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GSMA updates launch dates: Bell, DAVE, WIND & SaskTel

bell-networkIt was only a couple weeks ago that the GSMA confirmed a September launch for TELUS‘ new HSPA network, then miraculously changed to October a couple days later.

With our Canadian wireless space changing so rapidly these days: new network launches, new carriers coming in, potential mergers and rate plans dropping… Canada is not shy of drama. However, checking out the GSMA website again today they show some updates (thanks simcity) when it comes to the carriers network launch date:

Bell Mobility Inc.: Planned September 2009
Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises Wireless Inc. (DAVE): Planned January 2010
Globalive Wireless LP (WIND Mobile): Planned November 2009
Sasktel Mobility-Cellular/PCS: Planned December 2009
TELUS Communications: Planned October 2009

Even with these dates above, things can happen and they can change just as fast as we saw the TELUS date move. There are some things we do know when it comes to possible device/product launches (there are a few other devices/products we have omitted as we are waiting on confirmation):

Bell Mobility:
BlackBerry Bold 9700, Blackberry Bold 9000, Apple iPhone, Nokia N97, Nokia 2730, Nokia 6350, LG Xenon, Samsung T746, Novatel HSPA Turbo Stick.

DAVE Wirleless (Name will change at launch):
Back in June we reported that Dave will offer BlackBerry devices and also handsets running Google’s Android platform”.In addition, on June 4th they announced “DAVE Wireless customers will be able to roam on T-Mobile USA’s growing 3G network and on T-Mobile USA’s GSM network throughout the United States. T-Mobile USA customers will be able to roam on DAVE Wireless’ UMTS network”

TELUS Mobility:
Apple iPhone, BlackBerry Bold 9700, HTC Hero, LG BL40, LG GB 255, Nokia E71

Globalive (WIND Mobile):
WIND Mobile recently announced on their site that “We will not have the iPhone at launch”, but did reveal through another post that “We will allow unlocked handsets onto our network… we are in discussions to source smart-phones from a number of vendors (including Android); and we are talking to both “brandname” manufacturers as well as some new manufacturers.”

We’ll have more info shortly… ever second that passes gets another second closer to all this great competition!

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Slideshow of Industry Canada’s axed “Rate Plan Calculator”

cellphone-calcLast week our hard working Canadian government was given a great deal of slack for dropping the proposed “Which Cell Plan? A calculator” initiative. This was the online tool that would have helped customers possibly choose the right carrier and the right cellphone plan… hopefully saving us some money in the long run.

However, the idea was squashed due to “technical reasons”. But information eventually leaked out that this was not the real reason. Apparently after a number of successful focus groups (valued at $60,000 out of tax payers pockets) the carriers expressed extreme interest and believed the “calculator” would reduce their profits and promote lower-cost plans. Eventually the project was shelved.

Then we saw the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) step up and say it wasn’t anything to do with the carriers, but the tool itself. Bernard Lord, President & CEO of the CWTA said the calculator was “flawed since it did not take into account data plans, bundle discounts and hardware subsidies offered by carriers”… in addition, “the minister made the right decision, to not continue to dump good taxpayer money into a tool that was ineffective”.

Flawed and ineffective. Shelved due to “technical limitations”. We actually believe the government made the right move. We were sent 10 slides from the proposed “Which Cell Plan? A calculator”, this was somehow put online (probably from the Industry Minister’s office to defend their point of view) and shows us what they built and how it would operate.

Industry Canada gives and official description of the calculator as “an interactive tool to help you better understand the Canadian cellphone marketplace… The calculator sill suggest examples of Canadian personal cell plans which may match your needs. It has information on monthly, prepaid, network and share plans.”

Bernard Lord was correct – no data plans. This would have been a nightmare if it actually launched. More Canadians are transitioning towards Smartphones and this, if actually launched, would have been shelved within the first month as it was poorly thought out.

Actually, it would have been outdated from the gate. With plans changing so much, almost day one, the description goes into more detail by saying “Prices and costs are approximate and plans are examples of what can be found in the marketplace – not every plan may be included. The very least expensive plan may not always be the best for you”. Even under the Terms and Conditions” section Industry Canada knows it’s somewhat a lost cause as they state “Service plans offered by cellphone providers are constantly changing. We update pricing and service plan information periodically”. Basically saying, take your valuable time and enter your info here but it may not be right… check back later.

Take a peek at the slide show, you’ll see how you can enter your info from how many minutes you use, to your location, what kind of user you are, long distance usage, text messaging usage etc… In the example it shows the person who put in all the info was given a profile summary and the Rate Plan Calculator was going to display the “Total offers being Calculated: 37512″… only to eventually display all the rate plans stacked on top of each other in a confusing manner. Something we simply do not need to our frustration. Check it out here

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TELUS BlackBerry Curve 8530i texting issue fixed by OS version 4.6.1.294

4.6.1.294If you bought the TELUS BlackBerry Curve 8350i when it first launched you might have been a bit frustrated with the text messaging as is was unable to see who the sender was when incoming messages arrived.

However, Piper975 in our forums has informed us that an update (OS version 4.6.1.294) has been made available in the download manager that fixes the issue. He states “it does fix the texting issue and you now know who the texts are from and can reply to them”

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Videos of Unreleased Palm webOS 1.2 in action!

Palm quickly shutdown the ability to install webOS version 1.2 yesterday as it was accidentally leaked online. Those who did have it installed have graciously put the new OS online in a video format for all to see. Some nice improvements are coming down the pipe!

- New browser copy and paste functions which allopws you to select both text and graphics.
- Copying and saving the URL
- Improved zoom on text-entry fields.
- Email searching
- LED notifications when a new message arrives

Via: EngadgetMobile & PreCentral

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Air Canada launches “Web Signals” for BlackBerry

ac-web-pass-imageComing off the successful launch of their iPhone app, Air Canada announced a new service that will be great for those with a BlackBerry. The service is called “Web Signals Service” and allows BlackBerry users to receive Air Canada information (electronic boarding pass and flight details) straight on their home screen.

Once you download the app (visit here) you’ll see a Web Signals logo appear. The logo will change colour when you have an incoming message – so this means instant updates. So what could get better than skipping past those nasty lineups at the airport? Sounds pretty easy and the best news is that the app combines web check-in with an electronic boarding pass.

If you travel a great deal and have a Berry this will save you some time. Just make sure you have everything you need to pass through Canada Customs!

Via: BBCool & InsideBlackBerry

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Palm WebOS 1.2 leaked, ability to add credit card info ensures paid apps coming

new-webosWe’ve just past the 1-week mark with the availability of the Palm Pre in Canada and there’s been lot’s of feedback from users regarding the build quality, battery life, price points and the ease of use when running multiple applications at the same time.

Even the App Catalog started off for us just shy of 30 apps and it’s now up to a staggering 50 apps (still in beta). Most conversations have been about the simplicity of their new webOS platform. Real time updates straight from the cloud.

Good news as there seems to be updates brewing over at Palm. A couple of forum members from PreCentral applied the webOS Doctor to reset their Sprint device and found out that it installed version webOS 1.2. A couple of new features were revealed, specifically the ability to enter your credit card and billing info into the App Catalog… hopes that we’ll eventually paid apps. In addition, more changes for the browser as a it shows a “Select All” option, changes in GPS location services and the data usage can be turned on and off. (more…)

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Facebook Mobile used by 65 million worldwide

facebook-3.0Facebook recently launch Facebook for iPhone 3.0 and people have been very pleased with the new features. Canadians are one of the countries that are addicted to using Facebook, apparently the mobile version now has a user base of over 65 million people. Facebook noted on their blog that it was only 8 months ago they had only 20 million users.

Facebook Mobile was originally launched in 2006 and since then they “have translated the mobile site into other languages, launched Facebook SMS and deployed a wide range of applications for hundreds of mobile handsets, including Facebook for Blackberry, Facebook for iPhone and Facebook for Nokia.”

I would guess their next milestone is to get to 100 million, then a billion, then control the Social world… or until Twitter takes over. (more…)

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Sony Ericsson’s new brand is “make. believe”?

make.beliveOver in the UK Sony Ericsson has jumped on the “make. believe” tag line from parent company Sony. They have also have changed from the vibrant green to a shimmery blue. This is in hopes to reshape their brand and continue to focus on mobile entertainment, especially with the recent announcement of key devices.

I’m confident we will eventually have the tag line represented in Canada along with the new lineup such as the XPERIA X2 (rumoured to be launching with Rogers in Q1 2010). Other devices that are launching in Europe by the end of the month (hopefully in Canada soon also) are the Yari, Aino and Satio. Curious what the “make. believe” is all about, well an ad campaign says “what if dreams could become reality? …We’re here to make it happen. Make.believe”.

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BlackBerry deals at Future Shop

fs-blackberry-dealsWe always like to spot a good deal when we see one. Over at Future Shop they have dropped the price of some BlackBerry devices. So if you in the market you might want to check out these deals. The only downside is that you have to sign a 3-year contract and also get a Voice and Data plan for $45 per month.

They have a BlackBerry Storm for $99.99 and slamming a gift card for $75. Pretty good price for the Storm (hopefully cleaning house for the Storm 2). The BlackBerry 8900 with Rogers is going for $149.99 and finally if you’re want the tour 9630 from Bell it can be yours for $179.99 and they are throwing in a $50 gift card.

As alwyas, before you sign make sure you read the all fine print.

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