Mobilicity and WIND Mobile’s 2011 holiday promotions.

Ready or not, the holiday season is once again upon us. And just like last year, upstart Canadian carriers Mobilicity and WIND Mobile have some very aggressive promotions on offer.

If you really can’t live without your precious iPhone you may as well stop reading now. But if you can keep an open mind, the good news is that both carriers can save you significant amounts of cash — even if you’re currently tied into a multi-year contract with Bell, Rogers or Telus.

Wait, what?

It’s true. The specifics of your own contract may vary, but assuming the following:

  1. The $30/month price point (rounded up) of holiday promos detailed below;
  2. An average monthly cell phone bill of $60;
  3. An example ETF (early termination fee) of $200…

You could pay off the ETF with your savings in less than seven months, and enjoy a windfall of $30/month after that.

A Quick Primer

Last holiday season I looked on with some skepticism as Mobilicity and WIND offered $40/month “all in” promotions. They weren’t exactly the same, but they effectively boiled down to:

  • Unlimited minutes;
  • Unlimited SMS;
  • Unlimited data.

This year Mobilicity’s $40 Holiday Miracle plan is back, but both carriers are offering promos for significantly less  — that is, if you can make do without voicemail, as is the style of the day (or are willing to pay extra for it).

Here are the specifics…

Mobilicity’s promotion is rather thin on the fine print, but given that it’s technically an extension of their autumn Back To School Plan you can expect the following:

  • Unlimited local calling from anywhere Mobilicity offers service;
  • Unlimited North America-wide SMS & MMS;
  • Unlimited (non-BlackBerry) data.

Gotchas

Voicemail will set you back another $8/month. And since Mobilicity usually tacks on an extra $5/month for BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service), it’s unclear whether or not you can use a BlackBerry with this plan without paying that additional fee.

Perks

Even though this is already a contract-free “for life” rate, as of yesterday Mobilicity is offering a 50% discount on your first 6 months of service, 12 months if you prepay. Insane.

If I remember my recent history correctly, WIND Mobile was first to dip below the $30/month threshold before Mobilicity undercut them by $4. On the surface their plan is even better:

  • Unlimited Canada-wide calling from any WIND home zone;
  • Unlimited North America-wide SMS & MMS;
  • Unlimited data (including BlackBerry).

Gotchas

Unlike Mobilicity’s plan this is a promotional rate for 12 months only; after that your monthly fees go up to $45. Voicemail will set you back an additional $5/month.

Perks

WIND offers handset subsidies in the form of WINDtab™. At no additional cost to you WIND will pay down your handset with 10% of your monthly bill. After three years any amount still owing will be cleared, or you can pay off the balance yourself at any time.

Disclaimer

In case you’re wondering why I’m so cavalier about voicemail, I was shrewd enough to port my landline number of many years to an awesome VoIP service that emails me an audio file of every message I receive.

I should also mention that I’m currently both a WIND and Mobilicity customer. That I live in a big urban centre certainly helps, and the big three’s increasingly ridiculous pricing & contracts made switching a no-brainer for me.

So Who’s Better?

Last winter I gave the nod to Mobilicity for their locked-in rates and better selection of handsets. But with prices even lower this time around, it may well be time for a rematch.

Stay tuned…

3 comments:

  1. I switched over to WIND in Oct, leaving behind my Robbers $150.00 account. (750 daytime minutes, early evenings and weekends, NO long dist, 6GB data, 2000 texts/pictures messaging, and UR music.) I am now paying a whopping (sarcasm) $39/month for unlimited everything, and that includes a Canada Wide roaming rate of .16/min, which is much cheaper then Robbers longdistance rates while travelling from Ottawa to Toronto. Could not be happier! I stayed with rogers only until Zune music pass became available and at $99/yr, much cheaper then UR music at $20/month, not to mention the FAR superior software UI, and I can download to PC, port to my N8, (or download to WP) and stream thru Xbox. The money I am saving, well, at $100/month it adds up quick. I am now Robbers free, as I made the switch to Tekksavvy, and am very happy with their unlimited HS at 33/month (all taxes in). Finally Canadians have choice and are able to shed any of the big 3. That is of course providing you live in a major Urban area… but I Digress.

  2. Oh, and Robbers, ETF, $400.00. I had 12 months remaining. NEVER again. No more subsidised phones. My unlocked de-branded N8(which I had to do myself, as purchasing it in Canada as such was nearly impossible) is now running the leaked version of Symbian Belle, and the difference in performance is night and day! It’s like I have a new phone, and I have been using it for a year now, and heve beat the living hell out of it, and yes, because it’s a Nokia, it still works wonderfully.

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