Rogers Announces “Unlimited” Data Plan…. Expect Telus And Bell To Respond Quickly

Mark June 13th in your calendars because Rogers has put out a press release that announces new plans that are different by Canadian standards:

Rogers Communications announced today it will introduce unlimited data plans with no overage charges on Canada’s most trusted, national network. The new plans will be available on the Rogers brand starting tomorrow. Later this summer, Rogers will also launch new financing options giving customers more affordable smartphone and device opportunities.

Rogers Infinite plans with unlimited wireless data will start at $75 for 10GB of high speed data for every line on our fastest LTE network. Beyond this, customers can use unlimited data at reduced speeds which still allows simple browsing, engaging in social media, streaming video, and sending email and text messages. If customers want more high speed data, they can purchase a Speed Pass for $15 for 3GB. Customers can pool their data with family and friends, eliminating the need to monitor data use.

The word “unlimited” sounds good. But in reality this isn’t really a truly unlimited data plan. You’re basically getting a 10GB cap for $75 a month and if you go over that you get throttled unless you pay Rogers more money. US telcos have had similar schemes for some time now. Still this is way different than what Canadian consumers have been getting up until now.

Now the Rogers announcement should trigger similar announcements from Bell and Telus as the so called “big 3” tend to be in lockstep with each other rather than truly competing against each other. Thus any customer who is with the “big 3” will likely benefit from this. I expect to see that response come quickly. As in the next day or two.

The question is why is this sudden shift from Rogers happening? The press release may offer up a hint on that front:

“Canadians want worry-free wireless and these new plans will give our customers peace of mind so they can use as much data as they want,” said Joe Natale, President and Chief Executive Officer. “This is about putting our customers first, and helping them get the most out of their wireless services. These plans represent another critical step forward in our commitment to creating the best experience for our customers.”

It suggests that Rogers has heard loud and clear that the way they currently do business sucks. And seeing as Rogers CEO Joe Natale has a reputation for having a high focus on customer service and the customer experience, that makes sense. But I think that there’s more to it than that. There’s a federal election coming in October and the New Democratic Party has put out a policy statement saying if they form the next government, they would lower the prices of wireless and Internet service for Canadians. The Liberal party has signaled something similar but not as far reaching. So could this simply be a preemptive strike to ward that off? Perhaps. We’ll have to watch and see as I am sure that the truth will eventually come to light.

In any event, I would say that once these plans become available, and if you are not under a contract of some sort with whichever of the “big 3” telcos that you do business with, and you are paying something in the area $75 a month, you should switch to these sorts of plans. Because these are closer to the sorts of data plans that Canadians should have had a long time ago. But the “big 3” can and should do better than this. Thus they still need to have their feet held to the fire to ensure that Canadians get the data plans that have been available in the rest of the world for many, many years now. Which means that Canadian wireless consumers still need to keep the pressure up.

UPDATE: Rogers has updated their website with Infinite plan pricing:

  • $75 for 10GB
  • $95 for 20GB
  • $125 for 50GB

New and existing customers are eligible for this pricing.

As for the throttling part of this, here’s what Rogers says on that front:

Rogers Infinite data plans include 10GB, 20GB or 50GB of data at max speed on the Rogers network, extended coverage areas within Canada, and Roam Like Home destinations (see rogers.com/roamlikehome). You will continue to have access to data services with no overage beyond the max speed allotment at a reduced speed of up to 256 kilobits per second (for both upload and download) until the end of your current billing cycle. Applications such as email, web browsing, apps, and audio/video streaming will continue to function at a reduced speed which will likely impact your experience. We will send you a text message notifying you when you have used 90% and 100% of the max speed allotment included in your plan with the option to purchase a Speed Pass to add more max speed data to your plan. In all cases, usage is subject to the Rogers Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy

So you’ll get your email, but Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will suck.

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4 Responses to “Rogers Announces “Unlimited” Data Plan…. Expect Telus And Bell To Respond Quickly”

  1. […] today, Rogers announced their Infinite wireless plans which have understandably gotten a lot of attention. But there was one other detail that might have […]

  2. […] today Rogers served up a 10GB for $75 “unlimited” plan that made news because of the fact that Canadian wireless consumers had never seen a plan like […]

  3. […] Rogers came up with a $75 “unlimited” plan (as it throttles you after you burn through the […]

  4. […] off the heels of serving up this plan which was a direct result to what Rogers surprisingly came out with a couple of days ago, TELUS has served up another promo […]

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