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Business as usual December 1st.


Userlevel 6
December 1st marks the day that all phones on our market must be unlocked. Either already unlocked, or carriers must give unlock code free as of that day.
This will certainly rock the market. This will favour subscribers who "don't know better" (buy unlock codes from carrier instead of ebay, incur massive roaming fees because they don't think of unlocking their phone and sim-swapping at the boarder or at their destination). This will likely be unfavourable for those of us who use forums (we know about unlocking our phones on ebay, etc.).
Carriers will likely increase their rate plans on post-paid accounts. Carriers will likely offer a lot less on the prepaid rack, or at least will remove all discounts from those devices.
My only suggestion is to keep doing what you do. You're with Koodo? Stick to Koodo. You're with another carrier? Stick with them. Please don't "switch carriers" more often than you do already just because your phone will work with any carrier as of December 1st without paying an unlock fee.
Let's show the carriers that this will not prevent us from benefiting from post-paid plans, and how we love Koodo's activation credits and lower costs to subsidize phones compared to other carriers.
Otherwise, post-paid plans will drive up in price, and push a lot of us over to Public Mobile, Chatr, roaming in Canada using a US carrier such as Nettalk wireless, or even pulling some strings that are unspeakable on this forum.
Just my 2c.

23 replies

Userlevel 7
Badge +4
I wouldnt be surprised if rates went up, but I'd be surprised if promos and sales on phones stopped. Logically speaking, there's no guarantee that those will end. In the US, where T Mobile gives unlock codes for free and Verizon doesn't even lock phones anymore, the US market has better phone promos than we get. Mobilesyrup's poll so far has most people thinking prices will go up. Time will tell. Either way, this is a tiny percentsge of revenue (40 million or something for all carriers last year?) And even if the same profit margins were to be passed down, it'd be a small impact. Hopefully not, but time will tell.
Userlevel 7
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Goran wrote:

I wouldnt be surprised if rates went up, but I'd be surprised if promos and sales on phones stopp...

Now that I think about it, with 30 million cell phone subscribers in Canada if each person paid an extra $1.33 a year, then that would cover the 40 million made from unlocking devices.
Userlevel 7
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Goran wrote:

I wouldnt be surprised if rates went up, but I'd be surprised if promos and sales on phones stopp...

Less, actually, as there is some cost to providing the unlock service.
Goran wrote:

I wouldnt be surprised if rates went up, but I'd be surprised if promos and sales on phones stopp...

Ummm ... I can't bother reading this thread any longer. Other than North Americans, who buys devices from a Service Provider? You don't buy your vehicle from the Department of Highways!
Userlevel 7
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Goran wrote:

I wouldnt be surprised if rates went up, but I'd be surprised if promos and sales on phones stopp...

With the exception of Apple, buying devices direct from the manufacturer can be tricky, and in some cases not possible a few years ago.

Right now I cant even go to the samsung store to buy an unlocked Galaxy phone that is not tied to any network
Userlevel 6
Goran wrote:

I wouldnt be surprised if rates went up, but I'd be surprised if promos and sales on phones stopp...

This can take a stab at the grey market for unlocked phones. Also, carriers will likely align their retail price for devices. Example: Moto G4 Play is $240 retail on Télus/Koodo, but $200 on Bell/Virgin. Is the Télus/Koodo variant $40 more awesome? They're identical, only have been locked to different carriers and get OTA updates from different carrier software channels. The price difference is to align with Koodo's tab small.
Would be interesting to see all carriers offer devices at the exact same retail price 😃
Userlevel 7
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Goran wrote:

I wouldnt be surprised if rates went up, but I'd be surprised if promos and sales on phones stopp...

The Koodo one is $40 more Happy
Userlevel 6
Goran wrote:

I wouldnt be surprised if rates went up, but I'd be surprised if promos and sales on phones stopp...

Lolz. Was just an example. Point is you won't have to pay the extra $40 for more Happy after all in-market phones are unlocked...perhaps carriers will make it even harder to buy phones outright after December 1st?
Userlevel 7
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Goran wrote:

I wouldnt be surprised if rates went up, but I'd be surprised if promos and sales on phones stopp...

I bet Bell Virgin would just join Koodo/Telus and up their pricing so everyone will be Happy.

Yes they opened up the market by removing carrier locks, but majority of customers still rely on carriers to get their phones.
Userlevel 6
Goran wrote:

I wouldnt be surprised if rates went up, but I'd be surprised if promos and sales on phones stopp...

This is true, any opportunity Bell/Virgin gets to price increase, they'll take it. To be fair, Télus/Koodo does't always try to be the cheapest in every race (as we've seen). Granted, most consumers just "go with the flow", do post-paid, take a phone on subsidy, hope to pay nothing upfront, and that likely won't change. What will likely change is when Canadians go to the US they'll sim-swap rather than roam, as they'll no longer will have the hassle of unlocking their phones.
Userlevel 7
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Goran wrote:

I wouldnt be surprised if rates went up, but I'd be surprised if promos and sales on phones stopp...

 "[i]What will likely change is when Canadians go to the US they'll sim-swap rather than roam, as they'll no longer will have the hassle of unlocking their phones."

No, they'll just have the hassle of finding and installing prepaid services for their phones instead. For most folks, the ease of keeping their current set-up and paying a fee for convenience far outweighs the hassle of getting a fresh SIM, setting up an account, letting all the folks who need to call you your new number, etc., etc., etc.

We are more likely to see more options such as Telus already offers - for a premium of $10 per month, you can use your minutes and data across Canada and the USA. For those who travel frequently enough it pays for itself quickly.

Userlevel 7
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Goran wrote:

I wouldnt be surprised if rates went up, but I'd be surprised if promos and sales on phones stopp...

You mean the $7/day roam like home add-on?
Userlevel 7
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Goran wrote:

I wouldnt be surprised if rates went up, but I'd be surprised if promos and sales on phones stopp...

No, the Canada-US plan.
Userlevel 7
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Goran wrote:

I wouldnt be surprised if rates went up, but I'd be surprised if promos and sales on phones stopp...

Ouch that is kinda pricy
Userlevel 7
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Goran wrote:

I wouldnt be surprised if rates went up, but I'd be surprised if promos and sales on phones stopp...

Not really, when you consider the level of subsidy you receive for a premium phone. For someone who has a need for ongoing  connectivity while regularly in the USA it is a reasonable premium.
Userlevel 7
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A bit of fear mongering there titaniumtux... let's wait and see what happens in December. 

    Too often we suffer most sorely
    and thereby feel most poorly
    from dreaded aches and pains.

-Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770)

Userlevel 7
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Sophia wrote:

A bit of fear mongering there titaniumtux... let's wait and see what happens in December. 

...

He died at 18 😞
Userlevel 7
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Sophia wrote:

A bit of fear mongering there titaniumtux... let's wait and see what happens in December. 

...

Probably with dreaded aches and pains.

Userlevel 2
The line Bell gave the CRTC makes no sense "Prices will go up if phones are unlocked" Think about it logically when LG makes a phone its unlocked they need to take the extra step of locking it to Bell, Telus whoever. More labour equals a higher price so unlocked should in fact drop the price. 

People arent gonna be jumping like rats on a sinking ship. The comapny already has you tied into a contract for cost of the phone plus CRTC didnt ban 1 year contracts so they will still get that income.
Userlevel 6
Here's the thing...carrier locking has been securing the big three a lot of revenue in roaming. The revenue from the unlock codes is rather trivial compared to the roaming revenue.@Goran: T-Mobile offers dirt cheap or included roaming to a generous list of destinations. Verizon customers simply can't roam if they're on Verizon's CDMA network. Given that these carriers are not at a loss in roaming revenue, it's to their advantage to offer unlocked phones.@Allan, David & Tristan: as mentionned, the revenue from unlock codes is trivial. Scaring customers with expensive unlock fees secures roaming revenue. Carriers would gladly absorb any cost in providing unlock service for phones locked to their network (as well as the cost of locking the devices) in exchange for cashing in on roaming.@Mystic: I understand the analogy. Normally you don't go to a foot doctor to fix your teeth and vice versa...however in our market, carriers secure revenue with phone subsidy agreements (call it what you want subsidy/agreement/contract/exploiting those who don't know better/etc. doesn't matter, choice of words in this case is just semantics).@Sophia: history is repeating itself. When we went from 3 yr agreements to 2 yr agreements, rate plans went up substantially. Maybe only by a little shortly after the fact, but rate plans have kept creeping up since.
Userlevel 6
Here are some more thoughts on the changes to the wireless code:
  1. Télus wanted to make activation incentives .gift cards) as part of the buy-out on 24 month agreements. Koodo's 90 day rule on activation incentive clawbacks is argueably not in complete harmony with the existing wireless code (but no one seems to be making a big fuss about it). Bell and Rogers didn't back up Télus on this one. Fortunately the wireless code did not change on the pro-rated buy-out rule.
  2. Télus probably doesn't see the phone unlocking rule as a loss of revenue. In fact, Télus increased their unlock fee from $35 to $50 a while back to match the other two of the big three.
  3. Buyer's remorse in terms of usage allowances makes more sense. I think the 30 minutes talk and 50 MB data is too tight...basically, when you leave the mall with your new phone, you've likely already exceeded this. Mind you, a smart user would make sure their sales rep does not boot up the phone with their sim card, allowing the customer to take the phone home, try it on wifi without the sim first to make sure everything is ok. First boot on a phone, even when going on wifi right away, will likely juice up close to the 50 MB's of data (depending on the phone). The fact that phones will be returnable in a "like new" condition means carriers will have a bigger cost of off-loading refurbished phones. I could be wrong, but I only know of Koodo putting refurb phones on agreements (I think a webstore exclusive?). We might see big changes here. Carriers might find other tricks. Perhaps be a bit quicker to throw in a bumper case to avoid scatches?
  4. Expect better deals on roaming. Why? If it's too expensive to roam, Canadians will pick up local sim cards at their destinations.
Userlevel 2
The worst thing with this would be the lost or stolen phones. They can now be sold on the black market and be unlocked. It is a good thing for us for freedom of moving but bad because what was stated. 

Userlevel 6
Brent Foreman wrote:

The worst thing with this would be the lost or stolen phones. They can now be sold on the black m...

Won't matter for stolen phones because they'll get blacklisted. Once blacklisted, the phone won't work on any North American carrier. Besides, most people put a screen lock on their phone. Say the thief factory resets the device from bootloader, then they get google lock. Only possible exception is for those who've unlocked their bootloader, but said users likely have a "smarter" lifestyle and don't risk taking their daily driver to the night club or on hiking trips (they'd probably take a $100 phone for emergencies to such places, and would have extra measures to protect their main phone).

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