Archive for Rogers

Rogers Announces 4K TV, Netflix 4K Partnership & Gigabit Internet

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 6, 2015 by itnerd

Rogers had some news yesterday that turned some heads. Here’s the list of things that were announced:

  • Rogers plans to roll out  a new 4K set top box. To give you something to watch, Rogers will serve up over 100 live sporting events streamed in 4K including all 2016 Blue Jays home games and 20 NHL games.
  • From the “did hell freeze over” department comes the news that they have a partnership with Netflix for “premium” 4K streaming by connecting to the Open Connect content delivery network. Seeing as Rogers is part of the partnership with Shaw to serve up Shomi, I didn’t see that one coming.
  • Rogers has also announced Rogers Ignite Gigabit internet. It will show up in the following GTA areas shortly: Harbourfront, Cabbagetown, Riverdale, King Street West, Queen Street West, the Financial District, Discovery District, Yonge and Bloor, Vaughan, Markham, Richmond Hill, Pickering, Ajax, and Whitby and some more that I haven’t listed here. More areas will come by the end of 2016.

Clearly what Rogers is trying to do is to give you a reason not to run out to Bell and their services as they were first to the table with Gigabit Internet. My question is, will it succeed in retaining existing customers and attracting new customers?

We’ll see.

WiFi Calling On Rogers…. It Works As Advertised

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 24, 2015 by itnerd

Last week, I wrote about the difficulties that my wife and I had setting up WiFil calling on my wife’s iPhone 6 that is on the Rogers network. But we’ve overcome them and she has had a chance to try it out in her workplace which despite being in downtown Toronto, it’s a cellular dead zone where she is lucky to get one dot on her iPhone. As a result she misses calls frequently as they all go to voicemail. Thus having WiFi calling available to her will fix that issue. Here’s a screenshot of my wife’s iPhone 6 (click to enlarge):


You’ll notice on the top left of the screenshot that she is getting 1 dot of LTE signal strength. But you’ll also notice that it says “WiFi Rogers.” That means that the iPhone is now using her corporate WiFi network to make and receive calls. The iPhone will automatically use WiFi when her LTE signal strength is low. That means that as long as she has WiFi access, she is reachable and she doesn’t have to do a thing to enable it. In terms of call quality, my wife reported to me that it is very good. People could hear her clearly and she could hear them clearly. She’s only been using it for a few days, but she has no complaints thus far.

The bottom line is that if you’re on the Rogers network and you’ve updated to iOS 9, you should enable WiFi calling. It will allow you to keep in touch anywhere there’s a WiFi signal and it pretty much works as advertised without a drop in call quality. If you’re still not sure if you should make the jump, Rogers has a FAQ that should be able to answer all your questions.

Enabling WiFi Calling On My Wife’s iPhone Via Rogers Was…. Frustrating [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 18, 2015 by itnerd

One of the cool features that came with iOS 9 was WiFi calling for Rogers customers. This feature has been around for a while, but not it was not available on the Rogers network for whatever reason. The whole point of this feature is that the iPhone can use WiFi network to make up for a lack of LTE or 3G coverage in a given area so that people can still make or receive phone calls. When the option appeared on my Wife’s iPhone 6 after she upgraded to iOS 9, she wanted to try it out because her workplace is in a cellular dead zone and she misses calls as a result of that. However she has WiFi access all over her workplace so this feature would benefit her.

But when she tried to enable it, she got this message:

“To allow WiFi calling on this account, contact your carrier.”

She found that to be weird, so she asked me to look into it. That’s when I sent Rogers this Tweet:

They responded and asked me to direct message her phone number, which I did and they looked into the issue. They then got back to me and asked me to try it again. One thing for me to note is that all of this happened on the same day which is good. So, when she tried it again she got further and she thought she was in business. But she was wrong. Part of the setup process required her to set up e911 with her home address. You see, many people only have cell phones rather than have cell phones and landlines. That’s a problem when on WiFi as 911 operators have no ability to accurately nail down your location. Thus the need to sign up for e911. When she tried to do that, she kept getting error messages saying that it was unable to validate her address. I tried it several times and then I noticed something. When I looked at the postal code field, it was asking me to enter the letters of the postal code in lower case. I was entering them in upper case and so was she. When I did what it asked me to do, I was able to complete the process and she was able to use WiFi calling. Bizarre.

Now after we got everything working I did some Google searches and found that we were not the only ones having issues and clearly Rogers is having a really tough time making this feature work for everyone. Not only that, there appear to be some restrictions in terms of features that you can’t have on your account that may keep you from using this. Those include:

  •  Data blocking
  • Ringback tunes
  • Advanced Call Manager
  • Teletypewriter
  • Rogers One Number

So it may be best that if you are on Rogers with your iPhone and you want to enable WiFi calling to wait a few days before trying to enable it so that Rogers sorts out whatever issues that they have. Otherwise, you may end up being as frustrated as my wife and I were.

UPDATE: Rogers sent me a statement on this:

I saw your story on Wi-Fi Calling and just wanted to say that we are aware that some customers experienced issues enabling Wi-Fi Calling but the issue is fixed.

Also, an interesting Toronto centric tidbit; with Wi-Fi Calling our customers can now make and receive calls at any of the 15 TTC subway stations that have Wi-Fi service – this ties into our whole strategy around keeping people connected no matter where they are.  

Thanks for that. I’ll be asking my wife to try this out as she commutes by subway to the stations that are covered with WiFi.

Shomi Now Available To Any Canadian With Any ISP Starting Today

Posted in Commentary with tags , on August 20, 2015 by itnerd

This press release popped up today to announce that any Canadian with any ISP can get Shomi starting today:

Starting today, Canadians can subscribe directly to shomi to access the service through their Internet provider. And shomi is accessible on the platforms Canadians want – tablet, mobile, online, Xbox 360, Apple TV, Chromecast, as well as set-top boxes for Rogers and Shaw TV subscribers. The service is also on offer to other cable providers and ISPs. New members get to try their first month of shomi for free when they subscribe, then enjoy non-stop streaming for just $8.99 per month.

This happened quicker than I thought it would. I say that because when Rogers and Shaw (who both run Shomi) said that they were going to do this (likely because the CRTC pretty much forced them to), there was no timetable attached to it other than “this summer.” It also puts some pressure on Bell’s CraveTV to respond as they have said that they would do the same thing at the start of next year. Now they may not be able to wait.

Rogers Announces Mobilicity Purchase [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags , on June 24, 2015 by itnerd

I posted what was a rumor that later was confirmed as fact last night. Now it’s official. Rogers has purchased Mobilicity. Here’s the details from a press release that is on the wires at the moment:

Rogers Communications will immediately boost speed and quality for wireless customers in BC, Alberta and Southern Ontario as part of a series of transactions announced today. The transactions mean Rogers is completing the previously announced acquisition of Shaw’s AWS-1 spectrum and acquiring 100% ownership of Mobilicity. The company is also divesting, post transaction, certain AWS-1 spectrum to WIND Mobile that is contiguous to their spectrum holdings.

Rogers as a result of this deal gains a lot of previously unused spectrum capacity that works with all LTE devices. That’s a win for them. What’s also a win for them is the fact that Industry Canada has signed off on the deal. That’s major as Telus couldn’t get that far when they made two attempts to buy them. The deal still needs to be signed off by the Competition Bureau and the Court that is overseeing Mobilicity’s bankruptcy. But one has to think that this is a formality at this point. Wind is a bit of a winner too as they get some spectrum that I am sure that they can use.

The only thing that is outstanding is if Telus is going to try and stop this via the courts. I’d watch this space to see if that happens. If it is going to happen, it will happen quickly one suspects.

UPDATE: A statement from Industry Minister James Moore has been posted. In it he says this among other things:

“The approval of these spectrum licence transfers is a win for Canadian consumers. A new wireless competitor has secured valuable spectrum it needs, and high-quality spectrum that went unused for almost a decade will now be deployed for the betterment of all Canadians.

That new wireless carrier is Wind who put out a press release to speak to what the Industry Minister said:

“This new spectrum acquisition means WIND Mobile now has a 20 megahertz AWS-1 corridor from Victoria to Ottawa,” said WIND Mobile CEO Alek Krstajic. “This will significantly improve our network performance from Ontario to the Pacific, enabling us to deploy new technology and accelerate the development of our LTE network and other services.”

Krstajic says today’s developments further enhance WIND Mobile’s position as Canada’s fourth national wireless service provider.

Things just MIGHT have become a lot more interesting in the wireless space here in Canada.

RUMOUR: Rogers To Buy Mobilicity [UPDATED]

Posted in Commentary with tags , on June 23, 2015 by itnerd

The Globe And Mail is reporting that Rogers is about to buy struggling carrier Mobilicity:

Mobilicity has accepted an offer from Rogers Communications Inc. and plans to seek court approval of the sale, according to sources.

The small wireless carrier, which has been under creditor protection since September, 2013, plans to take the agreement to court on Wednesday morning, three sources familiar with the negotiations said.

Rogers is said to have bid more than $400-million for Mobilicity, according to two sources.

The deal is said to include the transfer of some cellular spectrum to new entrant carrier Wind Mobile Corp. This is believed to be a factor in the federal government’s willingness to approve a transaction although it has previously blocked Mobilicity’s attempts to transfer its spectrum licences to Telus Corp.

Don’t consider this a done deal yet though. Assuming this report is accurate:

  1. It has to be approved by the feds. Telus has had two attempts to buy Mobilicity shot out of the sky. Don’t be shocked if Rogers attempt ends up the same way.
  2. Telus is apparently none too happy about this. They may go to court to stop this.

So, you will have to watch this space to see how this turns out. It will be interesting to watch.

UPDATE: The Globe And Mail story that I referenced has been updated to take this out of the rumor space to being fact. Several key points have been added. The key one is that Telus apparently offered more for Mobilicity than Rogers. But Mobilicity’s creditors went with Rogers and their deal as it appeared to be the one that would pass government approval.

Bell And Telus Adopt Rogers Suretap To Beat Back Apple Pay

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on June 23, 2015 by itnerd

Both Telus and Bell put out separate announcements that they were adopting Rogers Suretap Mobile Wallet system. Bell did their announcement in the form of a YouTube Video:

Telus on the other hand went old school by sending me a statement:

With suretap mobile wallet, now available for TELUS customers, we are helping simplify the way customers shop and pay every day. As you know, TELUS is obsessed with improving the customer experience and helping customers maximize the use of their smartphones with value added services that make their lives easier. With suretap, TELUS is enabling its customers to take the next step in mobile wallet transactions while offering an experience that is secure, simple and convenient. Suretap will work alongside the bank mobile payment applications we currently offer in collaboration with partners like CIBC, TD, Desjardins and PC Financial, giving our customers access to the mobile payment solution that is right for them and their everyday routines.

So, why would Telus and Bell team up with Rogers? The answer is simple. They want to be all ahead of the inevitable launch of Apple Pay in Canada. Perhaps even beat it. Now Suretap does have a significant advantage over Apple Pay which is the blessing of Canadian banks. Apple Pay will have to get that and that may take time. Though one has to think that Apple who has more cash than some countries is going to operating its payment system in Canada in the very near future with Canadian banks eventually signing off.


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