Typically, I’m a no frills kinda guy. Nothing too fancy, but I do like my technology. When the iPhone was first released, I simply saw it as an expensive toy with an even more expensive monthly servicing fee. However, the more I think about it, the more it would make sense to have one for my online business. My rationale is that it would enable me to check emails/web properties while away from a computer, as well as keep my scheduling/calendar/music in one device. Not to mention that some of the apps can be pretty useful.
I don’t mind paying for a useful tool, but monthly fees are a big turn off for me. My current cell phone bill is approximately $30 /month (value packed plan negotiated with retentions department), but a basic iPhone plan would be closer to the $60/month. The question is, is the incremental cost of the iPhone plan worth the benefits? Is the ability to get online from anywhere at anytime worth the extra $30/month?
With that question in mind, I decided to scope out the iPhone plans from all the big carriers in Canada in search of the best deal. From my meanderings, the offerings are from Rogers, Telus, Bell, and Virgin Mobile, all with very similar pricing.
iPhone Plan Comparison Table
|Cost of iPhone||$199 (16 GB) 3 yr contract||$199 (16 GB) 3 yr contract||$199 (16 GB) 3 yr contract||$199 (16 GB) 3 yr contract|
|Anytime Min/Month||300||300||150||200 Minutes|
|Unlimted Evenings Start||9pm||9pm||9pm||7pm|
|Caller ID Included||No||No||No||No|
|Extras||Unlimited texting/picture/video or Double Minutes or Nationwide Fab 5||Unlimited texting or Double Minutes or Nationwide Fab 5||Local Fab 5||Caller ID&VM or Unlimited texting|
|System Access Fee||government recovery fee varies by province (~$2.50-$3.50/month)||$0||$0||$0|
|Notes||Receiving texts are free regardless of text package||If no text plan, charge for outgoing and incoming texts.||>$50 plans get more competitive||Receiving texts are free regardless of text package|
Judging from the table above, it looks like most of the providers are very competitive. It’s worthy to note though that Rogers is on their GSM network, while Bell, Telus and Virgin Mobile are on the new HSPA+ network. The HSPA+ network has greater coverage in Atlantic Canada, which has an appeal for me.
Looking at the offerings, I like how Telus has higher minutes, the option of unlimited texting and includes voicemail. The downside of course is that Caller ID would be extra. Virgin Mobile has the option of including Caller ID and Voicemail, along with earlier unlimited evenings. The downside is that a text package would be extra. Bell just seems out to lunch with their $50 plan, but I must admit that it does get a bit more competitive once they reach the $80/month range. Although I currently have a lot of services with Rogers, they are still a bit behind the curve with their latest “government recovery fee” gouge.
If I were to choose a plan today (late April 2010), then it would probably be Telus with their texting package. Right now, they are offering early evenings at 6pm and waiving the activation fee. However, a 3 year contract is required.
For those of you with iPhone’s, who is your provider? And why did you choose them?