at 5 or 10GB.

    • Chris

      Few thoughts on this:
      1) Who uses more than 5GB? Not a lot of people, so this doesn’t matter to the average customer.

      2) If you do use 5GB or more of data, you’re probably tethering. This is not included in MTS plans unless you get the $93.50/month plan.

      3) National data. again, unless you are paying $93.50/month, you only get 300MB.

      4) See other comments by most MB residents. MTS is losing customers for a reason, their service sucks. You can offer unlimited data but if your network doesn’t work properly, it doesn’t matter because it doesn’t work as it should.

  • Toyo

    Let’s face it, the iPhone users aren’t the most intelligent bunch. This trick might just work wonders for Bell.

  • Kelly

    If Bell wants to compete they should offer the Samsung S3 for free. Best smartphone of the year!

    • Max

      They are offering the S3 for zero as well. The only reason this site is only talking about the iPhone is because Apple is crazy about iPhone pricing, and for the most part, carriers are never allowed to reduce it.

      As far as I know, Bell sales reps in MB have the ability to apply this $0 promotion for any phone they offer, as long as the customer is switching from MTS.

  • theone

    Lol wow good response mts or you stop acting like a high school kid and match the offer so your customers don’t switch lol just saying

    • Still

      Umm… they have a much better network. Why match the price of a phone? Only a fool would fall for that IPhone promise. But then again, it’s the Apple crowd we are talking about, and they only function at half the regular brain capacity.

  • pauly

    Bell, gtfo and stop murdering small business

    • Max

      I wouldn’t consider MTS a small business. They have more than 50% market share in MB.

    • EvanK

      I’m all for supporting the local, small business over the corporate giant, but MTS’ subscriber base is almost 500 000, and they have a pretty big monopoly in Manitoba.

  • Azure

    On a corporate plan, MTS has pretty good prices. With the S3 coming soon, and the iPhone 5, they have okay phones.

    Good enough for me.

    That being said, I love competition, and I find it rather hilarious that MTS has to bash Bell to try and retain customers. What, they thought that they could just get away with offering shitty phones for years and not lose marketshare?

  • Guy In The Know

    Bell can’t compete in Thunder Bay and Manitoba, so they’ve decided to baffle customers with magic and slight of hand tricks.

  • Jeff

    Iphone + locked into a contract = major fail.

    Don’t be an idoit.

  • GlassBackBadIdea

    At least Apple learned their lesson and figured out that putting a glass plate on the back side of a phone is a stupid idea. It seems that Google and LG are too dumb copying that they didn’t realize that it is a bad practice to do.

    Nexus 4 is such a stupidly designed phone. who puts a glass plate on the back side the phone? the inbred employees in Google/LG sure got the last laugh at you suckers who bought this phone.

  • Anonymous

    This article makes me worried. The customers are getting mislead. You really have to do your homework on this sort of stuff. Do most of you realize that Bell’s roaming partner is Telus who has no network penetration outside of Winnipeg, Portage, and Brandon. They don’t even have coverage along HWY 16. MTS is the only network that has coverage (aka signal) outside the city. Rogers HSPA roams on MTS and even that are having issues and delays implementing LTE. There would be little chance that Bell will ever roam on Rogers. Oh I guess if you have old feature phone running CDMA you can use it in MB. I thought the idea of a cell phone was to use it Anywhere if you want a city phone we should just deploy WiFi mesh network in the cities, that some places already have. Then you can use an iPod and SIP or Skype etc.

    • Krones

      I agree with you in that people need to do their homework. A lot of the comments on here are talking about data and those that do talk about network coverage have mentioned that Bell/Telus cover Winnipeg to Brandon and a good chunk of the cottage area but do not cover the rural areas like MTS/Rogers HSPDA+ network (see EvanKr’s comment above).

      The main point people are making is that MTS is not a good carrier to use because of their sub-par service. For the minority of people that live outside of Bell/Telus’ range in MB, MTS/Rogers is a good fit solely because you don’t have a choice. However the majority of Manitobans do have a choice. I for one choose the one that isn’t over charging me, allows me to use more than 300MB in national data and let’s me tether my phone if I need to all for much less than $93.50 before taxes and other fees.

  • radmacks

    they require a trade in phone so not so free. bells plans sucks. I however bells coverage is better and faster than MTS where they have the coverage

    • me

      i didnt have to trade in a phone today, told them i wanted to switch, they grabbed me a iphone 5 and about 20 mins i was on my way.

    • Grant Williams

      They don’t require a trade in phone? I’m a Bell mb sales rep, no trade in needed!

  • Azure

    Telus and Bell DO have extremely crappy coverage. MTS/Rogers have good coverage.

    But, some people don’t need coverage anywhere outside of Winnipeg, and those are the people Bell is going after. My guess it works, since the iPhone 5 price on a 3 year contract is still $200 or so.

    MTS needs to get their act together regardless if they have better coverage. The S3 is a good start, but Rogers, Bell and Telus have a ton of new phones. People want the latest and greatest, and MTS is still selling shitty CDMA phones.

  • arcticsushi

    If I can get a Note 2 tomorrow, I am moving over!

  • Grant Williams

    Bell has 76% of Manitobans covered, not 60. Extensive expansion in the ballpark of 160 new towers going up in the next year to year and a half. RIP MTS,

    • Cayaguy

      And you have Knowledge of this network expansion how?

  • Jacquio

    I like how MTS mentions their number of stores as a selling point. Anyone who has been to an MTS store with a billing concern would find that laughable. The standard response to billing inquiries is “Here is a phone, call our customer service”.

    At least the competitors can answer billing questions without having you wait on hold in the store.

  • Jer

    MTS is garbage. Me and my friends all know them by name: ShitTS. Worst customer service, worst selection of phones.

  • alex

    RIP MTS

  • kylie

    when can i get one and i got a
    SAMSUNG INTENSITY 3 and why is it a bad offer!!??

    • kylie

      can u get back to me as soon as u can

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