An iPhone free from the exorbitant clutches of Rogers? That could be a reality if reports of a GSM migration by Telus and Bell are true.
Telus and Bell, Canada’s second and third largest wireless service providers, currently run on CDMA technology, a North American protocol that function without SIM cards. CDMA use is vastly overshadowed by GSM technology, which is used by Rogers and is the worldwide standard.
GSM users enjoy the freedom to move from handset to handset for free without losing their contact information, while CDMA customers are forced to pay a handset swap fee and manually input their contacts. As the sole Canadian GSM provider, Rogers has dominated the market. The world’s most sought-after handset, Apple’s iPhone, only works with GSM technology, leaving CDMA customers out in the cold.
But Telus and Bell are investigating a move to GSM, a move rumoured to cost upwards of $400 million. The transition is sure to shake up the monopolistic Canadian market, one that is defined by extremely expensive GSM data fees.
Rogers currently does not offer an unlimited data plan, the closest being a promotional $30 for 6GBs of data. Telus and Bell, on the other hand, offer much more affordable data plans. Last Holiday season, Telus launched an unlimited data plan for only $15. Bell announced a similar $7 unlimited package. If the transition to GSM comes into fruition, you can bet on thousands of iPhone customers flocking to Telus and Bell.