Did we nail it or what? Today Rogers announced the creation of chatr, the low-cost wireless brand we exclusively told you about last week. Created to serve what Rogers calls a “niche” market that is not currently served by its flagship and value brands Rogers Wireless and Fido, chatr will offer no contract voice and text plans as well as unlimited talk and text plans. Data is not a part of chatr’s game plan. According to Rogers, the big draw of chatr is not only its great plans, but that for the first time it gives urbanites who simply want to make calls and send texts affordable service from a “network they can trust.” We were pretty curious about the timing of this launch, what with WIND Mobile now being half a year old and Mobilicity having only been on the scene for six weeks, so we asked Rogers about it. Surprisingly, they were adamant that they could not care less what their competitors are doing or where it is they are operating. They were quick to point out that chatr has been one year in the making and that it actually designed to mimic business model that allowed MetroPCS to go from a small time carrier to the 5th largest in the United States. Sadly this was about as much extra information as we could squeeze out of Rogers. As much as they want to get chatr up and running today, they’ve still got a few more things to do behind the scenes before it launches by the end of summer. This means that they can’t get into specifics about when the network will launch. But as we have said before, thanks to our connects we know that Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Ottawa are a lock. Anyone planning to wait with baited breath?
Forgive us for keeping this really short, but there’s still a lot of information we don’t know. Over the last few days, we’ve been hearing a lot of Canadian birdies singing that Rogers Wireless is planning to launch a new wireless brand in Canada. To be known as Chatr, the carrier is said to have been created solely for the purpose of putting wireless upstarts WIND Mobile and Mobilicity out of business by offering affordable handsets and great rate plans. It is said that the training of employees will begin in earnest as of mid-July, and will be followed shortly with the official launch of the brand in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Ottawa. We do not have specific information about pricing at the moment as that is still being worked out by the high ups, but we do know for a fact that the handsets Chatr will offer include the Nokia 1661, Nokia 2680 slide, Samsung Gravity and the LG Sapphire. We’ll be back with more as we get it.
UPDATE: We’ve got an inventory screenshot after the jump.
Thanks, X.! More →
It looks like Nokia has a few tricks up its sleeve in the near future as a blurry photo reveals a number of unreleased and unannounced handsets. First is the N97 mini, which is easily distinguished from the full-sized N97 due to its lack of a d-pad on the keyboard. Next is a device that looks much like the 5800 XpressMusic, except the one pictured above (to the right of the N97 and N97 mini) has a chrome bezel. Could it be the rumored 5900XM? The white slider below the N97 mini has us baffled and yet completely uninterested. We’re also guessing that the black slider pictured to the next to the 5900XM is the same handset as the white slider, though the blur-factor makes it a bit tough to tell. Bottom line: 1) Expect a few new devices next month from Nokia World and 2) Nokia has a thing for chrome.