This is a bit of a summary of the current state of data plans in Canada. Occaisionally I see people getting excited about unlimited data plans. I hope this post will put to rest some of the confusion.
Many sites like Apple Insider is reporting , IntoMobile and TalkiPhone are reporting that Rogers Canada has announced an unlimited data plan in Canada; the $20 a month Communication pack, they seem to think that this removed a barrier to releasing the iPhone in Canada. But lets take a closer look at what this plan offers and if that is even the case.
Rogers in fact has two “unlimited data” plans; the $20 Communicate Value Pack, and the $7 Unlimited On-Device Mobile Browsing Plan They are basically the same plan, for $13 dollars more though you get text and video messages, voicemail and call display.
What does Rogers mean by unlimited mobile browsing though.? If you read the fine print you’ll see this: “Important: This plan includes unlimited on-device mobile browsing only. Plan is available on select phones only (PDAs such as Blackberry or Windows Mobile devices, PC cards and non-Rogers certified devices are not eligible). Data usage incurred on ineligible devices, incurred while tethering (using device as wireless modem for laptop) or incurred using non-Rogers (3rd party) applications downloaded to your device will be subject to pay-per-use charges of 5 cents/KB.”
What does that mean? It means that if you use a non-rogers browser (like safari) you pay the per-use rate. It also means that all you have is unlimited WAP data. Translation: crappy web browsing, not what the iPhone was intended for.
It’s interesting that Rogers goes out of their way to put this disclaimer in: “3rd party applications are applications like Yahoo! Go or Google Maps. These are non-Rogers applications which can be downloaded to the device and incur data charges at a rate of 5¢/KB.”
So what does this mean for the iPhone. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. You do not get any added features on your hacked iPhone in Canada if you add this plan. In case you didn’t get that. This announcement does not mean that we will be getting the iPhone anytime soon. We Are No Closer to Getting the iPhone in Canada.
Shame on Rogers for continuing to screw their customers over. I hope that people read all the fine print closely before getting excited and adding this feature. I’m worried that when next months bill comes some people are going to be in for a shock.
Finally, I wish that American sites, like Apple Insider, who have no understanding of the issues would stop reporting on “developments” like this. Its getting annoying, please stop. Sites like ArsTechnica have understood that “unlimted” doesn’t mean unlimited, and I thank them for that.