The reason I’m writing this post today is to talk about the people who try and detract from Wind Mobile who really don’t know what they’re talking about and tend to fire off negativity in the comments section of Wind’s Facebook posts. Here’s what you need to know about Wind Mobile before singing up as a customer.
Wind Mobile does not have the same wireless coverage as any of the other carriers here in Canada. If you’re planning to leave ANY other carrier for Wind, you need to ensure you have appropriate network expectations. They are still a young company and have a lot of ground to cover in terms of network. If you are expecting the same coverage you have with your current provider at Wind, you’re going to have a bad time.
Wind Mobile does have local customer service reps during normal North American business hours. They have an outsourced call center that takes over the load when the local customer care is at home sleeping. If this is something that makes you uncomfortable, then stay where you are.
Roaming in Canada
I’ve seen a lot of people talking about how a rep told them that as long as they were in Canada, there would be no roaming. This is simply untrue and poor training on the reps part. If you’re in Canada and on the WIND network (not WIND AWAY) then you are safe to use all of the facets of your unlimited plan.
If you see WIND AWAY on your device, you are roaming and should try to limit use.
It’s really that simple. I’m not sure how so many people get confused.
Device Subsidies and AWS Banding
Wind Mobile uses a type of spectrum referred to as AWS wireless spectrum. The AWS bands are much higher frequency bands which means that wall and building penetration is not the greatest. Wind has made several improvements to this situation to try and help their customers as much as they can, however they can’t create miracles. What does somewhat frustrate me is the fact that Wind managed to scoop up some low band 700mhz spectrum but has yet to deploy it for customers. This would solve reception issues and network density issues from what I’ve been told.
Now lets talk about the Wind Tab and device subsidies.
A device subsidy is essentially the way a wireless company can offer you a $0 phone. It essentially is an agreement between yourself and a carrier saying “Here’s a free phone. Now you keep service with us for X amount of time / days / revenue”. Wind Mobile and even most other carriers have moved over to a model that works similarly. Let me break it down.
- Carrier provides you a device at a very small or no upfront cost.
- The balance of the value of the device is placed on a “tab”
- Each month you pay your bill, the carrier reduces the amount of your tab by subtracting 10% of your months bill from that amount.
- Once the subsidy is paid back in full, you are no longer required to pay off your “tab”.
Let’s go through an example.
On the Wind Tab, you can get a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus for $399 up front.
The actual value of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus is $949 + tax.
This means your Wind tab balance would be $550.
Each month your bill is $40, so Wind would apply $4 towards your balance making it $546 after month 1.
This means you have a long ways to go before your tab is cleared but here’s where Wind is different. If after 2 years you still have a balance on your Wind tab, they will bring it down to $0.
I hope this helps clarify a few things for people considering making the change to Wind.