Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why Does Sasktel Hate Android?

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Any flatlander who lives between the 102 and 110 degrees longitude West, and between the 49th and 60th parallel North, sees many, many TV ads featuring Little Red Riding Hood proclaiming the how great the smartphones from Saskatchewan's government owned telco, Sasktel.

Sasktel gives smartphone users two choices, Blackberries or Windows Mobile.  While Blackberries are still hugely popular, they are not everybody's cup of tea.  While Windows Mobile sticks out like the math league, chess team, glee club geek at the senior prom.  So far, the king of the smartphones the Apple iPhone is still only available on Rogers in Saskatchewan since Telus has not been able to offer their new line up of phones because they don't actually own their own network, they just piggyback off of Sasktel.  Since Apple refuses to even consider the thought of a CDMA iPhone because of the cost of paying licensing fees to Qualcomm, and the limited shelf life of CDMA in the United States there will not be an iPhone on Sasktel as long they stay on CDMA.

Other popular smartphones like the Palm Pre (Exclusive to Bell) and Pixi (Exclusive to Telus with HSPA coverage) pass right by and are not even available in The Land of the Living Skies.  The biggest rising star of smartphone operating systems, Google's Android can be found in Saskatchewan, but just like the iPhone it's only available on Rogers.  It's not like Sasktel can't offer an Android smartphone because of competing network technology, There are CDMA Android phones out there.  There is Motorola's Droid that is offered by Verizon in the United States, Sasktel chose to ignore it, and Telus grabbed the Droid's GSM/HSPA cousin the Milestone and is now the exclusive carrier for that phone across Canada even if they can't offer it in Saskatchewan or Manitoba.

Google's own Nexus One is coming out with a CDMA version in April with service in the United States provided on Verizon Wireless.  Since Canada's last two CDMA carriers have to let go of their we only activate the phones we sell before the CDMA Nexus One can be made available in Canada.  There is an economic incentive for Sasktel and MTS to do this, With the Nexus One the end user pays the whole cost of the phone, not the cellular service provider. HTC offers the Hero and Eris models running Android on CDMA.  Neither of these phones have a found a home with a Canadian carrier yet, if there's somebody listening to what subscribers want, then both Sasktel and MTS need to provide one of these HTC models a home on the prairies in order to prevent the kind of subscriber defections to Rogers to get an Android phone just like the migration to the iPhone that caused the subscriber loss that Sasktel has faced in the past two years.

4 comments:

Steve said...

I hear you on the SaskTel hating new technology. I'll be getting one of the new Windows Phone 7 models on SaskTel when they come out here, though. Android is not of interest to me but the integration between Media Center, Xbox 360 and Zune on WP7 is. And what do you know about SaskTel's Wireless Tech moving forward? Have you heard anything about them and 4G? I thought I heard they had planned to skip over 3G altogether.

Sesame said...

for those of us who use gmail and related apps, Android seems the logical choice. Get with it, Sasktel!

j said...

You people are silly. Sasktel *couldn't* support android phones because we had the wrong wireless network. operative word being had. With the new 3G network slated to come out August 16th 2010, phones such as the android will be supported. And if Bell's carying it (which they are>> HTC Legend, Motorola Dext, Samsung Galaxy) sasktel should get it shortly.

Rylee said...

ok, so, now they do have one android... the galaxy x captivate, which is extremely expensive...

for many of us telus or sasktel is the logical choice, due to rogers total lack of rural coverage here. (you can barely get service in Unity, never mind any other rural-ish areas!)sasktel is the only one with coverage.

I am getting a smartphone on rogers, just because every phone on sasktel sucks....

oh, and that reminds me, we're just getting 3G, while the rest of the world is getting 4G? god...

Im sorry, but saskatchewan is seriously behind the times.

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