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Telus Officially Launches iPad Data Plan

by on May 29th, 2010

Update May 31/10: After contacting Telus PR, they have answered some questions. There is no way to cap data at 500MB, as users must self monitor. Also, the data plan is capped at 5GB. Plus, Telus iPad app coming soon.

Today, Telus officially revealed their Apple iPad data plan.

The iPad 3G + WiFi data plan from Telus contrasts sharply against the existing Rogers and Bell data plans, which are offering two non-contracted packages compared to the single offering from Telus.

The iPad data plan from Telus is as follows:

  • 500MB: $20.00/month (no way to cap @ 500MB; users must monitor usage at TelusMobility.com)
  • 5GB: $50.00/month
  • Overage Fee: $0.05/MB up to a maximum of $30 for a total of $50 per month
    • Overage fee is capped at $30 for a total of $50 per month ($20 plan + $30 overage fee). The data is also capped at 5GB.
  • First month of free unlimited data is included (as reported by users)
  • Telus charges a $35 activation fee (as reported by users)
  • Telus iPad app in the works to help monitor data usage.

TELUS announced that it is offering a dedicated data plan for iPad with Wi-Fi + 3G in Canada, beginning today.

iPad Wi-Fi + 3G TELUS Plan:

$20 for 500MB per month – additional data is charged at 5Β’ per MB up to a maximum of $30 for a total of $50 per month. Please visit www.TELUS.com for more details.

The Telus data plan, as compared to Rogers and Bell, is an odd one. At $20 for 500MB, the Telus plan provides much more value than the entry level $15/250MB from Rogers or Bell. However, Telus has an overage fee.

What this means is each megabyte above 500MB is charged at $0.05/MB to a maximum of 5GB. That can get really expensive, really fast as compared to Rogers/Bell. However the Telus overage fee is capped at $30 per month.

In other words, while initial 500MB Telus data plan costs $20, customers may end up paying more than $20 and up to $50 (with the extra data used) instead of $20 per month since customers will pay for each additional megabyte over 500MB (if you go over your given data amount).

In effect, this means that for 5GB, Telus charges $50. As Telus has confirmed that the data cap is 5GB, we can say that Telus will charge $50 (capped dollar amount) for 5GB (capped data amount). Rogers/Bell offer $35 for 5GB. Customers who exceed 5GB will have to purchase another data plan or top-up again to continue using data.

So on a value proposition, it seems the value is with Rogers/Bell. What do you think?

Thanks for the email, Jordan!


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Posted under: iPad News, Telus

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  • Bell offered my friend an unlimited data plan for $50. I don't think this is an advertised price. So I doubt that Telus would cut you off from getting data. The overage fee is capped at $30, but the data is not capped. At least that's how I decipher this.

  • I think the Telus plan is better than Rogers and bell. 250mb on their plan is pretty low. I use way mire on my iPhone.

    It looks like telus in a sense offers unlimited use. If they do not charge more than an additional $30 it means for $50 you have an unlimited plan

  • BudcolBy

    I'm still waiting to hear from Rogers, if they are going to let us share devices on the 6 Gig plan ?????

  • aslamnathoo

    Definitely better value than the Rogers/Bell $15 plans. Here are my quick calculations which confirm that:

    Rogers/Bell Base Plan: $15 = 1500 cents / 250 MB = 6 cents per MB
    Telus Base Plan: $20 = 2000 cents / 500 MB = 4 cents per MB

    What I find interesting (and a bit disturbing) is that when you use more data on the Telus plan, the rate per MB goes up (to 5 cents per MB) instead of down. With most everything else in the world, the more volume of an item you buy, the lower the price per unit is. Telus seems to be bucking this trend with the 5 cents per MB overage charges. Not cool.

    To their credit, Rogers and Bell do provide volume discounts with their $35 plan:

    $35 = 3500 cents / 5000 MB = 0.7 cents per MB.

    The real question for me is, does Telus shut off your data when you hit the $30 overage cap or do you get unlimited usage once you have hit the cap?

    Can someone please contact Telus and get back to us? This will determine if I swap the Bell SIM that I got with my iPad (but haven't yet opened) for a Telus one.

    If the data does get turned off, then it might be interesting for us to know how much data you're getting for the $30 overage. Based on 5 cents/MB, my quick math shows that the additional $30 gives you an additional 600MB. My sincere hope, however, is that Telus is not “turning off the tap” as it were once we hit the $50 mark.

    Let's see who is first to get us an authoritative answer.

  • chantellejoy

    Two problems I have with this article:

    1) “each megabyte above 500MB is charged at $0.05/MB. That can get really expensive, really fast” Um… well, it can only get as expensive as $50.00 so I don't understand this point of view.

    but worse:

    2) “In other words, 500MB could potentially cost customers $50 instead of $20.”

    This is not even remotely true, why would you say that? In order for it to even go over the $20 you need to have used *more than 500Mb* So 500Mb could never cost $50, you will always have used more data.

    Seems like you were a bit confused and rushed to get this posted – and obviously there are some missing pieces of information not yet available (as Aslam points out in his comments), so hopefully some clarity will be provided by Telus, and new/accurate information gets posted shortly.

  • Thanks for the calculations. πŸ˜‰

    I've asked Telus via twitter to clarify, but no response.

    It's very interesting that Telus took this route and did not follow Rogers/Bell like sheep. In the case of Telus it's more of a 'scalable' data plan, as people with light usage will benefit since they get 250MB more for just $5. Whereas with Rogers you're going to pay $35 for 5GB. Is $15 more worth the extra 4.5GB to people?

  • I think what Mr. Ex was implying was that the overage charges can add up quickly for the average user. The iPad consumes a lot of data. So someone who signs up for the $20/500MB plan and goes over their allotted data will be charged overages. The whole point of PAYG data is to just pay a set fee and have it last until it's gone.

    In this case with Telus, they are trying to make more money off people who go over 500MB. Which is pretty sneaky because as of now, there is NO way for you to stop using data once you reach 500MB. Will Telus somehow send notifications to the users? If they don't, then people will keep on surfing the net, and could easily find themselves with a $50 charge!

    Telus is making this whole situation tricky for new iPad users. The article acts as a red flag to readers as it warns customers of a potentially expensive situation, as they think they are “only” signing up for a $20/500MB plan. πŸ™‚

  • They confirmed that this is not going to happen. That $20 charge on Apple.ca was a “mistake”. It's pathetic it even showed up on Apple.ca and they revoked it the next day. Typical Rogers.

  • They should be up front with their data plans instead of having people getting surprise overages, regardless if it's going to be capped at $50. What if people ONLY want to pay $20/month? How will Telus warn you to stop using data on your iPad?

  • Aslam Nathoo

    That's a good point on the notifications, Gary. However I think the article might have been a bit premature to be insinuating that they were being sneaky before we have even given them reasonable time to provide clarification.

    Maybe when you get a response to your twitter question on the overage situation (as noted above) can you ask this as follow-up question:

    Will Telus send some form of notification when a user is approaching their 500MB either via e-mail or via SMS to the user's cell phone number.

    I did see a notification dialog image on the Rogers iPad Data Page (rogers.com/ipad on the middle right just above “All About Your iPad Plan and Usage”) that seemed to be warning the user of an impending quota limit being reached. That would indicate to me that the OS probably has some capability built-in to provide such warnings. The question remains, is Telus making use of that for when users near their 500MB mark?

    If not, then I think we should definitely be raising all sorts of huge alarm bells for sneaky actions as Gary suggests Mr. X was doing. If not, then I think we (as the community of Canadian iPad users) should give Telus some praise. Maybe even a tiny bit extra praise as an apology for insinuating that they were being sneaky when in fact they were not and as positive reinforcement (I always believe in the power of positive reinforcement).

    Of course all this depends on the answers we get in the next day or so on this and the other issue of what happens when one hits the overage cap. I do sincerely hope that they are doing the right thing on both of these issues. I continue to hold out hope that someday the executives at our wireless carriers will wake up and remember what their mothers taught them about playing fair.

  • Aslam Nathoo

    Thanks… will be looking forward to that response.

    I also sent an e-mail to the fellow whose name was on the bottom of the press release. Will let you folks know if I get a response.

  • Peter

    It the $50 gets you unlimited data and there is no contract then the Telus deal seems fair. Not as fair as you would get in many other countries, but fair compared to overpriced offerings from Bell and Rogers.

  • You make a good point about jumping to conclusions. However, as most Canadians have learned, the Big 3 mobile companies in Canada have shown in the past they aren't always looking out for our best interests. If Telus didn't want us to insinuate, maybe they should've clarified their iPad 3G plans on the day of the iPad launch in Canada–since this date was well known for the longest time.

    If Rogers/Bell can do it, why can't Telus?

    By keeping potential customers in the dark on the day of the iPad launch doesn't really show good business practice. Also, by having random Telus dealers tweet about iPad 3G plans doesn't help either. We'll have to wait and see, and I really appreciate you taking the time to join the discussion on this issue! πŸ™‚

  • You might want to also note that Telus is offering free unlimited data the first month.

  • Aaron

    What ever happened to responsibility?? β€œI burned myself on hot coffee… I'm going to sue!!” β€œI used my hair dryer in the bathtub and got electricuted! I'm going to sue!”

    β€œI went over my data plan so I'm going to cry like a baby!β€œ

    The iPad is very capable of telling you how much data you've used. If you don't want to pay more, keep an eye on it! People are smart and more capable than anyone ever gives credit for. Take some responsibility.

    With that being said, nobody even knows whether or not Telus will send notifications yet! Stop complaining until you know all the details.

    On a side note, even though the first month is 'unlimited,' there's a $35 activation fee, isn't there?

  • The plan can get expensive fast. Rogers/Bell offer for $35 for 5GB., Telus offers for $50 with overage fees above 500MB. $50 is greater than $35.

    For your second point, go to http://www.dictionary.com and type in “potentially”.

    If you start at the 500MB plan and go over, you'll be paying more than $20. Hence your original plan costs greater than $20. So this being “not even remotely true” is completely wrong. This is 100% true and can easily happen. So the 500MB can cost you $50 with your overage fees. The point of these data plans is to buy data when needed, not to tack on overage fees.

    If you buy 500MB for $20, after 500MB the plan should shut down and allow the customer to purchase another 500MB for $20. Instead, Telus is offering $20 for 500MB + $30 in capped overage fees making your original package $50.

  • DAvid

    In the same way as your natural gas co. or hydro co. tell you to stop using their product if you want to stay within a particular cost window. There are tools on both the iPad and telus website to let you know your consumption. If you don't want a surprise, possibly users should become familiar with those options, and govern themselves accordingly.

    They are upfront — they clearly tell you what the costs will be. It is your responsibility to manage your usage within those bounds if you want to manage your costs.

  • DAvid

    It seems the market place is at least offering options. If you expect to use < 250 MB then choose Rogers or Bell; if > 250 MB but < 800 MB choose telus; and if > 800 MB choose Rogers or Bell. This is a no-brainer. I applaud telus for offering a different plan that the other carriers, and expect that the consuming public can make a choice, using the tools available to them, as to which is the better deal for their needs.

    I agree with chantellejoy: you are not buying a 500MB plan from telus; you are buying a package that includes minimum fee of $20 with an included base consumption plus a capped overage fee. The two are not separate. There is also NO WAY consuming 500MB can cost $50, as you state in both your original post and your reply. While the telus iPad plan may cost up to $50, depending on consumption, consuming 500MB will not cost $50.

    If you want something other than what telus offers — look to other carriers, rather than complaining that they should be offering the same options as the others.

  • Correct.

    However, if you use more than 500MB, instead of cutting you off at $20, Telus continues to charge per MB up to $30. In both my reply and post, it is stated that the base plan at $20 for 500MB can cost you $50 with overage fees, the key area being “with overage fees”.

    If we assume (since Telus has not clarified yet) that the cap is 5GB, then we can say that Telus will charge $50 (capped dollar amount) for 5GB (assumed capped data amount). Rogers/Bell offer $35 for 5GB. So yes, the base 500MB plan can end up costing you $50 with overage fees and you'll be paying more for the same data from Rogers/Bell (potentially).

  • 8:48yvr

    Sorry to say clearly the homework hasn't been done, and this a problem in the blogosphere.

    Telus plan holders can create an account on Telus Mobility's website and sign-up for a data usage alert. Checking on usage is also as you know easily done on the iPad as it is on the iPhone.

    I hardly want to depend Telus but fair is fair. I for one would prefer to have the data plan stay active – rather than “shutting down” when I reach a PREPAID limit of my current plan forcing me to re-activate at a key moment of usage.

    Calling Telus sneaky is just plain wrong and wants me to question the motives for that.

    As always choice is good – and it was good to see Telus not line-up with Rogers and Bell with something different.

  • Yup, you said it about user responsibility. However, some people don't always practice their due diligence when it comes to the carriers and overages with data. We're trying to keep people sharp and alert out there–this is what COULD happen.

    We're not complaining. We're trying to get an answer from Telus and continue a healthy debate about why we continue to get fleeced by the Big 3 in Canada.

  • How about the fact Telus hasn't been clear and up front about their iPad data plans? Don't go abouts releasing incomplete iPad data information. At least Rogers has their “Social Media Team” and the Redboard (never thought I'd defend Rogers lol) to keep us in the loop, even though most of the time it's PR dribble.

    I'm not the only one in calling Telus sneaky. You should check twitter responses to their iPad data plan. I do agree that choice is good for the consumer, but Telus is not going to deserve a medal for not following Rogers/Bell.

    Do remember that these three companies still are able to manipulate consumers for massive profits. We are not going to stand around and applaud them. We are trying to HELP our readers.

  • It sounds like you've had a wonderful experience with Telus–which is great. However not everyone has advocated their iPad response as strongly as yours. Makes me question your motives too? πŸ˜‰

    Can you paste the link to the Telus website where it explains about their iPad data plan? Oh, that's right you can't–because it's not there. Even a search for 'iPad' turns up nothing. Telus is either slow in updating their website (which is unacceptable since the iPad launch date was well known) or trying to keep people in the dark or make it confusing, which is a trait the Big 3 is really good at.

  • Cheers Pierre–updated.

  • Telus iPad Fail–how's this for transparency?


  • Aslam Nathoo

    Gary. I am in 100% agreement with what you say – that the the carriers haven't historically been good about looking out for customer's interests. They have been more interested in their shareholder's interests which at first blush seems to have some logic to it. However I know from my business education and experience that companies who don't look out for customers first and shareholders a very close second, but a firm second at, will eventually have to pay piper because without customers the shareholder's don't have anything.

    You're right that Telus has made some business mistakes on this product launch. They had plenty of notice that this was coming and should have been there right at launch with plans announced. Maybe they had a good reason. The only good reason I can think of that they didn't (other than being off the ball) was some potential contractual restriction with Apple. But who knows. Ultimately they will be the loser with lost customers. And the point about random dealers tweeting info… totally true. Another business mistake. This time that of their PR department who didn't control the news cycle as is their job.

    What's even more disturbing, and what I wish would get more attention, is that the CRTC who is tasked with the exact job of looking out for customers interests seems to be negligent. They have allowed us to get into a situation where Canadians pay some of the highest wireless rates in the world. I'm curious how many former CRTC commissioners have, after completing their tenure at the CRTC, taken board of directors seats at companies that they previously had regulated. If that number were to be high, it could show a clear pattern of conflict of interest.

  • I confirmed with Telus that they will stop charging you at $50 if you go over the 1.1 gigs (original 500 MB for $20 and $30 @ $0.05 for 600 megs in the overage). They told me that after that you would be subject to the “Telus Fair Use Policy” for data over that amount without any further charges. No idea the limit nor where to find that policy in writing. If someone knows where to find it, then that would be great.

  • chantellejoy

    Thank you for updating your post to clarify.

  • al

    the contract indicates 10G as the limit for fair use policy; so quite decent of TELUS methinks..!

  • 6:15yyc

    There was a Telus media announcement link on this very site…. Because Telus isn't kissing ipadincanada's butt you seem to be over the top. Pick up the phone – give them a call, if you want to be a real media player than behave like one….

  • There's no need to talk down and get personal. We're trying to get a discussion here. πŸ˜›

    All I'm saying is Telus dropped the ball on this one. We did contact them–but did not get a reply until this morning. Their PR rep did not have the answers to my 3 basic questions–seriously. He had to ask somebody and get back to me.

    Contacting companies is old school thinking. The way the web works now has changed the game. If Telus hasn't been taking advantage of Social Media to spread the word, they have failed already.

  • Check post above, as it has been updated with a few details.

  • tom

    Just got off a chat will a Bell rep.
    Rogers sucks, but Bell is even worse…check this


  • LMAO! Holy…now those screenshots personify the crap service carriers in Canada offer to Canadians. That's unreal. I loved it when you called out Sandy for copying/pasting off the website. LOL!

  • tom

    Yes, it is unbelievable and absolutely pathetic..Telus still has not a single word on their webpage about the iPad plan.
    Oh well, probably this whole “internet thing” is just a buzz and no one will talk about it anymore in 2 years.. πŸ˜‰

  • @Mike: wow, I'd like to see that written before believing those Reps on the phone and going crazy with the 3g plan πŸ™‚

    @Trent: kudos for Telus. That's a good practise. Rogers must be worried…oh wait, it's the same company πŸ˜‰

  • Aslam Nathoo

    Thanks for the update, Gary. Interesting information.

    So do I understand correctly that they are not using any built-in dialogs (as shown in the image on the Rogers site) to alert a user that they are hitting their 500MB? Did you folks point them to the image on the Rogers page? What did they say then?

    I hate activation fees. It's like cover at a bar. I feel particularly cheated when they want to charge me just for the ability to then subsequently buy services from them. Activation should be free. It's not like they are doing any work for it. No Telus person handles my iPad. I do the activation myself so what gives them the right to charge me $35 for doing their work for them. The activation fee really starts me off with a bad taste in my mouth.

    Alas they don't end there. The fact that the overage quota is the same 5GB mark that Rogers and Bell are charging $35 for but Telus wants to charge $50 truly sucks. And the fact that they are increasing the price per MB in the overage smack of predatory practices.

    Those two factors kill the value of this plan for me. If they had provided 10GB for the full $50 and fair warning before I reach my quota, then I could be probably be convinced (grudgingly) to swallow the activation fee. But together, this is a no go for me. Hopefully Telus will see such slow uptake on their plans that they will be forced to make some changes. At that point I hope that they will make changes somewhat similar to what I have suggested – increased quota for the $50 overage cap and no activation fee.

    P.S. The article reads a lot better now. I must admit that I too had difficulty with the previous line that read “In other words, 500MB could potentially cost customers $50 instead of $20.” To me that was a bit unintentionally confusing because if one paid the full $50 they were clearly getting more than 500MB. Nonetheless the updated article reads a lot clearer now. Thank you!

  • Aslam Nathoo

    Hang on… so with Bell you need to call them to cancel the data plan otherwise it will automatically re-bill? Do I understand your post correctly? Can someone with a Bell SIM in their iPad confirm?

    What about with Rogers? Can anyone with a Rogers SIM in their iPad confirm how it is on that device? Can you cancel right on the iPad or do you have to call in to do that?

  • Tom

    Yes, you need to call them, same as Telus. Apparently only Rogers offers on-device account management. So all 3 of them suck, but at least Rogers offers a convenient method to manage your account…..

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  • ben senise

    i used too much electricity at home this month and my bill is too high. i'm going to sue!!!

  • ben senise

    “There is no way to cap data at 500MB…”
    “Also, the data plan is capped at 5GB.”

    so if i understand correctly, their technology will allow them to set a stop at 5,000MB but not 500MB?

    i think there is a logic problem here.

  • I think the telus plan is great if there is no activation fee, looking at their site I don't see mention of activation fee, it would kill it for me if so as I only plan to use the plan for a month at a time while traveling or if I feel the need.

  • Aslam Nathoo


    Just did a few more calculations that I thought you might find interesting:

    Here is a simple chart based on data use only (i.e. excluding the activation fee that Telus charges) of the various carriers and who has the best value:

    – 0MB to 250MB choose Rogers or Bell @ $15 = 6 cents per MB @ 250MB
    – 250MB to 500MB choose Telus @ $20 = 4 cents per MB @ 500MB
    – 500MB to 800MB choose Telus @ $35 ($20 + $15 of overages) = 4.375 cents mer MB @ 800MB
    – 800MB to 5000MB choose Rogers or Bell @ $35 = .7 cents per MB @ 5000MB

  • Aslam Nathoo

    That really sucks… I hope that they are able to fix this soon to provide the same functionality as Rogers. That's one more call I have to remember to make before I go on vacation.

    And based upon your customer service experience, it may not be a short call. πŸ˜›

  • Ryan

    They outsource to India. What do you expect? I'm sure her name wasn't Sandy either.

    Indians are extremely smart people, however Bell and other American-based companies don't give them the proper training or power to handle specific situations. They train them merely to be a cheap answering machine. Basically they read a script and if the user tries to veer away from the script, they are told that a senior rep must call them back at a later time (basically american-based rep.)

    Rogers seems to have taken a step in the correct direction. They don't seem to outsource to India any longer and now they have a REAL person answer the business line instead of an automated machine.

    As much as I hate Rogers, they are making some proper customer service based moves.

    Avoid Bell's customer service like the plague.

  • Randy

    A couple of corrections. I spoke directly with TELUS support, there is NO ACTIVATION FEE for the iPad plan. Also, there is NO FREE OVERAGE FOR THE FIRST MONTH.

    If you use 501MB in your first month, you pay $20.05

    As well for the info of those considering Bell, I was told they will have on-device activation/cancellation active before the first 30 day period is up, so you should only have to make that one initial call to activate. By the end of the month, you should be able to control your account on your iPad. Whether this materializes or not, remains to be seen, but this is Bell's position right now.

  • The plan can get expensive fast. Rogers/Bell offer for $35 for 5GB.,
    Telus offers for $50 with overage fees above 500MB. $50 is greater
    than $35.

    For your second point, go to http://www.dictionary.com and type in

    If you start at the 500MB plan and go over, you'll be paying more than
    $20. Hence your original plan costs greater than $20.

  • Correct. However, if you exceed 500MB, while your original package cost you $20, overall you will eventually pay $50. At that point, if it gets there, the Rogers/Bell $35 option is better in terms of value.

    At this time, we are waiting for Telus to clarify what happens after the $50 mark in terms of allotted data.

  • Agence

    There is an activation fee. I paid it.

  • We already know Bell has no auto-topup. And why does Rogers suck?

  • And the overall point, before article revisions and after, is that Telus has
    the worst offer from all the carriers.

  • If you can keep under 500MB, then the plan is good.

  • Djoly

    I just got a call from a Telus representative whose job was basically to tell me that they never had any intention of offering unlimited data and that they always announced the 5 GB cap. That's simply not true. When I went to get my data card I asked them about 10 times if the data plan was capped and unlimited at 50$ and I was told yes. So not only did they charge 35$ to open my account but they change their Terms of services on the fly. I never though I would live to say this but please open us this market to other players. I'm starting to think that my friends in the states complaining about AT&T have way better service and options than what we do and let's not forget we subsidized our big players all over the place to Β«helpΒ» them bring the Internet all over the country.

  • Kw5

    can you connect your iphone to your ipad and use it as a 3G modem?