Mobilicity vs. Wind Mobile

Michael Kwan
Woman reading text messages on her cell phone

Canadians are being offered more wireless choice than ever, so you might find yourself comparing Mobilicity vs. Wind Mobile. They're both relatively new to this market and they seem to be providing similar services and phones at similar price points, so what really is the difference between the two?

Challenging Canada's Big Three Carriers

For many years, the wireless phone industry in Canada has been dominated by three major corporations. Even though there are more than three Canadian cell phone providers, the major nationwide providers actually control many of the smaller brands. For instance, Virgin Mobile is actually a subsidiary of Bell Canada. Similarly, Koodo Mobile operates under the Telus banner and Fido is a sub-brand working under Rogers Communications.

As such, industry analysts and casual users alike have said that the Canadian market is in need of greater competition. It was with that in mind that a wireless spectrum auction was held and some new carriers have since emerged from that auction. Two of the biggest names to emerge are Mobilicity and Wind Mobile.

Comparing Mobilicity vs. Wind Mobile

When looking at these two new carriers, they actually share many similarities in terms of business philosophy and business strategy. For instance, unlike Bell, Telus, and Rogers, Mobilicity and Wind Mobile largely operate without contracts. This means that you can sign up for a service and walk away at just about any time, rather than locking yourself to a three-year contract.

On the surface, the two companies can appear to be quite similar, but they are not without their differences either. Here are some of the commonalities and differences shared between Mobilicity and Wind Mobile.

Cellular Technology Used

Without getting too technical, the cellular technology in use with both Wind Mobile and Mobilicity is not the same as the 3G technology being used by Bell Mobility, Telus Mobility and Rogers Wireless. Instead, the technology is fundamentally the same as what is being used by T-Mobile USA. Called AWS (advanced wireless services), the cell phones operate on the 1700MHz band (frequency). By contrast, Rogers and Fido use 850MHz and 1900MHz for most of its cellular needs.

In this way, if you choose to bring your own unlocked cell phone to either of these new carriers, you have to make sure that the wireless technology being used is compatible with the network. The Google Nexus S, for instance, is compatible since it uses the 1700MHz AWS band for its 3G wireless technology. The current Apple iPhone 4, on the other hand, would not be compatible.

Major Markets Served

While the comparison of Mobilicity vs. Wind Mobile will certainly shift and change over time, the current lead in cellular coverage (as of this article's writing) goes to Wind Mobile. That said, neither carrier is currently able to offer the same kind of extensive coverage being offered by Canada's three major nationwide carriers.

The "home zones" for Wind Mobile and Mobilicity focus on major metropolitan areas. When going outside of the city, you could find yourself "roaming" in an "away zone" and this could result in many additional fees and surcharges. For this reason, both of these carriers is best suited for city-dwellers.

As of this writing, Mobilicity has its cell phone towers set up in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, and Ottawa. Wind Mobile's coverage is similar, but it also includes Whistler, Calgary, and many Ontario suburban areas. If you are unsure about coverage, be sure to check out the company's respective websites for the most up-to-date information.

Promotions, Plans, and Phones

The different cell phone plans will certainly vary over time and region, but you'll find that the rates offered by both Mobilicity and Wind Mobile are quite competitive. During the holiday 2010 shopping season, for instance, both carriers were offering a special $40 unlimited plan. This plan included such features as unlimited Canada-wide calling, unlimited US long distance, unlimited global text messaging, caller ID, voicemail, and even unlimited data.

Which Cell Phone Provider Should You Choose?

Many considerations can factor into your choice of cell phone provider. Take a look at the different plans, coverage, and available handsets. Read the different user reviews that are available online, not only about reception and phone quality, but also about customer service, billing, and other concerns. Whether you choose to go with Mobilicity, Wind Mobile, Public Mobile, Solo Mobile, or any number of other carriers, you'll want to put in a suitable amount of research first.

Mobilicity vs. Wind Mobile