TELUS has put into motion its gambit for the future business of the Canadian wireless consumer today, diverging from its previous three-year promotional model to focus on predictably-priced talk and text plans onto which customers add just a certain allotment of shareable data.
As we explained in our piece last week, most individual customers signing a new contract with TELUS today will be paying more than if they signed up yesterday, but in return will have a fully-paid phone in two years and will not be charged a cancellation fee when leaving the company.
Smartphones are broken up into two categories, Regular and Lite, with a monthly upfront cost of $55 and $45 respectively for unlimited nationwide talk, text, voicemail and call display. Shareable data is then accessible for between $15 and $100 per month depending on your bucket requirements, and up to four additional TELUS devices, such as contracted smartphones, un-contracted smartphones, your own device, an internet stick or a tablet, can be added to the account for a charge between $10 and $55.
Update: The prices for the largest data buckets — 3, 6 and 10GB — have actually dropped since these plans were announced two weeks ago. Initially, the price was $60, $100 and $150 respectively, but have dropped to $50, $75 and $100. This brings the monthly cost of an iPhone 5 or Galaxy S4 user on a 6GB plan down from $155 to $130.
At its core, TELUS’ SharePlus plans are extremely accessible — they’re just pricey. Additional data usage is charged at $5c/MB, which works out to a ridiculous $50/GB. Overage limits are set to 10GB monthly, but by then you’d have paid $500 for the privilege.
As for the phones themselves, most devices have received slight bumps in price, but not nearly as much as we first feared. TELUS understands that Canadians love their device subsidies, and are not planning to mess with a good thing. The Galaxy S4, for example, remains steady at $229 on a 2-year plan, while the iPhone 5 sits at $199 for the 16GB model and $399 for the 64GB version. The HTC One costs $179, the same as the Galaxy Note II, while the BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 cost $129 and $229 respectively. No term prices for the phones have not risen at all.
In the Smartphone Lite category, which costs $10 less per month than the Smartphone category, we have the Nexus 4 at $29 on a 2-year plan, while the iPhone 4, Nokia Lumia 620, Samsung Galaxy Ace II X, and Samsung ATIV S (!!) are free on a 2-year term.
Update #2: TELUS has also tweaked its entry-level plans, adding a TELUS Lite tier (not to be confused with its SharePlus Lite phone tier, which gives users to option to eschew unlimited nationwide calling for more reasonably-priced data options. For example, with the TELUS Lite 55 plan, users get 300 daytime minutes, unlimited text, voicemail, call display and 500MB of data for $55. Adding another 500MB (for a total of 1GB) brings you to $80, while hitting 4GB of data ups the total to $135. So, clearly these plans don’t scale too well, but the cost to entry is indeed lower than before.
Check out all the details at TELUS.