Telus makes a competitive move within wireless industry
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 11:10
Telus Corporation took a big step forward on Oct. 15 towards increasing competition in the wireless sector, announcing that they will be waiving their wireless service fee for new customers. They also announced that they will be waiving the exchange fee for customers looking to upgrade their current cell phone to a newer model.
The move comes at a time of increasing competition for the traditional “Big Three.” There have been new companies such as Wind Mobile pushing for market share, which has threatened the telecommunication giants: Bell Canada Enterprises, Rogers Communication and Telus. This is one of the first counter moves since the entrance of smaller telecom companies.
The service charge for a new customer to Telus was previously $35 and was unexplained as to where the money was going. Telus is now advertising that they are representing more transparency in their fees, charging only $10 for a new SIM card for customers that are moving from another company or do not already have a Telus SIM card. If the customers still have a working Telus SIM card, they will be able to continue to use that without having to pay for a new SIM card when upgrading their phones.
Telus has been moving in this direction over the previous year, in a rare show of true competition within the Canadian telecom market. As a company, they made monumental strides in providing a more user-friendly system for their customers, slashing their roaming charges by 60 per cent. They have also made it possible for Canadians who are travelling abroad or just taking a day trip to the United States to travel with the security of a cellular device.
Telus customers will be able to change SIM cards in order to avoid roaming and data charges in another country, without having to change their plan or pay extra for travel fees.
The Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is asking for support from Canadians in implementing a national retail code. The purpose of the retail code is to change the confusing contracts that consumers often sign and eliminate fees that are not clearly defined for a purpose.
All of the major three telecom companies as well as Wind Mobile have stated that they would support such a retail code. Telus is believed to be making these moves in anticipation of the coming change in the industry.
“Our customers have told us they feel activation and renewal fees are unfair,” said Brent Johnston, Vice-President of Mobility Solutions for Telus in a press release. “We have been listening and that’s why we’re giving them exactly what they’ve asked for.”
After the announcement by Telus, Rogers and Bell have also decided to waive their activation fees to remain competitive within the industry. However, these companies have only waived their fees until the end of the Holiday season. It is what happens afterwards that will truly determine the future of the telecommunications industry within Canada.