updated 05:15 pm EDT, Fri June 27, 2008
Rogers Defends iPhone Data
Rogers Wireless is justified in its limited data plans as many other iPhone-carrying nations are doing the same or are more restrictive, a company spokeswoman tells Electronista. The Canadian company argues that a "majority" of international iPhone carriers have capped data and believes its plan to be better than these, citing as example Orange France plans that include a 500MB 'reasonable use' limit versus the 2GB maximum on Rogers' best iPhone plan. The company also tries to justify the caps by claiming that unlimited use would require customers pay for more than they need.
"Unlimited plans could end up costing customers more for what they don't use," the spokeswoman argues. "Our iPhone plans more than accommodate the vast majority of customers."
The representative declined, however, to address concerns from readers why other countries such as the US and UK are able to offer unlimited data for their own iPhone plans, which often do so while charging less for the phone (as with O2) or while offering more minutes for similar pricing. Both AT&T and Rogers can offer iPhone plans that combine calling, data, and SMS at the same $75 per month, but Rogers offers a third less calling time, half as many text messages, and a 750MB soft cap with overage fees.
No mention is also made of the contradiction between arguing that customers use little data and contending that caps are necessary. However, such caps are often implemented by providers to prevent alleged performance degradation caused by a small subset of the mobile population that may use it for frequent downloads and streaming video.
The plans are generally regarded as the most capable of all of Rogers' smartphone-class cellular plans, with the company having recently introduced a $30 data add-on plan for other devices that also requires voice but which gives just 300MB of data per month in exchange for tethered data on phones that support the feature.
Rogers has historically been criticized for being the most reluctant of Canadian providers to decrease its data fees. A year ago, the company's pricing for 500MB of data would have cost $295 per month, while Bell and Telus shortly afterwards began dropping the cost of data to where unlimited browsing would cost as little as $7 per month on Bell's HTC Touch. Rogers has since responded by offering its own $7 plan for any device but limits it only to the default web browser.