Do you remember back in February how we reported that the HTC Scorpion, an Android 2.2 device powered by a 1.5GHz, was headed for Sprint on accounts of of its WiMAX radio? Well apparently that information wasn’t entirely correct. According to conflipper, a fairly well known member of the dev community, the Scorpion is actually headed to Verizon. One thing that does strike us as very odd is that the same source also said that the Scorpion is headed to Bell. The thing is, Bell is unlikely to want anything to do with CDMA devices now that it has has its 21Mbps HSPA+ network up and running. If one assumes that previous rumors were wrong and that the Scorpion is indeed meant for Verizon, could it be that it is a dual-mode device which will also work on HSDPA carriers such as Bell?
Erase any doubts you might have had about Bell releasing the HTC Legend, because we’ve just been tipped off by one of our Bell connects that a launch party will take place in Montréal on the 27th of May. Whether or not the party coincides with the specific launch date is a matter for debate (we’re hearing the first week of June, for what it’s worth), but we’re just satisfying knowing with absolute certainly that yet another sexy smartphone is making its way to Canada.
One would assume that if any Canadian carrier were to carry the HTC Legend it would be TELUS — on the grounds that it carries the Hero — however, word on the web is that the sexy slab of aluminum is Bell bound. Details are scarce, but we’re hearing grumblings that the Legend will be making its debut in either May or June, and that it will pick up where the Palm Pre left off; becoming Bell’s flagship, exclusive device. At the moment, Bell’s current Android line-up consists solely of the Samsung Galaxy, although it will be launching the Motorola DEXT in the near future. Sound off Canadian frandz…who wants a Legend? More →
Thursday turned out to be a nightmarish day for internet junkies across Canada, as the CRTC ruled that both Bell can proceed with plans to charge broadband customers per gigabyte of data consumed. Known as usage-based billing, the CRTC granted Bell permission to go ahead with the changes on the condition that it does not charge usage-based rates to wholesalers until all of its retail customers are switched over to usage-based plans. Bell did away with uncapped data allotments in 2006 and the vast majority of its retail customers are presently on usage-based plans. If and when all consumers are on the new plans, Bell will be able and willing to impose a cap of 2GB, 20GB and 60GB on its 512Kbps, 2 Mbps and 5Mbps services. Anyone who exceeds the cap will have to pay $1.12 per GB up to a maximum of $22.50. Exceed 300GB and pay an additional $0.75 per GB. Many wholesalers are crying foul over the ruling as it gives Bell an even greater advantage over its partners wholesales and significantly reduces competition in the broadband market as it will force rates to be raised. Bell has yet to comment on the ruling. More →
With the iPad’s Canadian launch delayed until the end of May, we thought we’d give those with glowing hearts who made the trek into the home of the brave a hand in getting their new gadget up and running on one of Canada’s four HSPA+ carriers. A lot of people have written in and put in requests for help — and with the dollar basically on par we’re sure that we’re going to get even more before the official Canadian launch — so we thought we’d do our part and help out our early adopting friends in the Great White North. Getting the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G up and running in Canada is as easy 1, 2, 3. As always, the nitty gritty is after the jump.
We were a bit taken back the other day when trying to locate the Novatel MiFi 2372 on Bell’s website to no avail, and now we know why — it’s been recalled. According to Bell, the MiFi’s battery is prone to swelling and, not surprisingly, this poses not only a safety risk but may also “[cause] the device to malfunction.” Bell is planning to get MiFi’s back in the hands of its customers just as soon as they can get them replaced by Novatel, but in the meantime every affected customer will be sent a U998 Turbo Stick to tide them over. Just in case you’re the type to throw caution to the wind and want to keep using your MiFi until the replacements are shipped out (which just so happens to be 6 to 8 weeks away), Bell has taken the precaution of remotely deactivating your kit. More →
It looks like the BlackBerry Pearl 9100 will be more expensive than anticipated when it launches with Bell and Rogers, as a leaked screenshot from a Canadian big box retailer has the phone listed at $79.99 with a 3-year voice and data contract. It was initially believed the it was believed that the 9100 would be priced at $49.99 on contract owing to its $449.99 off-contract price. The Pearl 9100 has yet to be announced by RIM or any of its carrier partners, but Rogers Wireless dealerships have already started receiving display units. TELUS will be picking up the 9100, although at this point its pricing remains a mystery. More →
One of our Bell connects was kind enough to pass along an internal memo regarding the carrier’s upcoming release of the BlackBerry Storm2. According to the document, it will be available on April 13th for $349.95 on a 3-year contract before data subsidies are applied. Add in a voice and data subsidy and you’re looking at $199.95, a whole $40 cheaper than TELUS. Hit the jump to check out the all of the pricing options.
Thanks, Anonymous! More →
WebOS devices have long since extended their reach beyond the cozy confines of United States, but unfortunately paid apps have yet to be made available as they are in the US. This could all change in one week’s time, however, as Palm has notified developers that they will be able to sell apps through the App Catalog in Canada, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Mexico and Spain starting on the 31st of March. If all goes according to plan, a large number of paid apps will be available on day one simply because Palm has made it easy for developers to get in on the international market: resubmit the app, check off where you want it to be sold and relax while the app is rushed through the approval process. More →
Google finally jumped over whatever hurdles were holding it back from offering paid apps in the Canadian Android Market, as all of a sudden, they just started showing up on some Canadian devices. Sadly, however, it seems the love is not being evenly distributed as the majority of the Bell and TELUS customers we spoke to have not yet had paid apps show up on their end. Nonetheless, we have verified with customers of both Rogers and Fido that they have been able to purchase paid apps using carrier locked and unlocked devices meaning that the long overdue roll out has finally gotten underway.
Bell and TELUS: What’s the dealio?
A few days ago when we learned that Motorola is going to bring its complete line-up of MOTOBLUR handsets to Canada, we didn’t know which carrier was to be getting which handset. In the span of a couple days however, things have changed. We now know that the BACKFLIP, that crazy concoction of a device is going to be a TELUS exclusive while the DEXT is bound for Bell. As for the QUENCH, no one carrier has laid claim to it just yet, but we think most would forgive us for assuming it’s going to Rogers considering the others are spoken for. More →
As the Canadian Parliament opened yesterday for a new session, Governor General Michaëlle Jean dedicated a small portion of her Speech from the Throne to highlighting the Conservative government’s plans to open up the wireless industry to foreign investment. As anyone who even closely pays attention to Canadian news will remember, it was just a few short months ago when Industry Minister Tony Clement over-ruled the CRTC’s decision to bar the launch of what is now WIND Mobile. Since then, the controversy over the move has died off, but it looks like what we experience in December could easily balloon into something much bigger. Here is what Jean said:
“Our Government will open Canada’s doors further to venture capital and to foreign investment in key sectors, including the satellite and telecommunications industries, giving Canadian firms access to the funds and expertise they need. While safeguarding Canada’s national security, our Government will ensure that unnecessary regulation does not inhibit the growth of Canada’s uranium mining industry by unduly restricting foreign investment. It will also expand investment promotion in key markets.”
So far there is no official word as to whether or not the government will attempt to amend the Telecommunications Act which stipulates that wireless carriers must be no more than 46.7% owned by foreigners and no less than 80% controlled by Canadians, but it certainly doesn’t seem as if there are many other options.
So what think you, Canadians? Is this just progress that will be of great benefit, or is it just another example of the slow but steady parcelling off of Canada’s identity. More →
Although cross-carrier video calling is likely to rank very low on the wireless wish list of Canadians, don’t try telling that to the Big Three who have just completed the testing phase of the service. Intra-network video calling, which has been available in Canada since April 2007 with Rogers and became available with Bell and TELUS in November 2009 alongside their spiffy new HSPA+ network, has yet to strike a chord with Canadian consumers (we’d wager most don’t even know it’s available), but Bell, Rogers and TELUS have high hopes that it will be openly embraced by the public. Said Bell’s Stephen Howe: “By breaking down the barriers between video calling clients in Canada, we anticipate strong demand for the service — as we saw with past inter-carrier initiatives such as text and picture messaging.” So far no launch dates are floating around, but we can’t imagine it will stay secret forever. Is anyone excited by this news, or are you all still trying to think of the last time you used your phone to call someone? Plus, you know what this service would really come in handy for? More →