Bell's website got a nice facelift, but the problem is that they also 'lifted' their prices as well. Their wireless plans are better laid out and all of the ingredients – phone, voice, messaging and data – more clearly defined. Bell had commented in their 2013 Annual Report that they felt their product offerings maybe a little complex for customers to sort out…that problem was certainly corrected. I am fairly certain though, that customers had no trouble reading their pricing…and will have no trouble reading their new, higher prices.
Bell is offering a unified lineup much like Rogers and TELUS with base prices of $40, $50 and $60 depending on the device you are using and your subsidy. ALL plans include – Unlimited Anytime Nationwide Minutes – Unlimited Nationwide Text, Picture and Video Messages – Call Display, Message Center Lite, Conference Calling, and Call Waiting – Unlimited Access to Canada's largest Wi-Fi Network. All pricing is based on a two-year contract.
Bell also introduces their LITE and PLUS services – If you purchase a BASIC device for talking and texting only or if you bring your own device and get a SIM card, the monthly rate is $40. If you choose a LITE device – a lower-end or previous generation smartphone – your monthly price will be $50. The most popular LITE models are the Samsung ATIV S, HTC Desire, ALCATEL ONETOUCH Idol X, and Sony Xperia Z. If you decide that you want a PLUS device – the newest high-end smartphones, then you will start at $60 a month. The PLUS devices, include the HTC One M8, Nexus 5, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and LG G2. Next, you need to pick a monthly DATA Plan that will be shared among all users. These start at $20 for 500MB, $25 for 1GB, $30 for 2GB, $50 for 4GB, $65 for 6GB, $85 for 10GB, and $105 for 15GB.
There is also a Mobile TV option that allows you to watch over 30 live and 14 on demand TV channels – on your device over the mobile network using a Wi-Fi connection. When you chose the $60 PLUS Plan Bell will give you six months free before it escalates to $5 per month.
The worst part of this reorganization hits the favorably priced prairie customers the most – Bell is now charging the same more expensive share plans that it does everywhere else. Just yesterday, the 10GB plan from Bell in Manitoba cost $75 and today, that same plan will cost you $145 – almost doubled! Bell is no longer competitive with Rogers, MTS, and TELUS all offering much cheaper plans…is Bell hoping the other carriers in Canada will raise their pricing to meet theirs?
At a time when Canada's government is hoping for more competition so prices will lower, the past couple of months prices have been rising. Please let us know how our Canadian users are coping with these new prices. Hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know…we would love to hear your opinions.
Update from Bell: Our Manitoba promotional plans are still available (click the promo box on the Mobility homepage) or go here (make sure Manitoba is selected at the top of the page to that province's pricing). Over the weekend, we introduced our share plans here, starting at $40 for those that bring their own device. Same applies to Saskatchewan.
We're now working with Bell.ca to make these offers more prominent.