Complete details of Eastlink’s new wireless plans and devices

Ian Hardy

February 14, 2013 9:13 am


Nova Scotia-based Eastlink (Bragg Communications) invested $25 million in 2008 wireless spectrum auction to acquire 19 licences. After several delays their 4G LTE service will finally go live today in HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality), then a bigger rollout starting tomorrow. The initial coverage map will extend out of the Halifax area and reach as far as Charlottetown – then cover most of PEI and Nova Scotia within 18 months.

The devices you can expect to see are the Sony Xperia T, Samsung Galaxy S III, LG Nexus 4, BlackBerry Bold 9900, BlackBerry Curve 9320 and the entry-level LG F4n.

We’ve received some internal documents and most surprising is that Eastlink will give customers both a no-contract and a ‘contract’ type offering. The no-contract is self explanatory, but new to the mix is something called the “easyTab.” This is similar to Koodo Mobile’s Tab, WIND Mobile’s WINDTab, or Virgin Mobile’s SuperTab where they’ll offer a discounted price on the handset then 10% of the monthly bill goes towards paying off the device. To get the ‘easyTab’ discount one would need to have a minimum of $40/month voice and data plan.

Here’s the complete pricing of the handsets:
- Sony Xperia T: $79 on the ‘easyTab’ and $549 outright
- Samsung Galaxy S III: $99 on the ‘easyTab’ and $599 outright
- LG Nexus 4: $129 on the ‘easyTab’ and $499 outright
- BlackBerry Bold 9900: $49 on the ‘easyTab’ and $599 outright
- BlackBerry Curve 9320: $19 on the ‘easyTab’ and $199 outright
- LG F4n: $9 on the ‘easyTab’
- Huawei e397 Internet Stick: $0 on the ‘easyTab’ and $149 outright

Now for the rate plans. As expected, bundling is a huge play. However, first the monthly talk, text and data rates:

$25/month Talk and Text plan (price falls depending on the bundle option)
- 200 local anytime minutes
- Unlimited Nights and weekends
- Unlimited Text, Picture and Video Messaging
- Unlimited “My Eastlink Calling” – calls between Eastlink customers
- Call Display, Call Waiting and conference calling is included
- 25 minutes of Canada-Wide Travel Pack

$37.50/month Talk and Text plan (price falls depending on the bundle option)
- No activation fee
- Unlimited local anytime minutes
- Unlimited Nights and weekends
- Unlimited Text, Picture and Video Messaging
- Unlimited “My Eastlink Calling” – calls between Eastlink customers
- Call Display, Call Waiting and conference calling is included
- 50 minutes of Canada-Wide Travel Pack

Data Add-ons:
- “Social” data is $10/month and includes Unlimited Facebook/Twitter/BBM
- 1GB data is $20/month (price falls depending on the bundle option)
- 2GB data is $25/month (price falls depending on the bundle option)
- 5GB data is $40/month (price falls depending on the bundle option)

Wireless Internet Stick data rates:
- 3GB data for $35/month
- 5GB data for $45/month

Calling Features:
- Voicemail: $5/month
- Voicemail to email (voicemail required): $3/month
- Unlimited call forwarding: $3/month
- Top 5 local Calling: $5/month
- Top 10 Canada-wide calling: $10/month
- Unlimited Eastlink calling: $10/month
- Unlimited Canada long distance: $10/month
- Unlimited North America: $25/month
- International Text messaging: $5/month

Bundling savings:
- Save 10% when bundled with 1 other Eastlink service (TV, Internet, home phone)
- Save 15% when bundled with 2 other Eastlink service (TV, Internet, home phone)
- Save 20% when bundled with 3 other Eastlink service (TV, Internet, home phone)

As far as roaming, here’s what you can expect:
- Calls to North America:: $0.50 per minute
- Sent text message: $0.50 per message
- Received text message: free
- Sent picture or video message: $0.50 per message (data applicable)
- Received picture or video message: (data applicable)
- Data is $1 per MB

Finally, there’s a “Family sharing” option that gives further discounts – up to 20%. The internal doc we received states that customers can “create a family sharing account for up to 5 family members and watch the savings grow… Only with Eastlink can you get a monthly discount of up to 20% off your monthly wireless plan for each member of your family. Each member can choose their own plan and save money by combining and sharing their minutes and data.”

So there you have it. A solid device lineup and respectable monthly price plans. Certainly worth the wait and will bring more competition to the East Coast.

(Thanks tipster!)

  • hoo dat

    I love my old 9900 but $599? The 9320 is not a bad phone for what it is but it should be $149. Is Eastlink the new WIND/Videotron?

    • Brad F

      pricing wise, this is basically nothing new, matches the big3 sub brand pricing

    • Failed Lineup or failed prices?

      Launching a NEW Service after a many delays in March 2013 and they decide to launche with:

      BB9900: A phone from 2011, for $600??,not upgreadable with a BB10 and the reality of 2013, at $199 Maybe, but doubt it will sell.
      (you can get them BNIB for $180 on Kijiji..and that’s this week, they drop about $10 per week!

      BB9320: You can get the Virgin prepaid at Virgin or Walmart for $99 or less, put it at $99 and it will sell. GREAT TEXTING PHONE!

      Then the Xperia T? – The BOND PHONE WITH ICS???
      REALLY?? at Launch in 2012, they said “JB Coming soon”, in February 2013: they said “Coming very soon” …

      The only good phones they have is the S3 ( get it at Koodo for $550 or less) or the N4 ( get it at Fido for $430)

    • Failed Lineup or failed prices?

      The $37.50 plan id good but gets killed by the $5 for Voice Mail.

      Make it a $40 plan with VM included and I’m in. Data is just as expensive as the others. I wish they had
      1GB for $15
      2GB for $20
      5GB for $30

      NOT Charging for activation in 2013, goes without saying.

    • Daniel AJ

      @ Brad F It does not match sub-brand pricing at all. What my friend has with Koodo for $40.50+tx kosts $69.75+tx with Eastlink Wireless (according to the prices mentioned in this article, including a 10% Bundle Discount she would be eligible for) – plus national roaming charges when she travels outside NS & Southern PEI.

      Even without travelling it is not even close.

  • Nemis

    wow

    • EvanK

      Pretty standard Big 3 esque pricing, maybe a bit better if you bundle, but nothing too monumental.

  • Kersat

    I am locked in with Bell for another two years. I will have to see what they are like when mu contract is up and may switch at that time. the plans seem in line with what I have with Bell now.

  • SweetLink

    Much cheaper than Vidéotron!

  • Bla1ze

    Not bad. Some of those device prices are a little nutty if you’re a person who already has a device that is unlocked, Eastlink could be a pretty viable option. Plus, I’m sure they’ll be wrapping in some discounts for already existing Eastlink cable/phone users.

  • Rob Hyndman

    So roaming date is $1 per mb? That’s $1,000 per GB? TMobile in the US will give me unlimited data on a prepaid SIM for $70. Even Rogers charges $8 for 50mb. Still extortionate, but …

    • Bla1ze

      Rogers only recently introduced that plan. Likely when these plans were out, Eastlink was going off the Rogers preferred U.S. roaming option which was $10 for the $1/MB package.

    • RB

      Domestic roaming rates are 25 cents per minute, 25 cents per MB, 5 cents per text sent, fee text receive. The other roaming rates you see are US – which are best in class

    • Kyle Tuck

      RB – “The other roaming rates you see are US – which are best in class”

      The calling and texting are not even close to Wind’s roaming rates. I spend a lot of time in the US, and Wind’s rates are the best I’ve found.

      North American calling – $0.20/min
      Text – $0.15 ea
      Data – $1/MB

      For $5/month, you get preferred rates.

      Calling – $0.10/min
      Text – $0.05 ea
      Data – $0.50/MB

  • Evilpotato

    This is really not impressive, they could have shook up the hegemony but instead offer the exact same friggin rate plans

  • moolcool@gmail.com

    Data and Long Distance are much more than I was expecting.

  • Burnaby

    This is incredible. My 57$ Bell plan would be 36$ at the introductory rate or 45$ full price.

  • ile2010

    I’m not in the maritimes, so this doesn’t apply to me but those look like our standard non-awesome Big 3 plans.

  • DSF81

    This pricing (bundles) kills my current Rogers plan, but the lack of the iPhone is a deal breaker.

    Hopefully that changes by the time my Rogers contract has expired.

    • redfoster

      iPhones are not compatible with new wireless frequencies and Apple is choosing not to correct that until the iPhone 6. This will become a larger and larger issue as new frequencies are released and snapped up by various carriers.

  • KennyPowers

    I’m with Rogers and for $67 a month I have My10 Canada-wide, Unlimited text/picture/video messaging, 6GB of data, call waiting, caller id, and mini-voicemail. It’s actually two plans. I have the 6GB Super Plan which was a limited time offer and then I added the mini-voicemail for $7/month.

    To be honest I expected mroe from Eastlink. I was really looking forward to plans like Wind has to offer.

    Oh well, I guess I won’t be switching :(

  • Adam

    All in all, these aren’t bad, when compared to the national carriers.

    Their Roaming is much better than Bell/Telus/Rogers.

    Texts at $0.50, the big-3 charge on average about $0.75/message
    incoming free (big-3 charge for that)
    $1/MB (big-3 rate come in around $7-10/MB)

    Their plans all include CID, something people have been whining about for years.

    $52 can get you 200 mins, unlimited evening/weekend, SMS/MMS, CID, 50 mins long distance and 5GB data. That’s not a bad deal when compared to national carriers.

    About average when compared to regional carriers. Unless your a student, MTS charges $63.50 for 300 mins, Evenings/weekends and 3GB data, no CID.

    Sasktel’s data rates are rediculous, a similar plan would cost over $85

    tbaytel can get you 200 mins and 6GB data with CID/VM and evenings for $50

    So all in all, not bad. I’d expect Bell will offer promos in that area, as they’re the main competition for Eastlink.

  • Kid.Canada

    And how much is it to add voicemail?

    • Mr. Random

      5 dollars looks like

  • Keegan

    So I’m a little confused. They are releasing LTE? And if so is it VoLTE or do they have HSPA and LTE just both with AWS spectrum??

    • RB

      AWS LTE and AWS HSPA+

    • boib

      So does it mean that there is a Galaxy S3 capable of LTE AWS and HSPA AWS?
      Wind’s S3 doesn’t support LTE and Bell’s S3 doesn’t support HSPA AWS.
      So they might be into trouble.

  • cg

    Nevermind, with data pricing like that I don’t want eastlink in New Brunswick anyway.

  • Ian

    The coverage map on this is going to be awful, and you can bet they’re going to hit you hard for roaming as soon as you’re out of their area.
    What’s going to happen is they’ll have coverage in NS and PEI, but not New Brunswick, which you have to drive through (roaming) to get to PEI.

    No mention of porting your existing number over. I’m on the $65 plan with Bell (minus a 10% discount for owning my phone), but at least I have national coverage, Fab 10, etc.

    While this is a lot cheaper, for me it will only be a negotiating tactic, to leverage against for a bit better deal.

    • Daniel AJ

      Well, you can take a direct ferry from NS to PEI. :-) #nitpicking

    • A

      actually they do have coverage in NB, Sackville to the fixed link so there is no roaming to get to PEI…

  • Bubbles

    Eastlink dropped the ball with this introductory pricing. Expensive, confusing, quiescent. #backwardthinking

  • gaudette

    I am disappoint.

  • ns.dev

    I am also disappointed. They said they wanted to launch right, in my opinion they didn’t.

    Also Nexus 4 is over $150 more the the play store, are other carriers that way?

    • ns.dev

      $140, math fail, even more if it’s the 8gb.

  • lmy

    eastlink’s competitors with physical locations: 2 networks (bell and rogers), 5 companies, 8 brands. and almost all the same prices?

    president’s choice mobile
    petro canada mobile

    bell
    virgin

    telus
    koodo

    rogers
    fido

  • David N

    Every carrier that is selling the nexus 4 is selling for a profit. Google takes a hit every time someone buys a nexus off the play store. If LG directly sold the N4 I’m sure they would make it 450+ as well

    As for the pricing, its not bad for people who dont stray far from atlantic canada. If you look at any competing company they have nothing near that.

    Is it worth switching if you are grandfathered in a old plan? I doubt it but for new subscribers it definitely is a huge advantage. It will be interesting to see if the big 3 will try to match it

  • ns.dev

    Did the prices go up since I was last on here? I thought the base plans were 20/30, if so this is even worse than I thought.

  • Maxime

    You just seem to want everything for free. It’s cheaper than what the big 3 offer. Plus you can have discounts if you bundle or if you add family members.

  • Herp D

    I was expecting Mobilicity rates, I got Bell rates. Guess I won’t be switching.

  • thatshipislonggone

    tats not good at all. virgin offers the very same plans with much cheaper data.

    • boulderdash

      Except the phones you can get at virgin for this cheap rateplan-wise aren’t nearly as good

  • @PlazmicFlame

    Who exactly are they trying to compete with??

  • royf29

    @KennyPowers

    I have the exact same plan with Bell except that I have 500 LD minutes and pay only 60$. thats 252$ over 3 yrs that I save

  • Burger Expert

    Way to expensive for a start up with a new network. No savings versus big 3

  • kayn

    So much for EastLink offering competitive or sub-competition pricing. If I were to set things up the same way I am with Koodo right now instead of my monthly bill costing me $56.00 it would be $82.50. With differences that huge, and that’s before taxes, EastLink isn’t even worth considering.

  • o2qc418

    Overpriced … another big 4 like videotron…

  • Daniel AJ

    I hope we are seeing a soft launch approach: Starting with not very competitive prices to avoid a large onslaught of customers. This help running processes smoothly. On the downside, your first offer on the market is sets your image. If you want to be an aggressive competitor, you have to build that image from scratch. It can be changed later, but that’s more expensive.

    As for the discounts: I have seen similar approaches with bundling in other markets. It is tricky to explain that to a large audience and it deters customers who are not with you already. So you are limiting your adressable market.

  • Keith

    No Windows Phones, $5 voice mail, very litmited coverage, expensive data. WTF Eastlink–what a disappointment.

    • Keith

      No I’m doubting myself about how I read the pricing. On second look, it appears there could be significant savings when bringing your own phone and with bundling but I’m going to have to talk to Eastlink to be sure.

  • BW

    I don’t know what you are all complaining about. I can get my phone and my wife’s phone on a family plan for 100$ taxes in with anything and everything we need. We are currently paying around 160 for our two separate plans with Virgin and Rogers

    I’d say Eastlink’s pricing is pretty awesome

    • Franko

      The problem is pricing is not even close to Mobilicity/Wind Mobile pricing which is far more attractive as a new entrant’s price.

  • awsguy

    Eastlink is a bigger ripoff than bell. Pricing like bell but subsidy like wind.

  • S2556

    I was hoping Eastlink would come in and shake up some competition. Guess I was hoping for too much

  • Dot

    Unlimited Talk and Text plus Call display for $37.50/mo and 1GB of data for $20. As a bundled customer I get 20% off! Thats only $46 per month plus no contract and no activation fees…Not sure what all the complaints are about. The Big 3 are charging over $70 for that kind of value….

  • David N

    I’m with bell now and I get 200 daytime mins, 3 calling features, unlimited text, mms and 6gb of data for 67.30/mo plus tax

    To switch to el I would be loosing out. No incentive to switch

  • Jason

    Nah. These prices suck.

    To get what I have on Bell right now, it would cost another $5 per month and it would not actually be the same as I have 6 GB of data and not the 5 they only offer at the top end.

    Wanna blow my mind? come out swinging and have a $50 true unlimited everything plan and a $25 no data included true unlimited everything plan. That’s it, that’s all.

    The first to pull this off wins Canada.

    • Franko

      Mobilicity big guy….been doing it for ages now. And less than $50 too.

  • WAVERUNNER

    I think eastlink is not playing all there cards. They will wait to see what bell will but on the table and after all who is going to suffer the most.Eastlink is smart and they no how to play the game. I will bet on eastlink and timeing is everything for them,this summer we will see alot more eastlink customers.

  • Marcello Roachie

    Eastlink may be alright, if you are able to bundle and get the 20% off. (when you are outside of Eastlink towers, then it becomes Rogers)
    I am looking forward to when Wind comes to Halifax.
    I am with Koodo right now and really like the fact that I can take my phone anywhere in Canada and place ~ receive calls at no extra charge. Isn’t that the joy of having a cell phone?…not having to worry about roaming!
    It would be great if every cell company would adopt that concept.
    It seems like the best time for phones and plans is Sept and X-mas. Maybe Eastlink will get better during those times?

  • som1

    I am discouraged with the price of Eastlink’s data plan. I’m also discouraged that the easy tab requires you to have a monthly bill of at least $50.. so this means their cheapest package is not an option to people who don’t either have a phone that works on their network, or who want to purchase a new phone for the full price up front.

  • Franko

    WHat a joke. This is utterly disappointing and I won’t be switching until they change the prices or I’ll just go to Wind when they get out here….wish Mobilicity would come out here though.

  • TigerC

    Yea Eastlink……..make it worth while………I have Koodo with unlimited calling with Canada wide calling..text unlimited, voicemail, call display..for $60 + Tax

    never have to worry about Roaming in Canada with Canada wide plans :)