D'Arcy from Winnipeg
Solution Architecture, Business & Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, and Adoption

WP7–Thoughts on Canadian Carrier Landscape

Sunday, November 7, 2010 11:47 PM

I had a whole blog post written up on the evils of Telus and how the “largest 3G network in Canada” doesn’t even run through two of the central provinces – Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Then I found out that they actually are 3G in SK and have the Windows Phone 7 devices listed as “coming soon”, so it would seem that Manitoba is the only province left out.

Fine. Whatever.

But that still leaves us with an interesting landscape here in Canada. We have three carriers committed to WP7 devices at launch: Telus and Rogers, who are both national carriers, and Bell which is local to Ontario an eastern-Canada carrier. Telus is launching with two devices, Bell and Rogers both have one.

Interestingly, Rogers stores in Winnipeg seem to not have a hot clue about the launch tomorrow. Tweets from a colleague who contacted a Rogers store suggest that they know absolutely nothing beyond the notion that a new Microsoft phone may be coming out soon. On the Rogers site, there’s no mention anywhere of WP7…no pricing, no coming soon, nada.

Update: A colleague contacted Rogers and was informed that the Focus was available on the Rogers website, but would not be available in-store until later this month.

Meanwhile, you can apparently get a free Xbox 360 at the Telus store in Toronto Eaton Centre tomorrow (while supplies last) when you purchase a WP7 device.

So here’s where my conspiracy theory comes into play. Back a few weeks to the NYC WP7 press conference, when Steve Ballmer showed a slide with the partners, Telus was the featured Canadian company; no Rogers at all. Now with Rogers having 3G truly across Canada, why wouldn’t Microsoft side with them instead of Telus which has a gaping hole in the middle of the country (and their 3G coverage)?

I gotta wonder if its because of Roger’s commitment to the iPhone. Rogers was the initial telco that offered the iPhone in Canada (Telus and other regional telcos now offer it as well). Perhaps Microsoft decided to stake its own partnership away from Apple’s go-to provider. This might also explain why Rogers isn’t pushing the device; maybe they’re carrying it so they can have a competing device in the WP7 market, but nothing more.

While I’m stuck waiting on Rogers here in Manitoba, I’ve heard frustration with Rogers from colleagues in other parts of the country as well. This is showing an interesting reality of the wireless business: your choice of partnered provider is important for the success of your launch. We’ll have to see over the next few weeks how Telus and Rogers do in pushing the product and whether Microsoft sided with the right telco.


# re: WP7–Thoughts on Canadian Carrier Landscape

Not sure why you are saying Bell is Ontario only... I could understand if you said Bell was eastern provinces only, but saying it is Ontario only tells me you didn't even bother checking.

Bell Service Map
Telus Service Map

They seem pretty much identical, which makes sense as the two carriers have signed a network sharing agreement for cell service, and for building out there GSM network to compete with Rogers. 11/8/2010 7:01 AM | thorkia

# re: WP7–Thoughts on Canadian Carrier Landscape

Rogers have had this "coming soon" page for a while, but there is no launch date there...

http://www.rogers.com/web/content/Win7Phone-Features?cm_mmc=Redirects-_-Consumer_Wireless_Eng-_-WindowsPhone7_1012-_-windowsphone 11/8/2010 8:36 AM | Ken

# re: WP7–Thoughts on Canadian Carrier Landscape

Thorkia: You're right, I didn't look at Bell mainly because they don't have a presence outside of the East. They may have coverage in the west, but that doesn't mean they have a *presence* in the west (i.e. there are no Bell mobility stores in Manitoba). Rogers and Telus have stores across Canada, which is why I labeled them as being national and not Bell. But good point that Bell is more than just Ontario. 11/8/2010 9:48 AM | D'Arcy from Winnipeg

# re: WP7–Thoughts on Canadian Carrier Landscape

Not really surprising, Telus is already sleeping with microsoft, they are partnered for their "media anywhere" solution. http://telus.com/content/tv/optik/system/

Telus would probly be pissed if Microsoft fooled around with Rogers on the side when they already have a committed relationship :P 11/8/2010 1:37 PM | Chris D

# re: WP7–Thoughts on Canadian Carrier Landscape

If you have an account and a phone plan with rogers. You can upgrade your phone to the Samsung focus. I did this two days ago and i got an email today my Samsung focus was sent in the mail with an xpress postal code to see where my parcel is. I like how they don't tell you that info BUT they say its coming soon to rogers. 11/13/2010 3:21 AM | Owen barker

# re: WP7–Thoughts on Canadian Carrier Landscape

It's now the 23rd, and Rogers STILL DOESN'T HAVE INVENTORY! YA, that's right, I ordered one online LAST week and they STILL DON'T have inventory! WTF?!?!?!?!?!?!?! I'm hoping mad at them and just about at my wits end with their pompose, oh just wait a bit longer attitude.

One KEY feature of selling the WP7 phones? IS HAVING THEM TO SELL! Come on Rogers get with the program and SMARTEN UP! As they say on Twitter, #FAIL! 11/23/2010 7:57 PM | PHenry

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