Mobilicity vs. WIND Mobile - The Great Debate!
This thread will attempt to compare WIND Mobile & Mobilicity to help readers pick between the two. If there is anything that I've missed, send me a PM and I'll edit the post.
Both WIND and Mobilicity run HSPA on the frequency of 1700 MHz. Why is this important? Well, not every handset in the world supports this frequency and so we are somewhat limited as to what phones we may use. Thus, we cannot use the Motorola Razr (with freq. HSDPA 850/900/1900/2100) on either network. We can however use the Nokia N900 (with freq. HSDPA 900/1700/2100) on WIND's or Mobilicity's network.
Sometimes, we have phones such as the Blackberry Bold 9900 with either frequencies of HSDPA 850/1900/2100/800 OR HSDPA 900/1700/2100..so what exactly does that mean? Well, the Big 3 (Rogers, Bell, and TELUS) all use the frequencies of 850/1900 MHz and carry the specific version of the Bold that has frequencies 850/1900/2100/800...1700 is missing which means that this particular version of the Bold WOULD NOT work on Mobilicity or WIND.
Other times, we have phones like the Galaxy Nexus which has frequencies HSDPA 850/900/1700/1900/2100...it has all the bands required, aka a pentaband handset! So, what does this mean? Well, the phone will work on ALL networks in Canada and for the most part anywhere in the world. So the Galaxy Nexus that Rogers carries would work on WIND and vice versa.
To dumb it all up, the only phones that will work on WIND or Mobilicity are PENTABAND handsets, UNLOCKED handsets from T-Mobile USA (this is b/c they also run the same type of network), or any handset from both providers that they actually sell. If you want to check the included frequencies of a phone, visit the GSMarena link at the bottom of the post or visit the manufacturer's website.
Now that the confusing part is out of the way, let's get to the comparison.
Coverage: WIND wins.
Reason being is that when they launched they planned to become a national provider and have recently been expanding aggressively. Currently, they offer services in the GTA (which includes Hamilton), Ottawa, Barrie, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph, part of the Niagara Region, and London. Outside of Ontario, WIND has coverage in Gatineau, Quebec; Calgary and Edmonton in Alberta; and the GVA, Whistler and Abbotsford cities in British Columbia. Last I recall, there are plans to expand to Halifax and Manitoba as well as Saskatchewan.
Mobilicity, on the other hand, has not expanded at all since they have launched. Currently, they offer services in the GTA, Ottawa including Gatineau, Calgary, Edmonton, and the GVA. I have not heard of any plans to expand.
One should also note that covered areas vary. For example, while WIND covers Pickering, Ajax, and Oshawa as part of the GTA...Mobilicity does not.
Roaming: Mobilicity wins.
Roaming is when you use another network that you do NOT subscribe to. And so the question is...when we're outside of the coverage area? WE GET NO SERVICE?!!?! No. You DO get service, just not from either provider's network instead both providers roam on Rogers' network in Canada. And the great thing is that even with roaming, you'll probably still pay less than what you would on the Big 3 b/c they would charge you LD for being outside your LOCAL CALLING AREA. Back to WIND and Mobilicity though, WIND offers roaming in Canada at a rate of 0.25/per min for phone calls and 0.15/per text for SMS. Mobilicity, on the other hand, offers roaming at a rate of 0.20/per min for phone calls and 0.10/per text for SMS. Most of Mobilicity's plans also include some roaming minutes. Data services; don't even use it...stick to Wi-Fi.
Reception: WIND wins (up for debate).
Some people swear by Mobilicity and some swear by WIND. Here is what I CAN tell you however...overall; WIND has better signal strength b/c they have more antennas and towers set up, so kudos to WIND for that. However, there are some that claim Mobilicity's voice quality is a lot better than WIND. Reason being? Probably b/c there are fewer users on the network. IMO, when WIND began...yes, they had some weird things going on during voice calls but about almost a year ago, calls have been fine for me. Reason I give WIND the win for this b/c what good is supposed voice quality if signal strength is not there? Reception varies from person to person...the winner of this category can change which is why I've said it's up for debate.
Data Services: Varies.
Inconsistency will be plenty with regards to speed as it depends on what part of the city you're in, how many users are connected to a specific tower, congestion, etc. I have seen amazing speeds on both providers but also pathetic ones as well. Both providers offer UNLIMITED DATA but that does NOT mean your speed is UNLIMITED as well. WIND's FU (fair usage, not f**k you) policy is that after 5GB of data in a month, they MAY slow your speed down (10GB, if you have the tethering add-on). Mobilicity does NOT have a DEFINED FU policy, however according to HowardForums...it is apparently 100MB/15 mins; you can work out the math for a month.
Unlocking: WIND wins.
After 3 months of purchase, WIND will give you the unlock code for a handset for $10. Mobilicity does not currently offer unlock codes.
Mobilicity has 4 different plans while WIND has 2. I can't decide what will work for you so that's for you to research.
Postpaid/Prepaid: WIND wins.
Mobilicity is strictly prepaid, which means if you have a $25 plan...you must pay the whole amount on your top-up day or you have no service. This offers complete bill control but also inconvenience for those who forget often...there is always pre-authorized payments however. WIND offers both prepaid and postpaid as well, which is like any other regular bill that you receive. Their prepaid refills are also available at many stores such as Macs and 7/11. For the sole reason that WIND provides BOTH options, WIND wins.
Yes, a lot of us leave the Big 3 because we were getting gouged dollar for dollar. With regards to billing, WIND offers an online bill for POSTPAID customers which many people prefer...this also however allows for overages. Of course your other option is prepaid, WIND allows for you to have a max. account balance of $150 which can be used for roaming, LD calls, and monthly fees. Everything is consolidated and the problem is that, you have no control if you accidentally start roaming or use data services when you do not have a data plan. Mobilicity though prepaid only, goes about this through a unique solution called MyWallet. To my understanding, with Mobilicity...you have two balances, one which is your account balance and another which is MyWallet. You MUST transfer money from your account to MyWallet to use services such as LD or roaming...b/c it is kept separate, you have more control. WIND wins b/c they offer an actual bill while Mobilicity wins b/c of the MyWallet service.
Subsidy: WIND wins.
Since Mobilicity is prepaid ONLY, you MUST purchase their phones outright however spending hundreds of dollars on phones cannot be stomached by a lot of people, though it should be noted that they sell their phones for probably the cheapest price possible (small profit margin, I'm assuming). Since WIND has both prepaid and postpaid, they allow you to either purchase the phone outright or get a TAB (a no-fixed term contract). The Tab is only available to postpaid customers and allows a customer to take off a pre-defined amount off of the handset price by applying this amount as an interest-free loan to their account. Customers will never be billed for this Tab unless they cancel their service and the Tab is paid down monthly by applying 10% of the bill towards the outstanding amount. For providing both options, WIND wins.
Value: Mobilicity wins.
Value varies from person to person but when we compare strictly pricing, Mobilicity wins hands down. They are always first to push out awesome promotions and porting credits.
Customer Service: Mobilicity wins.
It's the case at WIND that you should do whatever it takes to avoid calling into customer service. The majority of their calls are outsourced overseas and the CSRs are poorly trained and what should take 1 minute to do can sometimes take up to 15 minutes. WIND does have a call centre in Mississauga where CSRs are very helpful and experienced and a new one opening in Windsor. Hopefully, it will improve. Mobilicity outsource their calls also, but this is within Canada who seem to be well-trained and as a result, customer service is a lot better. In store, WIND uses mostly a corporate-store structure while Mobilicity uses a dealer-structure. For WIND, ONLY DEAL WITH CORPORATE STORES...there are enough horror stories for those who have dealt with dealer stores, what sucks is that dealer stores look almost identical to corporate so make sure to ask ahead of time. Mobilicity stores...I have not heard of any issues. Overall, Mobilicity wins.
So who's better? It's up to you to decide and depends largely on your needs.
Good luck, RFD!
http://www.gsmarena.com/ - Mobile Phone Reviews & Specs
http://www.coveragemapper.com/map.php?mccmnc=302320 - User-sourced signal strength map for Mobilicity
http://www.coveragemapper.com/map.php?mccmnc=302490 - User-sourced signal strength map for WIND Mobile