Linda’s Tech Talk: Telus, Bell get iPhone (Nov. 5 2009)

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Published in the November 5, 2009 issue of The Nugget.

Linda’s Tech Talk

Telus, Bell get iPhone
by Linda Hoang

    Canada’s wireless landscape changed forever this week.
    Rogers’ monopoly in Canada officially comes to a halt today as telecom giants Telus and Bell begin to sell the iconic iPhone.
    The move comes just in time for the holiday season, which could mean great things for you and I. After all, competition generally means good things for consumers in the first place. Throw in holiday sales and there’s sure to be price drops, new phone and plan choices and more.
    Up until this point, Rogers had been reaping the benefits of being the sole provider of the phone that is arguably the best and most revolutionary of the mobile age. Rogers had also been the only wireless provider in Canada to use GSM technology (the most popular standard for mobile phones in the world) since 2001.
    This all meant Rogers was in complete control of expensive cellular plans, which we just had to deal with if we wanted in on the coveted iPhone and world-standard technology.
    I’m very curious to see how Rogers will now deal with losing their exclusivity and I’m also very excited to see just how much the cell phone situation in the country will change from this point on.
    Chris Ziegler, mobile editor for web magazine Engaget Mobile, writes that Bell will “be covering fully 93 per cent of the country’s population out of the gate, which should make the new network a viable option immediately for would-be switchers.”
    There are also rumours that quite a few new wireless carriers are slated to open shop in Canada in 2010, bringing with them even more quality, function-packed phones.
    Darren Entwistle, CEO of Telus, is quoted in the Toronto Star last year, as saying that offering two 3G/3GS networks side-by-side will help to “future-proof” Telus as the entire wireless industry moves toward a common standard over the next few years.
    And I am all for sweet future technology.
    Though I have to admit the high-speed, data-intensive, wireless technology of the future is just slightly overwhelming.
    I also hope the new hardcore data phones to come can maintain good battery life because nothing is more infuriating than having a smartphone that can’t do its smart functions because it’s dead.
    Also, is scrapping the ridiculous 3-year, feels-like-a-lifetime contracts next?
    I’ll keep you posted.

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