Apple iPad 3G Data Plans for Canada

by Gaurav Kheterpal on May 27, 2010

The iPad arrives in Canada in less than 24 hours from now. As expected, there’s a lot of excitement amongst Canadians to grab their iPad when the Apple stores open at 8 a.m. tomorrow morning.

So far, Bell and Rogers are the only Canadian carriers that have announced their data pricing plans for the iPad and it’s hardly surprising that both have resisted the temptation to offer ‘unlimited packages’ and opted for identical tariff plans.

Rogers was the first carrier in Canada to announce its data pricing plans for the iPad earlier this month. As expected, it chose a pricing model similar to AT&T in the U.S. Rogers is offering two options – a 250MB option for $15 a month and a 5GB option for $35 a month. AT&T offers these plans at $14.99 and $29.99 per month respectively. IMO, the 5 GB option is definitely priced on the higher side and Rogers could have done a better job by taking a leaf out of A&T’s pricing strategy.

The good part is that Rogers is offering an option to add your iPad data in with an existing data plan. IMO, this is a good option for users who do not have heavy data usage on their smartphone as it allows you far more data than a miserly limit of 250 MB. There’s no contract, you can sign up and cancel the contract at a later stage without any obligations.

Bell yesterday announced its data plans for iPad with WiFi + 3G, beginning May 28. As with Rogers, Bell does not require you to sign a contract and offers the facility to cancel your plan at any time. The Bell pricing plans are exactly same as that or Rogers – $15/month for 250MB of bandwidth, or $35/month for 5GB. To lure customers, Bell is offering a free Mobile TV service (worth $8 per month) for customers who activate their iPad on the carrier’s network till August 31. The Bell Mobile TV service lets users view streaming TV channels including CBC News Network, CTV, MuchMusic and The Weather Network.

To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed that neither carrier has chosen to offer unlimited data plans for the iPad. While 5GB may be good enough to start with, I’m sure Canadian iPad users will soon be gasping for higher data limits as they prepare for their long-due iPad honeymoon:).

TELUS has not revealed its iPad data plans so far.

Happy iPadding – Have fun!

MORE: I just received this email from Rogers clarifying the data plans for the iPad:

The shared plans are something that Rogers is looking into, which would make us one of the first carriers in the world to introduce data sharing. However, we’re not there just yet. Building this option into our system does take some time, as does the structure of how it will be offered to customers. If this option were to be introduced – so that customers with a smartphone could use their data plan on their iPad – it would likely require an additional monthly fee of ~$20 because of the investment required in our systems, which will draw on our network in different ways.

We’ve heard from our customers that shared data options are desirable but for now we’ve tried to structure our plans to be customer friendly with no term commitment, no overage fees and only pay for the months data is needed.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS>, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Andre May 27, 2010 at 11:11 am

“The good part is that Rogers is offering an option to add your iPad data in with an existing data plan. ”

Hi, This comment about sharing data plans with Rogers is incorrect.

The article date is today and you reference Bell’s price plan so I’ll assume it’s current but the reference to sharing data plans for Rogers’ customers was never released by Rogers and they have confirmed they will not allow it. At least not now.

Thanks, Andre

Gaurav Kheterpal May 31, 2010 at 4:11 am

@Andre – Thanks for pointing that out. I’d looked at the RedBoard posting and seems as if I got that wrong. I’ve now updated the post accordingly.

- Gaurav

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