No-contract service provider Mobilicity has been hiding out in Toronto since it launched last spring, but it looks like next month they’re about to pounce. After talking with them today, their regional network will spread here to Ottawa with 20 points of distribution in November, as well as Vancouver and Edmonton later in the month. Calgary will begin getting service next year.
For those boggled by the sheer number of wireless carriers in Canada these days, Mobilicity came shortly after Wind hit the scene, and offered unlimited everything for $65/month with no contracts. This puts them in pretty direct competition with Wind and Public Mobile, but Rogers launched a sub-brand called Chatr just to fight the little guys on their own turf. Bell-owned Virgin Mobile and Telus’ Koodo are also in the same market, though they aren’t so much restricted on a per-city basis. Some of Mobilicity’s star handsets include the Curve 3G, Bold 9700, and Nexus One, flanked by some lower-end smartphones and a couple of feature phones.
Despite all of the current competition in Canadian wireless these days, the Mobilicity guys came off as really relaxed. They weren’t that concerned about wireless providers owning media companies (like Bell and Rogers) since there are plenty of readily-accessible content channels out there. Plus, they wouldn’t be tied down by any particular loyalties to one channel or the other. Mobilicity also wasn’t worried about sticking with a no-contract model, even though it means they can’t offer subsidized handsets. They mentioned one analogy that really struck a chord: if you were to drop the standard wireless pricing model into any other industry, it would be ridiculous, like getting a car for free if you buy gas at a single station, or getting away a TV if you get cable from one provider. Despite its high cost, Mobilicity apparently sold out the Nexus One in 20 minutes (don’t worry, they’ll have fresh stock for the new network launches).
As for devices, the folks at Mobilicity hinted that they would have a few more before the end of the year, and that they like brand name devices, and Android isn’t out of the question at all. Something cheaper than the Nexus One but higher quality than Wind’s Huawei U8100 sure would be nice.