Canada and GSM Providers

Bell Canada GSM Network

For all those who read my blog and are unaware of the absolute archaic usage of technology in the vastlands of Canada, let me indulge you for a few moments. A few years ago, Rogers, of Rogers Communication launched the first Canadian GSM service. This was approximatey 3 years behind all other worldwide standards. The costs were exponentially large, and in addition to that, it was a complete monopoly on the market.

The leading competitors in the country are Telus, and Bell Canada. These providers only had service on CDMA or whatever it was called, in other words the archiac and non-standard. The above image demonstrates the irony and the ‘pride’ of ‘Canadian Technology.’ (cough)

To put this into context. I had a Rogers SIM card in Septermber of 2006 when I left for France. I arrived in the country, and my SIM card was defunct, and unable to connect to any networks in France, Germany or the UK. What a kill-joy, I thought! So I got myself a French Orange SIM card there, and I still retain the same number, aren’t I fab?! I come back to Canada and keep my mobile, refusing to go back ot Rogers, for their horrible Pay-As-You-Go, or ‘prepaid’ options.

Did you know that currently at the time it’s a minimum of 35¢ to send (or receive) an SMS. That comares to the approximately 0.05? charges that I was incuring with a prepaid account in France. And so then I went back to France, and then to Sweden and got a SIM card from Tele2/Comviq, and the charges for a prepaid were approx. 1kr, which is basicaly pennies. I come back to Canada with the Swedish SIM and incurr even higher charges, although I must note that I did have roaming and was able to at least connect to a network, albeit only one.

What is the reason for this rant? Bell Canada has gone GSM this week, and unveiled a new 3G network that I’m thinking of joining. I absolutly refuse to join Rogers again, due to major customer service issues, and their horribel monopoly. I never went Bell because I’ve always had a GSM phone. The delema remains, but I have to give props to Bell and Telus for stepping it up to generate some competition and move to crush Rogers.

Should I get a Bell SIM card, and test the waters? I think I may go to the mall tomorrow to enquire about their montly charges, if any, service charges (which may be high), and what it would cost to back out of the contract.

What say yee; bloggers?

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