Geek Life

WIND Mobile’s Videos: Funny. Canadian Mobile Phone Situation: Not So Funny.

I have no idea if WIND Mobile is going to be able to deliver what they promise – a mobile phone company that listens to its customers and provides better service than the sad players in the Canadian mobile phone oligarchy – but they’ve got the right ideas and some rather funny videos that perfectly illustrate what the Canadian mobile customer has to contend with.

What if Toronto’s hot dog vendors had a pricing model like Canadian mobile phone companies? Buying a hot dog would be like this:

Canada is the only country in the world where mobile companies lock you into three-year contracts for mobile service, and this situation is illustrated in the video titled Bike Lock:

I always look at the service packages offered by U.S. mobile companies with envy. Here, the mobile companies love nickel-and-diming you:

WIND is a new entrant into the Canadian mobile phone market and a branch of Globalive Communications, who already have a presence in Canada in the form of Yak Communications, an alternative phone and internet provider. They seem to be taking a very “social media” approach to their marketing, what with the “viral” YouTube videos and a “conversational” website in which readers are encourage to actively participate in online discussions.

They look like an interesting company to watch, and hey, if they can get me a better deal than Rogers, I’ll switch.

Recommended Reading

Tom Purves has been one of voices leading the battle cry against Canadian mobile companies for the past couple of years. Back in 2007 at DemoCamp 17, he gave what I consider to be the best ignite presentation ever given at a Toronto DemoCamp, The State of Wireless in Canada Sucks. Here’s the slide deck from that presentation:

He recently revised his presentation for 2009 when he presented it at the FITC mobile conference in September, which mentions WIND mobile:

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

4 replies on “WIND Mobile’s Videos: Funny. Canadian Mobile Phone Situation: Not So Funny.”

I’ve always wondered why someone didn’t start a Canadian wireless company that wasn’t so crappy. It smells of a cartel and government-imposed high barriers to entry. In the US our wireless companies compete like crazy! Alltel introduces a “5 free numbers” feature and other carriers follow. They mostly are differentiated now by coverage areas and what phones are available. When I see several companies providing bad service for a high price, I have to wonder why competition doesn’t take care of that (usually it’s because there is some barrier to competition). So why wasn’t this company started years ago?

Mark Jaquith: It probably took a good long time for the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Canadian analogue to the FCC) to approve them to be a mobile operator.

Here’s hoping that this brings some true competition to Canadian mobile!

It’s sad that you’re envious of US wireless carriers, but from what I’ve read and heard it’s true: the Canadian wireless market is horrible and even worse than the US.

Everyone whines about 3yr contracts, but then scream foul when they have to pay the full cost of a $500 phone. Yes, those mobile phones cost $500 or more and just as the linked presentation above says, Canada has an “addiction to handset subsidies”.

“But it’s so cheap in Europe” everyone says. Well, last time I checked there was a significantly larger amount of area to cover in Canada than the UK, and a significantly less population to help offset the costs. Oh, and don’t forget that $4b in licenses that the CRTC just sucked out of ALL the carriers. Just tack that onto the bill.

The hot dog ad is pretty spot-on and funny. Applies to airlines too.

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