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CellPhoneReview.doc

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  • 1. Bell Mobility By Christian Bauer Bell Mobility Introduction: Bell Mobility is the longtime player in this arena. Rightfully so, they are Canada's biggest and oldest monopoly [historically] controlling telecom services within the largest markets of Canada. Bell Mobility entered the cellular market in the 80s when mobile phones were used by CEOs only. But they've evolved from the brick-phone, executive-only service to a very successful player. Bell Mobility Customer Service: I've found Bell Mobility's customer service to be very good in some areas and terrible in others. I've seen complaints before, but I've never had very bad experiences myself. The customer service teams (in Ontario) are friendly, knowledgeable, bilingual and always willing to help out. Though agents usually try to sell you an additional Bell service or product at the end of your support call, it's to be expected as part of their telephone-script. On a general rating of 10, I'd give Bell Mobility customer service agents a score of 5 or 6 out of a total of 10. Basing this on several factors: knowledgeable, friendly, supportive and the overall tone of the conversation. They lose some points because of the upselling factor, I want to get one thing done and don't have the time to wait around answering No to everytime they ask me if I'm interested in Sympatico or Call Privacy. Some of our users have also reported problems, delays and a general hassle when trying to rectify billing problems or cancel their service completely. An extra note: the customer service wait time queue seems shorter during peak periods than Rogers or Fido. Bell Mobility's CDMA Network: Bell Mobility operates on a network protocol called CDMA, or Code Division Multiple Access. This is one of the oldest digital network types in use in North America. Though many providers have switched or are switching to GSM (Global System for Mobile), Bell Mobility is improving their network while maintaining their coverage areas which are superior at this point to GSM. CDMA is also being used by Telus Mobility. The clarity of CDMA is in many instances poor compared to other networks in urban and suburban regions. A telephone call on a CDMA phone in a equally well-covered area by a GSM service is not comparable to GSM clarity. Bell Mobility Phones:
  • 2. Bell Mobility, as with all of Canada's providers, can offer you those gadget phones many always wanted. Camera phones, flip phones, colour phones, mp3 phones, Internet phones, messenger phones... All available. Bell Mobility does have costs associated with these phones and you can expect to pay high prices if that's what you really want. Why would somebody want a mobile phone that takes pictures? One can't really say. We can say though, that Bell Mobility has these phones available, usually best on promotion. Bell Mobility offers many top brands such as Kyocera, Nokia, Samsung and the like. In the past, they've been known for their obsessions with Audiovox (a piticularly cheap phone). Bell Mobility Pricing: One of the most important factors in choosing the right plan for you is the pricing and availability. Bell Mobility is not the least expensive service available, but I and many loyal Bell Mobility customers believe you get what you pay for. With Bell Mobility, you can't expect to receive tons of free services you might expect with other services by default. With that said, you will expect to pay an extra fee for call display, Voicemail, conference-calling, etc. Bell Mobility Plans: Bell Mobility offers comprehensive rate plans. Some include Long Distance plans, Minutes-per-month, Unlimited evenings and weekends and the overusage minutes vary depending on the plan. Data plans are also available. Features: Plan and phone combinations offered through Bell Mobility have the capabilities of Internet usage, MSN Messenger and typical telephone capabilities such as Call Waiting, Call Display, Voicemail etc. Bell Mobility is not for you if you're only interested in using your phone to download ringtones, icons, screensavers. Overall Value: You get what you pay for. You will enjoy excellent coverage, friendly customer service, cool phones and moderately affordable plans. Bell Mobility SMS: An online SMS tool is available free of charge from Bell Mobility's web site. Be reminding that the person receiving the text message may be charged. Free SMS Service. Visit them online: http://www.bell.ca/
  • 3. Microcell Fido By Christian Bauer Microcell Fido Introduction: Fido has always been Canada's most affordable mobile service provider. You really do get what you pay for and we will cover those points throughout this article. Fido offers users a contract-free plan with basic phones at affordable and subsidized prices. More advanced phones are also available for considerably lower prices than what I've seen around. Fido's plans are cheapest monthly, and do not require you to sign a contract. (Or agree to a contract over the telephone). Fido Customer Service: Throughout many experiences with Fido's customer service, I must also say they equal their price rating as being at the very bottom of the list. When we look at customer service, we consider several factors. Friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and above all, willing to make the customers' day all that much better. Fido failed several of our tests. To begin, I will state that the three customer service representative I've spoken to had a very limited knowledge of the English language. Their French (Quebecois) was excellent, rightfully so. Microcell Fido is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. In a generalization, their customer service reps we're not overly friendly, they didn't solve any problems but they did seem generally knowledgeable about their network. If you consider customer service an asset in making your final decision on a telecom provider, don't consider Fido. Fido GSM Network: Fido operates on a GSM (Global System for Mobile) network. Canada's first GSM provider, Fido was actually opening the door for other providers such as Rogers. Many see the Fido usage of GSM as a little ahead of their time. At the time of Fido's conception, GSM was a mainly European technology only offered by very few US providers and no Canadian services were available. Choosing GSM as their primary network, Fido effectively saw their profit margin shrink. A bad choice at the time, but now quite beneficial to the average customer. GSM is capable of higher bandwidth, standard features and the ability to download goodies from around the world such as ringtones, icons and screensavers. Network coverage is excellent for city-dwellers. Fido should not be considered if you live in an area where network coverage is not superb. Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and some other large cities have excellent coverage.
  • 4. Fido Phones: Fido's choice of GSM has opened up their customers` ability to choose what phone they want. Although Fido offers many cool phones, one can also purchase phones from around the world from online services such as ebay. Camera phones, colour phones, Internet phones and other gadget phones are all available from Fido. Fido generally subsidizes their phones in exchange for a "service agreement". If you don't stay with Fido for 1 year, you might be required to pay for the full cost of the phone. Name brands are available from Fido. Some popular brands they carry are Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Siemens and Motorola. Fido's Pricing: Fido offers Canada's most competitive rates. Infact, they are the cheapest you will find anywhere. They offer minutes-per-month plans, unlimited evening and weekend plans and bundles which include a set amount of minutes, text messaging and optional services such as Voicemail. Overuse is generally billed at $0.20 or $0.10 per minute, depending on the plan.. Long distance is also the most affordable at a set-rate of anytime, anywhere in Canada for $0.10 per minute. Fido's Plans: Fido has a limited set of plans. All are general usage plans and include set- minutes-per-month, evening and weekends, data plans, and bundles. Features: The GSM Network that Fido offers is capable of anything. That said, it is the most comprehensive network when it comes to goodies, Internet usage, online chat, data services, text messaging and standard telecom services such as call waiting, Voicemail, conference calls, call forwarding etc. Overall Value: The overall value of Fido is an honestly hard task to calculate. On one hand, you have very affordable plans and a very capable network. On the other hand, you have lousy customer service and in a world where time is money, you might be losing money if you ever run into problems with your billing. The customer service aspect is something everybody should consider in the long-run. Fido would only be recommended if you live in an urban or suburban area. Though coverage is improving as with all mobile services, it is not
  • 5. recommended if you are frequently traveling in and out of major urban centres. SMS Services: An online SMS tool is available free of charge from Fido's web site. Be reminding that the person receiving the text message may be charged. Free SMS Service. Visit them online: http://www.fido.ca/ Rogers Wireless By Christian Bauer Rogers Wireless Introduction: Rogers Wireless is considered to be Canada's largest wireless provider, with the largest coverage area of the country. Though they are frequently changing their name, it may still be referred to as Rogers AT&T, Cantel, Cantel AT&T, Rogers, AT&T. You get the idea. Rogers Wireless offers comprehensive plans for any side of the spectrum from Family plans, Personal plans, Business plans and everything in-between. Rogers Wireless is still growing fast, so there must be something in their service or marketing scheme [or a combination of both] which brings in customers by the handful. Rogers Customer Service: We rate customer service on several factors including knowledgeable, friendly and going that extra mile to make the customers` day. Rogers Wireless customer service was found to be mediocre. Although each province is redirected to a different call center for their piticular region, one might find that customer service in one province is better than the other. I definitely found that client service in Quebec seemed superior to that of Ontario. For the most part, Rogers Wireless customer service reps are friendly and even offered me plans with better value than the ones I was interested in. Their knowledge of the network seems okay. They knew what GSM and TDMA was, but couldn't go as far as to explain the differences between each. Their knowledge is enough to be able to sell the product though. Piticularly annoying, however, is the fact I can usually predict exactly what they are going to say. "Would you be interested in consolidated billing?", "Would you be interested in Rogers V.I.P.?", "Thank you for choosing Rogers". Do they instruct these guys to go by the script verbatim?
  • 6. Rogers GSM & TDMA Network: Rogers Wireless operates on two different network. At one point, their primary network was that of TDMA, or time division multiple access. Over the past 2 years, they have seemed to switch almost fully to their GSM, or Global System for Mobile, network. All of their feature phones are GSM compatible. World phones are also becoming increasingly available. Rogers Wireless` GSM network is superb in urban and suburban areas. I've found that while traveling with a Rogers [then AT&T] wireless phone on the highway, I receive less cutoffs than it's rival GSM provider, Fido. Rogers Wireless also includes, with some phones, an analog module which gives you the ability to switch over to their analog network if you are not in a GSM coverage area. Prices are higher ofcourse, but very handy if you need your phone as part of your daily life and work. The Rogers Wireless GSM network is very comprehensive, giving you the ability to enjoy all the telecom features such as Call Display, Voicemail, Call Forwarding, etc. It also gives you the ability to use those ever-so-popular goodies such as ringtones and icons. With Rogers Wireless, you are able to travel across the country and continue with optimal coverage. This can be a deciding factor on making your final decision. Rogers Wireless is probably the only choice. Beware, however, that Rogers Wireless is known for dropped calls in certain areas. Consult your coverage map for details on where coverage is the best. Rogers Phones: Being the largest provider of this country, Rogers Wireless is able to offer virtually any type of phone on any of it's networks, where available. GSM, TDMA and Analog phones are available. Their world phones are strictly GSM. Rogers Wireless offers brand name phones such as Nokia, Blackberry, Samsung, Motorola, LG, Sony Ericsson and Palms. Rogers Wireless also offers colour screenphones, camera phones, mp3 phones, gadget phones, flip phones, cheap phones, expensive phones... anything you can think of. Phones are available at reasonable prices if you are willing to sign a two, three or even four year contract. The price falls, therefore, accordingly. If you are not willing to sign a contract, Rogers Wireless becomes quite expensive both with it's actual phones and it's plan. It seems Rogers Wireless business plan was designed in that if you want a deal, you're going to be stuck with us for a few years. Rogers Pricing: Rogers Wireless pricing is reasonable when you sign a contract. There are also fair plans if you don't sign a contract.
  • 7. One way of getting around contract and getting a nice phone at a reasonable cost is checking ebay for unlocked GSM phones. We must insist you be careful with your purchases on ebay though! Rogers Plans: Price plans can be an overall deciding factor in choosing which service is right for you. Rogers Wirelss doesn't stop at it's phones, as it's plans seem to be just as comprehensive. Some plans available from Rogers Wireless include set-minutes-per-month, evening and weekend plans, business powerplans, family plans and data plans. Most are available at reasonable prices, again, if you sign a contract. For those unwilling to sign contracts, you should definitely look around and compare your options accordingly. Remember, if you decide you want to back out of a contract, you are require to pay $20 x the remaining number of months [last time I checked] upto but not exceeding $200. Features: The Rogers Networks are capable of all the goodies that everyone loves including ringtones, icons and screensavers. On the GSM side, you will be capable of all of the standard telecom features as Three-way calling, Call Waiting, Call Display, Voicemail etc. Overall Value: The overall value of Rogers Wireless depends on which 'market' you reside in. I would consider the value of services in Ottawa better than that of Toronto, because they are different markets and hence have different plans available. All in all, Rogers Wireless provides reliable service backed up by their customer service reps and for everything people say about Rogers, they are continually improving in many areas. Rogers SMS: An online SMS tool is available free of charge from Bell Mobility's web site. Be reminding that the person receiving the text message may be charged. Free SMS Service. Visit them online: http://www.rogers.com/ Telus Mobility
  • 8. By Christian Bauer Telus Mobility Introduction: If you remember clearNET, you probably know that Telus Corporation acquired it in late 2000. Since then, not much has changed as Telus Mobility still offers cool phones, unique price plans and free calling on your birthday! For a long time clearNET was considered Fido's main rival but after clearNET was purchased by Telus, it has moved to become a major player on the national wireless scene. "The Future Is Friendly" has been Telus Mobility's slogan since it acquired clearnet, and follows it's motto like the bible. Telus Customer Service: When looking at customer service, we rate them on their knowledge, friendliness and going that extra mile to please the customer. Telus Mobility operates call centres across Canada, and it becomes somewhat difficult to give a clear picture on exactly how good or bad they are, but we found their customer service representatives to be very sales-oriented. They are helpful but very often don't have the technical knowledge to answer questions regarding their network. Customer service quality is reasonable and they seem to get billing issues sorted out. According to one of our readers, if you get a not-so-knowledgable new customer service rep, just call back in a while until you get someone who really knows their stuff. The Telus CDMA Network: Telus Mobility, along with Bell Mobility, operate on a CDMA (or Code Division Multiple Access) network capable of basic telecom features. Telus Mobility's service is capable, thanks to upgrades in their network, of text messaging, Internet browsing and other cool features we've come to expect as basic features of mobility. Along with Teuls` cool phones, using these features can be fun for those who loves gadgets and new technology. Network coverage has been increasingly improved throughout the country from Ontario to Quebec to Telus` homebase in Alberta and British Columbia. CDMA limitations are still prevalent, however. Dropped calls and clarity continue to be problems, especially in areas where coverage isn't at it's best. Telus Phones: Telus Mobility markets their service as having the coolest phones. Infact, it wouldn't surprise me if 75% of their marketing was spend on promoting their phones. You see commercials with pigs flying and frogs jumping all over the
  • 9. place. Telus Mobility has somehow integrated these cute creatures into their phones. Whether you want a flip phone, a colour phone, an mp3 phone, a mobile pda or a phone that plays songs instead of those typical ring-ring tones... Telus Mobility has got it! Telus Mobility offers top brand names such as Samsung, Blackberry, Audiovox, Motorola and Kyocera. It seems Telus` competitors have taken the Telus Mobility example set and started to carry the similar if not the same mobile phones offered by Telus Mobility. Telus Pricing: Telus Mobility is partly based on a contract model like some of it's competitors. If you tie yourself into their scheme for 2 or 3 years, you get discounts of $50 or $100 on your phone. Their plans don't change much for contract customers, so you are not required to sign a contract if you still want to benefit from the perks. Perks. Telus Mobility has become famous for them. Free calling on your birthday, monthly perks such as getting a discount on going to the movies, discounts at popular retailers across the country and countless others. Merely a marketing scheme, but they do pull in customers as such. Telus Mobility has also been known to pull in customers from their competitors by offering discounts on their current plans. Telus Plans: Telus Mobility offers a comprehensive set of price plans available for personal, business and power users. Available are set-minutes-per-month, evening and weekend plans, data plans, family plans and corporate plans. Each plan offers it's own perks, once again, Telus Mobility is famous for them. Every month seems to offer different perks for basic and comprehensive plans. From unlimited local calling for your first 3 months to $0 telephones, be reminded that most plan perks are only available on 2 or 3 year contracts. Discounts on movie tickets and other coupons do not require a contract, and are available to all customers. Many Telus Mobility plans include standard telecom features such a Call Waiting, Call Display, Three-way Calling and Basic Voicemail. Telus Mobility will also match the standard plans of it's competitors as long as you present them with an advertisement or refer to a certain plan offered by I.E. Bell, Rogers or Fido. This offer has been known to appear and disappear, however, during peak seasons like the beginning of summer and around Christmas time. Features:
  • 10. Offered in most plans is the ability to send and receive text messages for free or for a fee. You often get perks for your plan duration or a set period. Telus Mobility network is capable of all of the standard telecom features for a fee, such as Advanced Voicemail, Picture Messaging, Call Forwarding, Conference Calling, Call Display and others. Telus Mobility also offers those goodies everybody has come to love like downloadable ringtones, icons, logos, screensavers. Overall Value: If Telus Mobility offers features which you find useful or mandatory, then by all means the Telus Mobility plans can be right for you. If you just want a phone you can talk on without the need for unlimited calling on your birthday or you plan to use it primarily for long distance calling, then keep your options open. Telus Mobility offers excellent value for gadget-oriented people, but offers little extra in the way of value for people who just want a phone as a phone. Telus Mobility SMS: An online SMS tool is available free of charge from Bell Mobility's web site. Be reminding that the person receiving the text message may be charged. Free SMS Service. Visit them online: http://www.telusmobility.com/ Overall Ratings Bell Mobility Pricing Expensive Network Type CDMA Customer Service Excellent Overall Rating: "You get what you pay for. You will enjoy excellent coverage, friendly customer service, cool phones and moderately affordable plans." Bell Mobility Review Fido / Microcell Pricing Cheap Network Type GSM Customer Service Very Poor
  • 11. Overall Rating: "The overall value of Fido is an honestly hard task to calculate. On one hand, you have very affordable plans and a very capable network. On the other hand, you have lousy customer service and in a world where time is money, you might be losing money if you ever run into problems with your billing. The customer service aspect is something everybody should consider in the long-run. Fido would only be recommended if you live in an urban or suburban area. Though coverage is improving as with all mobile services, it is not recommended if you are frequently traveling in and out of major urban centres." Microcell Fido Review Rogers Wireless Pricing Moderate to Expensive Network Type GSM & TDMA (two networks) Customer Service Moderate Overall Rating: "The overall value of Rogers Wireless depends on which 'market' you reside in. I would consider the value of services in Ottawa better than that of Toronto, because they are different markets and hence have different plans available. All in all, Rogers provides reliable service backed up by their customer service reps and for everything people say about Rogers, they are continually improving in many areas." Rogers Wireless Review Telus Mobility Pricing Cheap to Moderate
  • 12. Network Type CDMA Customer Service Moderate Overall Rating: "If Telus offers features which you find useful or mandatory, then by all means Telus can be right for you. If you just want a phone you can talk on without the need for unlimited calling on your birthday or you plan to use it primarily for long distance calling, then keep your options open. Telus offers excellent value for gadget-oriented people, but offers little extra in the way of value for people who just want a phone as a phone. If you fancy a plan offered by another provider, mention it to Telus. They may match it." http://www.canadiancontent.net/tech/mobile/overall_ratings.html

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