Canadian cell phone carrier Rogers Communications is extending its iPhone data plan promotion another month, as it tries to figure out how best to price data plans for smartphone users, CBC reported Thursday.
Rogers, Canada's exclusive iPhone carrier, will offer the 6-gigabyte data service for $30 a month for all smartphone users, including Apple iPhone users, and laptop air cards.
The promotion, which was launched with the iPhone 3G's July 11 debut, was set to expire at the end of August. The carrier offered the special promotion after customers complained about a similarly priced plan that offered only 400 megabytes of data per month.
A Rogers representative the company told the CBC the offer is being extending through September to allow buyers of the new BlackBerry Bold to take advantage of it. The Bold was introduced only week ago.
Come October 1, Rogers will have new plans in place. A $25 plan will provide 500MB of data downloads for $25. And a $30-a-month plan will allow subscribers to download 1GB of data. These data plans must also accompany voice plans that start around $20 a month.
Because Rogers requires users to sign a 3-year contract, the mobile operator offers one of the most expensive iPhone data plans in the world. But on a monthly basis, it's not so bad, at only about $60 a month. AT&T's iPhone 3G plans start at $70 a month for voice and data.
CBC reports that Rogers believes that its new pricing plans should satisfy most customers, since the carrier said it has found that only 1 percent of iPhone users used more than 1GB of data in their first month, and most used less than 500MB. Rogers is also allowing customers to "tether" their smartphones or use the phone as a modem for laptops. This is not allowed by other carriers, such as AT&T in the United States.
To help make sure that customers don't run up ridiculously high data bills without realizing it, the company is also rolling out a "peace-of-mind protection plan" in October. This plan will send customers free text messages warning them if they are close to crossing a certain threshold of data usage. The company will also cap excess usage charges at $100, the CBC report said.