The reason I’m writing this post today is to talk about the people who try and detract from Wind Mobile who really don’t know what they’re talking about and tend to fire off negativity in the comments section of Wind’s Facebook posts. Here’s what you need to know about Wind Mobile before singing up as a customer.
Wind Mobile does not have the same wireless coverage as any of the other carriers here in Canada. If you’re planning to leave ANY other carrier for Wind, you need to ensure you have appropriate network expectations. They are still a young company and have a lot of ground to cover in terms of network. If you are expecting the same coverage you have with your current provider at Wind, you’re going to have a bad time.
Wind Mobile does have local customer service reps during normal North American business hours. They have an outsourced call center that takes over the load when the local customer care is at home sleeping. If this is something that makes you uncomfortable, then stay where you are.
Roaming in Canada
I’ve seen a lot of people talking about how a rep told them that as long as they were in Canada, there would be no roaming. This is simply untrue and poor training on the reps part. If you’re in Canada and on the WIND network (not WIND AWAY) then you are safe to use all of the facets of your unlimited plan.
If you see WIND AWAY on your device, you are roaming and should try to limit use.
It’s really that simple. I’m not sure how so many people get confused.
Device Subsidies and AWS Banding
Wind Mobile uses a type of spectrum referred to as AWS wireless spectrum. The AWS bands are much higher frequency bands which means that wall and building penetration is not the greatest. Wind has made several improvements to this situation to try and help their customers as much as they can, however they can’t create miracles. What does somewhat frustrate me is the fact that Wind managed to scoop up some low band 700mhz spectrum but has yet to deploy it for customers. This would solve reception issues and network density issues from what I’ve been told.
Now lets talk about the Wind Tab and device subsidies.
A device subsidy is essentially the way a wireless company can offer you a $0 phone. It essentially is an agreement between yourself and a carrier saying “Here’s a free phone. Now you keep service with us for X amount of time / days / revenue”. Wind Mobile and even most other carriers have moved over to a model that works similarly. Let me break it down.
- Carrier provides you a device at a very small or no upfront cost.
- The balance of the value of the device is placed on a “tab”
- Each month you pay your bill, the carrier reduces the amount of your tab by subtracting 10% of your months bill from that amount.
- Once the subsidy is paid back in full, you are no longer required to pay off your “tab”.
Let’s go through an example.
On the Wind Tab, you can get a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus for $399 up front.
The actual value of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus is $949 + tax.
This means your Wind tab balance would be $550.
Each month your bill is $40, so Wind would apply $4 towards your balance making it $546 after month 1.
This means you have a long ways to go before your tab is cleared but here’s where Wind is different. If after 2 years you still have a balance on your Wind tab, they will bring it down to $0.
I hope this helps clarify a few things for people considering making the change to Wind.
This post has been a long time in the works as I’ve gown continually frustrated with the rediculous cost of owning a smartphone these days. I wanted to put it all in one place and show just how sad competition is in the wireless market in Canada (more specifically Ontario).
Now bear in mind that in all provinces there is likely a smaller carrier that I’ve not listed that forces the big guys to compete, however here’s what happens in a province where Rogers, Bell and Telus are not forced to compete.
I decided on the specs of a plan I wanted, and priced them out as best as I could at several carriers.
- Unlimited local calling
- Unlimited texting / mms
- 6GB of Data
- Call Display, Voicemail
Carriers I priced:
- Fido (Owned by Rogers)
- Virgin (Owned by Bell)
- Koodo (Owned by Telus)
As you can see from Bells pricing, my plan would cost me $120 per month for a single device.
As you can see from Telus’ pricing, the same plan would cost me the same amount at Telus. $120 per month for a single device.
As you can see from Rogers’ pricing, the same plan would again cost me the same amount at Rogers. $120 per month for a single device.
Fidos pricing is a little different. I get the same plan but 1GB less in terms of data for $105 per month for a single device.
Virgin does not have a 6GB option and this is the closest to what they have. $110 per month with 2GB less data.
This is likely why Koodo is killing it these days. This plan has 1GB less data than my desired plan, however all of the other features are the same. $90 per month for a single device. Their pricing actually reflects the loss of 1GB of data where as Virgins price is actually HIGHER for giving up 2GB of data.
The Real Kicker
Here’s the only company even trying to compete.
Sure you loose 1GB of data, but they even have a promo going on right now that sees their $45 plan drop down $6 per month for a limited time.
Now you with a straight face sit and tell me that there is real wireless competition in Canada. The only company I see trying to compete to win the business of Canadians is Wind Mobile.
This has been a load off of my chest and hopefully a learning experience for the rest of Canadians who think they are getting “Value” from any of these companies.
Well it all started with wanting to upgrade our service. I was finding that the 25 megabit service I ordered from Bell was getting worse and worse and was not quite fast enough for our needs.
I decided to hop on to the Bell chat and see if I could get us up to a faster speed.
Earlier in the day a technician had to come out and service our line as there was a “grounding issue” on it. While he was working on our line I asked him what our attainable speeds were and he informed me we can easily obtain 50 megabits download and 30 megabits upload. Perfect! I should be able to upgrade.
I hopped on to the Bell online chat and asked the rep to look into it for me. The rep then tells me the only way that I can get my fibre upgraded is by ordering FibeTV. They said they would install a second line to the house and pair bond the lines. When I told them I didn’t need a pair bond, the rep replied telling me this was the only way I was getting my speed upgraded.
OK.. I figured maybe it was one misinformed rep and went on to ask three different reps about an upgrade. All three told me the same thing. If I wanted to upgrade, I would have to order FibeTV.
Easy decision. I called Rogers and after speaking with a sales rep for about five minutes, I had an installation scheduled and a package that offered 175 megabits download and 15 megabits upload which is fantastic and is actually costing us less monthly than our service with Bell.
The installation is scheduled for today and I will speed test the crap out of the line!