Bell was recognized last week as the fastest carrier in Canada, but since then Bell has made the news by raising it rates on just about everything – from shared plans to CraveTV and now its add-on mobile streaming TV platform. The cost increases from $5 to $8 per month for up to five hours of viewing for those that BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), although there is still a two-month free trial to try it out before the $8 kicks in. We must point out that this service and price is available to those that sign a two-year contract.
MobileSyrup was able to get its hands on an internal document that claims the price increase is justified by "enhancements to mobile TV content." In a statement to MobileSyrup, Bell said, "We adjust pricing from time to time to reflect investment in new networks and services, as well as increasing costs. Keep in mind that while Bell invests more in networks and new product development than any Canadian carrier, our pricing remains competitive."
Bell's Mobile TV has over 45 live and on-demand TV channels that include BNN, CTV, NBA TV, Treehouse and YTV. The platform is available for Android, BlackBerry 10 and iOS – no Windows Phone. Bell also recently tweaked its CraveTV pricing from $4 to $6 a month, but also added the option for all of Canadians to subscribe to CraveTV for $7.99 a month. We hope that this will be the final increases this year for the over 1.2 million Mobile TV subscribers that Bell claims use those streaming services.
Over that past couple of weeks we have read that all of the Big Three – Rogers, Telus and Bell – have raised their base share plans from $5 to $10. There seems to be a strong pattern of this among Canada's telecom providers. Canada needs a 'T-Mobile' that is a fourth carrier with enough power to throw a little 'Uncarrier' into the mix, causing some real competition that has helped reshape the other carriers – Verizon, AT&T, Sprint – in the US. They are no longer able to say that they are the biggest carrier and we can charge whatever we deem necessary. Most of the time in Canada, new price increases do not affect the smaller provinces that have a regional carrier with very competitive pricing. Canada's large body of land, rugged terrain, population location and small regional carriers make it a unique area to cover with 4G LTE.