Archive for Rogers

Bell Declares War On Rogers For Condo Access

Posted in Commentary with tags , on November 27, 2014 by itnerd

Bell Canada wants to bring its suite of services to condos which are being built at a stunningly rapid clip here in Toronto. Here’s the problem. Bell feels that they are being shut out of that market because developers are cutting deals with Bell’s competition, namely Rogers. So if you’re Bell, what do you do? Here’s what The Globe And Mail says they’re going to do:

Over the past year-and-a-half, the BCE Inc.-owned company has filed five complaints with Canada’s telecom regulator over problems related to accessing new developments.

and here’s why:

Bell says data it tracks suggest that from 2010 to the end of this year, the top seven builders in the Greater Toronto Area will have constructed about 400 new buildings with 85,000 units. But it estimates it cannot serve customers in 20 per cent, or 17,000, of those new condos.

“When we’re faced with condo developers unwilling to give us access for whatever reason – often it’s because of sweet deals our competitors have tried to lock them up with – we have no choice but to ask the commission to step in and intervene so we can provide choice to consumers,” said Mirko Bibic, chief legal and regulatory officer for BCE.

Now, The Globe And Mail is owned by BCE, so take that for what it’s worth. But if you do take a step back you see that Rogers is the clear target of this as they pretty much dominate when it comes to TV service in Toronto. Thus it wants to take some of that market away from Rogers. Not to mention get footholds into Home Phone and Internet services. Now Rogers didn’t provide a comment to The Globe And Mail, not that I am shocked about that, and neither did some developers contacted by The Globe And Mail. But you can bet that this will be very interesting to watch as Bell has raised a legitimate concern and it does need to be addressed.

Nexus 6 Launches On Rogers

Posted in Commentary with tags , on November 26, 2014 by itnerd

I got a note today from Rogers that the Nexus 6 is now available for $299 on selected 2 year plans. You’ll be able to get it in any color you want as long as it’s in midnight blue. Seriously though, one thing that should get your attention is that it’s the first LTE-Advanced enabled device on the market in Canada. If you need more info on LTE-Advanced and why it’s so cool, click here. In the meantime, I’ll be reaching out to Rogers so that I can not only test this phone, but test out LTE-Advanced as well. 

Bell & Telus Complain To The CRTC About Rogers GameCenter Live…. Rogers Responds

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on November 20, 2014 by itnerd

You might recall that I wrote about Rogers and their GameCenter Live App and all the content that’s available to them. You’d think that every Canadian in hockey mad Canada would like it. But Telus and Bell are less than thrilled about it and complained to the CRTC. First up, here’s what Bell had to say via CTV:

Bell TV says that the GamePlus mobile app should be made available for free to all NHL GameCentre Live subscribers, not just those who are customers of Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.B).

“Consumers who are not Rogers customers will be harmed as a result of being blocked from accessing this content,” Bell TV argues in a filing to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

And backing them up is Telus. Here’s what they said via The Globe And Mail:

“This exclusive is not a story of innovation, but rather one of foreclosure of competition,” Telus wrote in a filing with the CRTC dated Nov. 14.

“If this exclusivity continues to be permitted, consumers will very quickly be forced to pay more for access to content as a result of being forced into multiple subscriptions for mobile and Internet services.”

Clearly they’re not happy. Rogers must not have been thrilled about this because they took to Redboard to respond:

Bell and Telus don’t like that we’re giving you a really cool interactive online experience called GamePlus™ to supplement your hockey watching. And now they’re saying it violates CRTC rules, claiming it was produced primarily for TV and that we shouldn’t be able to offer it just to you. The complaint makes no sense, especially when this is exactly what the CRTC rules allow – unique features that take advantage of the power of the internet and the latest technologies.

And:

What’s really telling here is that given the chance, our competitors would do exactly the same thing: Bell bid for the same exclusive NHL rights and lost, and Telus has proposed changes to the rules that would let them  offer exclusive features to their customers, but not us.

We’ll continue to follow the rules set by the CRTC and won’t stop giving hockey fans more.

Ouch. This is really messy. This is really going to be fun to watch if they’re going at each other like this.

 

 

Another Update To The Rogers Lag Spike Issue [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 9, 2014 by itnerd

I’ve been meaning to post an update about this Rogers lag spike issue while playing video games. If you recall, I was able to reproduce the issue and the person who came to me asking for help had me track down the issue on his behalf. My troubleshooting found it to be a faulty modem. Rogers last week reached out to me and asked me to test my connection again. I’ve been doing tests at different times of day and I have found the lag is way less than before. If there is any lag, it’s a couple of seconds and not minutes like I originally reported. I’m waiting for feedback from Rogers on what they did, but they clearly made a change on their end that seems to have mitigated this issue.

Now I did do some detective work on my own and none of the routes to the Internet that Rogers used to get to any of the game servers that I tested with have changed. So I can only conclude that Rogers had a congestion issue of some sort, or they were doing some sort of traffic management that was affecting people who played games. Hopefully Rogers gets back to me on this so that I can post the update here.

I would ask my readers who are on Rogers and play games like Call Of Duty and Team Fortress 2 to please leave a comment with their experiences playing games on Rogers Internet. It would be really helpful to see how truly widespread this is.

UPDATE: Rogers got back to me and gave me this statement:

The resolution was part of our normal planned network maintenance in the area. Also, wanted to remind you that our network policy does not include managing specific traffic types. You can learn more here: http://www.rogers.com/web/content/network_management

Review: HTC Desire 510

Posted in Products with tags , on November 3, 2014 by itnerd

Rogers this week hooked me up with the HTC Desire 510. It’s an Android smartphone that as you will see comes with enough power for most for not a lot of money. From a size perspective, it’s pretty easy to hold and it will not slip out of your hand. The one that Rogers sent me was white so fingerprints were covered up everywhere except the screen. Speaking of the screen, it’s a 4.7-inch, 854-by-480-pixel TFT LCD. I found that the viewing angle is too narrow, and even from dead on, everything looks a bit washed out and grainy. Maximum brightness is average, which makes the highly reflective screen even more of an issue outdoors. In terms of the rest of the phone, the volume buttons are on the right edge, while the Power button is positioned on the top left corner, making it a pain to reach with one hand. The back peels off to reveal a microSD card slot and removable battery. Strangely, the speaker is on the back rather than the front which I would expect to find it on an HTC phone.

In terms of specs, here’s what’s under the hood:

  • 1 GB RAM
  • Quad-core 1.2GHz processor
  • 8 GB internal storage expandable to 128GB via MicroSD
  • Android KitKat 4.4
  • LTE connectivity
  • 802.11 B/G/N
  • Bluetooth 4.0
Performance with this setup is decent. You won’t set the wold on fire, but you won’t feel that the Desire 510 is slow. In short, it’s performance is acceptable. HTC’s Sense 6 skin runs atop Android 4.4 with a spattering of custom apps for Gallery, Music, and Videos. The BlinkFeed social and news aggregator is still enabled by default, but you can easily remove it if you want. Rogers has added a few apps of their own including Rogers Anyplace TV, Rogers One Number, and City TV Video. Speaking of Rogers, this phone achieved 34.05 downstream and 5.96 upstream on the Rogers LTE network when I tested it with the Speediest.net app.
In terms of the camera, at the back you get at 5MP shooter that does 1080P video. Up front, you get a 0.3 MP camera for selfies and video conferences. To test the rear camera, I took a trip to Pearson Airport in Toronto. First, let’s look at the still picture. Click on them to see it in full resolution:
IMAG0003
The image quality isn’t bad given that it’s 5MP. Now the video. Set it to full screen and 1080p:

The video quality is decent. I don’t think anyone will complain. Though I will note that there was only a slight breeze and the microphone was overwhelmed by it. In terms of battery life, you’ll get almost a day and a half out of it. More if you use the power saving modes that come with the phone. Either way, that’s very good. In terms of price, Rogers is offering the HTC Desire 510 for $0 on a two year term or $200 outright. At that price point, it’s a good choice for someone who wants their first smartphone, or doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on a smartphone.

Rogers Teams Up With VICE To Create Production Studio For Canadian Content

Posted in Commentary with tags on November 1, 2014 by itnerd

Late last week, Rogers announced a $100 million joint venture with VICE Media to have the latter create content for mobile, web and TV in 2015, to target the very desirable 18-34 year old demographic. VICE will relocate from New York to Toronto and set up shop in a studio to create content including news, drama, documentaries and programming covering food, sports, fashion, tech, and more. There will also be a VICE TV Network, plus create daily mobile video blasts exclusively for Rogers and Fido customers.

My take on this is that Rogers is using this as well as the NHL to give content to their subscribers so that they will consume more data. That’s likely a smart move on their part. Let’s see if it translates onto the balance sheet.

Rogers Lights Up LTE-Advanced Network [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 24, 2014 by itnerd

I got a note today announcing the fact that Rogers is rolling out their LTE-Advanced network today. The company says it’s the next evolution of wireless technology that combines its 700MHz and AWS spectrum.

The following cities now have this access:

  • Vancouver
  • Edmonton
  • Calgary
  • Windsor
  • London
  • Hamilton
  • Toronto
  • Kingston
  • Moncton
  • Fredericton
  • Halifax
  • Saint John

More locations will be added in the near future. So what does this mean for Rogers consumers? They’ll get faster speeds and better signal coverage indoors and out. That means a better mobile data experience for Rogers customers. Seeing as I have to do a review of a Rogers device this weekend, I’ll try it out and let you know what I find.

UPDATE: I won’t be testing this on the weekend as the device that I have from Rogers doesn’t support LTE-A. Here’s more info:

Right now devices that can take advantage of this new network technology are just starting to become available. The current LTE-A compatible devices are iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung Note 4. We’re working with those vendors to implement necessary software. Once that software is tested it will be deployed to customers as an over the air software update that will allow them to take advantage of LTE-A.

However, the good news is that as Rogers is going to get me a device that supports LTE-A soon so that I can test this out.

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