Saturday 19 April 2014

Bell Deferral Account Report Released 17 Apr 2014

The latest Bell Deferral Account quarterly status report was released through the CRTC website  on 17 Apr 2014. This report covered the period Jan to Mar 2014 and like previous reports was heavily redacted with much of the information of value to potential customers blacked out under the pretence of "competitive information."  (I am sure the new cell site in Wawa, Goulais and St. Joseph Island would go completely unnoticed by the competition unless they were identified in the report.)

There were no problems or delay identified for the Algoma District Deferral Account areas and the previously published activation schedule still applies:

Deferral Account Area
Activation Date*
Echo Bay
31 Aug 2014
31 Jul 2014
31 Jul 2014
St. Joseph Island
30 Jun 2014
31 Jul 2014
                        Latest planned date. Could be earlier if all is ready
 By way of clarification these dates apply to the activation and availability  of the special Deferral Account service rates . Most of the tower and associated cell sites  in Goulais, St. Joseph Island and Wawa are completed and are operating in a normal fashion as part of the standard Bell Mobility network. This means that anyone using a data hub or a data stick connected through these new sites constructed as part of the Deferral Account project are currently paying the normal rates.

I am not sure of the policy that will apply after the Deferral Account service rates become available: will customers be moved onto the new rate plan immediately or will they be transferred only after their existing agreement expires? 

Below is the proposed rate structure accepted  by the CRTC for HSPA+ wireless based version of Bell Deferral Account service.( The original proposal back around 2004 called for a DSL based solution.) It has been fined tuned over the years: - the activation fees has been waived and the monthly rental fees dropped. For some reason, Bell is keeping the details very close to the chest. Bottom line is that $46.95 + plus tax ( $41.95 Home Zone Wireless Plus + the $5.00 insurance for an extra 40 GB), one can get 65 GB. 

Proposed HSPA+ Retail Broadband Services
Service Name
Home Zone Wireless
Home Zone
Wireless Plus
Monthly Rate
Download Speed
Up to 2Mbps
Up to 7 Mbps
Upload Speed
Up to 1 Mbps
Up to 3 Mbps
Monthly Usage Allowance
2 GB
25 GB
Monthly Charge for Additional Usage
$2.50/GB, maximum of $30 per month
Usage Insurance
$5.00 per month for extra 40 GB
Activation Fee
Turbo Hub: $3.95 monthly rental fee

The final rate structure is not readily available at this time but a Bell representative accidently quoted a basic rate of $37.95 for 20GB to customer in East Algoma but quickly withdrew the offer saying the plan was not available in the customer's area.

 Even though there are area in other parts of Ontario where the plan has been launched, there is nothing on the Bell website and I have not been able to get hold of the plan's official  rate structure. Unlike the tower/site locations redacted in the report, I accept the rate structure as legitimate "competitive information" at this time.

Bell will be conducting a marketing campaign with more detail once the service is ready to accept customers.

 The other big unknown is how will the other cellular service suppliers react to the new competition.  Will they match the new rates for their data hub services?