Rogers launches new BlackBerry data plans starting at $30/300MB

I’ve been holding off on posting this because too many data rumors are lame, but BlackBerry Cool and CrackBerry have just announced that Rogers is upping their consumer BlackBerry data plans.

The bad news: nothing’s unlimited, and if the iPhone plans leaked yesterday are accurate then BlackBerry users are getting severely shafted. Finally, these plans are for BIS customers only. If you’re on an Enterprise Server, your choices are still $40 for 7MB, $60 for 25MB, and $100 for 1GB.

The plans are available at Rogers’ site and calling data/BlackBerry support (1-800-ROGERS1 and say “BlackBerry” at any possible opportunity, or *611 from your device). Here’s a summary of what you can get:

Plan Price Data Included Other Details
$30 300MB 50 cents per MB over. To compare, this is about half a cent per KB, much lower than the 5 cents/KB on Pay As You Go data.
$50 500MB flex plan On a Flex plan, you’re bumped up to the next tier if you go over your limit. It’s also $0.03/MB for any usage over 5GB. The packages are:
$60 1GB $0.50/MB over 1GB
$80 3GB $0.50/MB over 3GB
$100 6GB $0.50/MB over 6GB

All of these new plans (except for the Flex Rate) have overage protection, which means that usage of over 60MB is only counted at $0.03/MB. Business plans that offer data pooling can’t take advantage of this feature either. Here’s how this works in practice:

  • You’re on the 300MB plan ($30 base) and use 500MB in that month because you decided to run BitTorrent off your device.
  • You’re charged for your base plan: $30 for 300MB
  • You’re then charged $0.50 per MB, up to 60MB: another $30 for 360MB
  • You’re then charged $0.03 per MB, for data after 60MB: another $4.20 for 500MB
  • Total data bill is $30+$30+$4.20 = $64.20

The good news: the base 300MB is a significant amount on a BlackBerry device – I’ve never gotten close to this figure myself, and in fact had a hard time topping 60MB/month on my Telus package. The included data can also be used for tethering to a laptop, and people likely to tether are paying more appropriate rates for heavier usage.

Rogers’ site also indicates that these plans are available on monthly agreements, meaning that you shouldn’t have to sign a data contract to take advantage of these new offerings. Of course, if you’re using a hardware upgrade credit or buying a new device directly from Rogers, you may get locked into a data package for three years. My personal preference these days would be to get an unlocked device online and activate it with an existing contract, unless you need UMA support (Rogers Home Calling Zone.)

Since the iPhone plans are still just a rumor, I’m happy with a solid release of much more customer-friendly wireless data packages, and will try to get some of my clients and associates moved to these offerings.