Rogers unveils unlimited U.S. texting packages to compete with Telus, but does the offer stack up?

by Knowlton Thomas

Roaming rates for Canadian telcos have always "just been." Consumers felt they were high, but hey, what can you do?

Then, earlier this month the OECD revealed that the roaming rates we suffer aren't just high—they're double the global average.

That seemed to light a fire under Telus' ass, which promptly—or perhaps just coincidentally—announced that it would slash its roaming rates by an incredible 60 percent at the end of June.

At the same time it did this, it did something equally as unexpected: it left-jabbed Rogers, calling the competing telco a "monopoly" in the roaming data space and blaming the company for Canada's high rates.

Naturally, Rogers defended itself, saying it was the only telco to actually consider consumers' needs back in 2002 when it offered roaming seven years before Telus.

Now Rogers has introduced Unlimited U.S. Roaming Text Messaging. While not as all-encompassing a move as made by Telus, it nonetheless makes a statement that roaming rates have become competitive. 

There are two options of roaming text packages with Rogers. The first costs $10 and gets you two days of unlimited texting. The second costs $50 and gets you unlimited texting for a month.

These appear, to me, questionably high—particularly the two-day package. Five dollars is what most telcos charge for unlimited Canadian-wide texting per month. Here, the cost is five dollars per day. Even when compared to its $50 package, it seems insultingly overpriced: the month-long package costs about $1.67 per day, or about 3 times less per day of service. So just what is the profit margin on this $10, two-day, texting-only package? I'm afraid to ask.

One neat thing about the offering though is how you can access it. There's no need to call anyone. You simply text "Travel" to 7626 and you'll receive a link to activate a package, which begins working immediately.

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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