BlackBerry Z10 Buyer's Guide - Canada Edition

BlackBerry Z10 Canada buyer's guide
By Simon Sage on 4 Feb 2013 07:55 pm EST
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The Brits got first stab at the BlackBerry Z10, and now Canada is next up. Today the Z10 is available on Rogers, Bell, and TELUS, but what's the difference? Pretty slight at the end of the day, but here are the details on their plans in an easy-to-compare format. This is important stuff to know if you're going to be signing on to a three-year commitment, though there are always tab and off-contract options available. 

If you really need convincing as to whether or not the BlackBerry Z10 is worth the investment, you'll probably want to check out our insanely long review. Keep in mind that while those three-year commitments may be daunting, the termination fees scale with how long you have left on your contract and are much better than they used to be. Without further ado, here's our breakdown of Canadian service plans for the BlackBerry Z10. 

Rogers

Rogers

Rogers is shaving $10 off the device cost for a limited time, which might be a deciding factor if budget is your number one concern. Rogers is also heading up a SIM-based wireless payment program called sidetap, which could be interesting for those that want to ride that wave early. Data overage charges are still a little crazy ($20/GB on the basic plan), but reduce as you climb tiers.

Rogers is also tossing in a month of TechXpert service to Z10 buyers, which offers personalized, extended support. Rogers has an exclusive on Sportsnet and other Anyplace Live TV streams, which may be a deciding factor for sports fans. Off-contract, you can get the BlackBerry Z10 for $599.99. Kevin paid $650 in-store mind you, so it's possible the $600 price is online-only. One of our commenters also pointed out that if you go with Rogers subsidiary Fido, you can ultimately save a lot of money - $1765 over three years, versus $2280 and up elsewhere.

Z10 Monthly Cost Call minutes Text Data
$139.99 $55 1000 local Unlimited 150 MB (no sharing)
$139.99 $70 Unlimited local Unlimited 1 GB
$139.99 $80 Unlimited local Unlimited 3 GB
$139.99 $100 Unlimited Canada-wide Unlimited 5 GB

For more information on Rogers BlackBerry Z10 deals 

TELUS

TELUS sign

While Rogers is discounting devices, TELUS has promotional rates going right now.  Unlike Rogers, TELUS also throws in Voice Mail and Call waiting into all of their plans, and also axe activation fees to sweeten the deal. Most TELUS plans also have flexible data plan scaling, so you'll automatically be bumped up to a higher data tier - a very nice safety net to have. TELUS is selling the BlackBerry Z10 $650 off-contract, while subsidiary Koodo has it for $550. Until February 28, TELUS is offering $50 credit for device trade-in which is pretty nice. 

Z10 Monthly Cost Call minutes Text Data
$139.99 $55 1000 local Unlimited 150 MB
$139.99 $68 200 local plus 10 faves Unlimited 1 GB
$139.99 $70 Unlimited local Unlimited 1 GB (no scaling)
$139.99 $100 Unlimited nationwide Unlimited 5 GB

For more information on TELUS BlackBerry Z10 deals 

Bell

Bell

Bell has their finger in a bunch media pies, so you'll have access to all sorts of mobile TV options through them, including Bloomberg, TSN, CTV, CBC, and plenty of others (assuming you have a supporting plan). Bell also claims to have the country's largest LTE network, but your mileage may vary depending on location.

Bell and subsidiary Virgin Mobile are charging $649.99 off-contract, which is a solid fifty bucks more expensive than Rogers. Also, the sales will people tell you that you need either a BIS or BES plan in order to use a BlackBerry. Although not required by BlackBerry, Bell apparently doesn't care and is enfocing that rule. Yes, apparently this a thing they're trying to do. Retail shenannaginery aside, they have a very pretty product demo

Z10 Monthly Cost Call minutes Text Data
$149.99 $50.00 1000 local Unlimited
150 MB
$149.99 $63.00 200 local plus 10 faves Unlimited 1 GB
$149.99 $75.00 Unlimited local Unlimited 3 GB
$149.99 $95.00 Unlimited nationwide Unlimited 5 GB

For more information on Bell BlackBerry Z10 deals 

MTS Allstream

MTS AllstreamGotta give a shoutout to Kevin's hometown, amirite? MTS Allstream won't be getting the BlackBerry Z10 until March, which is too bad, but at least they've got LTE coverage in Manitoba now. Given the timing, they haven't mentioned device pricing just yet, but it's probably safe to assume it will be in line with The Big Three. 

Z10 Monthly Cost Call minutes Text Data
? $48.50 250 weekday plus 5 faves Unlimited
1 GB
? $63.50 200 local plus 10 faves Unlimited 1 GB
? $73.50 Unlimited local Unlimited Unlimited
? $93.50 Unlimited province-wide Unlimited Unlimited with tethering

For more information on MTS Allstream BlackBerry Z10 deals  

Which carrier did you sign up with for your BlackBerry Z10? What are your priorities when picking a plan and service provider? Which of the Big Three has the best coverage in your area? Are you holding out for WIND, Mobilicity, Videotron, or another carrier?

Reader comments

BlackBerry Z10 Buyer's Guide - Canada Edition

71 Comments

Simon it is not retail shenanigans, Bell BlackBerry 10 data plans require a special provisioning to be added to the account. That is why if you follow the bell.ca pre-order checkout flow it will only allow BlackBerry Plans. It isnt BIS/BES of the old BBOS, but a special version of the normal plans that enables the Z10. Same price and features as the regular plans but special for the Z10.

So from what I've figured out, there's no technical reason for Bell to be trying to sell a BIS/BES plan for Z10... it's a cash grab. The special version of BIS/BES plans for Z10 are special alright... cuz they just invented them for no reason.

We'll reach out to Bell for a statement, but I'll be surprised if they can actually justify it. If this is the case, they'll be the only carrier in the world doing it. We'll see though!

Kevin should I just tell them I don't need to switch my plan the phone will work with my normal and bbm also if anything I will go back to them and change it if it Doesn't work

My take? Yes. It'll work. It has to. If it doesn't, the world just make sense. 

And if the world doesn't make sense, then go back and change it. But it should work. For real. 

You are gonna have to switch. I have had the z10 since friday and I had to switch to a BB data plan because there was no data connection on it whatsoever with my regular smartphone data plan. So either they are not telling you something or they haven't decided to get rid of BIS. Remember RIM has given carriers the option to continue with BIS or to switch to regular data plans for BB smartphones. It's the carrier's call and not RIM's, RIM will still continue to run their BIS servers as BBM simply needs to go through BIS anyways.

Not sure of the technical details (probably be best to ask someone on the carrier team at RIM, oops I mean BB), but I know that BB gave all the carriers an option to switch to normal data plans or stick with a modified version of BIS, and Bell chose the latter while Telus and Rogers went for the normal data plans. You may see a similar difference among carriers when BB10 roles out South of the border...

So does this mean data compression and push emails then...I'll gladly pay the extra for that. Only need a gig a month and give er.

Wait, will emails not come through as quickly on new BBs? I like the instant push. Any confirmation of this?

Also, CB are there any shots of the carrier branding? Telus isn't doing it (apparently they haven't done that with their phones for a long time). And any word on if cases are included with the phones in Canada?

BIS plan is supported for instant push but not required. So basically if you are on iPhone or Android you can drop that SIM in your Z10 (if it is the same size SIM) and it will work with standard internet service. My interpretation is that will not be as instant as BIS.

I'm not sure of that... I have a playbook and bbos bridged to the PB. At first always the bbos mails arrived minutes before the playbook ones. After a playbook update the playbook mails arrive faster than the ones in my bbos (just seconds, max one minute). I guess bb10 will work the same. I don't know if I'm the only one (maybe my carrier just slowed down my bis plan which I don't think so..)

Kevin I'm curious to understand what makes you think it's a cash grab? I went to Bell's website (quickly mind you) to do a little poking around and from what I can tell from a pricing perspective, there is no difference between a traditional Blackberry data plan and a Smartphone/Superphone i.e. iPhone, GS3 etc etc plan. I didn't see any information on data plans related to the Z10 as the phone isn't out till Feb. 5th.

I'm going to chalk this one up to lack of understanding/training at store level, since BB10 is not a traditional Blackberry with traditional Blackberry data options i.e. BIS for non business/corp consumers. I'm almost positive years of sales training to understand how older Blackberry plans worked through Bell's network is surly getting mixed up with training that was probably done weeks ago for BB10. That being said, it's no excuse to be providing information by a sales consultant who may not have a proper understanding, if they don't know then ask someone that does or call your technical support teams to assist. I'm sure you we can expect the same situations occur with other Canadian carriers in the coming days.

Another working theory I have is that Bell's internal operations/systems doesn't allow for data rate plans normally associated to Superphone (non Blackberry)phones, to be combined with anything serialized/cataloged as a Blackberry device. This doesn't mean they are introducing a "cash grab" or shady sales technique but it maybe as simply as a system restriction and has no baring on the type of plans Bell can offer to Blackberry Z10 consumers. This may also be the confusion of their sales teams at store level, as a representative maybe telling a customer they have to take Blackberry data plan but that's only because his/her in-store ordering application is restrictive to applying anything else based on the devices serial number.

You don't know what you don't know!

As mentioned above I'm curious to know why you think it's still a cash grab, do you know something internal?

“Think highly of yourself, because the world will take you at your own estimate.”

Same here, bell wants me to switch my smartphone plan with my iPhone which I have 6gb :o not trying to lose that tmr lol so I'm going to biitch little beause my friend is with Telus and he don't have to switch his plan some bullshiit -_-" bell is telling I need a some BIS plan for the BBM to work -.-" sigh....idk what to do cause I'm really not trying to change my plan :/ wish me luck tmr

If I were to buy from koodo or telus would I be able to unlock it for virgin mobile by tomorrow ?

Hey Kevin, I know you there's already a post about the BIS issue but there's something I want to know. Do we we lose the data compression that BlackBerry is so well know for if we move to a Z10(regular data plan instead of the BIS one)?

Koodo is selling it for $550 but only carrying the black version as of right now. Sign with them & don't worry about contracts at all.

Lame pricing, the lack of caller id and voice mail in most plans is ridiculous, and ads another $10/per month. Call customer retentions if you're out of contract with your carrier or new to them, or just buy outright for $550 on Koodo and go with a smaller company/sub of the big brands.

This of course is not specific to BB10, just Canadian cell companies.

if you are an existing customer of any provider, or are eligable for an upgrade, remember to speak to customer retention and haggle them to get better pricing.

i got my fiancee 5GB free, plus 100 long distance minutes free through Bell. over $25/month savings. plus $50 off her Z10.

i got Rogers to give me the $65 plan for $55, plus increase my bundle discount. so $20/month savings there.

haggle people! threaten to switch providers and the prices come down,

Ahah, What exactly did you say to get rogers to give you that deal?
I'm asking because I'm looking at the same plan, but $65 for only a gig of data with another $13 on top for that caller id package is not going to happen.

Your advice would be much appreciated, lol!

Extremely disappointed with MTS! Was very pumped about getting the phone in February but have to wait until March :(

What about Wind Mobile?

Could you also let us know the differences between the models on each carries, such as frequency and LTE capability, etc

We just got back from dinner, and saw a Z10 poster outside of the WIND on Dundas and Younge. The sales rep inside said that they'll have it, but were left pretty much in the dark until today. Trying to dig up more info now so I can add them to the buyer's guide. 

Thinking i'll go with Telus. Have had bad experiences with Bell and Rogers. Telus has been fantastic for me the last 5 years, might as well stick with what works! Look out z10, here i come!

Its amazing people sign up at regular price. I get the same plan Rogers is geting $95/mo for $56 without the coast to coast.

Virgin is 60$ for unlimited everything including Canada Wide Calling and 1gig of data. It is a gold plan. It will be 10$ per additional gig. The catch is that they will only subsided 300$ off the retail price of the phone. More money up front but no contract, just super tab.

Kevin can you please unlock your z10 and stick a wind mobile or mobilicity sim in there? I heard it might be pentaband.

I've taken apart a WIND phone and used the SIM in an iPhone 3GS, then iPhone 4 -- even though the WIND store swore up & down that it would not work. She had connection on the "WIND Away" network the entire time, and was never charged extra for it.

My assumption is that the same can be done for the Z10, especially since WIND is actually going to carry the phone (unlike the iPhone at that time).

Wind Away means roaming on Rogers, not wind's own network on the 1700 frequency. You do get charged for using away, though sometimes it will recognize you're in wind's coverage area and just not make any network confections beyond the tower so you don't actually use any away.

Some phones like the lumia 920, n9, and nexus 4 have pentaband and will run on both robellus and wind/mobilicity fine, but most like iphones, galaxys, and bb7+earlier blackberrys can't as they don't have both radios. Be interesting to see which route BlackBerry goes here, though I expect it's the status quo so as not to hurt any carrier relationships.

Correction on the Telus $100 plan -- unlimited minutes *nationwide*. Tempting, but I never use more than 1GB data or go over on minutes. Yet. What if I end up doing the odd video call...?

One thing to note -- my rate plan was flagged as being for BlackBerry even though when I signed up, it was advertised as being for all smartphones. I called in to ask about plan options and pre-ordering and the guy said I'd have to change to a new non-Blackberry plan. That would have meant losing a couple features. Fortunately he talked to someone and got a note added to my file so I can keep my current deal.

Just called Bell..they waived the 50.00 fee but she said they do infact have specific BB Z10 rates due to it still being a BB. She could not answer if data compression and push emails was still part of this "special" BB service for the new phone...cash grab? Maybe, but just call customer service and they will waive it for you.

$75 Rogers -

unlimited Canada wide minutes, 3GB data, Voicemail, Caller ID, unlimited picture and text messaging, 100 free US/International text/picture messages

Hey is this the base plan on the Rogers website? The $75 plan I see includes unlimited local minutes, and only 1GB of data...so where is this plan as it sounds AMAZING!

Comn guys, no mention of Sasktel? Anyways I already know the scoop on them just givn yu a hard time. They have a massive 4G network in Sk, not bad for government funded.

geez.... not liking the looks of those plans.

I got the 6GB LTE plan ($60/month) from rogers but only 200mins + that my10 canada wide thing.. might stick with that. I've also saw on Rogers add-ons that they have canada-wide unlimited talk for just $10... will call to confirm this...

+1 for plans listed are terrible.

I changed to the BB Unlimited Canada +2GB for $56 at Christmas. Now Virgin won't allow me to get a phone upgrade or even sell me a phone.

Leaving Telus for Bell. Telus only offers their voice mail to text. I hate this service although it does provide some humour from bad translations. Bell supports Z10 visual voice mail just like the I phone. So excited to have proper visual voice mail again. This was the worst part of Android for me.

MTS...lame, lame, lame! March? C'mon! The sad thing is, is that MTS is the only one in Manitoba who can provide 4G LTE. Rogers certainly can't YET, and I can only assume Bell is in the same boat. Do I go with Rogers and forfeit the 4G?

Your Friendly Neighbourhood Interac Guy. 9780 & PB

Called Bell before pre-ordering mine to ask about keeping my current 6gb BB data plan and they said it would be no problem to keep it. We'll see tomorrow. Really don't want to lose my 6gb plan for sure. They never said that it had to be a BB plan. She simply said that a superphone required a decent data plan and said mine was good to go. Time will tell. Where I live Bell has the best coverage so it was a no brainer to sign for another 3 year term. Plus I got the device for 99.95 for pre-ordering. Can't complain really. If it's anything like my last 3yr contract I will be due for an upgrade in 26 months. Hope everyone gets their device tomorrow.

SaskTel just launched LTE and have the Ultimate 65 plan ($65) still on.
http://www.sasktel. com/search/controller/_/Ntt-ultimate65-promo
UNLIMITED Canada-wide data with no overage charges
UNLIMITED calling to over 600,000 SaskTel wireless customers, anytime, anywhere in Canada
UNLIMITED local calling any time of day
UNLIMITED picture and video messaging
UNLIMITED text messaging in Canada and the U.S
And more!

Rogers will be increasing all of their plans by $5 starting on February 5th.

Fido had a wicked deal going on before Christmas: unlimited nationwide calling, unlimited text, 1 GB of data, VM and caller ID for $57 per month. Wish it was still around...

Yeah, it's $60 now, not including voice mail. I almost switched back from Telus for that, but didn't want the hassle or to spend $350 for the Z10. Telus has a matching plan for $67 but you can't pair it with the Z10 unless you pay full price.

Odd. Perhaps this was an uninformed employee that was unsure of plan information before launch, as it seems there are Blackberry plans. I tried to checkout with a regular plan and the z10 became unchecked. Too good to be true I guess..

My understanding is that bell is restricting the BBM/Regular Data through different APNs that have to be programmed to the SIM cards. I spoke to a "tier 3" rep today and while he wasn't versed at all,and went on about BIS and BES being a requirement, after some research it looks like its the APN assignments that are controlling it.
Unfortunately nobody there can answer why, but with Bell is this really a surprise? I think this is simply a way to stop people switching phones at will, which is often precipitated by people buying used, which they don't like. It may also be a way to keep people with Blackberry in the event the new phones don't go over as well as expected causing people a desire to switch to Android or Iphone. In the end though, does anything Bell does really ever make sense?

So now the new question is, can you use an Android or Iphone, on a BB10 blackberry plan, like you could with the existing BB plans?

Thanks for the work.
FYI - Our company has a ton of phones, so our rate is $60.00, and we get a whole lot more ...

Hi guys, I have been reading a lot of the posts with a lot of confusion on the Bell plans. I am not a Bell Rep, just a person who has been using a BB for a very very very long time and I am also a BESAdmin so have dealt with a lot of BB's. So regarding the plans if you get a BIS plan on your account there should not be any additional charges, its pretty much the provider provisioning RIM data services on the phone. They seem to think they need it, but they should not. The phone just works like a regular Android based phone. Also if you do have a BIS plan on your phone, you can pretty much take that SIM card and put it in a Android phone and data will flow through like normal. I cannot vouch for IPhone's as I have never used one.

Hope that helps. This should hold true with all the carriers.

I hope Virgin Mobile will step up and do a better price on the device... why are they $100 more for the exact same device on the same physical network as Koodo? Hopefully so they can offer "$100 off!" without actually being less expensive than their competitors.

If i buy the Z10 off-contract from Koodo, will I be able to unlock it and use it on Wind Mobile? I am eyeing the $40 unlimited plan

Haggle People, with BELL,I brought my bundle down from $240 to $140. It was that or I cancel everything and go for the competition. This price stands and does not expire unless I say so. They also upped my Internet Speed from fibe12 to fibe16 with 180GB extra for nothing extra.

Good post, some heads up as well, no activation fees at Rogers, and they also the do have some new plans that include caller id & voicemail starting today. #Fresh #TeamBlackBerry #TeamCrackberry

I got this plan through my employer with Rogers - $50.00/mth plus govt fee
250 incoming
250 outgoing
Unlimited text
Voice mail
Call display
Unlimited evenings weekends at 6pm
$0.07/min long distance
6GB data

Now to pick me up a Z10

I'm waiting for the phone with Wind. I'd love to know if you can buy it with one of the other carries and use it with a Wind SIM.

Ah I can't see myself spending that money every month.

I will just wait for their white Playbook.

Ok, so I see a question asked over and over here. Does the Z10 support the AWS spectrum. I too would really like to know this. I apologize, Im usually good at this sort of thing but glazed over in lust for this mini computer.

So, Crackberry team, answer me this(please). You've all been through the specs. I've seen a crap load of frequencies this thing works on. Wil this phone work on AWS? Or will BBRY be realeasing a second model to work on AWS?

This means - WIND MOBILE _ MOBILICITY_T-MOBILE...... (and any other AWS provider)

Thanks in advance.

I was also forced to pay $7 more per month for a BlackBerry plan by Bell.

If they are not allowed to do this please let me know through a PM in the forums... this is crazy.
They actually told me that if i DO NOT switch to a BB plan, and pay the extra $7, I would have to pay $350 for the phone... which I already pre-ordered at $150.

Guy, rule of thumb when calling any customer service line. If you don't like the answer you're supplied the first time and it's doesn't sound logical, chances are the rep is incorrect and you should call back. But do your research first, go to the carries website and see what plans are being offered then you're better informed and if you're lucky you'll get a better contact on the other end. Everytime I've called a customer service line without educating myself on their products and services first, I've been mislead or provided bad information. Just my 2 cents!

“Think highly of yourself, because the world will take you at your own estimate.”

yes, they gave me a $10 credit for the phone itself... but if they are forcing me to pay $7 extra a month there is a problem

I have a plan with Rogers currently, with my 8520. It was a specific plan, for this phone, and includes unlimited BBM, yet has no data. I have had it for 3 years and it's a great plan for me. I am a SAHM, so have little use for data when I have wifi nearly 24/7 and I don't use BB email.
Due to lots of complaining and Rogers having to compensate me for errors on their end, I am paying $32-$41 a month for:
Nation Wide My 10
250 local
100 additional long distance
Unlimited text, picture messaging and BBM
Unlimited evenings and weekends
I am told that YES, this current plan would work on a BB Z10 - BUT Rogers won't allow me to make the switch without buying the phone outright because their BB Z10 phones can only be sold for $139 if I sign up for a new, min $50 plan.
Three calls later, taking it to Manager level now, I have got them down to:
1000 Nation Wide Minutes
Unlimited Evenings and Weekends
Caller ID, Voice Mail
Unlimited text
Unlimited BBM
150mb Data (piddly, I know, but I will only use wifi)
For $45 before taxes,
This would allow me to get the Z10 for $139

I need good rural coverage as I travel between big cities...fido, wind and kudoo are not options.

*ETA* I forgot to mention that my current Rogers plan is finished the end of this month! So I can either stay or look around at this point. I am just wondering if I should jump on the bandwagon now or wait...but I don't want to wait 3 years!!

Info on KOODO, the Chinook Center store in Calgary would not sell me a phone outright last Tuesday unless I signed with them as they had no extra Z10's, Only 2 left by 11.

550 is a great price if you can get it.