Rogers Wireless has a virtual monopoly on the GSM game in Canada, being the only GSM service provider in many parts of the country. The other major GSM service provider -- Fido (Microcell) -- is wholly owned by Rogers. As such, Rogers (and Fido) has become the premiere choice among Canadians who change their phones quite often, choosing to import rare, unlocked handsets not normally available to North Americans.Rogers Wireless (previously known as Cantel, Cantel AT&T, Rogers Cantel AT&T, and Rogers AT&T Wireless) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rogers Communications, a group of companies that also provide a variety of other services, including home cable television and landline telephone, as well as operating a number of television (e.g., SportsNet) and radio stations (e.g., Jack FM), magazines (e.g., Maclean's), and even the Toronto Blue Jays.
As Canada's primary GSM service provider, Rogers Wireless is best known for offering cellular phone service via GSM/GPRS/EDGE on the 850MHz and 1900MHz bands, but they also operate under the now ancient TDMA standard on the 800MHz band. Moreover, Rogers Wireless is planning to enter the realm of 3G with a UMTS/HSDPA launch this fall.
A quick glance at the official Rogers Wireless website will reveal their current focus on musicphones. From the Motorola SLVR L7 with iTunes to the Sony Ericsson line of Walkman phones, it's clear that Rogers wants to tell you that they're on top of the cell phone game, offering the latest in music-centric handsets, megapixel cameraphones, and Bluetooth technology, the last of which epitomized by their current ad campaign for "sharing" with the budget-minded Nokia 6103.
Plans and Essentials
Rogers Wireless offers a wide variety of cellular phone plans, from the most basic to the most feature-packed. This guide is designed to give you an idea of what Rogers cell plans are like; please check with their official website or with a local Rogers retailer for details for your area before making any purchasing decisions. Remember, signing on that dotted line is binding, including all that fine print that you may have neglected to read.
Their Mega Time and easy4U plans start at just $20 a month for either 200 anytime minutes, or 50 weekday minutes and 1000 evening and weekend minutes. These basic plans are typically adequate for casual users, but bear in mind that such "essentials" as caller ID and voicemail are not included.
For couples and families, Rogers has plans that start at $35 a month for two handsets, with additional lines being added for $15 each. They even have an "Add-A-Phone" option that allows you to share your minutes on virtually any plan with another family member, friend, or associate.
Business users can find beefier plans should their work demand it, including plans for BlackBerry devices and their high data usage. Voice plans start at $25 and data plans at $15, with prices steadily increasing from there, easily reaching three figures.
Popular Cell Phones
- Sony Ericsson W810i: With an integrated 2.0 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, EDGE, and a built-in media player, the W810i really is the total package. This candybar-style phone comes clad in Sony Ericsson's signature black and orange. All its functionality and juicy specs -- including a 3D gaming engine, stereo speakers, and a 1GB Duo Pro Memory card bundled into the package -- won't come cheap though, with the Sony Ericsson W810i currently going for $300 with a 3-year contract.
- Motorola RAZR: Rogers carries both the more basic V3 and the iTunes-capable V3i varieties of Motorola's popular super slim clamshell. In fact, you can even get a pink or black version of the RAZR V3, should it better suit your personality. For more on the differences between the V3 and V3i, please refer to our article on Motorola Cell Phones.
- Samsung D807: The D807 epitomizes everything that the Samsung brand stands for. It's got a sliding form factor, it's quite skinny (only 1.5cm thick), and it's got plenty of multimedia functionality, including a built-in MP3 player, and an integrated 1.3 megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom and camcorder capabilities. There's only 17MB of on-board memory, but you'll find plenty of storage via the included 512MB microSD card.
- Nokia E62: Going head to head with the big boys in the business phone industry, the Nokia E62 features a full QWERTY keyboard, quad-band GSM connectivity, and 90MB of internal memory. Easily able to hold up its own against the BlackBerry devices and Palm Treos of the world, the Nokia E62 also features Bluetooth, a full suite of PDA/PIM tools, and an integrated music player.