Motorola has pledged to begin taking advantage of renewable energy sources, and the company promised to acquire at least 25% of its energy from wind, Fox News reported recently. “It is Motorola Mobility’s intent through our participation in the WindMade initiative to encourage greater use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar around the globe,” Motorola Mobility’s director for sustainability and stewardship Bill Olson said. “Any company that uses at least 25% of wind energy can adopt the “WindMade” label, a company that recognizes companies that focus on using wind as a renewable energy source,” Bragi Fjalldal of WindMade explained. “What’s unique about WindMade is it’s the first time that you have a truly global standard that is accepted across the landscape for how corporations should procure clean energy.” Read on for more. More →
WIND Telecom SpA announced on Thursday that the shareholders of Russian mobile operator VimpelCom have voted to approve the acquisition of WIND Telecom for $6 billion. VimpelCom said regulators approved the acquisition as well. The deal covers all of WIND Telecom’s assets, which includes Orascom Telecom, a major WIND Mobile shareholder, and VimpelCom will add nine new markets including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burundi, Italy and Canada to the eleven it already covers. When finalized, the purchase will make VimpelCom the world’s fifth largest mobile Teleco with more than 173 million subscribers. “This is great news for us. Our partner, Orascom, will be even larger and stronger as a financial partner. This gives us more leverage and increased scale with telecom network equipment manufacturers and more importantly, for devices including handsets and tablets,” said Anthony Lacavera, WIND Mobile’s chairman, adding that the purchase will give WIND more access to long distance roaming services. Lacavera said he would provide more information as new details on the acquisition emerge.
If you’re a Canadian BlackBerry enthusiast on Wind Mobile, we’ve got some good news for you. One of our ninjas from the north has just alerted us that the Bold 9780 has just populated Wind’s inventory system. Couple the above screen shot with rumors of extremely low BlackBerry 9700 stock levels — thanks in part to a buy-one get-one (BOGO) promotion — and we would venture to say this puppy will be hitting store shelves in the very near future. As a quick refresher, the Bold 9780 packs Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 5 megapixel camera, 512MB of RAM, and runs RIM’s BlackBerry 6 operating system. Let us know if you’re planning on picking one up!
Over the last several days, rumors have been swirling that the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 would be making its way to WIND Mobile — especially after the device surfaced in RIM’s software database. Now, one of our ninjas from the North has sent us visual confirmation of the device in Wind Mobile’s inventory system. Judging by the two listings, it appears as though the handset will be offered in two colors; we’re assuming a gray or black and something a tad bit brighter. Pricing and availability have not yet been determined… anyone excited?
We’ve just been sent in some visual confirmation of what we already knew: Wind Mobile will be adding the BlackBerry Pearl 3G to its pre-paid handset lineup. What we didn’t know, and our source was kind enough to tip us off on, is that the handset will be officially announced today. No details on price were provided, but we’re confident the handset will retail for right around $300. There you have it.
UPDATE: The device is now up on Wind Mobile’s website for $300.
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 →
Here’s a shocker for you: Canadians really don’t like the nation’s Big Three wireless companies. This “revelation” comes to us by way of the Better Business Bureau, which revealed how many complaints it received about each carrier during an interview with the CBC. According to the watchdog, Bell has the dubious honor of being the worst offender with 1,020 complaints dating back to 2009. During the same period, Telus and Rogers received the second and third most complaints with 751 and 685 respectively. All of the complaints have earned each company an “F” rating. Wind, the feisty upstart backed by Egypt’s Orascom which official launched last December, also managed to tick off enough customers in its short existence to receive a failing grade. Despite their all around failing grades, the BBB said that the carriers are pretty good about working with the BBB to resolve complaints, even if the outcome isn’t desirable. The most common complaints involved bills being higher than their advertised price and contract disputes. More →
Alright, Vancouverites, you’ve been a bunch of good sports politely clapping as WIND Mobile rolled out in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton, but your time has finally come. Starting today, much of Metro Vancouver will be transformed into a WIND Home Zone with the flip of a switch by Chairman Tony Lacavera and friend of BGR CEO Ken Campbell. Launch day festivities will kick off at 10am for members of the media, but Joe and Jane Public will be able to hit up the Yaletown store at 11am to get a first-hand glimpse of what WIND’s all about. Just exactly how far WIND’s coverage will reach in Lotus Land we’re not sure, but here’s to hoping that WIND’s outrageous roaming fees won’t bite too many people in the backside. 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 →
It seems that every BlackBerry-lover on the Internets is making a big deal over this AWS spectrum-equipped BlackBerry 9100, and while it’s great to have confirmation that the unit is hitting T-Mobile (and maybe even visiting our Canadian friends at WIND, too), all in all, it doesn’t really mean much. Here’s why: More →
For our non-Canadian readers, it might be pretty hard to understand why there’s been so much hype about WIND Mobile finally launching. It is just a cell phone carrier after all, right? Kind of. It is a business at the end of the day, and a business hopes to be profitable (they want to make as much money possible), but the reason WIND is so brilliant is because they’re capitalizing on years of pillaging by Canada’s big three mobile providers: Rogers, TELUS and Bell. We’re not going to get into why Canada’s cellular options are so bad and expensive — Canada is a huge country, 90% of the people live within a certain amount of miles to the U.S. border, people expect coverage everywhere, it’s expensive to maintain — because it doesn’t matter. What does matter is how revolutionary WIND is to the average Canadian cellular subscriber and how much money that person will save. Here’s an example of a standard Rogers phone bill for a BlackBerry:
- $45/month for 400 minutes, unlimited calling after 9PM, and a choice of either unlimited Rogers-to-Rogers calling, my5, unlimited SMS, or an extra $100 minutes. Let’s assume you chose unlimited Rogers-to-Rogers calling.
- $25/month for a 500MB data plan for your BlackBerry (BIS not BES)
- $20/mo for unlimited SMS, caller ID and voicemail for a smartphone
- Total with fees of around $93/month (excluding taxes).
Over the life of your cell phone contract of three years (yes, it’s three years in Canada), you’ll have paid approximately $3348 to Rogers, and you’d have a brand new BlackBerry 9700 for which you paid $249.99 for. All in all, $3597 before tax. Here’s a WIND plan:
- $45/month for unlimited minutes, unlimited SMS to U.S. and Canada, voicemail, caller ID, call waiting, call forwarding
- $35/month for unlimited BlackBerry data
We’re at $80/month with unlimited everything, no contract, and no fees to change plans or features.
Sure, a difference of only plus or minus $13/month might not get everyone excited, but think of it this way… you don’t have to pay $500 to cancel your contract, you can elect to pre or post-pay, and never have to ever worry about overages unless you’ve got a lot of pals overseas. The option of unlimited anything is a downright comforting thought for consumers. As long as you can get over the $200 additional entry fee for an unsubsidized but very fairly-priced handset (note: Rogers charges $599.99 for a contract-free Bold 9700 as opposed to WIND’s $450), WIND looks incredibly attractive. Plus, you won’t get tied to the tree and spanked. Metaphorically, of course.
It isn’t all rainbows and ponies, however, as we have to take coverage (when you roam on Rogers, for instance, you’ll only get EDGE as WIND uses the same AWS 3G spectrum T-Mobile uses and is incompatible with Rogers, TELUS, and Bell), customer service, and profitability into consideration. The bet is that WIND makes so much that they can continue to save you money. Funny, isn’t it? Again, they’re a brand, brand new network, but with a boatload of cash behind them, some very smart and attractive pricing, plans, devices, and services, we think they have an amazing shot. They’ve also permanently disrupted the Canadian wireless landscape for the better, and within days or weeks, you’ll start to see better pricing from red, green, and blue. Thus giving our Canadian friends something they’ve long hoped for — competition.
Well, here we go… We’ve received information on what WIND (Canada’s new wireless carrier) will offer, so without further ado, the WIND lineup:
- BlackBerry 9700
- Samsung Gravity 2
- HTC Maple
- Huawei U759
- Huawei E181 data stick
You might be wondering about what their rate plans will offer, and while we don’t have specific pricing yet, here are the features and what you can look forward to seeing in the “WIND Mobile experience”: More →