TORONTO — A new and “tiny” mobile operator intends to debut its LTE service in the very large nation of Canada next year.
dot.mobile™ says its simple goal is to “make wireless more affordable and awesome” — in a country otherwise dominated by a cozy but costly cellular triopoly.
Conceived by two ex-WIND Mobile product architects, the industry upstart will establish as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator piggybacking on existing national LTE networks in 2020.
The MVNO business model, popular in Europe and the U.S., is not entirely unknown in Canada, with examples like Petro Canada Mobility and PC mobile and a number of others.
“Reduced complexity, simple pricing and our unique Data On Tap™ approach lets us offer affordable, near direct access to mobile networks,” says one of the company’s founders, CEO Algis Akstinas, in a press release. “The newest digital technologies, like eSIM and machine learning, will allow us to serve the currently underserved — Canadians who want a service that works on their terms.”
The firm will offer SIM cards in combination with an iOS and Android application. The “completely digital service” will “hand over full control of the wireless experience to its users” without traditional retail stores or call centres, allowing consumers to “bring their own phone (BYOD) and get their SIM cards both electronically and through local delivery partners.”
Conceptual features and pricing are proposed on the company website (www.dotmobile.app), including pay per gig data with perpetual rollover, no additional roaming fees while travelling in the USA, and a marketplace for buying and selling certified used phones.
“We are planning on offering two monthly membership options, one that includes regular voice and text service, and the other that is data-only,” another founder, Alex Bauman, Chief Experience Officer, tells Nation Valley News. “Both would include a traditional phone number, an important part of managing your online identity,” he says, explaining it’s not a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocal) service, though customers are welcome to take that route on their own.
“Our members can choose to live a data-only life with VOIP and other … services … or they can have a more traditional setup with talk and text. In both cases you only pay for the data you use.”
“The big telecoms have fallen behind everyone else when it comes to digital experiences – the banks, insurance companies, online stores and streaming services are the innovators. Our tiny telecom will change all that, and we’ll do it with the help of our members,” says Bauman.
The company points out that Canadians pay some of the highest wireless rates in the world — $64 per month on average — a cost “leaving behind many underserved Canadians — seniors, youth, families, visitors to the country, new Canadians, or people operating their own small businesses.”
Adds Akstinas, “Big telecoms are unable to serve these people well because of one simple reason: they’re too big. Tiny telecoms, on the other hand, run on innovative business models and foster competition. The mobile network operators get a fair wholesale rate and continue to invest in network infrastructure, and we offer affordable and awesome service to Canadians. Everybody wins!”
Data on Tap Inc. owns the dot.mobile™ brand.