Early June the CRTC announced that their new Wireless Code would officially be implemented on December 2nd. This country-wide initiative set in place a few major steps that the carriers will need to adhere to, specifically when it concerns contract periods, device unlocking, and cancelation terms.
Honing in on wireless contracts, most Canadians have been frustrated with the device subsidy pricing and the long 3-year terms. The CRTC noted that “The Commission considers it appropriate to limit the maximum number of months over which the early cancellation fee must be reduced to 24 months, so that Canadians will be able to cancel a contract at no cost to them after two years or less. The Commission considers that this will minimize the costs of switching WSPs for consumers, benefit consumers, and ultimately result in a more dynamic marketplace.”
While some carriers have been offering 2-year contracts, or some sort of Tab system for years, most will inevitably shift towards this structure in the coming weeks. According to an internal doc we received it reveals that Bell will start implementing new rate plans, plus new hardware pricing, that’s designed for two year contract periods. This will go into place on Wednesday, July 17th. Here’s what we currently know:
“Beginning July 17th, 2013, Bell will replace all existing Consumer rate plans with a new line-up designed for 2 year contracts to offer greater choice and flexibility. Also as of July 17, 2013, hardware pricing will be determined by the plan the customer selects. There will be three key categories of rate plans offering different values of minutes and data usage. These new plans will be available on a 30 day and 2-year terms.” The rate plan categories will be Voice; Voice and Data Lite; and Voice and Data Plus.
We’re still gaining additional info on the specifics of the new 2-year hardware pricing structure. What we’re hearing is that the prices will slightly increase from the 3-year pricing, but now on a 2-year. For example, the iPhone 5 will be around $199.95 and the Galaxy S4 will be $249.95. The entry-level device will most likely stay the same, but the higher end flagship device will increase.
The details are still flowing in, so we’ll update the post as we receive more info.