Briefing

Bell offers ‘unlimited’ data plan, like Rogers; Telus competes with a 15-gigabyte offering

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Bell is offering a $75 monthly plan including up to 10 gigabytes of full-speed data per month; once that’s surpassed, it will offer unlimited data at slower speeds. Telus will charge $75 a month for 15 gigabytes of full-speed data with a standard overage fee. The Bell offer will end June 30; Telus’ will end July 2. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: The moves come as the CRTC plans to hold a hearing on the wireless market in January, where it is expected to encourage lower prices and more competition among carriers. Bell and Rogers’ approach is new for Canada’s Big Three telecoms, which have been slow to adopt so-called “unlimited” data plans relative to their U.S. counterparts. However, though the plans are being advertised as being unlimited, they aren’t quite—in Rogers’ case, after users hit the full-speed data threshold, they will be throttled to 256 Kbps, a significant reduction. Freedom Mobile has been offering a similar “unlimited” plan for a while now in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C. It offers 10 gigabytes of full-speed data for $60 a month, with an additional four gigabytes on its own regional network and one gigabyte nationally. The carrier also throttles its download speeds after that to 256 Kbps, though its upload speeds are slower, at 128 Kbps.