Quebecor’s Videotron launched its Wireless network recently (Sept 9) and we took the opportunity to review its cell phone plans which they recently introduced. Unlike the new entrants, Wind Mobile, Mobilicity and Public Mobile – Videotron is an established cable operator with over 2.5 million customers already and with the necessary financial resources to do this (so they can’t be bought out).

Videotron’s cell phone plans

These are some of the most innovative plans  in the market, they are very different than anything I’ve seen before.  Essentially Videotron bundles its wireless service with its other services to give customers some amazing discounts on its wireless cell phone plans. Here’s how Videotron’s cell phone plans are organized:

Videotron Plan

What do I like?

Having reviewed the basic structure of these cell phone plans, these are the key aspects that I like and I believe many will find very attractive:

–  Free phones – yes there is a contract but you have to choice with starting off with a free phone
– Huge discounts if you are already a Videotron subscriber, bundling works with cell phones
– Unlimited calling at $32+ which also includes some data (most plans don’t include data at this price point)
– Choices, you can get unlimited if you want or you can decide to go with evenings and weekends
– Instant access to free calling to all of Videotron’s home phone customers for most plans
– Better cell phone choices, including the BlackBerry Bold, Pearl, Samsung Gravity 2,  Google Nexus One and the Moto Android XT720
– Established customer care and service options, they don’t need to build this capability

What don’t I like?

Videotron paid handsomely ($500 million for the AWS spectrum) to block any new wireless carrier from entering Quebec to limit any competition (wasn’t that the point of the set asides – to encourage competition?), nevertheless – Videotron has launched and while I believe their offering is  innovative and unique there are a few aspects that I don’t like, namely:

– What if I’m not a Videotron customer already? Then your options drop considerably, you still have access to the unlimited Quebec Plans but they start at $60, that’s $10 more than those who have 3 services with Videotron. In fact, everything is about $10 more if you are not already a videotron customer. So these plans are specifically targeted at Videotron’s own customers.
– Contracts are involved, so these are not no contract arrangements
– 125 emails limit, this I don’t quite get are you expected to count the number of emails you send and receive. The 50 MB I get not too sure about the email limits though

Conclusion

Videotron’s cell phone plans are different, unique and very interesting. To truly receive the benefits of their discount pricing you need to be Videotron customer with 3 other services ideally. There is the expectation of a commitment via contract or bundled service contract. The inclusion of data at the lower price point plans is very innovative and daring, but they do include some quirky elements like the 125 email limit for some of these same plans.

It will be interesting to see how the non Videotron customers react to some of these plans if they do at all, but I know that their existing customer will definitely jump on these plans.

What do you think about their plans?

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Yale Holder is co-founder of  myCELLmyTERMS, a Toronto-based company that helps cell phone users negotiate wireless plans with independent dealers.

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  • Gisabun

    I am a Videotron subscriber for Internet and digital TV. I have 2 services. Not 3. So I’d be paying the extra $10?

    Yes. Counting the number of Emails sounds rediculous. I get around 40 Emails a day [my Videotron Email is also sent to my BlackBerry.

    Everything in the unlimited is great – if you are in Quebec and calling someone from quebec. After that, probably not.

    Interesting that there are contracts considering Videotron did away with contracts for the Internet.

  • nate

    No, If you have 2 services you would still receive a discount of 7 dollars per month, and a discount of 4 dollars if you have one other service.

    If you are using a blackberry application to check your email, that is unlimited.

    There are no contracts on the plans per se, the only contracts are on the phones when purchased at a disconted price. The charges are all pro rate. For example if you buy a 200 dollar phone and u pay 15 for it, there is a balance of 185 divided over 36 months. If you cancel after 18 months you would only pay for have of the phone so aproximately 92.50$.

  • I use Videotron for cable, internet and landline (-$5 per month), my phone is paid off, and I get a student discount (-$5 per month). I don’t email from my phone, nor do I make calls outside Quebec. 1GB of data is enough for me. I’m looking at $39.95 per month. Sounds too good to be true…