Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Greatest Hits coming for Playstation 3 starts with Resistance: Fall of Man and ports from Playstation 2 which include Ninja Gaiden, , Call of Duty 3, Fight Night, and Elder Scrolls
80 GB Playstation 3 to replace 40 GB Playstation 3
*** New Exclusives ***
Little Big Planet
God of War III
Wii Speak, headset for chatting while online gaming
Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii)
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (DS) A surprise debut for the Grand Theft Auto franchise on a Nintendo system, and one of the first Mature rated game for the DS being the handheld system that appeals to the 6 to 16 year old set.
Wii Sports Resort: a follow up to Wii Sports the game that ships with every Wii Console
Wii Music: Nintendo's version of the music playing simulators like Guitar Hero and RockBand
XBox live will get redesign players will be able to create avatars.
*** New Exclusives ***
Resident Evil 5
Gears of War 2
Final Fantasy XIII
Friday, July 11, 2008
In the early days given Canada's large land area in compairson to the low population density meant that building the early cellular networks were very expensive. There were very low numbers of subscribers in the first few years which meant paying thousands of dollars for a bag phone which was required because the nearest cell tower may be as many as twenty kilometres away. Airtime minutes cost dollars instead of the pennies they are today. As the number of subscribers grew cellular infrastructure was built and phones got smaller and more convenient to use which meant costs could come down which it did but didn't come down as much as in other countries.
Everybody who has a contract with their cell phone pays a monthly system access fee of $6.95 ($8.95 for Bell subscribers) per month. Originally the system access fee was paid to the federal government but that ended in 1987, so what was originally a government tax grab became a profit grab for the cell phone industry. Another 'fee' which is a profit grab is the 911 fee just about every telephone (both wireline and cellular) subscriber pays, 911 is actually funded through municipal taxes not telco fees.
The Telcos and Rogers have consistantly agrued before the CRTC is that Canada is a small market for cell service, which in the first decade of cellular service in Canada may have been true. That is probably why only two companies (ClearNet and Fido )were allowed to enter the market in the mid 1990's when Digital cell service came to Canada. Clearnet was bought out by Telus in 2000 and Fido was bought by Rogers in 2004. Both had to pay millions to buy their CRTC licences through the auction process. The costs of buying licences through the auction process and building cellular infrastructure left both Fido and Clearnet with billions of dollars of debt which made them easy take over targets. Any new company entring the market now is already at a disadvantage because of license auctions.
There is very little doubt that the cell phone companies are gouging consumers, but don't forget that the feds have their dirty little hands in the pie too.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
If Rogers really wanted to put an end to the outrage then put out an unlimited data plan at a good price.
This already has subscribers complaining that the cell carriers are just nickel and dimeing subscribers, but ultimately the goal of the cell carriers is to get subscribers to add text messaging packages to cell phone subscriptions.
The companies currently competing in the auction to enter the cell phone market in Canada will take about two years to get started, looks like it's going to be a very long two years.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Now that there is an idea of who the new cell phone carriers will be, now the next question is going to be is which cell technology will they use GSM or CDMA? For a new cell phone provider to go GSM would be the smart bet. For Globalive or any of the new regional carriers it would be easier to make one roaming agreement with Rogers than four agreements with Bell, Telus, MTS, and Sasktel. Even for Globalive who intends on making a national network, a roaming agreement will be needed because during the build out in the first couple of years Globalive will only have towers if the major cities with smaller communities won't have coverage without a roaming agreement with an existing provider.
There is another prize in 2010 for any new cell providers if they choose to use GSM the international roaming fees from the Vancouver Winter Olympics. If any new Canadian providers can make roaming agreements with foreign cell phone companies they will take what is expected to be a win fall away from Rogers.
Phones using Google's Android operating system for smart phones about to hit the market in the next year will also weigh heavily on the minds of the operators of any new cell phone carrier. In the United States it is expected that one of the underdog cell providers like T-Mobile or SprintNextel will be the first to offer the Google Android smart phone. If Google makes an exclusive agreement with ether T-Mobile or SprintNextel similar to the exclusive agreement that Apple made with AT&T for the iPhone could help sway any new cell carrier on this side of the border to ether GSM or CDMA. If an exclusive agreement is made with T-Mobile which is a GSM carrier then one or more of the upstart carriers will more likely go GSM. If an exclusive agreement between Google and SprintNextel a CDMA carrier comes then it will be likely that at least one of the new carriers will use CDMA.
If there is one downside of the conclusion of the Wireless telephony auction is the number of regional carriers that could come to the market. That would mean the return of roaming fees for subscribers when travelling outside of the home region. With the emergence of Telus as a national carrier in 2000, and Bell swollowing up Aliant in the past couple of years meant less competition regionally but at the very least roaming fees just about became a thing of the past. Only subscribers of MTS and Sasktel pay roaming fees when travelling outside of Manitoba and Saskatchewan respectively and Bell subscribers pay roaming fees when travelling to Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Subscribers to any to the new regional cell carriers will re-learn what a shocking experience opening the cell bill will be because of roaming fees. The next couple of years will be both an exiting time and a scary time to be a cell phone subscriber in Canada.
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