Bell Canada will stop throttling internet downloads on March 1st. However, this paves the way for a new model where additional downloads will being to cost customers more – including wholesale companies like Teksavvy.
There was a study of ISP’s in multiple countries and they measured how much torrent throttling was happening on each ISP. For Canada they found Rogers to be the worst ISP, slowing down Bittorrents by as much as 78%!! The following are their results:
Rogers has been coasting for a long time with their antiquated PVR’s. They were old when they were introduced and have continued to lag behind in features and functionality in the past years. Finally, they have begun to offer a new PVR with more modern features that have been found in Tivo’s, Sling’s, Apple TV’s and other PVR’s for years. The Cisco 8600 is the new PVR that is available.
Notable features include:
Use a single PVR for the entire house, watch PVR shows on any TV
Compatible with DLNA for sharing music/movies on a PC
Ethernet connection for home networking
Look for Rogers to take advantage of some of the advanced features to offer much more interactivity to your television. Bell already offers controlling your PVR over the Internet.
Bell Canada is running a new service to Toronto – Bell Entertainment Service is a new service that allows for 20MBit/s Internet access and IP-based television services (IPTV). It’s an interesting service and right now they have a promotion for 50% the fee for the first year.
Features unique to this service is the smart PVR, which allows you to set recordings from any web browser or mobile phone; 20Mbit internet access (upload speed is not rated), watching PVR’d content on any tv at home, and wireless Internet service included.
There’s very little, if any, technical information on the service but on a Ben Lucier’s Blog there’s more information. He also links to the Bell User Guide. What’s important to note that this is NOT Fiber-to-the-home (FTTH). The last mile is actually just a fast implementation of DSL. Another thing to note is that DSL link is shared between your intenet service and television service. You can get download speeds of 20MBit using internet alone, but each channel you watch will knock off about 3Mbit off your download speeds. Not a big deal, but you should be aware of it. There is a 60GB monthly download limit on the internet portion of the service, which is small compared to the limits on Roger’s offerings. Hopefully they will increase it to be in-line with their competitors.
The biggest question I have is the picture quality of the HD channels – are they as good as non-compressed signals found on ExpressVu? Rogers has been compressing the HD channels of it’s service in recent years and picture quality is down quite a bit. I’m itching for a reason to switch and this IPTV service might be it.
If you’ve been lamenting that you can’t get an iPhone because you are with Bell or Telus, next week everything is going to change. On Nov. 4th, Telus starts selling the iPhone, and Bell will follow suit.
Prices are exactly the same as Rogers, and come with a 3 yr contract. There is a non-contract price but I don’t think many people will be willing to go for it.
The new network has been announced, and even the iPhone has been announced. But the full list of smartphones that Bell is selling to use on their fancy new HSDPA network has leaked out by Boy Genius Reports:
LG Xenon: $89.95, $289.95
Samsung Impact: $79.95, $279.95
Samsung Omnia 2: $349.95, $549.95
Apple iPhone 3G 8GB $399.95, $599.95 — probably $149 after in store rebates
Apple iPhone 3GS 16GB: $499.95, $699.95 — probably $199 after in store rebates
Apple iPhone 3GS 32GB: $599.95, $799.95 — probably $299 after in store rebates
BlackBerry Bold 9000: $399.95, $599.95 — probably $149-$199 after in store rebates
BlackBerry 9700: $399.95, $599.95 — probably $249 after in store rebates
According to this article by the Globe and Mail, Bell and Telus may soon announce the availability of the iPhone to their customers. This is a boon for existing customers that have wanted the iPhone but haven’t switched to Rogers yet.
While this is great news for Bell and Telus customers, I think this will play out more of a retention strategy than a new customer acquisition strategy. Many of the pro-iPhone users have already left Bell and Telus for Rogers, by offering the iPhone, they will prevent more from leaving. Likely they will match the Rogers price, rather than beat it, in order to lock all users onto new 3 year contracts, right before Wind Mobile goes live. I bet the top benchmark at all three companies will be percentage of customers on long-term contracts, which will try to prevent people from leaving based on price competition from new entrants.
Let’s get this out of the way first, it’s available on June 19th at Rogers. Unfortunately Rogers has not updated their website with any description and they did not lower the price of the old 3G to $99 like AT&T did.
Although the outside isn’t much different, inside there are many changes both in hardware and software. A better processor and memory are suspected, but not confirmed by Apple at the WWDC today. Instead they focused on showing off the new functionality of the iPhone and iPhone OS including:
Faster applications (new CPU and memory?)
3MP camera with autofocus, autoexposure and white balance control
Voice Control (including voice dialing)
Cut, Copy & Paste
See the guided tour at the Apple website for a very lengthy tour of the new phone.