Remembering Canada’s Double Data Promos

Double Down

I’ve been reading a lot about carriers in the USA doubling down on their data buckets. There isn’t much in the way of useful information on the carriers’ own sites, but I did manage to find some hard numbers via this link on Bloomberg. Apparently Sprint started a double data promotion back in August. AT&T followed suit by doubling the 15GB in their $130/month plan to 30GB. Verizon has now matched this with an identical 30GB for $130/month. And T-Mobile is extending a promotion featuring a 10GB $100/month four-member family plan.

It made me think of a happier time here in Canada, where our Big Three carriers (and their subsidiaries) all had double-data promos of their own. It was less than a year ago.

So against my better judgement—I’ve historically been pretty bad at this—I’m going to wade once more into the murky waters of Canadian carrier pricing. If you’re looking for a one-page breakdown of every available option this ain’t it; I’m aiming for simplicity here above all else. To that end, the prices you’re about to see are samples from our carriers’ Ontario (non-Thunder Bay) sites…

January, 2014

Here’s the data from my corrected post, dated January 18th, 2014. I’ve deliberately left Fido out of the equation here as their pricing was, for whatever reason, out of step with Koodo and Virgin.

Bell, Rogers, TELUS
$105/month for 6GB (with device subsidy)
$85/month for 6GB (with BYOD discount)

Koodo, Virgin Mobile
$75/month for 4GB (with tab/subsidy)
$67.50/month for 4GB (with 10% BYOD discount)

October, 2014

Once again, this isn’t in any way meant to be a definitive breakdown of currently available data plans; it’s only a quick and dirty sample for the sake of comparison.

Bell, Rogers, TELUS
$100-110/month for 4GB (with device subsidy)
$90-100/month for 4GB (with BYOD discount)

Fido, Koodo, Virgin Mobile
$75/month for 2GB (with tab/subsidy)
$63/month for 2GB (with 10% BYOD discount)

Some Random Observations

  1. Despite what Howard reported a few weeks ago, the BYOD discount is still available on Bell’s Personal Shareable Plans. It’s only five bucks, though.
  2. Rogers and Fido deserve credit for presenting their plans in an exceptionally clear way. Fido’s plan page is much improved from the last time I checked, and the one on Rogers lets you calculate your monthly total. I found the TELUS page to be the least helpful of the lot.
  3. Looking at the comparison above, the rates aren’t all that different when you consider that each of the carriers made it very clear that the double data was a limited-time offer. Now that it’s over, the data bucket from the Big Three proper has only gone down by a third, whereas with the flanker brands you’re now getting half the data for about the same price.
  4. What has changed from the Big Three is the BYOD discount. Depending on the carrier it’s not necessarily a huge difference but it’s there. Howard has told me a couple of times now how he thinks that carriers in this country are getting out of the business of BYOD perks; I suspect he might be right.

Anyway, this post is more of thread-starter than an “OMG YOU GUYS, I RAN SOME NUMBERS AND YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT I FOUND!!!” type of thing, so feel free to add your thoughts below…