Prepaid Cell Phones Canada - Competition Has Grown!
prepaid cell phones Canada section is...you guessed
the Canadian prepaid wireless market. Throughout this
I've discussed just how far behind the rest of the world the U.S. is in
terms of its maturity in the prepaid wireless space. I've
mentioned that North America in general is behind countries like
Europe, where prepaid is simply a way to pay, and doesn't have the
negative connotation that exists in North America.
prepaid cell phone plan content on this site has been
largely dedicated to U.S. prepaid
wireless plan comparison, however, the Canadian prepaid market
ultimately also heated up, and it became worthy of a lot more
attention! Let's look
where the prepaid cell phones Canada wireless market has
historically been, and
what evolved that should prove to be exciting for
residing in Canada!
Canada - The History!
I could throw out a bunch of dates showing you how the Canadian
carriers have evolved in their prepaid wireless plan offerings, I
you that it would put you to sleep! So let's simply sum it up
saying that prepaid had historically been an extremely small part of
each of the major carrier's overall strategy. Each carrier
acquired) a distinct prepaid brand. Next to the logo is the
carrier's general brand name. Next to that is each company's
||Telus Pay & Talk
||Changed from Rogers
Prepaid to Fido following its acquisition of
Microcell, and they started the chatr wireless brand that's currently
in the market
of these prepaid businesses really thrived despite undergoing
occasional reinvention every few years. Aside from chatr
wireless, which was a more recent Rogers startup brand (at the time).
not to say that the
and offerings weren't good; they were certainly respectable.
issue has always been that there was a lack of investment and focus on
developing prepaid as a viable business in favor of the more desirable
postpaid business model. Prior to Rogers purchasing it, Fido
the only notable standalone prepaid offering to speak of. And
should be noted that there are arguments to be made that prepaid can
actually be more profitable than postpaid, but that's a completely
Came Virgin Mobile
2007, Virgin Mobile expanded into Canada as the only true prepaid only
offering, which gave them an advantage in terms of a dedicated focus on
prepaid. Virgin Mobile Canada did reasonably well,
launched postpaid plans in 2008. Though that could be seen as
disadvantage by taking focus away from the prepaid wireless business.
In May 2009, Bell Mobility
acquired the rest of Virgin Mobile Canada for CAN$142 million (they
previously owned 50%). Bell continued to operate its legacy
brand, despite also having prepaid plans under the Bell brand.
my opinion it was really a mess. We ultimately saw Bell
migrate its Solo customers to Bell Mobility, and it continues to
operate Virgin Mobile Canada as a distinct brand.
Canada - Competition Brewed!
driven by the success of the prepaid wireless market in the U.S., which
drove significant results in 2009, the Canadian market definitely aimed
its sights on prepaid! I think this largely has to
do with the
U.S. having shifted from the negative stigma of prepaid
wireless, to a focus on
Contract Cell Phones
positioning that people find so appealing.
So while the
(i.e. existing) Canadian carriers scrambled to get organized around a
refreshed prepaid wireless strategy, there were several completely new
companies/brands that have launched in Canada.
wireless spectrum in Canada, and tried to shake up the
market with some
extremely competitive prepaid offerings! Here are
prepaid wireless providers, and what became of them. Note how
ALL of them were ultimately snatched up by the large carriers,
effectively eliminating the benefit of long term competition outside of
the incumbent providers.
||Became Mobilicity, then purchased by Rogers &
folded into chatr Wireless.
||Still exists today under Telus.
|Became Freedom Mobile & is owned by Shaw