It was just last week that Apple announced they were opening up an Apple Store in Winnipeg. Today they have announced their 13th location in Vancouver at the Oakridge Centre on Saturday, September 26 at 9:30 a.m. PDT. This location will join other locations in Mississauga, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Laval and Montreal.
As usual you can test out any Apple products and get yourself a new iPod, iPhone 3GS, MacBook etc…the first 1,000 visitors will be given a free Apple t-shirt. (more…)
Last week we saw a study that showed 90% of people support the upcoming Ontario ban of using hand-held devices while driving, otherwise known as Bill 118 the “Countering Distracted Driving and Promoting Green Transportation Act”.
Today is a new day… and a new day means a new study. RBC Insurance joins the game this time and conducted a study between April 13th and April 17th, 2009 of 876 Ontario drivers. The results found that 58% of Ontario drivers agree that hands-free devices are just as dangerous as hand-held devices and should be included in the new law. 69% believe the Ontario government should also ban drivers from eating while they drive.
- 95% of Ontario drivers agree that driving while talking on a hand-held cell phone is dangerous
- 71% strongly support the proposed law
- 85% of wireless device owners without a hands-free device claim they will abide by the new law
- 57% of drivers between the ages of 18-34 strongly support the legislation
- 72% of drivers between the ages of 35-54 strongly support the legislation
- 83% of drivers over the age of 55 strongly support the legislation.
- 48% will wait until they reach their destination before they e-mail, text or make a call
- 15% indicated that they will continue to use their hand-held device while driving despite the new law
François Boulanger, head, home and auto, RBC General Insurance Company said “It’s clear that many drivers are aware of the risks and are willing to make changes to obey the new law. However, it’s important to remember that all distractions are dangerous and alternatives such as using a headset, earpiece or voice activated device should be used with caution as well.”
When the bill was passed back in April it was informed that if you’re caught using your hand-held it will cost you $500 and if you put others in danger you could be fined up to $1,000, lose six demerit points, have your driver’s licence suspended and possibly serve jail time!
Rogers announced today a simplified billing model that will take effect October 5th, 2009. We’ll see the dreaded System Access Fee (SAF) removed and replaced with a new “Government Regulatory Recovery Fee”. This applies to Rogers brand only and does not effect exhisting customers. Rogers says customers “will have the option of keeping their current plan or migrating to one of the new “no-SAF” plans”.
Rogers has stated that the “The Government Regulatory Recovery Fee is applied per line to help fund fees, costs and other amounts related to federal, provincial and/or municipal mandates, programs and requirements such as provincial 911 fees, spectrum acquisition, licensing charges, and contribution charges to help subsidize telephone service in rural and remote areas.”
We were sent a link from of a post by forum member “MacD” of “TheMobileNinjas“. This has a link to the internal document of why these changes are taking place. The doc titled “Q3 2009 Wireless Amendment Pricing and Structure” says the reason Rogers is making these changes are “As part of our commitment to our customers, Rogers is striving to deliver a simplified billing model in a manner consistent with leading wireless carriers in the US and with other industries in Canada by breaking out for customers what they pay for goods or services versus what they pay to help fund fees, costs and other amounts related to government mandates, programs and requirements. Rogers has also added more value into its plans to respond to our customers’ preferences.”
As we notes earlier, the “The Government Regulatory Recovery Fee ranges from between $2.52 and $3.49/line/month, depending on whether provincial 911 fees are applicable.” Also as goodwill, Rogers is throwing in free of charge Call Forwarding ($3 value), WhoCalled ($3 value) and Call Manager ($5 value).
But what we were not informed about… and according to the internal document is “The Monthly Service Fee has increased by $5/line on all plans” .
So even though the $6.95 SAF is history and for some the 911 fees are gone, they are replaced by a $5 a month higher Monthly Service Fee, plus the “Government Regulatory Recovery Fee”. So depending on where you live it could be costing you a bit more on a monthly basis.
Metro News launched their mobile app a short while ago. It’s available for the BlackBerry and iPhone and gives you all the info you need to keep up to date. It’s available for the Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver papers.
While riding the subway in Toronto you’ll notice a huge advertising campaign going to promote the new mobile app. Once of the best tag lines I’ve seen so far is “Better Crack for your CrackBerry”.
Rogers has been putting customer service as a key priority over the past few months and it might finally be paying off for some customers.
We’ve been forwarded some upcoming changes to their customer billings. Effective October 5th, 2009 the most beneficial is the exit of the System Access Fee! We are finding out more about this but here is what we can let you know so far is that this being replaces with a “Government Regulatory Recovery Fee” that varies in price depending where you live.
Rogers says that the “The Government Regulatory Recovery Fee is applied per line to help fund fees, costs and other amounts related to federal, provincial and/or municipal mandates, programs and requirements such as provincial 911 fees, spectrum acquisition, licensing charges, and contribution charges to help subsidize telephone service in rural and remote areas.”
We have been told that the “The Government Regulatory Recovery Fee ranges from between $2.52 and $3.49/line/month, depending on whether provincial 911 fees are applicable.”
Here is more of that we’ve been forwarded and some changes you can expect: (more…)
Days before Globalive (parent company for WIND Mobile) goes in front of the CRTC to defend their foreign ownership, Globalive Chairman Tony Lacavera seems enthusiastic as always and simply wants to to offer Canadians another choice when it comes to wireless in Canada. He stated in our interview today that he wants to “put that question around the control and ownership of Globalive to rest once and for all”.
Even on his Twitter page today, Lacavera states “Big week ahead! Who’s ready for a lil bit of wireless competition?!!”. On September 23rd and 24th in Gatineau, Quebec, Globalive will be presenting and defending themselves on how their organization is structured.
It’s absolutely no secret that during the Wireless Spectrum Auction last year Globalive invested $442 million. A portion of these funds were from Eygptian based wireless giant Orascom, they operate Wind Telecomunicazioni SpA in Italy and Greece and have 17 million mobile subscribers. This is one of the reasons Globalive Wireless changed to WIND.
To enter the Canadian wireless space a foreign investor can only hold 20% voting shares. Way back in March the CRTC actually issued Globalive their licenses. Lacavera said “We worked closely with Industry Canada throughout their detailed review and are pleased to be moving forward with this exciting project. Having been issued our licenses, we are one huge step closer to improving the wireless experience for Canadians by giving them a wireless company that listens, responds and collaborates with its customers. Today we are thrilled to welcome Canadians to a long-awaited brand new day in the Canadian wireless market.”
However, TELUS did’t like this news and requested the CRTC look into their organization. Michael Hennessy, VP of wireless, broadband and content policy for Telus said “In Telus’s view, a more fulsome and transparent review is required in order to ensure that all similarly situated carriers are being treated equally and fairly”.
In response Globalive said “The Government of Canada has ruled that we are fully compliant with the wireless entry requirements and we are confident that the CRTC will make the same ruling. Game-playing by the incumbents will only serve to delay our investment into the Canadian economy, the creation of new jobs and ultimately, Canadian’s already overdue access to a new competitive offering.”
However, this weekend the Globe had a great article titled “The minnow in the shark tank” where it gives a breakdown of the history of Globalive and the intentions of Wind Mobile. However, a quote stuck out in my mind that takes it to another level and is uncalled for:
“For now, the incumbents are portraying Mr. Lacavera and his holding firm, AAL Telecom Holdings Inc., as a bit player in a power play by Mr. Sawiris. “AAL is a minnow swimming with a whale. Its principal shareholder, Mr. Lacavera, is a comparatively youthful 35 years old and has no track record in the wireless industry,” Telus said in a filing to the CRTC last month.”
The CRTC Court hearing will be streamed live and we will have full coverage. One must remember and hopefully will be a reminder over the next few days the real reason these new players are even of topic today:
Jim Prentice said about the governments intentions of the Wireless Spectrum auction “Our government’s intentions are clear: to achieve lower prices, better service and more choice for consumers and business. We believe in relying on market forces to the maximum extent feasible because competition benefits consumers, and consumers benefit most when markets are as competitive as they can be.”
Toronto-based Polar Mobile has launched over 50 apps since they started in February 2008. They power some big mobile apps for brands like TIME Magazine, Business Week, CNNMoney, Maclean’s and Hockey News and have usrt crossed the 1 million user mark!
Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile said “Media applications drive repeat value to consumers, advertisers and publishers by consistently delivering new content. Contrary to published reports suggesting usage rapidly declines soon after an application is downloaded, Polar Mobile sees usage of our applications increasing over time. Polar Mobile applications are engaging and easy to use, so consumers visit them every day and our customers gain an important brand- and community-building tool on a take-everywhere device.”
Even with the CRTC foreign ownership hearings coming up this week, WIND Mobile continues to plow ahead with their plans to become a new wireless player in Canada.
They announced their new brand about 6 weeks ago and at that time declared to hire 300 customer service positions immediately and a whopping 2,000 within 12 months. We first saw an ad in the paper about WIND hiring shortly after. The tag line stated: “Hey people. We’re hiring people who treat people like people.”
Today they have announced that the City of Peterborough will be the location for their call centre. The location will be at 364 Water Street and employ 40 and ramp up to 200 over the next year. It’s good to know that a Canadian wireless company will have their call centre in Canada. Mayor Paul Ayotte stated “We are proud to welcome WIND Mobile to the City of Peterborough. Given the current economic climate, the announcement of the creation of these new jobs in Peterborough is very welcome news.” (more…)
It was only a few days ago that we saw a number of dramatic price increases over at Bell. Well, we have some more for you today. If you’re looking to get yourself the Palm Treo Pro you should get ready to dish out some extra dough as this has been increased to $229.95 from the original launch price of $99.95 back in February.
More increases have surfaced as well: HTC Touch Diamond now $199.95 on a 3-year contract from $49.95. Is there any sanity left? Even the HTC Touch Dual is a whopping $99.95, this is the same price as when it launched 1-year ago. Wait… how about the HTC Touch, one of the first HTC devices on Bell way back in January 2008… can be yours now for $79.95 on a 3-year contract.
With all these price increases happening one can only dream of their new HSPA network. (more…)