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Cell Phones

Thinking about the whole iPhone thing (had a few discussions at work about it). Will be interesting to see if it makes the difference (and convergence) that it promises. OpenMoko sounds like an interesting variant (cheaper, and out sooner).

I've been re-evaluating my mobile phone usage. I currently use very little time (normally less than 30 minutes per month), so the pay-as-you-go plans make perfect sense for me. I'm currently using an old Nokia phone with Virgin Mobile, but I don't like being tied to a particular phone model. Unlocked GSM phones seem like a good idea (as long as my assumption that they can be made to work with the carriers in Canada holds true). Unfortunately, there's only Fido and Rogers that support GSM phones in Canada (and they're even the same company now, from what I've read). Well, there's one other GSM carrier, but they only serve the northern territories. So, is that even an option for me?

Looking at my usage patterns, Virgin Mobile currently costs: $25+tax every 3 months ($9.50/month in Ontario with 6% GST, 8% PST)
and you get 33 minutes (anytime) with that. (33*0.25 = 8.33)

For Fido's cheapest pay-as-you-go plan it's: $10+tax+911 fee ($0.50) per month, so $11.90/month in Ontario, and you get 33 minutes (anytime) for that. Not too bad... only about $2.50 more per month.

Really surprising to me is Rogers. It's actually comparable (from the web page, anyway... Rogers has a way of adding unnamed "extra" charges, similar to Bell). Rogers' cheapest plan is: $10+tax+911 fee (doesn't say, but assume $0.50): again $11.90/month, this time getting 30 minutes for that.

It's starting to look like GSM might be a viable option for me.

One may wonder: is 30 minutes enough? I currently have $42.56 available on my phone, or 170 minutes of talk time, as the minutes roll forward (as long as you renew in time... which is easier to do every 3 months rather than every month). This just supplements my Primus TalkBroadband ($34.15 per month after taxes, with unlimited North American long distance) and my internet ($34.19 per month with Cogeco cable). So, for me, 30 minutes of portable talking is more than enough.