Archive for Public Mobile

Public Mobile & Freedom Mobile Engage In Epic Trolling Battle On Twitter

Posted in Commentary with tags , on February 9, 2017 by itnerd

First, let me define what “trolling” is in the context of Twitter. From Wikipedia:

In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtrl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,[1] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[2] or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion,[3] often for the troll’s amusement.

Now, something that I have been tracking for the last little while is a trolling battle between Canadian cellular carriers Public Mobile and Freedom Mobile on Twitter. Here’s a couple of examples from today that I have captured:

troll3troll2troll1

As you can see, Freedom Mobile is at present taking shots at Public Mobile when the latter Tweets something. But last week, things were much different. Here’s an example:

trolling4

As you can see in this one, Freedom Mobile is being trolled by Public Mobile. It clearly annoyed the former enough for them to try and bring Public Mobile’s corporate parent Telus into the discussion. Though clearly that didn’t seem to calm things down. In case you’re wondering what they are talking about, Freedom Mobile recently had issues with US roaming that Public Mobile was all too happy to point out.

I question the wisdom of these two parties getting into a trolling battle as both parties might come off looking like they have a couple of teenagers living in mommy’s basement running their respective Twitter accounts not very professional in the process. While this is fun to watch, Public Mobile and Freedom Mobile may wish to simply cut it out and get back to running their respective operations. After all, I don’t choose my cell phone carrier based on their ability to troll their competition. I choose my cell phone carrier based on coverage, pricing, and customer service. On those fronts, I am not sure that any of that comes across in this exchange of insults and barbs on Twitter.

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Public Mobile Suffers Significant Outage

Posted in Commentary with tags , on June 10, 2014 by itnerd

If your smartphone is on Public Mobile, you likely have had issues with voice and data communications since the weekend. I’ve seen some noise on Twitter regarding this, but nothing official from the company until today:

Clearly this is a serious issue and there is no ETA as to when it will be fixed. That clearly isn’t sitting well with customers:

Now Telus did acquire Public Mobile and is in the process of migrating those customers over to the Telus network. But that faced some blowback as some were not happy that they had to spring for new phones. This isn’t going to help give those customers the warm fuzzies. Hopefully this gets resolved quickly and Telus is able to address the way these customers feel. In the meantime, I expect that other carriers are expecting that some of these customers will be giving them a call to switch.

Public Mobile Customers Told To Buy New Phones

Posted in Commentary with tags , on March 28, 2014 by itnerd

The Huffington Post is something that I don’t usually read. But one of my clients directed me to this story last night that got my attention. He sent me this story because he’s mad that Telus who are the new owners of Public Mobile are making him do this:

Public Mobile customers are being switched over to Telus’ 4G network, and their existing phones—meant to work on Public Mobile’s outdated CDMA system—won’t work on the Telus network.

On the upside, customers “will immediately benefit from national coverage, faster wireless data speeds, and better phones,” a Public Mobile spokesperson told HuffPost Canada in an email.

The company also said existing customers will get “special pricing” on new phones, but as some online commenters have noticed, some of those special prices on offer at Public Mobile are more expensive than the same models on offer at parent company Telus.

Okay. I can see why some Public Mobile customers (such as my client) might be ticked off.  And Industry Minister James Moore is also questioning this move. Here’s a quote from The Globe And Mail:

Industry Minister James Moore questioned the wisdom of Telus’s move.

“Seems like an odd business decision to alienate thousands of Public Mobile users as you absorb Public Mobile itself,” Mr. Moore told The Globe and Mail, while on a trade mission in Germany. “Ultimately it’s a business decision I’ll leave for Telus to explain.”

Not to mention this:

Some Public Mobile customers are lodging grievances with Canada’s Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services, an Ottawa-based ombuds office that resolves complaints about telecom companies. Due to privacy rules, however, Commissioner Howard Maker cannot discuss specific complaints or providers.

Now I will be the first to admit that this sort of news isn’t something that generates the warm fuzzies. And that those on low and fixed incomes will be hurt to some degree by this. But what exactly is Telus supposed to do here? Are they really supposed to support a technology (CDMA to be precise) that Telus themselves have abandoned? Also, Public Mobile was in trouble and bleeding cash. Had Telus not bought them and they went under, these customers would still be having to buy a new phone on a different carrier.

I should also note that Telus is trying to take the sting out of this by doing the following:

  • Giving Public Mobile customers one month of free service
  • Giving Public Mobile customers “significant discounts” on new cellphones
  • Public Mobile customers can also BYOD, assuming that the phone they bring works with the Telus network

And you can bet that competitors will also be trying to scoop up disgruntled Public Mobile customers. Thus Public Mobile customers will likely have options.

What do you think? Are Public Mobile Customers getting the shaft or is this issue being blown out of proportion? Post a comment and share your thoughts.

Telus To Acquire Public Mobile

Posted in Commentary with tags , on October 24, 2013 by itnerd

Hmmm…. This should prove interesting.

Public Mobile has been acquired by Telus according to a press release that is crossed the wires late yesterday:

“Following our review of strategic options for our organization, TELUS stood out as the company most committed to strong customer service and innovation. We are confident this is the right decision for our customers, our company, our employees and our investors,” said Alek Krstajic, Public Mobile CEO. “This transaction is the best option to guarantee continued quality service for our customers and to maximize the opportunity for our employees and investors.”

Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed. Proceeds will be used to satisfy Public Mobile’s debt and equity investors. Public Mobile employees will have the opportunity to review and secure roles with TELUS.

Public Mobile’s customers are going to migrated onto the Telus LTE network according to the press release. Plus they get access to phones such as the iPhone and nationwide roaming. So it’s a win for Public Mobile’s customers. It’s a win for Telus as they move from being the third of the big three to second. That’s bound to make some heads spin in the exec offices of Bell and Rogers.

So, with Mobilicity still in play, one wonders how that will end up seeing as Telus was thought be pursuing them. In the meantime, Telus is clearly going to be a telco to watch.

BREAKING: Public Mobile Bought

Posted in Commentary with tags on June 6, 2013 by itnerd

The fun continues with those upstart wireless carriers. Hot off the heels of Wind Mobile wanting to buy Mobilicity after Telus wasn’t allowed to buy them, comes the news that Public Mobile has been bought by private-equity firms Thomvest Seed Capital Inc., controlled by Toronto businessman Peter Thomson (who owns the Thompson media empire which includes Reuters) and Cartesian Capital of New York:

Public Mobile founder and CEO Alek Krstajic said their support will enable Public Mobile to expand its subscriber base from a well-funded position.

My thought is that this might be good for the Canadian wireless industry as a upstart company with deep pockets might be able to make a run at Rogers, Bell, and Telus. It will be interesting to see if that actually pans out. It will also be interesting to see how the big three respond to this.

 

CRTC To Undertake Ownership Review Of A Cell Carrier….. Again

Posted in Commentary with tags , on December 24, 2009 by itnerd

I guess they didn’t learn their lesson the first time around with Wind Mobile.

The CRTC in their infinite wisdom has decided to look at the ownership structure of Public Mobile. Who are Public Mobile? They are a new wireless company that hopes to bring a low cost wireless phone network offering $40 a month unlimited voice plans to Quebec and Ontario. Here’s the weird part, the major backer of this company is OMERS which is one of Canada’s largest pension plans. So there’s no logical reason why this should even come up as an issue. But the CRTC doesn’t see it that way:

At this time, and based on the information available, the Commission considers that the ownership structure of Public Mobile is of a complex nature and could hold precedential value for the industry and the general public. The Commission does not consider, however, that the evidentiary record would be improved by third-party submissions.

The CRTC really needs to get a clue here as it’s a safe bet that even if they find that Public Mobile doesn’t comply with their rules, the Canadian Government who are no fans of the CRTC will simply overturn it as they have made it clear that competition in the wireless market is a good thing. After all, they’ve done it once before so there’s no reason to believe that they won’t do it again.