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Wireless Networking Hardware

Canadians Pay Extra For Their Wireless Hardware 352

Todd Alivoy writes "Looks like Canadian wireless subscribers have been getting hosed when looking to get new hardware. This isn't the first time Canadian carriers have managed to charge far more than thier US conterparts for the same services. Anyone up there know why? It sure isn't the exchange rates." The linked article shows the price disparity for 14 phones available in both markets.
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Canadians Pay Extra For Their Wireless Hardware

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  • by Fred IV ( 587429 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:26AM (#7959755)

    Exactly. Also, just because a US consumer pays $99.00 for a phone doesn't mean that the phone costs $99.00. Usually the cell phone company pays a substaintial amount of the handset and tries to make their money back during the life of a contract.

    Heavy competition in the US following Number Portability has set the stage for a messy little price war between carriers trying to win business from each other...great for consumers, bad for the carriers

  • Economies of Scale (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Quirk ( 36086 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:34AM (#7959816) Homepage Journal
    I'm sure there are economies of scale that could account for the price differential.
  • Re:50lu710n (Score:5, Interesting)

    by InadequateCamel ( 515839 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:45AM (#7959885)
    IIRC you can't use phones purchased in OZ in North America unless you buy a ghastly expensive tri-band phone. I had to sell my mobile when I left the UK for that reason. And it is the service that is the major problem, as they are selling the phones.

    Ah, how I miss my Virgin Mobile service...buying top-up cards when I needed them rather than paying a monthly fee for minutes I may or not use, and not getting charged for the calls that you receive?! I re-emphasise "service"; what a concept :-)
  • Nonsense! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Schlopper ( 413780 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:47AM (#7959892)
    I don't know what the author is rambling on about.. I just bought a Fido phone (Siemens A56) with 3 months of service for $75 CDN.

    The monthly plan is $25/month = 100 weekday minutes plus 1000 weekend/evening minutes AND all Fido-to-Fido calls and SMS are free. That's $19 USD per month.. AND a free phone.

    And to top it all off, Fido subsidizes all their handsets AND you're never locked into any contract - it's all on a monthly basis. No complaints here when it comes to cell phone prices or cell phone plans in Canada..

    - One Happy Fido Customer.
  • by raceface ( 715858 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:48AM (#7959908)
    Actualy its not as bad as you make it out to be. Understand that as you increase the cell usage around a cell site you hit a saturation point. Once that poit is reached you need to turn on second, third ... frequency bands. Most of Calgary is nearly saturating F1, with the exception of down town. So say you have a city like Huston (which uses five bands). If the last band is only used marginaly, the cost is much more than using the full capacity of all five bands.
    teh population density in most Canadian cities is almost perfect as to get away with using only one band. If the density were to increse slightly, F2 would have to be installed in more places and costs would go up alot.
  • Re:Simple (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:51AM (#7959923)
    Coverage is really good in Canada, far better than what it is in the US. I was once 100 km away from the nearest city (100,000 people) and I still had a signal. The nearest town (1000 people) was about 10 km away.
  • by agwis ( 690872 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @01:05AM (#7960006)
    Long term customers of Rogers get their cell phones for free.

    I've been with them for almost 10 years, and I only paid for my first phone, which was one of those old Motorola bag phones...remember them? :)

    About every 2 years I've been offered a choice of a new phone for no charge, and they've always given me a good selection to choose from. My latest is the Nokia 3595 which I received about 6 months ago...and it's a great phone.

    I suspect that the article is right when it comes to new customers signing up, or customers that only want to go on pay as you go plans. In those situations Rogers can't be sure that they will come ahead by giving you the phone for free. But if you're a long term customer they certainly look after you and make sure that you always have a fairly modern phone.

    I don't know if US carriers do the same but it seems reasonable to me. Why give phones away if you haven't got some assurance that your customers will stick around?

    I can't complain about the rates either although I don't know what the US carriers rates are to compare with. I used to have the Digital 1 plan when I did a lot of travelling (both in the US and Canada) and long distance, international roaming charges, unlimited text messaging, and 1000 daytime minutes (evenings and weekends unlimited) cost me about $100 a month. The amount of time I used the phone combined with the fact that most of my calls were always long distance sure seemed like a good deal to me.

    I've always felt I've got a fair shake up here.

  • Rogers (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @01:40AM (#7960176)

    The real reason is because Rogers is a load of scum sucking assholes. They outright lie to you, and they'll get away with whatever they can.

    There's a reason nearly all the examples are Rogers.

  • Re:50lu710n (Score:3, Interesting)

    by chrisbolt ( 11273 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @01:57AM (#7960270) Homepage
    Most GSM phones can be unlocked for $25-$50 [].
  • by wing03 ( 654457 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @02:40AM (#7960459)
    Something that bugs the crap out of me is the cell phone companies in Canada don't reward you for being a long time customer. I assume it's the same state side.

    Sign up for a 1 or 2 year plan, get a free phone. Once that 1 or 2 years are up, they only offer you either 3 months unlimited calling or a $75 CAD credit towards a new phone at practically full rate.

    If you didn't care and cancelled your service, you could go ahead and get that new phone with a new number.

    But it's annoying as hell to get someone else's old number and all their calls to you for the next six months.

    My contract came up and I love my Nokia 6160. Only complaint is the battery life is shorte. I asked if they could give me the $75 credit towards a new battery, they told me no. Only a new phone would work.

    Needless to say, I went with the upgrade to a 6360 to maintain compatability with most of my accessories.

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