Going mobile


I finally caved and got a mobile/cellphone after years of seeing pretty much everyone around me, from grandmas to infants, use the devilish things. What prompted my conversion? Well, the main reason I never bought into one before was my fear of contracts – it seems that to get a decent price on a cellphone, you have to sign into a three-year contract, with the threat of huge cancellation fees should you decide that the service isn’t for you. I never really liked that and more importantly, didn’t really need a mobile phone in the first place, so paying all this extra cash just didn’t make sense.

However, I recently became aware of Virgin Mobile Canada’s $10 dollar unlimited data plan, which began back in October. As with all other Virgin-branded mobile services around the world, VMC is a MVNO, meaning they buy time from a carrier that owns the actual infrastructure (in this case, Bell Mobility) and resell/re-brand it as their own service. They also offer a pre-paid service plan so pay-as-you-go is an option. (Though that will be changing soon.)

This suited me perfectly. I wasn’t planning on talking a lot on my phone, but I wanted something that I could use to access the Internet to check e-mail and IM without being charged ridiculous rates for data transfers. I’m currently signed up for VMC’s $10 unlimited data plan and I don’t pay any more than the $10 plus tax per month. Virgin doesn’t have any poppycock like “network access” fees or “911” fees, so what I’m signed up for is what I pay. If I do make calls, I pay by the minute, but since I don’t anticipate heavy usage that won’t be a problem. If needed, I can switch to a proper voice plan; their offerings seem pretty fair.

I do hope that the move to a subscription-based model does not negatively affect how I use my phone.

The Phone

I decided to go with the Samsung M510 since that was one of two phones that Virgin offered that supported EV-DO and that they would let you use with their $10 unlimited data plan. (The other was the Moto KRZR, but I wasn’t going to drop $300 on that) Futureshop had it on sale this weekend for $180, so perhaps that also prompted my decision.

The Samsung M510 from Virgin Mobile Canada

My initial impressions of the service and the phone were very positive. (Though this is coming from someone with zero experience with mobiles) You have to activate the phone yourself over the Internet at Virgin’s website, but the process was entirely pain free. One hour later, I received a text message on my phone informing me it was now activated!

I’ll post a full review of the Samsung M510 and Virgin Mobile Canada’s service after I’ve had some experience with it. Right now, it’s just like a toy and I can’t seem to get enough of it, which might be clouding my judgment…


  1. […] in mind that I didn’t have a mobile phone until late 2007, and even then I decided to only go with a prepaid provider (Virgin Mobile) because I didn’t […]

  2. […] features certainly made sense for a phone like the Samsung M510, my first mobile. But what about the iPhone 3GS and its larger, high-quality screen and faster […]

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