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7/9/2008
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Canadian iPhone 3G Plans Drop After Complaints

Facing an outcry from potential customers, Rogers adds a cheaper data plan for Apple's touchscreen smartphone.

Following criticism that its service plans for the highly-anticipated iPhone 3G were too high, Rogers Communications announced Wednesday it will be rolling out a cheaper data plan option for Apple's smartphone.

Rogers, the exclusive carrier of the iPhone 3G in Canada, said customers could opt for a $30 monthly data plan that gives them 6 GB of data. This would come in addition to a voice plan, and to be eligible, customers would have to sign a three-year contract and purchase the smartphone before the end of August.

The previously announced iPhone 3G voice and data bundles ranged from $60 to $115 a month, with the most expensive plan topping out at 2 GB of data.

These plans drew many complaints from potential customers. Over 56,000 signed an online petition at RuinediPhone.com decrying Rogers' plans and the need for a three-year contract.

"I was waiting for the iPhone but when I realized the rates that I'd be paying, I cancelled my Rogers account and got a BlackBerry from Bell. If Rogers lessens the commitment and gives me a reasonable rate, I'll purchase an iPhone," read one comment on the Web site.

Rogers said they decided to adjust their plan after hearing customer feedback.

"We listened to our customers, everybody from those who are very tech savvy to those who just knew they wanted this device and were really enthusiastic and didn't know how they were going to use the data but knew it was a data device," Rogers spokeswoman Liz Hamilton told the Globe and Mail.

The wireless operator estimated that, with 6 GB of data, users could visit 35,952 Web pages, or send and receive 157,286 e-mails, or watch 6,292 minutes of YouTube video a month.

By comparison, AT&T will be offering the iPhone 3G in the U.S. markets with a mandatory $30 a month unlimited data plans. Customers will have to sign up for a two-year contract.

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