With the strong competition between carriers to lower prices, they have responded with share plans, unsubsidized devices and increases in data prices to help counteract the lower prices. Add-ons is another area where carriers can get more money on an immediate basis without raising plan prices and a SIM card is a perfect example. Telus is raising their SIM card prices to $15 – up from $10 – countering the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend. With many customers choosing to purchase their device outright so they take it to any carrier, Telus can now get an extra $5 out of each new customer.
Bell and Rogers are still charging only $10, but expect them to follow Telus – the Big Three seem to participate in what might be called ‘price fixing’ in some States. The smaller brands, such as Virgin Mobile, charge somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 to $10, while others, like Public Mobile – Telus’ new SIM-only brand – offers SIM cards for free and make their money on the regular monthly plan price. Telus has not said exactly when their price increase will take effect, so if you are thinking of going to Telus, you might what to jump now and still get your SIM card for $10.
Telus’ share plans are called Choice Plans, where you choose the amount of voice and data (from 500MB to 10GB) you need and then you can create a custom mobile plan for the entire family with up to four additional smartphones. The plans all include unlimited nationwide text, picture and video messaging, as well as Voice Mail 25, call display, call waiting and conference calling. You get unlimited family calling and the option to share data with up to five devices. The share plans data area is really where the savings come into play. For instance, one customer would pay $60 per month for their voice plan and would add $25 per month for 1GB of data for a total of $85 per month for one person. For two people on the plan, each would pay $60 for voice each month and $35 total for 2.5GB of data. This totals $155 ($60+$60+$35) divided by 2 users equals $77.50 per person or a $7.50 a month savings over the individual plan.