Rogers overhauls its cellphone plans to push unlimited voice and text, hook Canadians on data

Most larger North American cellular carriers still base their plans around voice minutes -- how quaintly 2006 of them. We're in an era of smartphones now, and Canada's Rogers is revamping its plans to reflect a data-first reality while possibly wringing out a few dollars more. A quartet of newly active Unlimited Talk and Text rates hand out the now-trivial messaging and voice time like candy: apart from a $55 entry plan that includes a still-healthy 1,000 minutes of talk, they all offer unlimited local or Canada-wide calling as well as unlimited MMS and SMS. The gotcha, as you'd anticipate, is getting enough data. Anyone but the most casual among us will want to skip the anemic 200MB from the $55 plan in favor of the $65 (1GB), $75 (3GB) or $95 (5GB) tiers that let smartphones flex their muscles. Rogers' strategy is no doubt meant to draw a few data-heavy Galaxy Note II and Lumia 920 buyers into more lucrative service echelons, but it's a refreshing break from pricing that still treats the basics as scarce resources.

Update: It's well-known that the major Canadian carriers tend to imitate each other's cellular plans, and there's no sign they're letting up. MobileSyrup has heard that both Bell and Telus should have uncannily similar plans as of November 9th and 8th, respectively. About the only practical difference is Telus' decision to focus on the top three tiers and hike prices by $5 across the board.