TELUS, who acquired Public Mobile last fall, has announced that they will be shutting down the network and moving the existing subscriber base onto their main network. This had been mentioned at the time of acquisition, but the specific guidelines were officially made public today - completion of the move is expected to be done by end of August.
The move is not jiving well with current Public Mobile customers - not only will they be forced to upgrade their handsets to something compatible with the new network, but their plans will eventually be discontinued and they will be forced to opt for a more expensive TELUS plan. For a company that catered to low-income Canadians, we can see why they would be angered by the switch.
TELUS cites economic viability, saying that the Public Mobile network is small and outdated (which is technically true - the Public Mobile network operates on older CDMA technology). Moving them to their national 4G network will help to ensure continued profitability on their part - having 250K+ new phones sales isn't going to hurt them either.
Current customers will be offered at least one month of free service and discounts on smartphones, and the $19 Talk & Text plan will remain in place until the end of the year. That will leave a struggling Mobilicity and WIND as the only new entrants to move to - but unfortunately for Montreal customers, neither operates in Quebec.
We knew since the buyout that this would eventually happen. The arrival of Koodo phones at Public Mobile stores this week confirmed the inevitable change had begun.
Public Mobile's life was short-lived - they formed in 2008 when they purchased their spectrum license for $52M (over an area that covers 19 million Canadians), launched their mobile network in Toronto and Montreal in 2010, and were acquired by TELUS in 2013.