Wi-Max Showdown: Bell Unplugged vs. Rogers Portable Internet - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 

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Old 2008-05-12, 04:46 PM   #1
hugh
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Default Wi-Max Showdown: Bell Unplugged vs. Rogers Portable Internet

If you are thinking about Bell Unplugged or Rogers Portable Internet offerings.
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Old 2008-05-12, 05:31 PM   #2
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Default When will it get here?

Good evaluation Hugh.
Living in a low density area specifically targetted by the CRTC decisions of 2006-9 and 2008-1 (english= deferral account eligible territories) I am most frustrated to see Bell and Rogers weasel around the issue which they originally stated that the Inukshuk network would address.
That is, to service those areas that could not economically be reached under the then current regulatory environment.
The latest attempt by Bell was to appeal the 2008-1 ( January 2008) decision ORDERING them to spend the money accumulated in the CRTC mandated Deferral Accounts, destined to fund the build out the network, was an appeal to the Federal Court of Appeals which was subsequently turffed out in jolly quick time.
Bell Canada v. Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission et al (2008 FCA 91)
A-516-06, Date: March 7, 2008
The ILEC's (Bell, Rogers et al.) had been instructed by the CRTC in Decision 2008-1 to produce a roll out plan up to four years in length by March 28th, 2008.
Bell asked to be relieved of this burden during the Federal Court of Appeal's considerations, the decision of which was issued on March 15 2008.
Bell was told by the FCA, NO you can't derail the process started back in 2006 with 2006-9 and you must adhere to the CRTC's Decision.
So now those of us in low density areas are again waiting for the plan.
Now I realize Bell has certain corporate structual issues to work through at the present BUT WHAT ABOUT ROGERS?
They have been silent, probably hoping to be able to actually use the deferral accounts to offer rebates to existing customers.
This is an alternative for Bell as well, I believe.
As usual, the CRTC, Bell and Rogers have managed to drag out a process designed to open up data communications across Canada which in the mean time consigns those of us more than 18,000 feet or more away from a DSLAM to the practical hell of dial up service.
This soap opera has gone on long enough and the funds are there for disbursal.
Wired or wireless, get on with it Bell and Rogers.
And when can I have it.....please?
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Old 2008-05-13, 08:48 AM   #3
TKG26
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Its important to point out that there are 2 types of service. The "portable" indoor only modem and the "not so portable" external antena with indoor modem...
I was told the indoor unit would work in my area but it did not i had to return the modem. I am told for 180$ i can have the external version installed but its slower.

The indoor version is faster and cheaper, while the external is a bit slower and cost more monthly. Intrestingly enough i was told i could use the indoor while my neighbor the outdoor. As it turns out neither of us can use indoor as i tried the modem in both homes..... Im not excited to pay 180$ plus 70$ modem plus 50$ a month service for a 2 meg pacakge.. But with my current 1.5meg xplornet wireless service running at .2-.3meg im tempted...

Indoor is called Bell WiMAX Unplugged 3 Mbps $55

Outdoor is called Bell WiMAX In-home 2 Mbps $50


Total $316.40 due now for in-home install. 80$ of wich is a installation deposit wich they refund.

Monthly is 55$ including a 5$ inhome modem purchase fee??
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Old 2008-05-13, 09:06 AM   #4
hugh
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Rogers also sells an outdoor modem for $250 plus service. I think its a better deal than Bell's offering.

The following is a coverage map of Southern and Eastern Ontario. This service is really an urban alternative for people who are moving around and need HSI service wherever they go. It's usefulness to rural areas is pretty suspect.
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File Type: jpg portable_internet_ontario.jpg (36.0 KB, 528 views)
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Old 2008-05-13, 11:38 AM   #5
Vikzak
 
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Default A year with Rogers Portable Internet

Iíve been a long time lurker in the forums, trying to learn as much as possible to help my purchasing decisions on various topics. Since this thread is all about comparing Bell and Rogers offerings, I thought I would make my first post about my experience with Rogers over the last year (if I did pick the wrong thread, please feel free to move me to the proper one).
We have a place we visit all summer in the Hwy 9 and Hwy 50 area. Even though we were in a dark green/outdoor modem area on the map, I thought I would take a chance with the portable modem. Rogers offered the opportunity to return the modem for a full refund if I was not happy with the service. I purchased the modem from a local Rogers Wireless Store for $99.99 (no delivery charge). I was told it would work the next day. It didnít. The modem would not connect and get an IP address. Calling Rogers was a pain. I went through all the menu options to get Portable Internet service, but no one would answer. After hours of waiting, I went through the prompts to get a High Speed Service Rep. and they forwarded me to the proper service department (when I spoke with them, they told me it was dead and no one had called all day!). First problem fixed, I was now connected in Toronto getting 4-5 bars. I was excited when I brought the modem up to the cottage. Tried it, no solid bars. Tried a different area, no solid bars. Tried it on the roof of my van, 3 solid bars! After trying it in different areas all day, I found out that the modem is very picky on how and where itís placed. I could put the modem in one place and get no bars, but if I turned it slightly, I could get 3 bars. Even at my work in Toronto, I could get 5 solid bars, but if I turn the modem a complete 180 Deg., I would only get 2 bars.
I love having the portable internet as an option. Not only do I use it at the cottage, I have used it as a back-up connection at work and home when the internet has been down. This year Iím looking forward to using my Slingbox to stream video from home to the cottage. Even at 2 bars, I still get decent speed.
So after just about a year I can summarize the pros and cons with Rogers:
PROS:
- was able to try where I wanted it, knowing I can return it
- Once it worked, speed was consistent.
- Works in many places that I need it
- No cancellation charges when I no longer want it
- Able to scale back service at any time to save money (ie winter, when we donít travel as much)
CONS:
- Disappointed trying to get initial tech support (havenít called since)
- Billing errors on the first few bills (billed separately and not on my main Rogers account resulting in no bundled discount, then told I wasnít eligible due to promotion I signed up on, but was finally given promotion plus 15% discount)
- Was not told about the 30 GB limit when I signed, and internet usage on the Rogers Site does not work for this account.
- Very picky modem, needs to be placed just right and very stable
- Still doesnít work at the In-laws (just outside of Orillia)
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Old 2008-05-13, 12:20 PM   #6
hugh
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thanks vikzak for your review. It's always nice to hear real life experiences.

One thing I should re-iterate is that Rogers and Bell both use the Inukshuk network so the performance in your area is going to be the same regardless of whether you subscribe to the Bell or Rogers services.
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Old 2008-05-13, 12:31 PM   #7
rob1
 
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I just checked the Rogers site...they have updated their online map. While I am sill "just" outside the coverage area (about .5Km) it's nice to see they are expanding since the last time I looked back in March.

Cheers
Rob.
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Old 2008-05-13, 04:15 PM   #8
nicohockey9
 
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I was wondering with all the stuff they are promising with this new sprint wimax coming out in the US with faster than over the line internet services. Will inukshook eventually be making there services faster, and in a smaller form factor (The sprint wimax is going to be in a pc card)
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Old 2008-05-16, 11:42 AM   #9
WolfDV
 
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I personally think EVDO rev A is a better option, similar speed or better (especially on the upload and ping), nationwide coverage, true portability.. only slightly more expensive.

Very happy Telus Connect 75 Unlimited customer!
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Old 2008-05-16, 12:10 PM   #10
johnny_marin
 
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Both Bell and Rogers really missed the boat on this offering. Why are they covering majority of the same area where cable/DSL is already being offered? The premise was to provide high speed in areas where there was no cable/DSL, mainly in rural areas where dial-up is still king. I don't see how cannibalizing your present land line high speed customer base adds to the bottom line revenue. If I were a rural customer I would be complaining to the CRTC regarding the lack of viable options to provide high speed in the rural areas.

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Old 2008-05-16, 12:20 PM   #11
hugh
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Quote:
The premise was to provide high speed in areas where there was no cable/DSL, mainly in rural areas where dial-up is still king
Was it?

I'm not saying that Inukshuk is bad or good but it seems to me the CRTC knew the plans going in and the decision from the start was to use existing cell towers and provide service to "40 cities and approximately 50 rural and remote communities across Canada." and two thirds of all Canadians.

Inukshuk now covers 150 communities and appears to have accomplished what it set out to do.

Rogers and Bell to build Wireless Broadband Network
from September 2005.

So I'm curious how Inukshuk doesn't fulfill its original promise since, on the surface, it appears to have accomplished what it announced in September 2005?
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Old 2008-05-21, 03:12 PM   #12
I_Want_My_HDTV
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IIRC, the original mandate from the CRTC was to provide high speed internet to rural customers not yet serviced by DSL and cable internet services. Bell and Rogers offered the cellular service as a solution. The CRTC even mandated that funds be collected to meet that end. Now Bell wants to back out before accomplishing the task. According the the coverage map, there a number of smaller cities not covered plus most of rural Ontario. It looks like Bell and Rogers have succeeded only in deceiving the CRTC long enough to set up another urban service which competes in the wireless internet market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wi-Max Showdown: Bell Unplugged vs. Rogers Portable Internet
Our advice is to try out your cell phone from where you want to use the Wi-Max to get some sense of the type of signal strength you could expect
It appears that this is not correct. While Wi-max uses Bell and Rogers towers, the service does not extend to all of those towers, only those in urban areas.
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Old 2008-05-21, 09:44 PM   #13
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I still think inukshuk will find company's to fund them to continue improving there technology in that area.
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Old 2008-05-21, 09:48 PM   #14
hugh
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Quote:
It appears that this is not correct. While Wi-max uses Bell and Rogers towers, the service does not extend to all of those towers, only those in urban areas.
Agreed hence the qualifier "some sense" because its not definitive. You can say that, if your cell signal is crappy where you are, then the Inukshuk service is also likely to be poor.
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Old 2008-05-22, 01:26 AM   #15
Paolo
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im pretty sure rogers offers a third tier, but its only shown on the business section of their web site.. itsdefinately faster than the bellus
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