I just upgraded my Rogers Unlimited*** plan to the “Rogers More Than Unlimited***, But Still Not QuiteÂ UNlimited” plan.Â The plans aren’t actually called Unlimited*** anymore, either.Â They’ve now renamed Unlimited*** to Max (it’s still limited to 25Mb, though), and introduced something called Data 100, which is limited to 200Mb and costs $100/month.Â Somebody must have talked some sense into those lawyers.Â
In general, data plans at Canadian carriers are byzantine.Â This is what Rogers’Â dataÂ plans look like, for instance:
|Â Plan Name||
|Â Data Included||OverageÂ|
|Â $15||Â 1.5||Â $21/Mb|
|Â Lite||Â $25||Â 3||Â $10/Mb|
|Â Plus||Â $40||Â 7||Â $6/Mb|
|Â Max||Â $60||Â 25||Â $7/Mb|
|Â Data 100||Â $100||Â 200||Â $5/Mb|
Lite, Plus and Max… sounds more like a feminine hygiene product, or a package of cigarettes than a wireless data plan, doesn’t it?Â Do you suppose they have a Menthol too?Â In any case, it’s clear from the overage fees, that they are actively discouraging people from buying the small plans.Â In fact, for a couple of our test Blackberries, we mistakenlyÂ bought the small plans, and were hit with hundreds of dollars in overage in the first month.Â
Telus’ plans are only marginally better.Â They’ve dumped the small plans altogether, and have a $40, $60 and $100 plan, each of which offer a slightly better monthly maximum than Rogers.Â So, for instance, the Telus $100 plan includes 250M of data, rather than 200.Â Bell Mobility’s plan is identical to Telus.
In contrast, south of the border Cingular offers a true unlimited plan for $59.99/month if you plan to use it with a laptop, or $49.99 for a Blackberry or PDA.Â Verizon has an unlimited plan for $59.99 too.
Where they really get you, though, is on the roaming.Â Rogers’ roaming rates are $.05/kb, for most of the US.Â That’s $51/Mb!Â Telus’ roaming rates seem a little more reasonable at $.01/k (in addition to your regular rate in Canada), until you read the fine print where they tell you that roaming on a PCS network will cost you $0.95/minute for data.Â
As crazy as it seems, Canadians who travel regularly to the US are likely better to get a US unlimited data plan and a PC cardÂ for travelling than to roam their Canadian plans, especially if you have two or three users, and can share the card.Â
What a country, eh?