Zoompass Takes Mobile Payments to the (Canadian) Masses

zoompasslogoHere in the U.S., getting a bunch of mobile carriers together to agree on anything is a bit like herding cats. North of the border, however, Canada’s three carriers — Bell Canada, Rogers and TELUS — have joined forces to create Zoompass, a top-to-bottom, designed-for-mobile, money transfer and payments service that launched today.

The three each hold not only a one-third stake in Zoompass, but a one-third share (PDF) of the Canadian cell market.¬†Given the ubiquity of cell phones in Canada, the carriers are hoping their customers will begin using Zoompass for everyday financial transactions, not just bill-paying but things like giving kids their allowance or collecting money from co-workers to buy the boss a birthday gift. Since for any payments system, critical mass is necessary for truly widespread adoption, Zoompass is ideally positioned for success — and could subsequently look to move into other markets, perhaps even the United States. Read More about Zoompass Takes Mobile Payments to the (Canadian) Masses

Why BlackBerry Storm Is An iPhone (and G-1) Killer

Having followed activity in the BlackBerry ecosystem over the past few weeks, I have come to the conclusion that BlackBerry Storm should be called BlackBerry Stealth. Why? With little media coverage, its forthcoming launch is the sleeper play in the smartphone market; it is poised to make major market penetration on its launch later this fall.

New Report Says Tiered Broadband Bad, Unlikely

The Free Press issued a report this afternoon casting doubt on the theory of network congestion that has been cited by ISPs as the reason behind P2P blocking or broadband caps, and offering more rational solutions for dealing with sporadic congestion. It also claims that tiered broadband and limitation pricing — in which a carrier charges per gigabyte fee after users exceed a certain cap — is unlikely to become reality. Prior to the report coming out, I had spent the afternoon asking people about this issue, trying to figure out if our series of tubes is really clogged or if the carriers are merely seeking financial and/or competitive gain.

Most people believe and some data shows that not only is the Internet not as congested as the carriers want you to believe, but usage isn’t growing as fast as we’re being told. Read More about New Report Says Tiered Broadband Bad, Unlikely

Stay Out of Our Packets or We’ll Sue

Bell Canada may have to pay for violating net neutrality. A May 29 class action filing says Bell should reimburse each subscriber 80 percent of their subscriptions and $2,100 in penalties for throttling traffic to a fraction of advertised speeds and invading their privacy.

Bell had over two million DSL subscribers, and $3.6 billion in data service revenues, in Quebec and Ontario in 2007. The proposed lawsuit could reach hundreds of millions. The filing affects only Quebec residents. But it could spread: Neutrality has been a hot topic since Bell’s throttling of a national TV show made headlines.

Canadians Rally for Net Neutrality

As a few hundred scruffy protesters gathered in Ottawa yesterday to support Net Neutrality, busloads of teenagers on school trips to visit Canada’s seat of government walked past them, blissfully unaware that the fight to keep Facebook free was happening right next to them.

Neutrality should be an easy sell: Nobody wants ISPs to be able to treat traffic differently, fearing it will lead to monthly “Google plans” or “Skype charges.”

But it quickly gets complicated. Rather than trying to win one battle, special interest groups bring in other fights: Tier-two ISPs want unfettered access to the last mile on wholesale links. Privacy advocates warn of prying eyes on the wires and at the borders. The specter of copyright enforcement looms large. And telcos complain that peer-to-peer is breaking their networks. Read More about Canadians Rally for Net Neutrality