Bell to Launch 2 Year Rate Plans, Increased Hardware Pricing on July 17th

Looks like Bell will begin to make changes to its pricing and rate structures to accommodate the two year agreements set by the CRTC Wireless Code, reports MobileSyrup. The changes will increase hardware pricing to adjust for two year contract lengths, since customers will be able to cancel:

“Beginning July 17th, 2013, Bell will replace all existing Consumer rate plans with a new line-up designed for 2 year contracts to offer greater choice and flexibility. Also as of July 17, 2013, hardware pricing will be determined by the plan the customer selects. There will be three key categories of rate plans offering different values of minutes and data usage. These new plans will be available on a 30 day and 2-year terms.”

New rate plan categories set to be introduced include the following: Voice, Voice and Data Lite, Voice and Data Plus. Word on the street says monthly plans will increase by $5 per month. The changes will introduce the following price increases for iPhone and other smartphone users:

  • iPhone 5 on two year contract: $199.95 (currently at $179.95 on three year terms)
  • Galaxy S4 on two year contract: $249.95 (currently $229.95 on three year terms)

Our incumbent carriers warned the Wireless Code would mean higher pricing and limited options. Bell spokesman Paolo Pasquini told The Canadian Press the following in response at the time to the Wireless Code:

“Most have chosen three-year contracts because of the big price reductions they mean on the latest smartphones,” he said. “Restricting to two years means less flexibility for consumers, so it remains to be seen how they’ll respond.”

The bottom line: buy your own unlocked iPhone and bypass carriers if you’re not into contracts. We asked to get rid of three year contracts and they have arrived, but this appears to be the same pricing spread out over two years instead. Thoughts?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • einsteinbqat

    I’ll stick to buying an unlocked iPhone.

  • Anthony

    Same here. I have been buying unlocked iPhone since iPhone 3 and every new models after.

    But I guess there’s advantage getting a locked phone if you don’t travel often.

  • Chrome262

    for 20 bucks difference you save a year on the contract, I see lots of people taking the 2 year option. And you are forgetting that after 90 days you can have the phones unlocked. So yeah its worth it, I to have bought my last two phones unlocked, but its usually 700 a shot for each, and I never sold the previous ones, gave them to family members. And if you have Fido dollars, I can see it only costing the unlocking fee for a new phone, if Fido does this as well.

  • Al

    Perhaps you missed the part about the raise in monthly fees?

  • Simon B

    I’m surprised that the subsidized prices for phones on the 2-year term are so competitive. $20 more on the phone and you save yourself 12-month of ‘prison’. I hope that also means 12-month into the term to be eligible for hardware upgrade without getting hit with the Early Upgrade Fee. But I echo some of the commenters here, shelling out the money for an unlocked phone is still the best way to go considering the competitive ala carte services available now.

  • Al

    “2 year contracts to offer greater choice and flexibility”
    “Restricting to two years means less flexibility for consumers”

    ummmm… contradict your own company much there Paolo?

    “so it remains to be seen how they’ll respond”
    This Paolo is a pouty little dick.

    Cell companies are just digging deeper graves for themselves.

  • http://www.oshawapilot.ca Oshawapilot

    The raise in monthly fees will only last as long as the first carrier to not follow lockstep. Sure, they’ll try to raise the price somewhere else and hope nobody’s looking, but they’ll be forced to discount them back down again sooner than later, especially when they come to the realization that their customer base can now defect even sooner if they don’t remain competitive.

    Competition, it’s a great thing. Jack up your price at your own peril.

  • Chrome262

    I think the rumors of Verizon are getting them nervous lol

  • Al

    If that were the case, they wouldn’t be so smug about it. That Bell spokesman is essentially saying, “You want a short contract? Well take this you stupid shits. Don’t fuck with us, ’cause we’ll bite back.”

  • http://www.oshawapilot.ca Oshawapilot

    $20 more for 1 less year of contract is hardly that big of a deal, IMHO. I’d GLADLY pay $40 more to have a one year contract – doesn’t seem so bad by that logic, does it?

  • FragilityG4

    “Most have chosen three-year contracts because of the big price reductions they mean on the latest smartphones”

    That’s only because they’ve never provided an option of a two year contract. I love it when these telecoms try and tell us how we think.

  • Erik Kappel

    My guess is messaging from the other companies will be smoother than this. I’ve avoided Bell like the plague since the day my Sympatico internet contract ended MANY years ago!

  • Erik Kappel

    Ok, let me just put this out there. It’s not 20$ more. It’s 140$ more. 20$ more for the hardware and 24months times 5$ more for the plans.

  • Al

    As I said earlier, re-read the article. It’s been suggested that you will have about a $60 increase per year, plus the price increase on the device… so $140 extra.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    “Cell companies are just digging deeper graves for themselves” Cell phones are todays prevailing choice of communication. The fact that landlines are still around is a modern day miracle. Only the older generation and businesses are most likely their biggest clientele but I’m guessing none of todays’ youth and that’s due to convenience/portability. That being said what other choice/ option (besides VOIP) do you have? You’re kidding yourself if Bell/Rogers/Telus aren’t keenly aware of that fact.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Ever heard of an oligopoly? If one does it, they usually all do it. We can only hope that when/if Verizon comes here that they decide they’re going to turn our wireless industry on it’s ear instead of maintaining the status quo.

  • http://www.oshawapilot.ca Oshawapilot

    And read my reply again – these increases won’t last, guaranteed – competition will dictate price drops, the same as have happened for years now since competition increase. So except for those who sign new contracts in the next few months these extras will eventually go away.

  • Shameer Mulji

    Good luck on that happening. I’m still waiting for this to happen.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    The ONLY reason there’s competitive pricing at the moment is because of new players WIND and Mobilicity and a couple of other bit players (and I don’t count SakTel or Videotron as they’re only province specific and pose no threat to Telus/Rogers/Bell nationally). Also take note that those provinces get better deals on plans offered from the Big 3 BECAUSE those residents have other options! Now if a buyer can’t be found, and WIND/Mobilicity have to fold up their tents AND Verizon says pass to entering Canada’s cell market, you don’t think things will go right back to how they were sans bit players? Why do you think Ottawa so desperately wants another option to the Big 3? It’s in hopes of maintaining that competition that’s been created since the arrival of Wind/Mobilicity and the other small fish.

  • johnnygoodface

    Yes it looks like it. Anyway you can always count on Bell to try to try to exploit us… I HATE them. LOVE Telus (not perfect, but human)

  • adam

    well, they have to subsidize 700 somehow, i hope everyone didnt think just because they wanted 2 year plans, that things would be cheaper… the way i see it, when we were on 3 year plans, i would negotiate with them at 2 years on a cheap upgrade. now thats gone. so. 700 – 200 = 500 / 24 = 20 a month that they are subsidizing. right now, the subsidize price is 15. so thats where they are getting the 5$ price.

  • Al

    Did you miss the story where Verizon may enter the Canadian market? That has the potential to be a game changer and, if Verizon is smart about it (assuming they can do this) and companies like Bell continue to be dicks (instead of proactively getting comparable to the US), it will be a mass exodus from other companies with customers going to Verizon.

    You’re incorrect about your assumption regarding landlines. Hardly “a modern day miracle” (WTF?). If you live in an area where you get good reception (including your entire home), THEN it makes little sense to have a landline. Otherwise, you need one. Also, if you are elderly, it’s probably best to have one due to easy access around the house. Also, if you’re prone to power failures (east coast especially), you may need an old, wired phone.

  • Al

    You “guarantee” that do you… LOL!!!!!!!

    Why hasn’t this happened yet? Unless Verizon gets in and uses American pricing and drops roaming to the US, things will stay the same… GUARANTEED! (chuckle)

  • Al

    How do US companies do it then for the same price for devices as everywhere (as dictated by Apple) and with lower rates?

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Uh….no, I posted on here a couple times re:reports posted about Verizon maybe you’re the one who missed that. First off Verizon’s not here yet and secondly once (if) Verizon decides to enter the Canadian market there’s no guarantee they’ll do anything differently then how they operate in the U.S. According to some people on here they aren’t exactly in the business of handing out charity (in the form of ridiculously cheap cell plans) not to mention how well would that go over in the U.S. if Canadians were getting a better deal on cell plans than their U.S. counterparts? That would be a PR nightmare for Verizon. As far as landlines, I was talking more about the urban centres across Canada not so much rural areas. Sure there’s the odd exceptions but on the whole landlines are the equivalent of newspapers. Dying a slow death.

  • Al

    “how well would that go over in the U.S. if Canadians were getting a better deal on cell plans than their U.S. counterparts?”

    Who ever said that would happen? The answer is… “NOBODY”

    ” I was talking more about the urban centres across Canada”
    That’s a lie. Read your post. Be a man and just fucking admit you were wrong.

  • Matt

    The plans available for the highest subsidy phones are going be higher, so we’re still going to have basically iPhone-specific plans that aren’t competitive.

    See Koodo’s latest pricing (I think posted about on this site) to see what I mean.

    This is what we get when the CRTC adopts short-sighted rules about contract length. I provided feedback to them and posted publicly that all that really needs to be done is mandate an uncoupling of plans from phones: So any plan they offer can be paired with any phone. The subsidy is transparent. If the level of subsidy that a plan comes with isn’t sufficient to cover the phone, you pay the diff upfront or over the length of the contract – your call. That’s how it ought to be.

    This is actually what Koodo has done EXCEPT with the highest subsidy phones which require special rate plans which are higher.

    Basically the big 3 don’t feel they need to compete with Wind etc on plans for iPhones.

  • Ismail.L

    In my opinion…

  • Ismail L

  • Kronk86

    You will most likely be paying about $15/mth more than you are now once these new 2yr plans come out. One thing a lot of people are overlooking about the new code of conduct is that it prevents the carriers from offering special ‘loyalty’ plans to customers. Gone are the days when you could get a better hardware discount or rate plan because you have been with the carrier for a long time. If you want a better rate plan, the ONLY thing you can do is buy a phone outright and get the lower plan. I’m sure the initial price increases will drop slightly, but they will definitely stay well above what the current in-market plans are. There was also a lot of discussion about Verizon entering Canada. Current foreign ownership laws do allow a foreign company to own 100% of a telco, but once that telco gains 10%+ marketshare, they are forced to restructure and the Canadian business has to start buying back the company. If Verizon does enter Canada, it will most likely be another short-term venture, similar to Orascom/Vimplecom’s entry with WIND. THat said, they might just put a crap load of money into lobbying the Canadian government into changing the foreign ownership laws. Then it’s game on!

  • Grandy

    The only way to TRULY be able to compare plans is the end subsidies. Period. Want to purchase a phone on instalments? Sure. Same NET cost over the price of the term. (But buy the phone and the plan separately) Anyone who thinks they get a “free upgrade” isn’t very good at math as it’s all factored in.

  • 1His_Nibs1

    “Be a man and just fucking admit you were wrong.” You mean like you do?

  • dsuz

    The US customer base is in the 10′s of millions where as Canada is a lot less.. that’s how they do it. Many many more customers.

  • Al

    I got the same price on a 6 GB PROMO PLAN 5 years ago as I did 2 years ago. I have not recently found pricing as low as I paid back then. Nothing is really changing. If anything, prices are increasing. These are the facts as I, someone who shops around, has found them.

  • Matt

    Grandy, that’s not exactly true. If the CRTC said the providers must not couple plans and phones at all, then each plan would come with a “max subsidy” you could apply to any new phone. The subsidy (that is built in to the price per month over the 24 or 36 months) is transparent, as is the total cost of the phone. Under this model, the carriers would of course also have either a monthly discount or set of lower price plans for those who bring their own device.

  • Bud Wiser

    Of course it is the same pricing spread over two years instead of three. Did anyone seriously think that Bell and other companies would reduce their prices just because contracts are two years instead of three? That would be pretty stupid on their part !

    Kronk86, why do you say that the new rules prevent the carriers from offering loyalty plans?

  • Lindsey Jones

    Bell are increasing their prices again …approximately 5% as of March 2014. I must say that I honestly wished I had stayed with Telus Mobility and never heard of Bell …. totally useless.