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 →
Torontonians looking to save some money on their wireless bill should take note that a new carrier will be up and running as of tomorrow morning. Formerly known as DAVE Wireless, Mobilicity is looking to crack the local market provider business with plans that are far more competitive than its closest competition, WIND Mobile. We’ve got all the details about the company — and a little more thanks to our chat with Mobilicity’s Dave Dobbin — so hit the jump for all the deets. More →
New entrant WIND Mobile may have been getting the lion’s share of media attention in Canada thanks to parent company Globalive’s notorious battle with the CRTC, but today Data & Audio-Visual Enterprises announced it will begin offering its AWS 3G services as early as this spring under the brand name Mobilicity. With a battle cry of “Mobilicity: My Phone. My City. My Way”, all we know at this point in time is that its “value-packed unlimited plans” with contract-free services will kick off in Toronto this spring followed by Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa later in the year. Plan pricing as well as specifics about handsets have not been announced, but we do know that at the very least Nokia, RIM and Sony Ericsson will be well represented. So what say you, Canadians? Are you ready for another non-subsidizing carrier to enter the Canadian marketplace?
Fun fact: Mobilicity will become Canada’s seventh UMTS/HSPA carrier (Bell, Fido, Rogers, TELUS, WIND and Virgin are the others) and second to utilize AWS 3G. More →