Telus Now Offering No Cost Phone + Tablet Data Sharing Plans for Android and RIM Tablets
My fellow Canadians, take note: Telus has dropped the gauntlet on the other wireless carriers in Canada by offering a new no-cost data sharing plan between your phone and your tablet. Let me repeat that: no cost to share the data plan. This is a big deal, because traditionally the carriers have added a fee to allow this functionality. There's a catch though: this Telus plan only works with Android and RIM tablets because it apparently relies upon tethering instead of a direct network connection.
This was, previously, a very expensive proposition - iPhoneinCanada.ca has a great post on this topic from two months ago: as of February 2011, Rogers was charging customers an extra $30 per month if they wanted to share their 6 GB data plan with another device. This is a network-level data share, so it applies to iPad 3G's for instance and isn't exactly the same as tethered sharing, but the concept is the same: two devices sharing a pool of data. $30 per month extra on top of the $30 or so that the customer is already paying for the 6 GB plan. Ouch. That's some mighty expensive data sharing!
I hope that Telus' move here places pressure on Rogers and Bell to re-position their sharing plans and pricing. And, I might note, it makes me long for the day when Windows Phone 7 allows for either Bluetooth tethering sharing or, better yet, full-fledged WiFi hotspot functionality. When I'm out with my WiFi iPad 2, I can only stare at my Windows Phone 7 with disdain and think "You know, I could do this sort of thing with Windows Mobile 6.5...".
UPDATE: It looks like the parallels I was trying to draw were inaccurate; Rogers has allowed no-charge tethering on all data plans over 1 GB, and tethering is a different scenario than a directly connected tablet with a SIM card. Apologies for the confusion!