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

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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?

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