Saturday 6 February 2016

SIgned Up for the New BWI5 (Deferral Account) Plan

I finally got around to upgrading my Bell Wireless Internet 5 (BWI5) Deferral Account service this week. As an existing customer I had to phone billing at 1-800-667-0123. If you are a new customer you need to deal with direct sales. Of course you can always deal with your nearest Bell Store or agency.

The whole process took less than 10 minutes. I wasted a large part of that time working my way through the abomination of voice response interfaces that has become the most common method used by companies in the name of efficiency to annoy potential customers.  

Having survived the voice response torture, I got connected to a live agent immediately with no wait. He confirmed my identity, to his satisfaction anyway, and he provided his name and Bell employee number for my records. We were off to the races.

I stated I wanted to upgrade my current BWI5 plan to the new Wireless Internet 5 Flex plan. After about 20 seconds he said I qualified for the newer service, which is really a modification to my existing data caps, and since I owned my own NetGear MBR1516 data hub he would sign me up for the 30 day, no contract rate starting at $48.95 for the basic 50GB data cap. 

Under my existing plan I was getting 45 GB for $42.95 per month with overages charged at $2.50 per GB. To match the 100 GB data cap included in the new BWI5 Flex plan as calculated under my existing plan, it would cost me $42.95 for the included 45 GB plus $137.50 for extra 55 GB at $2.50 per GB for a grand total of $180.45.

My household of 2 adults has the following hardware authorized to access the BWI5 data hub, not necessarily all at the same time: -  3 laptops, 1 desktop, 2 Android tablets, 2 Android smartphones, and 1 video security camera.  

Admittedly, in the 18 months I had my existing plan, I never went over the 45 GB data cap according to Bell. However, to achieve this I carefully restricted my video and other streaming uses.  When I did use the services, I set the parameters at the lowest reasonable definition – usually 240 if it was available. I do subscribe to NetFlix but mainly use it when travelling.

He offered me the option of changing to the new service immediately with the cost difference between the two plans being pro-rated for the remainder of the billing period, or making the change at the end of the current billing period – in my case the 20th of the month. For personal reasons, I opted for the end of the billing period date.

We reviewed the total package. I accepted it. And that was it.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone using the ZTE MF275R data hub in the BWI5 (Deferral Account) configuration. I am particularly interested in hearing about the download and upload speeds the unit is providing and any settings such as the APN at the web user interface level.


  1. Hermes,

    Hopefully you will not the same "Accept Charges" to continue text messages as I have documented since swithcing to the plan.


  2. Just an update - so far on the new plan I have add to call in 3 times this billing period (started Feb 2nd) as the service stops and locks out. They are working on the issue. Each time it requires acceptance of overage charges which of course do not exist.

    Anyone else??



  3. In this blog post on 13 Nov 2015,- - I explained how to adjust the internal settings on the Bell NetGear 1516 data hub to get consistent download speeds of 5 Mbps with the Bell Wireless Internet 5 (BWI5) or Deferral Account service.

    I recently received input from a user about an internal settings for the latest data hub Bell is providing for the BWI5 service - the ZTE MF275R. The user had previously looked at the Network Selection settings via the Web Interface page and noted it was set to Automatic. The 4G selection was greyed out and the user couldn't change it. She later found out that one has to disconnect from the network and voila, you are able to change it. The user went from under 1 mbps to 5.74 mbps download and 1.46 upload.

  4. I signed up to this plan and live in Goulais River. Attempting to set up my system last night, I had 3 bars 4G wifi network was picked up by all devices except it would not connect. The system did not come with a user guide but set up should be fairly straight forward. I attempted to call customer support but they weren't very helpful. Has any one else experienced this issue?

    1. Since you were able to submit a comment, I presume you have access to a working Internet connection.

      I have not found a copy of a Bell ZTE 275 data hub manual but Rogers uses identification equipment. A copy of the complete Rogers manual can be downloaded from this site The manual provides a lot of info on how to set up the data hub.

      Also, you mentioned your Wi-Fi network but did not say what power of WAN signal strength you were getting.

      Also, note my reply in the comment about about how to set the WAN network.

  5. Thank you for your quick reply. Bell sent me an email which advised me to change a setting to "Bell Internet 5" in the settings. All is working now. I do find it odd that they were not able to give me this very simple information on my initial call - it had to be escalated and information was relayed the following day.
    So far, I am happy with the speeds, seems a bit quicker than Xplornet and I am hoping more reliable!

  6. Hello, a bit late to the party on this thread, but wanted to post an update in case it is of any value to current BWI5 or Wireless Internet 5 Flex plan users.

    I've seen a few instances of text charges on my bill, for messages sent to the hub mobility number. Even though this amount was trivial, I called the Bell billing line 800-667-0123 to fix this. My biggest worry is that if my hub lights up (like my cell phone sometimes does - with junk / spam / robo texts) I don't want to be on the nut for these costs. It took about 1 minute for the agent to verify my identity, review the bill, remove the charges, and set a restriction on the account hub number so no further texts would be allowed.

    I'm using the "OneBill" model, it can be pretty easy for me to miss a small charge on the mobility part of the bill especially if I'm not paying attention to the fine details. Not sure if this is useful to anyone else, but just posting fwiw. Also should mention that this was a very quick and pleasant Bell customer service experience - credit where credit is due.

  7. Is anyone noticing coverage issues in the goulais/four seasons area? Sat afternoon I lost all coverage where my hub has been sitting for the past two years. I found a spot with marginal coverage near a window on the far side of room but it would not connect until i turned the lte bands back on. I have been running with lte 700 and aws disabled until yesterday.

    1. I have not heard about anyone else with a similar problem. I am connected at 1900 MHz HSPA to the Pine Shore tower with a NetGear router.

      Based on the info provided, I would suspect a faulty SIM card.

    2. I am running a Netgear 1516 as well. To restore service I turned my Wilson 3G booster back on (has not been in use for a couple years) which is pointing towards the Pine Shores tower. It is HSPA only. Hub picked up a strong signal after that with LTE bands disabled. I am on Four Seasons road towards the end.

  8. I just got this after being on xplornet satellite for ages. It's soooo much better!
    For the longest time I thought this was only available in the algoma area, but Bell sent a flyer out to me saying we were eligible (I live in Fort Erie (Niagara Region)).
    I had a frustrating few hours setting up the modem though: As it turns out you have to change the default apn to I thought once you enter a new profile with the apn it would automatically be selected, but nope, you have to go back and select the new profile. It should really state that in the user manual.

    1. I am glad you like the service.

      There are over 100 localities in Ontario, plus many more in Quebec, that have access to the BWI5 service. Unfortunately, Bell does not advertise it on their website as a normal offering.

      The apn issue is a long standing one. You are correct in stating there are no clear directions offered in the hub operating instructions about this matter.

  9. I would like to know if there is somewhere that lists what these 100 locations in Ontario are or how one goes about getting the BWI5 service? I currently have a 4G LTE HUAWEI B882 Turbo Hub and am paying $75 for only 10GB's per month. It is the only plan advertised on the website.

    I have contacted the CCTS and Bell Customer Relations Centre and they tell me no other plans for the Turbo Hub exist. This is the highest level of customer service that I can find to contact and they seemed clueless and just looked at the website saying that is all they offer.

    I would love to even have your previous plan of 45GB's let alone this new plan.

    This blog is literally the only mention I can even find of such a plan existing. Googling it only leads back to this very page. The advertised plan is so insanely overpriced I've been trying in vain to get it upgraded.

    1. If you send me an e-mail at telling me where you want service at, I can provide additional information.

  10. Tried signing up for WI5F today with Bell looking to get the 100G plan. After much explaining to the agent who was not familiar with deferral accounts she could not offer it to me. Only option she gave me was the 50G@ 48.95. Too bad. I also live in Goulais.

  11. I am not aware of any changes in Bell service offerings.

    However, I am not surprised that you had trouble trying to get a Bell Coatomer Service Representative (CSR) to sign you up for the WI5F plan. Except for the brief period pf time when the Deferral Account (DA) options first came into existence, none of the Bell websites has ever had any information about the WI5F or its predecessor BWI5 variations of the DA.

    This lack of information makes it difficult for the customer to ask for the desired product but very easy for Bell to obfuscate and deny. Many times, it may just be a case of which CSR you are fortunate enough to deal with.

    The fact of the matter is the WI5F does exist and as recently as January 2017, I know they were still signing up new users,

    Here are some of the various things people have tried to get the service. It should not be necessary to go to these extremes but that appears the way it is theses days.

    1. Try contact a different Direct Sales CSR during different hours. If you have no success during the work day, try the weekend or evening.

    2. Ask to speak to a supervisor or have a supervisor phone you back.

    3. If you are an existing customer, phone regular Bell Mobility customer service and ask for a plan upgrade/change. (Note: A Direct Sales CSR usually does not handle existing customer issues.)

    4. Deal with a local Bell Store in person rather than via a telephone