Canadian carriers’ social media scam.

It took a newly-minted Canadian from France to make me realize what an affront this is to Canadian mobile phone users…

If you’ve any doubts about the power and reach of social media, consider these available plans and add-ons from Canada’s three incumbent wireless carriers:

Bell Canada’s Smartphone BlackBerry Social:

Unlimited Facebook®, Twitter, MySpace® and instant messaging.

Rogers’ Social View™:

Now, on select data plans, get unlimited access to your favourite Social Networking sites. Update status, send messages, connect with friends and share photos using Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo, Flickr, Photobucket or LinkedIn.

Telus Mobility’s BB Social:

Unlimited Facebook®, Twitter®, MySpace®, BlackBerry® Messenger and Windows LiveTM Messenger.

Everything seems above the board — that is until you read the fine print:

Web browsing and applications usage is not available on BlackBerry® smartphones with this rate plan.

Huh?

Presumably for BlackBerry Internet Service the carrier has to pay some kind of license fee to Research In Motion, and would therefore pass that cost onto the customer (obviously). So why then is BBM included in the Telus plan above?

And how exactly are packets of data from Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo, Flickr, Photobucket or LinkedIn different from packets from any other site or service? There’s a term for this, isn’t there? Traffic shaping, if I’m not mistaken?

Fortunately Canada’s upstart carriers seem to adhere a bit better to the standards of net neutrality:

And Public Mobile stays out of the mobile Internet game altogether. Fair enough.

It should come as no surprise to any Canadian that this country’s big three do everything they can to obfuscate their mobile services on offer — or in this case,  what said services are sorely lacking. But when it comes to the mobile Internet don’t be fooled — data is data, and any company that tells you otherwise is trying to scam you.

4 Responses to “Canadian carriers’ social media scam.”


  • “And how exactly are packets of data from Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo, Flickr, Photobucket or LinkedIn different from packets from any other site or service?”

    This quote is the only thing that needs to be said about this, IMO. Treating data differently because of where it comes from is anti-net-neutrality to me. This is also what Google and Verizon were talking about last week — starting to treat data from one place differently than data from another. Its not a road we need to go down (again, IMO)….

  • It’s cold comfort, I guess, that such practices aren’t limited to Canada. :(

  • I miss the UK. What a wonderful mobile phone system they have! Plenty of competition, full duplex even for international calls, and dirt cheap!

  • “And how [the HELL] exactly are packets of data from Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Bebo, Flickr, Photobucket or LinkedIn different from packets from any other site or service?”

    If the services mentioned were humans, we’d have cried racism, why are people quiet over this?

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