Wireless warfare - Metro US

Wireless warfare

Competition is on the horizon for Canadian cell-phone companies, as new providers bound for Edmonton prepare for a wireless turf war.

“The consumer is the ultimate winner in all of this,” NAIT marketing professor Ray Bilodeau said.

Wind Mobile, Dave Wireless and Public Mobile are set to launch in Edmonton and other Canadian urban centres in early 2010, company reps confirmed this week.

Wind Mobile breezed into Toronto Wednesday and will open three boutique stores in Calgary on Friday. Edmonton outlets are expected in January.

New providers are offering freedom from traditional gripes associated with wireless commitments.

Promises of emancipation from contracts, penalties, and fees for activation, system access and enhanced 911 service could be enough to lure customers away from established providers, Bilodeau said.

“At the end of the day, service is going to win every time,” he said. “If I have the opportunity to deal with someone who I like to work with, versus someone I have to work with because of a contractual obligation, I’ll choose who I like.”

Other perks include no charge for incoming text messages and incoming long-distance calls, and the ability to use smartphones on the new networks.

A recent report published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development states Canada’s cellphone rates are among the highest in developed countries.

“This is going to keep cellphone companies honest,” Bilodeau said.

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