The never-ending change of the Canadian wireless mobile landscape took another 'hit' today as TELUS announced that Public Mobile was fading from existence – or at the very least into the background. They are moving to "self-serve" brand where existing customers can go online to add money to their account or to a "payment voucher" that they can purchase at various stores such as Canadian Tire, Esso or Hasty Market. In a statement to our source, TELUS said: "The brand will no longer have a retail presence. Customers are now able to buy service vouchers at more than 3,500 locations including gas stations and convenience stores and redeem them online or by phone for service. As part of its ongoing transition Public Mobile is becoming a self-serve value brand, offering customers more options to track usage, make changes to their plans, and make payments online and by phone."
Public Mobile launched its wireless service back in 2010, and at that time, they went after the budget-minded customers with low-cost plans that included talk, text and data. TELUS purchased Public Mobile and its 222,000 subscribers back in November 2013 – and this was no easy switch for Public Mobile customers that were forced to switch from a CDMA Network to a more modern HSPA+ 4G Network. This means that all of the customers had to purchase a new mobile device and TELUS promised to offer special deals to make the upgrade as painless as possible.
Back in June, TELUS said there was an "overwhelming(ly)" good response to the new 4G network. TELUS also owns Koodo, another budget-minded off-shoot, so it might be that TELUS plans on combining the old Public Mobile with Koodo, or just hopes that now that customers have made the switch to their HSPA+ 4G, they might also make the switch to Koodo, rather than the no-retailer/no-store approach to procure their wireless mobile services. How much does TELUS expect from the former Public Mobile customers? Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know how you feel about this – do you believe that TELUS planned this all along and do you think the government should step in…as always, we would love to hear from you.