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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 2010-11-04, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Thornhill, ON
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Mobilicity Experience & Network Coverage

Mobilicity's "family & friends" offer [expires Nov 7; $65 unlimited everything plan on sale for $35] along with a $100 credit for opening a new account [ended Oct 31] got me and many others to try the service. There were line-ups out the door at Pacific Mall last Sunday as people crowded in to subscribe to the service.

I am of two minds wrt the new carriers. I know the network coverage is not as solid as the incumbent big-3, reception inside office buildings and shopping malls can be spotty and there is the extra-cost issue of roaming fees for making and receiving calls or using data outside Mobilicity's limited coverage area. Mobilicity doesn't permit voice roaming (on Rogers) within its area so as to avoid 'surprises' and the 20 cent a minute fee outside the are is not so bad given the very low cost of the plan. Not receiving calls because one is in a mall is not so good, however and there is no fall-back.

Data, is expensive but at least that can be turned off with WIFI as a fall back.

Those of us who spend most of our time in the GTA benefit from high quality and robust wireless service from the big-3 incumbents (and their sub-brands) and no roaming fees within Canada for voice or data but pay for it through higher fees. The threat of competition and lower prices from the newcomers hasn't had much of an impact on the incumbents. Rogers, Bell and Telus seem to be proceeding on the assumption that Canadians will accept their higher fees in exchange for more dependable service, or that most are still unaware there are options.

I understand the appeal of unlimited plans for students who use their phones a lot and don't have much money to spend. They probably spend a lot of time within Toronto and can tolerate some loss of quality for significant savings. For me, I can afford the higher priced services but appreciate the savings if the compromises in quality are not excessive. My tolerance may or may not be higher than that of other readers.

So with 6 weeks left in an excellent Telus contract (that can't be renewed or converted to smart phones operating on the HSPDA network), I decided to test Mobilicity and see if the "pro" (low cost) would out-weigh the "cons" (see above). I bought a Blackberry Curve 9300 to go with the unlimited voice and data plan. There are cheaper devices available I could have used for the experiment but I wanted to avoid "cheap phone" related problems and have something that would have some re-sale value if I decide not to stay with Mobilicity.

So, to the experience so far.

The process of opening and setting-up the account was smooth. Absolutely no glitches. I'm monitoring the account through the online portal to verify I'm not being charged for long distance, data, etc. The $100 new account credit appeared within 12 hours so I am covered for a lot or roaming. I can use the credit to pay the monthly bill if I want. There was no requirement to go on automatic credit card billing either so I am in control if I want to end the experiment.

So far I have used the service at home (just north of Don Mills and Steeles) and downtown in the area along Bloor from Sherbourne to Bay (working week, not much free time to wander). At home, I get 3-4 bars of signal on the ground floor and 5 bars on the second floor. Call quality is very good. At home, data is coming over WIFI. No issues with signal on the bus to Don Mills station; it's SOS only in the station (Rogers signal only) and nothing on the platforms (same as all the carriers). Underground at Yonge/Bloor and in The Bay concourse, the phone stays on SOS rather than picking up the Mobilicity signal BUT when I go outside and get Mobi's signal, I can come back into the underground mall and retain an acceptable, if weaker, signal. Significantly, in the Manulife Centre (Bay and Bloor) where Telus CDMA often fails, Mobilicity has a good strong signal on both upper and lower floors.

Away from WIFI, data is not as speedy as I expected but coming from a CDMA BB Pearl experience, I'm not the best judge. It is nice to be able to use data without any regard for cost or volume downloaded.

Over the next few weeks I'll be trying the service in a lot more places, seeing how far north of Highway #7 Mobilicity coverage exists in "real life", etc. That, and trying to get over iPhone envy.

Comments from other Mobilicity subscribers about their experience would be welcomed.
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 2010-11-04, 05:10 PM
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I have been on Mobilicity for three weeks now - switched from Wind which was having way too many network problems. With Mobilicity I am very satisfied.

I spend most of my time between Mavis in Mississauga and Yonge in Toronto and south of 401 - NO PROBLEMS.

I know that the network is relatively small TODAY - but it will grow.
There are trade-offs for everything in life.

I am willing to suffer a bit - as long as I support a good underdog and I do not need to give any more money to the Robber Barons - Bell + Rogers+ Telus.

Right now I am writing this reply using my BB9700 tethered to my laptop.
Here are my speeds.



The F&F $25 and F&F$35 promos end on Nov 7 - so get them while you can.

On another forum - I read that this promo has been so popular that Mobilicity has signed up 15,000 customer.

Try it - you will like it
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 2010-11-07, 07:35 AM
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^^^^
Based on my experience with my Nexus One on Rogers, those numbers seem a bit low. Do you consistently get that? How does it compare with Wind? Also, those numbers may vary greatly with location. Have you tried that speedtest elsewhere? Also, in my experience, some speedtest sites perform better than others. Have you tried different sites. I seem to recall hitting a slow server in Oakville a while ago.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 2010-11-09, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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When I wrote my earlier post, I hadn't thought to test the signal in the basement here at home. For the record, just north of Don Mills & Steeles, it goes from 5 bars on the second floor to 3 bars on the ground floor to SOS only in the basement. That's more drop-off than I expected. Rogers and Telus CDMA phones work perfectly well anywhere in the house.

Last Sunday, I wandered in and out of stores and malls from Front St at Spadina to Yonge and Bloor. The only place I lost signal was again in the concourse under The Bay at Yonge and Bloor. Through the Eaton Centre, I was surprised at how strong the signal was; 5 bars all the way, even on 2-below. It suggests to me that Mobilicity has concentrated on the area and maybe installed in-door repeater antennae.

In Markham, I was pleased to be able to get a 5-bar signal in the back of The Home Depot at Woodbine and Hwy#7 (usually a marginal to dead zone on Telus CDMA due to all the steel and concrete). However, in a restaurant nearby (Woodbine south of Hwy#7, data was too slow to show a YouTube video. It took over a minute for enough of a buffer to download to start playing and then it would only play a second or two before stalling. The image was extremely poor quality (pixelated). I don't know if this was a problem with Mobilicity or the BB Curve 9300.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 2010-11-11, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
 
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Mobilicity has extended the famiiy and friends promotion until the end of November, albeit with a $5 price increase. The new all-in unlimited deal is $40, still very attractive for unlimited data and North American calling.

It begs the question, how many subscribers will Mobilicity be able to sign once (if?) they return to regular prices? Having once offered their service for $35-40, how do they put the price back up to $65 and get people to buy. Many will just wait until the next promotion. Could this lead to a new normal in which unlimited service is sub $50? And not exclusively on Mobilicity; eventually wouldn't the others be forced to respond.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 2010-11-11, 10:26 AM
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^^^^
That question could be applied to any promotion. For example, I signed up for the Rogers 6 GB/$30 plan. That deal has now expired. Does that mean no one will now sign up at regular rates? This situation applies to any service or product, not just wireless plans. As is usually the case, Mobilicity is simply trying to get new customers in a hurry. The next question is how long will that rate last? With my Rogers data plan, it's for as long as I keep it (minimum 3 years).
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 2010-11-13, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
 
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@JamesK

I don't disagree with you but Mobilicity is in a much different position than Rogers. Rogers is a known brand offering reliable service (the recent stats on consumer complaints indicated very high customer satisfaction, despite what one reads on these forums) and can use a sale to bump up sales volume while reverting to regular prices for the other 10 months of the year. With about a third of the national market, Rogers wants to protect its share and keep shareholders happy with revenue increases; these promotions help. But we also see a lot of people delaying purchases in the 2nd quarter of each year as they wait to see what Rogers will offer when Apple lets out the next iPhone. Two years now, it's been a wait and see what data plan will be on offer. Rogers is big enough to ride-out these peak and valley waves of sales so long as they sign customers to another 36 month contract.

Mobilicity and Wind are in a very different position. They desperately need to gain market share in order to survive. Wind and Public Mobile seem to have had almost continuous special promotions since the initial rush died down and Mobilicity has extended its family and friends special deal twice. What started as a 2 week offer has now stretched to 6 weeks. On another Mobilicity forum I read, there are a lot of comments along the line of "at this price, I'll try it and put up with less than perfect service; I can always cancel". In other words, these are sales Mobilicity wouldn't be getting even at its already low (compared to B/T/R) published rates, period. The newcomers are setting the value of their service at something less than the standard advertised price and that will become what consumers expect these "2nd tier" services to be worth.

The question is will that 2nd tier revenue level be enough to sustain the companies or will they fade into oblivion?
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 2010-12-07, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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So one month from my initial post and I've decided to renew with Telus and get a pair of iPhones. Reasons: dissatisfaction with anything other than an iPhone, a pretty good offer from Telus Loyalty and the slow data speed as noted above.

I've had few voice network issues during the month, only once losing signal between Hwy #7 and the lake in a place other than The Bay complex at Bloor/Yonge. For customers who like Blackberries or Android and who don't travel outside the city much, Mobilicity is a service I'd recommend with the usual caution about data speed and data roaming costs outside the home zones.

Last edited by TorontoColin; 2010-12-07 at 03:08 PM.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 2011-01-13, 01:26 AM
 
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Unhappy Problems in Edmonton

Well here is my experience:

I just got the Motorola Spice yesterday and I am having issues. I live in Edmonton. Everything works well except incoming texts are sporadic at best. Outgoing are fine but new incoming, or replies to my texts often are not received. Called customer service and they had me take the battery out and rest things, no change. Tried a hard reset, still not getting most texts.

Problem is, that now that the phone has made more than 30 texts (most testing my problem) and 30 minutes of talk, it is not returnable...and since I prepaid for a year ($199.99) they will take $25 off as an admin fee if I cancel.

So after 3 days....I will have spent over $400....will get back $175 (in 6-8 weeks!!!!!!!!) and have a locked phone that is as useful as a paper weight.

I will try customer service again, but I am not holding out any hope...be VERY CAREFUL before you sign up.....remember (I didn't), you get what you pay for.....or sometimes even less
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 2011-01-13, 06:40 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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I've had a Nexus One with mobilicity for about 6 weeks in Edmonton too.
I don't text, but emails and calls seem to work. Coverage varies in strength greatly throughout the city, however. Yet, calls seem fine with no bars (i.e., just before "roaming" kicks in). 3G can be difficult to connect to at times.

For my use, I can't complain. The plans are just so cheap. I've got the $40 unlimited everything plan.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 2011-01-13, 10:04 PM
 
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My Update

Well here is an update. They won't return the phone, still have no idea why there are no texts going through, they escalated it to a "ticket". They said since it was a "minor issue" that it can't receive texts and the rest of the phone works, I would have to pay two months of service as a penalty as well if I cancel. So to sum it up....4 days with a phone....cannot receive text messages...costs me $250....no sympathy from the CSR or the "manager" she passed me on to. Oh and the remainder of the money I prepaid....I will get in 6-8 weeks!!!!!!!!! I would STAY AWAY from Mobilicity.....I am going to be sure I post my experience on every forum I can think of. At least The Big 3 are more upfront when they screw you with their charges......and their phones and network work properly!! AGAIN THINK TWICE BEFORE CHOOSING MOBILICITY!!!
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 2011-02-02, 03:33 PM
 
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2 months in...

In case anyone cares, the 3G connection problems I noted before appear to be a problem with the N1. I tried a couple of quick fixes, and this one worked:

Dial *#*#4636#*#* on the phone
Diagnostic/testing screen pops up. Select Phone Information
Scroll down and choose WCDMA only

Now 3G is quick and always on.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 2011-02-02, 03:40 PM
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Currently reviewing the Blackberry on Mobilicity.

Took it out to Burlington on the weekend and made calls from Burlington, Oakville and Etobicoke. Had no problems with signal strength and call quality was very good.



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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 2011-04-12, 08:19 PM
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I live in ottawa and i have been with mobilicity for over a month now. I was with virgin before, both on their cdma network and on the hspa with an iphone.

On mobilicity i am using a samsung google nexus s i bought from the US. It is an amazing phone, it hands down destroys blackberries and iphones. I honestly dont see why people dont buy more android phones... o.O. I understand BB is good for encryption, but when comparing iphones and android phones...no contest.

as for mobilicity, i am on the 25$ plan which gives me caller id, unlimited local calling and unlimited nationwide texting. I paid 1 year in advance ($200), so it comes out to roughly 17$ per month. Plus i got the unlimited data addon for 10$ per month. That comes out to 27$ per month for a student to get talk,text,data...honestly...i think jesus has come back and started a phone company...this deal truly is a miracle compared to what Canadians are used to seeing from the big 3.

Ok lets get to the reliability. I have signal everywhere outside, except this one awkward location along the transit way under a bridge, its odd i lose signal when the bus passes through, but it comes back in 10 seconds so i dont mind. As for indoors, it really varies, at some parts of the building i work in i have no signal, at others i do. Bars and restaurants also vary quite a bit, some i have mobi signal, some no. However, other than obscure basements, i will have roaming signal at the very least every where i have been, so i am pretty happy.

Data speed is important. Of all the big players mobi prob has the lowest speeds. In addition they shape their data, meaning if theres lots of people using it, and your downloading heavily, then you will see a decrease in speed. I have also notices it varies through out the day. This morning I actually got 3.65Mpbs speed on the network, through out the day its good, towards the night it sorta drops to about 0.5-1.5 Mbps. If your surfing, emailing its fine, right now im using the hotspot function on my NexusS and using mobi data on my pc, its not so hot if your streaming or downloading. But again 10$ unlimited data, dont expect T1 speeds lol its good value.

All in all i am very satisfied with mobilicity and my nexus s android 3.2, only downside is i bought my phone 2 months before mobi got it, and i overpaid but thats how it is sometimes, i still love this phone and this company!
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 2011-04-19, 02:26 PM
 
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@lilbrudder

Are there other charges to be aware of such as system access fee, etc? Or is just $25 + hst period?
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