Rogers Intros Tablet Sharing Plans, PlayBook Launch Early Next Year

by Gaurav Kheterpal on December 6, 2010

Rogers Communications, Canada’s largest wireless provider, now plans to extend its dominance to the tablet and mini tablet devices segment as well. At its TabLifeTO conference on Friday, the carrier unveiled new data sharing plans intended for tablet & modem owners and showed-off the BlackBerry PlayBook, a tablet that it expects to launch early in 2011.

Rogers believes that tablets are the “Dashboards of Tomorrow” and I couldn’t agree more on that. The company’s tablet ambitions got off to a flying start with its first offering – the Samsung Galaxy Tab selling out as soon as it hit the stores. It would be interesting to see if the BlackBerry PlayBook lives up to its pre-launch hype and high public expectations.

Dubbed as the “Share One Data Plan“, the new sharing plan from Rogers is aimed at encouraging customers to sign-up for multiple devices. Customers with more than one device can pay for a new data plan called the “Voice & Sharable Data Plans” or an add-on called “Smartphone data share” that attaches the extra device to a single pool of bandwidth. The carrier is offering the option of adding a mobile internet line starting at $15 extra per device. The $15 add-on lets you share between 1 GB to 5 GB of data from your smartphone plan + get unlimited social networking (to popular sites) with your primary device. The $20 add-offers the same deal for a 3-year term with an additional hardware discount agreement on your new device. As for the pre-packaged plans, the $55 plan offers 200 minutes, 6PM evenings and weekends, 1GB of data and one of five perks, scaling up to $70 for 500 minutes and 5PM evenings. 

While the company’s new data plans created a buzz in the media, it’s fair to say that the RIM PlayBook stole the show at TabLifeTO. David Neale – Vice President of Special Projects offered a sneak peek into the functioning and the specs of RIM’s latest offering, The PlayBook – labeled to be the world’s first professional tablet. Rogers is expected to start offering the WiFi version of PlayBook early next year and the 3G version as and when it becomes available.

Rogers also used the TabLifeTO conference as an opportunity to announce its new on-demand streaming service for tablets, and its plans to introduce remote personal video recorder (PVR) capabilities on tablets, smartphones, and cable services. The carrier’s “tablet-optimized” application for On Demand Online will feature primetime TV, movies, sports, and music, and is expected to be adaptable to various tablet screen sizes and operating systems. The carrier believes that the ability to sync up tablets with PVRs will soon be a norm rather than an exception.

I’m eagerly awaiting the launch of RIM PlayBook. Whether it can revive RIM’s dwindling fortunes and prove to be a bestseller for Rogers, I do not know. However, the PlayBook vs. iPad battle offers to be a mouth-watering prospect and the clock is already ticking for this much-anticipated showdown of the titans.

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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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