Canada’s ‘cozy oligarchy’; Bell slewfoots iRogers

I often suffer from that peculiar Canadian condition: While we pretend we don’t care, we’re secretly insecure about whether or not anybody south of the border pays any attention to us, our culture and our industry.

So it was refreshing to read American pundit Sacha Segan’s column, “The Return of Ma Bell,” wherein he frets over the disappearance of competition in the U.S. wireless industry. Verizon’s recent purchase of Alltel, he laments, erodes the competition that keeps prices down and restricts the range of devices available to consumers.

“Every small carrier that’s snapped up makes us more like Canada, where three cozy oligarchs laze around and overcharge people without competitive worries,” Segan writes. Ouch.

Meanwhile, one of those “cozy oligarchs,” Bell Mobility, exhibited admirable timing in its announcement of the pending release of Samsung’s Instinct in Canada, along with an all-you-can-eat data plan, which will tip the scales at about $40 a month. Feature-wise, it’s nearly identical to the iPhone, but for the iTunes music store. Gizmodo hailed it as a potential “iPhone killah.” It’s far cheaper than the Apple. And it doesn’t run on Windows mobile.

Nicely slewfoots Rogers’ iPhone announcement, especially given the online petition asking Rogers to lower data prices. Telus, the ball’s in your court.

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