updated 12:15 pm EDT, Wed March 12, 2008
T-Mobile Canada Follow-up
T-Mobile's tentative steps to enter the Canadian market for cellphones may have been confirmed, according to a detailed tip sent to BGR. The carrier has reportedly received government approval to start its service in 2009 and would run at least a trial service until 2010 that would offer all the normal calling, data, and roaming services expected of most providers. It would also bring many of the phones used by its American cousin, including HTC-made devices such as the Shadow as well as the SideKick line.
Legal hurdles are not expected, according to the claim. The company has already received a license for the T-Mobile name through a cross-border agreement with its US cousin and already intends to choose a Canadian as the head of the local provider.
While such a launch would prove disruptive in the country, which has only Rogers as a major GSM-based phone carrier, T-Mobile intends to rely on an unlimited BlackBerry plan as its initial competitive weapon, according to the claim. To cost about $75 per month, the service would provide at least unlimited "push" e-mail through any of RIM's smartphones and would supply a much higher value than Rogers' upcoming plans, which still set data caps. Whether the plan would also include some form of calling or general Internet access is unknown.
Indirectly, any official confirmations of T-Mobile Canada are likely to increase pressure on Rogers to add the iPhone and other high-profile handsets to its lineup. Despite promising that it would carry Apple handset almost immediately after its unveiling in early 2007, Rogers has not provided many additional clues as to a release and is widely believed to be resisting demands that the iPhone come with an unlimited data plan. However, the carrier in February introduced a $20 Communications Pack for some phones that would mimic AT&T's iPhone data plan in the US.