Archive for February, 2011

RedBoard celebrates one-year anniversary

RedBoard's 1 year anniversaryIt’s hard to believe it’s been a year, but next Wednesday marks the first anniversary of RedBoard.

In our introductory post on March 2, 2010 we told you that the name RedBoard is a metaphor for whiteboards used for collaboration and asked for your participation.

You took up this invitation with a passion that exceeded our wildest expectations.

You’ve shown us you care deeply about Rogers, our products and our policies. You haven’t been shy about sharing your feedback – good or bad.

Based on our research of engagement on other company blogs, we were expecting about five to ten comments per post. Instead, an average RedBoard post receives close to 100 comments. We’ve had more than one million site visits to RedBoard and more than 10,000 comments.

To thank you for making RedBoard a thriving community of two-way dialogue, we’d like to invite you to celebrate with us.

There are two options:

    • If you’re in the Toronto-area , we’d like to invite you to join us at a Tweetup we’re holding from 5:30 to 7 next Wednesday, March 2. There will be cake, snacks and loot bags so please register for the event using the button below:

Register for Event

  • If you’re outside of the city, leave a comment below letting us know why you’ve chosen to be part of the RedBoard community. We’ll send loot bags to the first people to leave a comment on this post. (And our legal department would like us to advise you that quantities are limited and loot bags will be allocated on a first come first served basis until inventory is depleted). Also, let us know if you’d like us to hold a Tweetup in your community.

Check back on this post next week for pictures from the event.

UPDATE (March 3, 2011, 12:12 p.m.): Thanks to everyone who attended our Tweetup last night. It was great to get together and celebrate the thriving community that RedBoard has become. We’re looking forward to the year ahead. To check out some pictures from last night’s event, go here.

Keith McArthur is Senior Director of Social Media at Rogers

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Rogers Data Share plans makes it easy to share data across multiple devices

Last year you told us you wanted to be able to share data across the devices you use, and we responded at TabLife TO in December by being the first service provider in Canada to announce data sharing plans. We wanted to take some time to explain how these plans work and highlight some of the key benefits.

Why would you want to share your data?

  • It means only one plan to manage– share your smartphone plan with your tablet, netbook or Rocket mobile internet stick
  • Maximize your monthly data usage – get the most value by sharing your monthly smartphone data allowance with up 4 additional devices
  • Save each month – Add a device for as little as $10 per device per month plus Government Regulatory Recovery Fee (GRRF) (limited time only)
  • Greater flexibility – get a plan that works best for you (three-year term with hardware discount OR month-to-month without hardware discount)

How these plans work

Whether you’re a new or existing smartphone customer, there are a number of flexible options that will let you share data across multiple devices.  You can check them out here.

After you settle on a plan that makes your data shareable, you can add additional devices to this plan. For just $10 per month plus GRRF (limited time only), you can add a new or existing device that you already own. For those saving with a hardware discount agreement, the price per device to share is $15 a month plus GRRF (limited time only), with three year term.

Can you explain that to me again?

Ok, let’s say you’ve got a Sony Ericsson X10, and you’d like to get a new Rocket stick but want the convenience of having only one plan to manage all of your devices.  You currently have a voice plan with a 2 GB data plan that costs $45 per month plus GRRF, and you’re three months into your three year term. You’d first change your data plan to the equivalent 2 GB data share plan, also at the same $45 plus GRRF price. Since your X10 is already on a 3-year term plan, there’s no effect to your current term or hardware upgrade eligibility. From here, you simply have the Rocket stick added to this plan. If you don’t want a 3-year term on your Rocket stick, you simply purchase the Rocket Stick at its full price and pay $10 a month plus GRRF to share the data with this additional device.

Eligibility

To take advantage of these plans, your primary line must be a smartphone, and you can’t combine them with other special offers. Corporate plans are currently not eligible for sharing, and the Rocket hHub isn’t compatible with data sharing plans. Please contact a Rogers representative for full eligibility details.

$30/ 6 GB Customers

Our 6GB customers are very important to us. That’s why we created a special limited time offer when we launched iPhone 4 last summer that allowed them to share data on an iPad for an additional $20 per month plus GRRF.

If you missed out on this offer, you can still share smartphone data on an additional device for $30 per month plus GRRF. This works out to just $10 per shared GB – less than our other wireless customers on sharing plans.

How do I get full details?

We recommend you visit www.rogers.com/datashare, call 1-888-Rogers1 or visit a local Rogers retailer to get full details. You can also check out this clip below from Vancouver’s Breakfast Television where Mike, one of our Data Guyz recently appeared to discuss the data sharing plans.

How many devices do you have? Do you share data?

Duane MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Rogers confirms LTE deployment; invests in Canada’s “Digital Fast Lane”

Rogers and Long Term EvolutionBack in October, we announced Canada’s first comprehensive technical trial of Long Term Evolution (LTE) on our wireless network. Well today, we took a major step forward with the announcement that we are beginning a multi-year deployment of LTE wireless technology in 2011.

It’s clear that the world’s wireless products and networks are evolving to LTE and we’re pleased to lead in bringing this technology to Canadians.

LTE is fourth generation “4G” wireless technology that allows significantly more data to pass through a wireless network at faster broadband speeds. For our customers, LTE will truly enable a world defined by data, providing a true broadband experience for HD video streaming, gaming, communications, transactions and other connected experiences through mobile Internet. LTE will drive Canadian innovation and fuel what Nadir Mohamed, our president and chief executive officer, calls the “Digital Fast Lane.”

We’re excited about this news so we wanted to provide an update as soon as we could, but that also means we can’t share specific details yet about when LTE will be commercially available, which devices will be LTE-ready and which cities will get LTE first. We’ll be sure to update you here on RedBoard when more details are available.

Finally, a note on 4G: While there is confusion about what constitutes 4G technology, we won’t use that term to refer to the HSPA+ technology that Rogers first introduced in North America in 2009. When Rogers says 4G, we mean LTE.

Keith McArthur is Senior Director of Social Media at Rogers

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Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY and Xperia arc coming to Rogers this Spring

We’re excited to announce that the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY and Xperia arc will be coming to Rogers this Spring. We know there’s been a lot of buzz about these devices since CES in January, and we wanted to let you know that Rogers is proud to be the exclusive Canadian carrier.

Rogers was the first carrier to bring Android-powered devices to Canada in 2009 and we’re excited to be adding these two innovative devices to our leading lineup of Android smartphones.

Xperia PLAY

Canadians will be among the first in the world to experience the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY, the world’s first PlayStation certified smartphone, complete with slide-out gamepad. Xperia PLAY combines a PlayStation-quality gaming experience with the very latest Android platform version 2.3, super fast graphics and dedicated game controls.

Check out this commercial for the Xperia PLAY which aired for the first time during the Super Bowl:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4lxuoGgbxs

Xperia arc

The Xperia arc has a super sleek design (measuring only 8.7mm at its thinnest part) and is built with Sony technology on Android version 2.3. The device also has an extra wide 4.2” multi-touch Reality Display with Mobile Bravia Engine and an 8.1 MP camera with HD video recording capability. You can check out more detailed specs on the device on Sony Ericsson’s website here.

We wanted to share this news with you as soon as we could, but that also means we can’t share specific details on pricing and availability yet. We’ll be sure to update you here on RedBoard when more details are available.

In the meantime, you can get updates from Sony Ericsson’s Facebook page, Twitter account or from the Sony Ericsson Product Blog.

What do you think of Sony Ericsson’s latest devices? Which one are you most excited about?

UPDATE (February 15, 2011, 12:36 pm): You can now sign up at http://www.rogers.com/xperia to be the first to know when we have updates on the Xperia arc and Xperia PLAY. We’ll email you as soon as we have more information to share.

UPDATE (April 1, 2011, 12:56 pm): Pricing has been announced and preorder sites are now open. Both the Sony Ericsson Xperia arc and Xperia PLAY will be available for $99.99 with a three year voice and data package. Starting today, both new and existing customers can preorder either device through the preorder page found at http://www.rogers.com/xperia.

Miranda MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Canucks fan? Your favourite team is just a click away

Last year, we proudly announced that the home of the Vancouver Canucks would be known as the Rogers Arena and we promised we’d be looking at innovative ways to engage fans anytime, any place through our technology.

Here’s the latest:

Free Canucks App powered by Rogers

You can get your fill of Canucks action by downloading the Free Canucks App powered by Rogers. Dustin, one of our Data Guyz, recently appeared on Vancouver’s Breakfast Television to discuss the app and take a look at some of the cool features including video interviews with Canucks players and coaches and behind the scenes video from practices.  You can check out the segment below.

The app is available on iPhone through iTunes, on BlackBerry devices through BlackBerry app world and on Android smartphones soon.  To get started, go to www.canucks.com/mobile or Rogers customers can text ‘CANUCKS’ to 5555 on your phone.

New interactive fan experiences at Rogers Arena

If you’re able to make it to a game at the Rogers Arena, make sure you check out “Forever Canucks powered by Rogers,” an interactive exhibit that displays 40 years of Canucks memories on five interactive touch screens. The exhibit also features a 10 foot high historical display and case containing Canucks historical artifacts from the last 40 years.  It is located in Section 121 and is one of two new interactive fan exhibits launched at Rogers Arena this season. The “Hall of Heroes powered by Rogers” display was unveiled in December.

To take a look at the display in action, watch this clip from Vancouver’s Breakfast Television:

Rogers customers who download the free Canucks App will be able to enjoy exclusive content from both interactive exhibits on their mobile devices.

Are you a Canucks fan? Have you tried the app yet?

Miranda MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Get ready Manitoba! Rogers to launch province wide network March 31

Rogers Manitoba Network ExpansionThe countdown is on for more Manitobans to get their hands on the latest smartphones including Android, iPhone,BlackBerry and tablets for the first time on Rogers world class 3G+ network. Starting March 31, we’ll be launching our reliable network bringing 96 percent of Manitobans access to a new province-wide high speed voice and data network.

In several areas, for the first time, Manitobans will be able to own and use the latest smartphones, tablets and mobile broadband devices and experience mobile Internet service at download speeds of up to 21 Mbps.

While we already offer service in Winnipeg and southern Manitoba, this expansion allows us to upgrade our existing coverage area to high speed HSPA+/3G+.  It also allows us to expand into new areas like Thompson, The Pas, Flin Flon and more.

To check out a future network coverage map of Manitoba, go here.

If you live in Manitoba, what smartphone are you interested in getting?

UPDATE (March 31, 2011, 12:53 p.m.): As of today, the Rogers wireless hi-speed network has grown 150 times bigger in Manitoba. All existing coverage in the province has been upgraded to hi-speed HSPA+ and new overall coverage areas including Thompson, The Pas, Flin Flon, Nelson House, St. Theresa Point and Highways 6 & 10 have been placed in-service. Manitoba customers who have an HSPA device can now benefit from improved quality of voice coverage as well as mobile internet and data services at download speeds of up to 21 Mbps.  Full coverage details are available at rogers.com/coverage.

Miranda MacDonald is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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Rogers High-Speed Internet customers not impacted by CRTC decision

Over the past couple of weeks, there’s been a lot of talk about Usage Based Billing and a recent CRTC decision involving Bell Canada.

You – our Rogers High Speed Internet customer – want to know how you will be affected by this decision. The short answer: you won’t. Your rates and the amount of Internet bandwidth you’re provided each month remain unchanged. And we offer a number of plans that provide the vast majority of our customers with more than enough bandwidth to suit their needs.

The CRTC decision relates to a very specific question about the economics of how larger Internet Service Providers (ISPs) sell bandwidth to smaller providers. More on that later.

I’m writing here because there is considerable confusion around the issue. Our customers are asking us questions about Usage Based Billing in forums, blogs and Twitter. In these online discussions, a very specific CRTC ruling about wholesale billing rates has led to a broader philosophical debate about how customers should be charged for Internet services.

Some people say you should pay the same no matter what you use – that casual Internet users should pay as much as those who download movies and music around the clock. (According to one study the top one per cent of Internet connections is responsible for more than 20 per cent of Internet traffic.)

Others say it’s more fair for customers to pay for the amount of bandwidth they actually use. We agree with this approach. It’s in line with the way other services are billed including heat, electricity and water. We use a similar model in selling long distance minutes because we think a customer who doesn’t make long distance calls shouldn’t have to pay extra to subsidize the heavy business user who spends hours on long distance calls each day.

Rogers invests approximately $2-billion each year on capital investments. This includes a significant investment in our broadband networks to accommodate Internet traffic that is growing at 40 per cent each year. In order to maintain fast reliable service and prepare for ever increasing demands for bandwidth, we are continually laying new fibre and rolling out new innovations such as DOCSIS 3.0.

That’s why we think it’s more fair to charge customers for the amount of Internet bandwidth they actually use.

For years, we’ve offered a variety of Internet tiers to meet the needs of all our customers. For a casual customer, our Ultra-Lite plan offers 2 GB of Internet bandwidth each month. That’s enough to send and receive approximately 50,000 e-mails, download 100 songs from iTunes (5MB each) and upload/download 500 photographs (2 MB each).

On the opposite end of the spectrum, our premium tier provides you so much bandwidth (175 GB) that you could watch streaming video on YouTube every day from 7 a.m. in the morning until midnight without reaching your cap. Customers who go over on this highest tier pay just 50 cents more for each additional GB.

And while business customers pay a little more, their bandwidth entitlements are higher – allowing them to drive innovation without having to worry about overage charges.

Not only are customers using far more bandwidth than they did a few short years ago, they’re expecting faster speeds. And we’re delivering. Here’s one example. In 2006, customers on our premium Extreme Plus tier paid $99.95 per month for top download speeds of 18 Mbps. Today, they get top download speeds of 25 Mbps for just $69.99. We offer tools on Rogers.com to help pick the plan that’s right for you. And you can check your usage by logging into the MyRogers section of the site.

Now back to the CRTC decision, which related to the question of how larger ISPs sell their services to smaller ones. The CRTC said ISPs can bill according to the same usage based billing principles they use to charge their own customers but with a 15 per cent discount.

The CRTC decision continues to generate debate with Industry Minister Tony Clement saying he’s going to look into the decision. What’s important for us is that regardless of what happens, we want our Rogers High Speed Internet customers to know they will not be impacted by this decision.

Keith McArthur is Senior Director of Social Media at Rogers

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