Fido Fetches Unlimited Local Calls. Good Doggie.
By Eric Lin, Mon May 17 20:00:00 GMT 2004

Microcell's Fido, one of the first carriers to offer flat-rate GPRS, is now one of the first carriers to experiment with flat-rate calling plans.


Fido tested City Fido in Vancouver for a few months before announcing it would expand service to Toronto today. City Fido subscribers can make unlimited local calls for CND 45 (approximately USD 32), but are still charged for long distance calls and text messages. Fido is trying to compete with landline carriers, offering cell service for slightly more than traditional phone service. In metropolitan cities like Vancouver or Toronto, residents are typically mobile to begin so Fido can actually compete despite the higher price.

MVNO Metro PCS began by offering a similar plan in many US cities for USD 35 and about a year later expanded subscribers options by offering unlimited local and long distance for $5 more. However unlike Fido, Metro PCS subscribers can rarely use their phones outside the home calling area because they use different carriers in different regions. City Fido customers can use their handset anywhere in Fido's network, however they will pay roaming charges outside their home metro area.

It doesn't seem that it could effect Fido's service in any way, but Canadian rival Telus has made a takeover bid of CND 1.1 billion (USD 788 million) for Microcell, the parent company of Fido. Telus currently operates both a CDMA and an iDen network in Canada. It is unlikely Telus would do anything other than change Fido's name to Telus Fido, as Mike and the CDMA networks are already run fairly separately. They are probably more interested in the holdings of Fido's parent, Microcell.