Oct 162012

Kyocera RisePublic Mobile today announced the launch of a new smartphone, the Kyocera Rise. It is an entry-level Android 4.0 smartphone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard.

Kyocera Rise specifications:

  • Processor: 1GHz single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S2 MSM8655
  • Operating system: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Cellular connectivity: CDMA
  • Display: 3.5-inch HVGA (320×480)
  • Input: Slide-out QWERTY keyboard, touchscreen
  • Memory: 512MB RAM
  • Storage: 2GB onboard and microSD cards
  • Rear-facing camera: 3.2MP
  • Front-facing camera: None
  • Battery: 1,500mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 113 x 60 x 14.2 millimeters / 157 grams
  • Other: Siren Music ready

Public Mobile is offering the Kyocera Rise for CA$149 and requires a 3G data plan.

Read more: Public Mobile

Aug 142012

Public MobilePublic Mobile today announced that it will soon launch a new unlimited mobile music service. Called Siren, the service is powered by Livewire and will launch on August 16th.

“Siren music lets you download all the songs you want and listen to them on your Android smartphone, anywhere, anytime,” said Alek Krstajic, CEO of Public Mobile. “Other carriers have per-track fees or limit your data usage. With Siren there are no per song or per album costs. It is a truly mobile service that allows you to download music on the go with no computers, no syncing and no extra devices required,” added Krstajic.

Siren will offer up more than 1 million songs at launch from labels that include Universal Music Canada, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Canada. That could grow to 5 million by the fall. Users will be able to download songs to their SD card, allowing them to be played anytime and anywhere, even when there is no cellular coverage.

Siren Music will be available on all Public Mobile Android smartphones as part of the carrier’s voice and data plans, starting at CA$40. The Siren app will come preloaded on future Public Mobile Android smartphones. Existing customers will be also able to download Siren to their Android smartphones as well.

Read more: Public Mobile

Apr 262012

WIND MobileGlobalive, WIND Mobile’s parent company, will not be headed to court after Canada’s Supreme Court dismissed Public Mobile’s suit over its ownership status. Needless to say, WIND Mobile’s CEO, Tony Lacavera, was pleased with the news:

We’re extremely pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision, which will allow us to tie off this loose end and continue working with the best interests of Canadians firmly in mind. We are interested in fighting in the marketplace to provide Canadians with fair, transparent and competitive wireless offerings, not in fighting in courtrooms.

Public Mobile alleged that Globalive had received the majority of its funding from Egypt’s Orascom Telecom (now owned by Vimpelcom), a foreign company, making it ineligible to operate in Canada as it exceeded foreign ownership limits. It launched its Supreme Court appeal after the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal ruled that Globalive did meet Canadian foreign ownership rules.

The case lost much of its relevance after the Canadian government introduced new foreign ownership rules in March. The new rules will support the type of investment that WIND Mobile received.

Read more: The Globe and Mail and WIND Mobile

Feb 202012

The Canadian government has yet to announce the rules that will govern the next spectrum auction but two carriers are already threatening to sit out the auction. Public Mobile and WIND Mobile today warned that they could skip the auction if Industry Canada does not set aside spectrum for smaller players. “We’re not suicidal,” Wind Mobile’s CEO Anthony Lacavera said today. We’re not going to go out and try to bid on something we have zero chance of winning.” Bruce Kirby, vice-president of strategy and business for Public Mobile, expressed a similar sentiment.

At stake is spectrum in the 700MHz band. Bidding is expected to be strong as it offers better reception inside buildings and wider coverage in rural areas. Without it, smaller players may not be able to expand into rural Canada or offer LTE connectivity to their customers.

An alternative solution being suggested would cap the amount of spectrum a company could purchase.

Canada is expected to hold its spectrum auction later this year or next year. Once the rules are announced, wireless companies interested in bidding will need time to secure the necessary financing.

Read more: The Globe and Mail

Feb 082012

Public MobileIt seems like the last quarter of 2011 was good not only to WIND Mobile but also to Public Mobile. In a report that indicates that Public Mobile will increase rates in a bid to become profitable, it was revealed that the value-conscious carrier now also has 199,000 subscribers. It was only last November that the carrier announced it had topped the 150,000 subscriber milestone. Public Mobile’s growth is impressive, especially given that it only operates in two major markets.

Public Mobile also disclosed its ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) for the first time. It came in at CA$25.27 a month. The rate increase will help drive this higher along with recent US roaming agreement.

Public Mobile’s Unlimited Talk plan will increase by CA$4 per month to CA$19 per month this month.

Read more: Reuters

Dec 022011

Public MobilePublic Mobile yesterday announced that it is now offering US roaming to its customers. The rates will be the same as in Canada (CA$0.15 a minute to send or receive a call, free incoming texts and CA$0.15 for each outgoing text).

“Until now, the cost to roam while in the U.S. has been ridiculous,” said Public Mobile CEO, Alek Krstajic. “We are proud to bring Canadians fair prices and great value while they talk and text in the U.S. With the introduction of our 3G Smartphones we also look forward to introducing data roaming in Canada and the U.S. in the coming months,” added Krstajic.

Public Mobile has partnered with Sprint and coverage extends across the Continental US and includes Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Only Alaska and Montana are not included.

Data roaming is not yet available (in Canada or the US) but should be unveiled in the “coming months.”

Read more

Nov 172011

Public Mobile today announced its first two Android smartphones, the ZTE N762 and a second device simply called “Max.” Both can now be pre-ordered and will be available with a CA$30 per month plan that offers unlimited talk, text and data.

Both devices come with Google Android 2.3, GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and microSD card readers. The ZTE N762 has a slightly larger 3.5-inch display but only a rear-facing 2MP camera. The Public Mobile Max has a smaller 3.2-inch display but has both a rear-facing 3.2MP camera and a front-facing one.

Public Mobile ZTE N762 and Max Android smartphones

Public Mobile is now taking pre-orders on the ZTE N762 for CA$149 and the Public Mobile Max for CA$169 with no contract. Anyone pre-ordering either will also receive a free Roots carrying case.

There is no word on exactly when both devices will be available.

Read more

Nov 132011

Public MobilePublic Mobile earlier this week announced that it has now topped the 150,000 subscriber milestone. During the Scotia Capital Telecom & Tech 2012 Conference, Public Mobile CFO Jim Hardy confirmed the numbers that first showed up in a leaked internal document obtained by MobileSyrup. It apparently added about 40,000 new customers in Q3 alone, a rate “50% higher than the combined prepaid growth of all 3 Incumbents (at 27k)” with September being “the best month for growth in the history of Public Mobile.”

In comparison, WIND Mobile which covers 5 major urban centers and a growing portion of southwestern Ontario, is nearing or has topped the 400,000 subscriber mark – Public Mobile currently operates in Toronto and Montreal. Mobilicity, a private company, has not revealed any subscriber numbers recently.

Hardy also confirmed that the carrier already has a 3G network up and running. It is currently undergoing testing. The carrier expects to launch 3G Android phones around the end of the month. Prices could start below CA$200 with no contract.

Source: Leaked Public Mobile document and Subscriber number confirmation

Sep 232011

ZTE E520Public Mobile today announced the launch of the ZTE E520, its first instant messaging-friendly phone. It is an entry-level device with a 2.4-inch QVGA display, Bluetooth 2.1, support for microSD cards, and a 1.3MP camera.

The ZTE E520 is available from Public Mobile for CA$70 with no contract.

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Sep 162011

Public MobilePublic Mobile today announced that they have signed an agreement with a second roaming partner to provide coverage to 93% of Canadians. Coverage in Eastern Canada has been improved and the Quebec City to Windsor, Ontario corridor is now fully covered.

“Public Mobile continues to offer the lowest price for Canadian roaming when compared to other new entrants,” said Public Mobile CEO Alek Krstajic. “We remain committed to bringing Canadians affordable cell phone service,” added Krstajic.

Public Mobile charges CA$0.15 a minute for incoming and outgoing calls and CA$0.15 per outgoing text message (incoming ones are free) while roaming in Canada.

Public Mobile first began to offer roaming coverage in March of this year.

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Sep 082011

WIND MobileWIND Mobile’s legal saga over its ownership status is headed to the Supreme Court after Public Mobile made good on intentions first announced back in June. Public Mobile filed an appeal motion last week just days ahead of a deadline to do so. It claims that the government “acted on faulty legal assumptions when in late 2009 Cabinet reversed a decision from regulators barring WIND from launch.”

Public Mobile will be going at it alone as TELUS has decided to drop its motion against WIND. “We believe it’s time to let the market work,” a TELUS spokesman said.

In June, WIND Mobile won its latest appeal with a unanimous verdict from the Federal Court of Appeal. It was hoping that this would mark the end of a long legal battle over its ownership (is it Canadian enough?). Instead, it is now preparing to head back to court next spring.

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Jun 082011

Public Mobile

The ink is barely dry on the Canadian Federal Court of Appeal’s ruling that Globalive meets Canadian foreign ownership rules that Public Mobile, the rival that launched the court case, has confirmed it will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

“There have been five different decision makers in this process with a flip-flopping of the decision each time,” said Public Mobile CEO Alek Krstajic. “Industry Canada, the CRTC, the Governor in Council (Federal Cabinet), the Federal Court and now the Federal Court of Appeal have reached conflicting verdicts. Today’s decision shows us just how clouded this issue has become and demonstrates more than ever the national importance for consistent rules that should be applied equally to all Canadian wireless carriers. If you’re going to change the rules, change them equally for everyone, not just for WIND.”

Last week, Industry Minister Christian Paradis confirmed that foreign ownership remains a priority for the government but gave no details as to how the government plans to proceed.

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Public Mobile launches ZTE C76

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Jun 032011


Public Mobile today launched the ZTE C76, the second in its line-up of affordable data devices (joining the Public Mobile Buzz).

ZTE C76 specifications:

  • Cellular connectivity: CDMA
  • Other connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Display: 2.0-inch
  • Input: Numeric keypad
  • Rear-facing camera: None
  • Front-facing camera: None
  • Dimensions / weight: 108 x 46 x 12.7 millimeters / 75 grams
  • Other: Web browser (WAP 2.0)

Public Mobile is offering the ZTE C76 for CA$65 with no contract.

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Jun 012011

Public Mobile

Public Mobile today announced that it has extended its network coverage further. In Quebec, their network coverage now includes Repentigny, Terrebonne, Blainville, and St-Eustache. In Ontario, they have expanded our network to include Milton and Georgetown.

Public Mobile also updated its coverage map to show where it plans to expand service in 2011.

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Apr 192011

Public Mobile BUZZ

Public Mobile today launched its data plans and the Buzz data device.

Public Mobile Buzz specifications:

  • Cellular connectivity: CDMA
  • Other connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Display: 2.2-inch display
  • Input: QWERTY keyboard
  • Storage: microSD cards
  • Rear-facing camera: 1.3MP
  • Front-facing camera: None
  • Other: WAP 2.0 browser, 3.5mm headphone jack

Public Mobile is now offering an ‘Unlimited email’ plan for CA$5 per month as well as an ‘Unlimited info portal, web browsing. and email’ plan for CA$10 per month. Note that browsing is limited to the WAP browser.

Public Mobile is offering the BUZZ for CA$99.

Source: MobileSyrup.com

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