Rogers, Telus, Bell Promo $60/10GB Plans Targeted Freedom, But Not Turning Point: Report

After Rogers, Telus and Bell offered simultaneous $60/10GB promo plans in Alberta, BC and Ontario, some analysts have weighed on what these one-time discounted offers mean in Canada’s wireless world.

Telecom reporter Christine Dobby from The Globe and Mail (paywall) collected some information from analysts, while also noted an unnamed “industry source” hinted the promos recently offered were not exactly a turning point in Big 3 wireless plans, but rather fourth quarter jousting for contract-free bring-your-own-device (BYOD) customers.

The overall theme of these promo plans was for incumbents to prevent BYOD customers from switching over to Shaw’s Freedom Mobile, ahead of the ongoing rollout of the latter’s LTE wireless network, and their recent launch of iPhone sales.

Kaan Yigit, president of Solutions Research Group Consultants Inc., told the Globe the promo plans don’t make Rogers, Telus and Bell “look very good” or “consumer-friendly”, as they only proved how important fourth players were in the market, plus reminded customers, government and more about data pricing in Canada. He predicts we can expect “some informal retention deals” and possibly better-priced plans this spring.

Scotia Capital analyst Jeff Fan said in a report Thursday, the “willingness” of the Big 3 to leverage their various brands against Freedom Mobile, only shows it won’t be easy for the latter to gain subscribers. Fan believes Freedom is not just going up against Rogers, Telus and Bell, but rather nine total wireless players, if you count flanker (Fido; Koodo; Virgin) and prepaid brands (Chatr; Public Mobile; Lucky) held by the Big 3.

Bell, in a statement to the Globe, said they “respond to promotional action in the market”, while emphasizing upcoming holiday promos. Rogers echoed similar sentiments, adding they will “continue to offer time-limited promotions to meet the different needs of our customers,”; Telus did not respond for comment.

Currently, Freedom Mobile still offers a $50 per month plan with 10GB of data, despite the Big 3 seeing their limited time promo ‘expire’—a plan which was difficult to acquire, as incumbent staff and systems failed to keep up with demand.

Do you think the $60/10GB plan will return at some point? Or will we start seeing lower wireless plans in the near future?

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