Telus introduces free Wi-Fi to Vancouver

The City of Vancouver, in a special partnership with Telus, has launched six free Wi-Fi hotspots across the metropolitan centre as part of its Digital Strategy program. Although associated with Telus, you do not have to be a Telus or subsidiary customer in order to access the hotspots: #VanWiFi, as it’s been dubbed, is open to anyone. The only difference for Telus users is, they will automatically connect and start saving their data, whereas everyone else can connect through a splash page. It’s not the first program of its kind. Telus has established free hotspots to several 7-Eleven locations in

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cell phone rates

Government’s wireless promises fall short?

You hear plenty of promises from our political leaders. Government reform, tax cuts, foreign policy and spending, the list goes on and on. But how often do you hear a political party pledge to tackle your growing mobile phone bill? In 2008, Canada’s Conservative government did just that. And now, in the midst of a federal election campaign, its failure to make real gains is drawing the ire of consumer advocacy groups. “The Conservative government’s plan to increase cellphone affordability has been half-measured and ineffective,” fired Steve Anderson, director of Open Media, in a recent Toronto Star story. “Despite years

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AT&T Announces Wi-Fi Calling

This week AT&T launched Wi-Fi calling on recent iPhone models running iOS 9. The U.S. carrier first needed to acquire approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) before it could offer this feature. The in-demand service allows users to make calls without cell reception or even internationally if permitted by the carrier. Wi-Fi calling isn’t exclusive to AT&T; T-Mobile and Sprint already offer Wi-Fi calling on certain devices. T-Mobile piloted the project back in 2007, without permission from the FCC. However, T-Mobile goes a step further by allowing its customers to make Wi-Fi calls to “virtually anywhere,” while AT&T has

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Ontario Government Sells Provincially Owned Telecom Company Ontera

The government of Ontario is receiving criticism for selling provincially owned telecommunications company Ontera. Why? The sale resulted in a loss of $61 million. Despite the controversy, Northern Development Minister Michael Gravelle says it was a “necessary decision” which will be positive for taxpayers. Bell Aliant purchased the company in question for $6.3 million, whereas the Ontario government paid $6.5 million for the consultants, lawyers and others advising them on the sale alone. The loss, according to a Public Accounts report comes from a “disposal of shares of Ontera” because “the government provided a one-time contribution of $52,092,000 to support

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Privacy-Focused Android Device Blackphone 2 Launches

Silent Circle’s Blackphone 2 is now available for purchase. The Android-based device comes pre-installed with a variety of apps focused on security and privacy. The apps allow users to make encrypted calls, send private texts, control what information the phone’s apps can access and maintain separate profiles with varying security levels. The phone itself comes equipped with a 5.5 inch Gorilla Glass screen, an octa-core processor, 3GB of Ram, 32GB of storage and a 13-megapixel camera. “People and enterprises want to take back control of their privacy but too often they don’t know how, or they feel they must compromise

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AT&T Offers $500 Credit to DirectTV Customers

AT&T has announced a limited time offer that will allow DirectTV customers to save $500 on their wireless bills when switching to AT&T. This deal makes use of AT&T’s $49 billion buyout of DirectTV. Since DirectTV is now under its umbrella, AT&T is able to offer pay-TV service subscribers up to a $500 credit per line if they switch wireless service. Families of four, therefore, could be eligible for $2000 in credits. AT&T will issue $300 in credits to the account holder for each line ported over to the company’s Next program. Additionally, AT&T will offer up to $200 if

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app

Apple Not Planning to Create Wireless Network

This week Apple shut down rumors it was planning to create its own virtual network service to provide mobile communications. It claims, as reported by Reuters, that it has never been part of the company’s plan to offer mobile communications. Rumors began after industry-wide reports claimed Apple was privately testing a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service. This led to the suggestion that Apple was in talks with telecom companies to launch its cellular service throughout the United States and Europe. “We have not discussed nor do we have any plans to launch an MVNO,” said an Apple spokesperson in

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Sprint’s All-In Plan Hits Video Streaming Snag

Sprint’s video streaming limit on its alleged “All-In” plan created controversy among customers, causing the U.S. carrier to rethink its fine print. Sprint recently introduced its new “All-In” plan to consumers, using David Beckham as its prime advertising tool. Beckham, a friend of CEO Marcelo Claure, can be seen in the company’s new commercial pitting the All-In plan against a seemingly inferior AT&T plan. All-In costs $80 per month and includes a $20 lease on handset as well as $60 for unlimited text, phone, and data services. “If you went to a restaurant that advertised a cheeseburger for 99 cents,

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AT&T Ad Claims Draw FCC Heat

DATA FINE: The Federal Communications Commission wants to bring the hammer down on AT&T, saying it will fine the telecommunications giant $100 million (the largest proposed fine in FCC history) for allegedly deceiving customers about unlimited wireless data plans, The Wall Street Journal reports. It was the advertising for the plans that got the company in trouble. The FCC says AT&T marketed plans as “unlimited” before capping data speeds after customers used 5 gigabytes of data. The capped speeds were then considerably slower, the FCC says. AT&T claims the FCC had said the practice was legitimate and that it had

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AT&T U-Verse Brings Super-Fast Internet to Apple’s Hometown

AT&T recently announced the launch of an enhanced Internet service called U-verse with AT&T Gigapower in Apple’s hometown of Cupertino, California. This new service will provide Internet download speeds of up to 1Gbps in some residential and business areas. An upgraded residential gateway will support the latest Wi-Fi technology, meaning faster home and office Wi-Fi. TV service will also be available to Gigapower customers, with the ability to watch and record up to five HD programs at the same time. Customers will also have the ability to record up to 900 hours of SD programs, or 330 hours of HD

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