Public Mobile is opening up ten stores in Toronto and 15 in Montreal today, marking the entry of yet another wireless service provider in Canada. Public Mobile’s main selling point is a $40 plan (prepaid, no contract) that offers unlimited talk and texting within the city and “free unlimited Canadian long distance for life” if you sign up between now and their mid-May network launch. As you might expect, their handsets are simple ones from Kyocera, Samsung, and ZTE, focusing on text and voice.
Here’s what their coverage map looks like, but as WIND was quick to point out in a lengthy, bulleted outline of why Public Mobile sucks, these new guys don’t have any roaming agreements in place – that means unlike WIND, when you leave the city, you’re screwed. Be that as it may, Simple Mobile’s plan and hardware prices are very competitive, even if the offerings are modest. It seems to me like these guys actually have a good shot at capturing the large market of people who want something no-nonsense and cheap, but gives them all of what they want (which, in most cases, is talking and texting). The lack of data support will turn off power users, but that’s obviously not the battle Public Mobile is looking to win.
Ugh, Canadian wireless is getting awfully crowded now. It used to be simple picking your cell phone provider – there were only three to pick from, who would each gouge you for roughly equally. Now there’s all of this competition, and price comparing, and communication with customers… And Mobilicity hasn’t even launched yet! Who knows what they’ll do to rip customers from Rogers, Bell, or TELUS’ cold, steely grip. Offer cash for ETFs? Naw, that’s crazy-talk.
As far as their marketing goes, Public is going for a “real people” approach, as opposed to WIND’s “conversation” theme. Public Mobile’s ads are all done without makeup or retouching, which is kind of refreshing, actually. I’m interested to see how they do with all of the competition out there, but I have a feeling WIND, Mobilicity and Public will be duking it out for prepaid dominance.
[via Public Mobile Blog]