Archive for Rogers

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.

Another Update To The Rogers Lag Spike Issue

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 18, 2014 by itnerd

I found a solution to the lag spike issue that was reported to me and I did some investigation on. In the case of my customer, his lag spikes were caused by his Rogers supplied modem.

Here’s how I figured it out.

The customer was using the modem to serve up Internet access for his home. So I plugged my MacBook Pro into it via Ethernet and pulled up the page that allowed me to see the modem stats page. Then I had him play Team Fortress 2 and I waited. The stats looked good for the most part. But every once in a while they would fall outside the range that is optimal and that is when the issue would manifest. That implied a line issue or a modem issue. I then phoned Rogers and though it took a while because the tech at the other end of the phone was clearly not used to this sort of advanced troubleshooting, the tech finally suggested that we take the modem to a Rogers store to exchange it. We did that and so far he hasn’t had a re-occurrence. Though we continue to monitor the situation.

Now, I have a feeling that this is not the only cause of this issue. Googling this issue shows a variety of causes and a long history of this issue going back years. Clearly Rogers has a long standing problem with lag spikes that they need to address. I say that because a Rogers customer had to hire someone like me to solve their problem. That doesn’t reflect well on Rogers.

As for troubleshooting this issue in my condo, I have put that on the back burner until my MacBook Pro comes back from being repaired. Expect another update when that happens.

Two Announcements From Rogers That Will Get The Attention Of Hockey Fans

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 15, 2014 by itnerd

Rogers dropped me a note to share that they are starting off this short week with two exciting announcements for hockey fans:

ANNOUNCEMENT ONE – Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE - Rogers customers with the following services can now get a free subscription to  Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE, with GamePlus of course, until the end of the season, including playoffs:

Wireless:

  • In-market Share Everything Plan

Internet (Ontario):

  • Hybrid Fibre 60 or above
  • Grandfathered Extreme Internet or above

Internet (Atlantic):

  • Hybrid Fibre 50 or above
  • Grandfathered Extreme Internet or above

 

ANNOUNCEMENT TWO – NHL Centre Ice  – Starting today, Rogers customers with the accounts listed below will continue to get NHL Centre Ice:

TV:

  • Digital VIP or higher

AND

Internet (Ontario):

  • Hybrid Fibre 60 or above

Internet (Atlantic):

  • Hybrid Fibre 50 or above
  • Grandfathered Extreme customers and above

Customers who are not eligible for the above, can still get Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE and NHL Centre Ice to continue to watch the remainder of 2014/2015 season. Rogers wireless data and internet customers will continue to get a free subscription to Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE until December 31, 2014.

Check out Rogers.com/NHL for more details.

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