BCE Inc. has responded to a new Rogers Communications Inc. wireless data pricing strategy by offering limited-time promotions that also don’t charge overage fees once the cap has been exceeded – a new approach for Canada’s national wireless carriers.
Like its rival, Bell is offering a $75 per month plan with up to 10 gigabytes of full-speed data usage a month, followed by unlimited data at reduced speeds.
However, Bell’s offer is in a temporary promotion that expires June 30, while Rogers says the change in pricing announced Wednesday is part of a multi-year plan ahead of the introduction of fifth-generation wireless networks.
Telus Corp. is taking a different approach from the other two carriers, with a promotion that effectively charges $75 a month for 15 gigabytes of data with full-speed data usage per month, followed by the standard overage fee.
The new plans signal at least a temporary shift for Canada’s three national wireless networks, which have been slower to adopt “unlimited” data plans than U.S. carriers.
There are other terms and conditions that set Canada’s three carriers apart from each other and from Freedom Mobile, which has long offered unlimited data plans without overage fees in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.
Analyst Aravinda Galappatthige of CanaccordGenuity Group Inc. said the introduction of unlimited plans with larger data buckets will counter one of Freedom’s main advantages.
“With that said, we note there is still a healthy gap between Freedom’s pricing and Rogers’s initial pricing,” he wrote.
A current Freedom promotion is offering 10 gigabytes of data a month for $60, plus four gigabytes of fast bonus data on its own regional network and one gigabyte of fast data.
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