updated 06:00 pm EST, Tue December 15, 2009
New carrier gets Bold 9700 prepaid, subscription
The newcomer to the Canadian cellular business, WIND, today revealed that its first phone will be the BlackBerry Bold 9700. Besides giving the carrier a 3G smartphone for its debut, the WIND version of the Bold will be rare in its prepaid option: while a subscription option remains, the move will let users get voice, e-mail and other services as they need it. Either choice won't have a minimum monthly voice plan for those who rarely need voice service.
The phone itself is the same as with most carriers and mixes HSPA-based 3G, GPS and Wi-Fi with a 480x360 screen and a 3.2-megapixel camera. Pricing and exact availability haven't been mentioned, though the carrier should hold an event on Wednesday to detail its service.
WIND is the result of recent Canadian wireless spectrum auctions and has staked its business on opposing the allegedly unfair pricing of Bell, Rogers and Telus. It has publicly stated that it plans to eliminate hidden fees, but leaks have also suggested that service will start at as little as $15 per month for 100 minutes and 50 messages with $35 and $45 plans extending to unlimited provincial and national calling respectively. Unlimited data for phones would rest at $35 while data cards would need $45.