Chatr Wireless, Rogers venture into pre-paid all you can eat cell and text service, is set to go live tomorrow — July 28th — according to a report filed by Android Headlines. The blog writes that a SIM card will set you back between $5 and $10 (that’s Canadian of course), and the two plans available will be unlimited talk for $35 and unlimited talk and text for $45. Keep your eye on http://www.chatrwireless.com, which should go live sometime tonight. More →
Yesterday, we brought you the first shots of four Chatr-branded handsets that are arriving at retailers in Canada for an expected July 21st launch. A circulating memo that was leaked late on Friday suggests that this July 21st launch date has been scrapped. According to the memo, collateral and dummy phones shipments have been put on hold and stores with existing Chatr inventory have been told to keep the materials in storage until a new launch date is determined. Anyone north of the border disappointed by this potential delay? More →
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.”
A launch date has not been officially announced, however a new source of ours pegs July 21st as the new network’s go-live date. Any of our friends north of the border jazzed about chatr?
No doubt a response to Virgin Mobile’s serious push to reign supreme in the pre-paid market, T-Mobile today announced two new unlimited pre-paid plans which go live this Wednesday. Under the new plans, $15 will net users unlimited text, picture and video messages with nationwide voice calls at 10¢ per minute, while $50 offers the same in terms of messaging but allows for unlimited nationwide calls with no per-minute fees. Definitely not bad plans if you’re looking to kill off a landline and not get locked into a lengthy contract commitment, but we’d have loved it if T-Mobile were to introduce a third plan with data. We mean, they are trying to play it both ways, right?
Sprint and Walmart have announced they’ve banded together to launch a brand new, low-cost carrier…say hello to Common Cents Mobile. Service will be lit up on May 15th and the carrier will be featured –exclusively — in over 700 Walmarts across the country. Minutes are billed at 7¢ a pop, but thanks to “Round Down” billing, a “minute” can last up to 119 seconds. This allows the $20 refill to be good for up to 565 minutes and the $30 up to 848 minutes. Nifty. Also coming in at 7¢ each are text messages, although there is an option for a $20 unlimited messaging package. Data will be available for $1 per megabyte per day. Being a no-frills carrier, Common Cents doesn’t offer a lavish line-up of handsets, but what it does carry is very affordable. The cheapest most affordable of the pack is LG 101 which sells for $19.77, followed closely by the Samsung M340 at $39.77. The most expensive handset is the Kyocera S2300, which has a full-QWERTY keypad, and retails for $69.77. Minute refills can be purchased at select Walmart stores; alternatively, Common Cents subscribers can register their credit card, debit card, or PayPal information at CommonCentsMobile.com to get more minutes.
Catch the press spiel after the break. More →
Virgin Mobile fired shots across the bow of its pre-paid competition this morning as it officially launched the Beyond Talk plans that we told you about just under a week ago. Starting at $25, the main selling point of the Beyond Talk service offerings is that they all feature unlimited text, email, data and web. The reason for the difference in price between the plans is the number of minutes you get. The $25 and $40 plans are good for 300 and 1,200 minutes respectively, while the $60 plan offers unlimited voice. For an extra $10, you can add BlackBerry data. Of course you won’t be able to use a BlackBerry on Virgin until the end of this month when it launches the Curve 8530 for $299.99, but the prospect of a pre-paid BlackBerry plan for $35 is worth waiting a few weeks for, right? More →
Last year, the Mexican government passed a law mandating all pre-paid, anonymous mobile phone users submit their personal information to their wireless provider(s) and have their cellular line linked with their name and personal information. The law is aimed at curbing what Mexican officials are calling “mobile extortion.” Ransom demands from organized crime and drug cartel kidnappings are often made via anonymous, pre-paid cellular phones, and it is the preferred method of communication for “common criminals” in Mexico. The majority of Mexico’s estimated 84 million mobile phones are pre-paid, and with the weekend deadline for compliance looming, over 30 million pre-paid users have failed to submit their information in accordance with the new law. Mexican telcom companies were denied a request to extend the deadline for compliance by the country’s senate. The anonymous lines that are not in compliance by this weekend are supposed to be shut off by the wireless service provider the line is associate with. Critics of the law say that criminals will simply register the phones with fake or other people’s credentials, and that denying the Mexican people access to cellular phones is a violation of people’s constitutional rights under Mexican law. Telcom company America Movîl is predicting losses of around $10 million a day if the 30 million unregistered lines are indeed shut down. What do you think? For the greater good, or a violation of the rights and privacy of the Mexican people? More →
Verizon seems to be planning on expanding its prepaid line-up and options for current and would-be customers by throwing BlackBerry into the mix. Word is that within the next three months, prepaid BlackBerry plans will become available, though we’re not sure if all devices would be included. Rumor is that the plan adds $35 on top of the voice package, which isn’t so bad when compared to other carriers and most post-paid plans. We’ve also received word that the prepaid bundles would match Verizon’s older ones, and that phones would run somewhere between the subsidized price and full retail cost. We’ll be sure to keep you guys updated on this as news comes our way! More →
For those of you who were completely underwhelmed by the realities of Project Dark and have a fear of post-paid contract rate plans, T-Mobile has something new for you. Say hello to “T-Mobile Complete.” T-Mobile Complete, and the accompanying “Complete Kits”, will come with the phone of your choice and, uh, well…that’s about it. No contracts, commitments, or legalities involved. Now, we know what you are thinking, why is this news? Well, T-Mobile has stated that the BlackBerry 8520 will be included in these plans as well, and for the first time in the States you can get yourself a BlackBerry device and not be locked into a contract. Sounds good to us. Details are still scarce on the exact pricing of the 8520 and the accompanying pre-paid plan, but we’ve heard that the kits will start at $59 with unlimited talk plans starting around $50/month. What do you guys think? Good idea? No details on the T-Mobile website just yet, but you can hit the jump to read about the release.
T-Mobile UK has taken the Android love to the contract-deficient masses. The Huawei manufactured Pulse sports a 3.5″ touchscreen, 3G, WiFi, GPS, 3.2 megapixel camera, and 2G of memory — not bad for a prepaid ditty. The Pulse will set you back 176 quid across the pond, that’s about $292 for those of us still using the imperial system of measurement, and is on sale today. We love the idea of a fully featured handset on a pre-paid platform — we’re hoping the trend catches on.
To all of the companies with intentions to pump out cheap and readily available devices: It’s time to get a move on because Huawei has just schooled you. Announced today is the T-Mobile Pulse, a prepaid-capable Android smartphone that utilizes a UI overlay known as Canvas. In terms of specs, the Pulse is quite capable with a 3.5-inch HVGA display, 3.2 megapixel camera, 2GB internal memory, 528MHz along with HSDPA, Wi-Fi and GPS radios. There are two features notably absent however; a flash for the camera and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Both T-Mobile and Huawei insist that their exclusion was necessary to keep the Pulse’s dimensions slim and trim at 160mm x 62.5mm x 13.5mm. Like it or not, the 3.5mm-less and flash-less Pulse will be as cheap as chips when it goes on sale this October: £179.99 ($293 USD) — or as low as 4.95€ in Germany with a 2-year agreement.
Okay, so get a load of this. Apparently (please note the emphasis) a former employee of Globalive aka Global Wireless, the next big Canadian wireless provider that is building a UMTS / HSPA network with service planned for all provinces and territories excluding Québec, recently got canned for “poor performance in marketing”. This of course led to him logging on to HoFo and leaking everything about the carrier’s plans except what the CEO ate for breakfast. There is tons of stuff to cover and the slides are pretty grainy at best, so we’ve taken the time to write it all out for our Canadian friends. Now hit the jump and prepare to mess yourself because if even half of this stuff is true, the Canadian wireless landscape is about to make a serious shift for the better starting in Q4. Just one question — why no BlackBerry love?
Thanks, “Ex-Global Wireless Employee”!
We’ve just received this little nugget from one of our ninjas about an upcoming handset for T-Mobile, the Samsung T349. While the device itself is nothing too fancy, it is nonetheless a pretty interesting device in that T-Mobile has describes it internally as a “20-key messaging phone.” Despite the blurriness of the image above, we are able to see that the entry-level T349 indeed features a keypad much like the SureType keypads found on the BlackBerry Pearl and Pearl Flip. Specs are as follows:
- 20-key keypad
- 1.3 megapixel camera w/ video capture
- SMS, MMS, Email and IM
- Photo caller ID, alarm clock, calculator,
- Mobile backup
- GPRS connectivity
Look for the Samsung T349 to make its retail debut to both pre and post-paid subscribers on May 20th. Believe it or not, this little guy is the first new handset added to T-Mobile’s pre-paid line-up in the past year. Yay?