Speculation has arisen that Public Mobile, the admirable yet sadly ineffectual Canadian mobile phone upstart, may not be far from seeking a partnership or merger in the face of intense treachery from incumbent cell companies. It is now more important than ever to remind cellphone users that the recent Chat-r brand is, in fact, the purest incarnation of evil.
Over the past couple of months, Canadians in major metropolitan areas have noticed an aggressive increase in the exposure of this “Chat-r.” While it may at first glance seem to be an enthusiastic and highly economical newcomer to the wireless market in the same vain as WIND Mobile, Mobilicity, and Public Mobile, it is in reality a nefarious attack that has been launched by Rogers to kill all of those companies before they even have a chance to establish themselves. Customers for this new “flanker brand” can expect to ultimately be transitioned onto the normal Rogers service when that task is complete. Unlike the actual new entrants, Chat-r has the obvious advantage of having a more established and reliable network, not to mention a vast marketing budget to drown out any desperate cry for exposure from competitors.
No one had predicted clear sailing for new entry cellphone providers when they launched nearly a year ago. Indeed, while WIND Mobile and Mobilicity have successfully rolled out their services to most major cities across the nation, Public Mobile may have proven itself to be the runt of this telecommunications litter. The brand has remained relatively stagnate, relegated exclusively within the “G band” of select markets of Ontario and Quebec with hopes of expansion growing dimmer. The inability for the company to compete with the absolute rock bottom prices being pushed by its competitors certainly isn’t doing much to help their situation.
In the beginning, Public Mobile’s $40 a month pricing plan for unlimited voice and data seemed extremely reasonable. Much has changed in that short time, as WIND and Mobilicity have been forced to become increasingly aggressive in order to attract customers. While enabling new entrants to enter the Canadian cellphone market was intended to increase competition among the incumbent trio of Rogers, Telus, and Bell, the retaliations of these corporations have been nothing less than vicious and underhanded. Rather than being more competitive with their regular services, each company has instead opted to introduce cutthroat rates with their respective discount brands, with Chat-r being the most prominent.
Unfortunately, given the average consumer’s preference for acting on frugality rather than principle, it seems that Rogers will continue to see at least some success in this tactic. The exact future of Public Mobile is unknown at this point, but it seems unlikely that those whose cellphone contracts end in the next few months will be greeted by quite as many legitimate alternatives as we are seeing today.