July 25, 2019 3 months 1 hour ago

Shaw goes lower with Freedom's new Absolute Zero (updated)

Back-to-school promo offers the latest phones, Big Gig Unlimited, starting at $50/month

CALGARY – Shaw Communications’ Freedom Mobile has dropped wireless pricing again by reducing the cost of wireless for Canadians with its Big Gig Unlimited plans and Absolute Zero promotions.

Both are featured in a new national advertising campaign marking the return of the notorious “Monolithic Wireless” and highlighting “unfair treatment of Canadian wireless customers,” reads the Freedom press release.

Top-end handsets such as the latest iPhones can be had for a $75/month Big Gig plan for 10GB of unlimited data (slowed after the monthly benchmark is reached), with no extra cost for the phone. This move takes direct aim at Rogers and Telus, who are offering unlimited data, but the phone is still extra, offered at $0 but payable over two (Rogers and Telus) or three years (Rogers).

This move instantly places Freedom at the front of consumers minds when they shop for new phones for their kids before school starts. "We think the $75 price point for 'unlimited' including the phone makes the incumbents' ($75 + phone payment) less attractive when customers are shopping for a new handset during the high-volume back to school period," noted Scotiabank telecom analyst Jeff Fan in a note to investors today. 

"This shows Freedom is willing to continue to subsidize devices while the incumbents are trying to move off subsidies. We think the incumbents' move away from subsidies is prudent and makes sense because they are trying to offset slower revenue growth by lowering subsidy cost. However, from a customer value proposition, we think the Freedom promotion will make the incumbents' plans (with 10GB unlimited) look relatively more expensive that could impact subscriber share and loading in the high-volume period," he added.

“While other carriers are bringing back the hated three-year contract in a ploy to raise phone prices, Freedom Mobile has once again rewritten the industry’s rules,” said Paul McAleese, Shaw’s wireless president, in the release. “Instead, for this year’s back-to-school promotion, Freedom Mobile is including a phone — on us — with every Big Gig Unlimited plan we sell. With Absolute Zero that means customers can get the premium branded phones they love and pay $0 upfront, $0 extra each month and $0 extra at the end of our standard two-year commitment.”

Freedom Mobile will be supporting the Absolute Zero promotion with a new advertising campaign that once again pits Emmy-nominated Canadian actor Will Arnett against the shadowy figures of the fictional company Monolithic Wireless. Click here and here for the videos.

“Absolute Zero is going to do for phone affordability what Big Gig did for data affordability in Canada,” said McAleese, “and with the billions of dollars we’ve spent rapidly improving our network and deploying new low-band spectrum, there has never been a better time for consumers to join Freedom.”