I frequently hear complaints from people in other countries about their mobile phone service. Well, you know what, people in other countries? You can all suck it, because Canada has the worst mobile phone service in the entire fucking world. People living in countries in equatorial Africa look at Canadian mobile phone plans and say “holy shit, are you people serious?”
Here is the latest bit of genius from the ad wizards who came up with the last one: Bell and Telus (which is owned by Bell but maintained as a separate company) want to charge users fifteen cents for every text message they receive. Seriously! Their excuse is “our network can’t handle this staggering stream of data from all these text messages!”
Now, the largest SMS text messages clock out at 1120 bits (of course most texts aren’t anywhere near that large considering how long most texts are, but hey, let’s use the maximum). Now, Canadians (all of them, including the ones signed on with services like Rogers or Fido, which Bell doesn’t own and therefore we shouldn’t count, but again, let’s play “fudge the numbers for Bell’s benefit”) sent 10.1 billion text messages last year. So if we do the math, we see that SMS messages took up a total of 11.3 trillion bits of bandwidth! THAT’S SO MANY BITS!
Or, more simply, it’s about one and a half terabytes of bandwidth over the course of a year. That’s not small, but it doesn’t sound like, you know, enough to crash the cell network or anything.
But wait, it gets even better! See, Bell and Telus plan to charge users not for the texts they send, but the texts they receive! So if you get spam texts (increasingly common even despite filtering attempts), or unwanted texts from that person you slept with and then decided WHOA BAD IDEA, you have to pay for them. Very generously, Bell and Telus representatives have said they’ll review any contested SMS bill as regards unwanted texts, with all the legendary speed and faithful service Canadians have come to expect from Bell Canada (official motto: “no, fuck you“).
Of course, thanks to this post, I know now that Apple is so pissed off at Rogers – exclusive vendor of the iPhone in Canada – over Rogers’ shitty-ass data plans (sixty bucks for four hundred megs of data? WTF) that they’re refusing to sell iPhones in Canadian Apple Stores and diverting shipments of iPhones meant for Canada to Europe instead.
I love living in a technological communications duopoly! It’s awesome!