As the smartphone market becomes more saturated, the carriers are starting to engage in practices that were unheard of just a couple of years ago. It is happening here in the U.S. since T-Mobile started their "uncarrier" program. Most of the other carriers laughed at the fourth largest carrier making a change…but they are not laughing any more. AT&T caved in and reduced their monthly fees and investors held their collective breaths as they waited to see what Verizon would do, and finally, after several days of waiting, Verizon broke down and lowered some specific plans.
Canadian carriers are starting to be more aggressive as well when their second largest carrier, as TELUS decided to offer up to $100 off your smartphone purchase with them if you leave either Bell or Virgin and join TELUS. This credit is only available at TELUS corporate and dealer stores in British Columbia and Alberta and appears the promo is available through February 19. It is strange that this offer was not extended to Rogers customers as well, however, since TELUS now owns Public and Mobilicity almost ready to close, it looks like they are going after their closest competitor.
TELUS has been busy lately, in their third attempt, as they are still trying to purchase Mobilicity for $350 million, but so far, the Canadian Government's Industry Minister, James Moore is continuing to shoot down the idea to encourage more wireless competition in Canada, in hopes that rates would go down. It looks the spokesman for the Industry Minister is not bluffing when he says TELUS will not be able to say "3rd time's a charm." In an interview with Reuters, Jake Enwright repeated that "the minister has made his position clear already on spectrum transfers. We've been clear that we will not approve any spectrum transfer that results in undue concentration." TELUS also just recently announced that they paired up with CIBC bank to offer mobile payments with certain smartphones that supports Near-Field Communications (NFC), but will soon be adding more devices. This will be a big step forward for TELUS and just another reason to join the carrier.