Your story could help make wireless more affordable and awesome in Canada

The other day my girlfriend was venting about her wireless provider. They were charging overages, as usual, but this month they also cut off her data. “I should be able to control my plan and just pay for data when I need it,” she told me. I proudly responded that dotmobile's building exactly what she needs, but to my surprise, she looked surprised.

Her face said it all; how was I sure that dotmobile could solve the problem?

I started by trying to explain how Data On Tap works, assuming that my girlfriend would immediately see that it would solve her problem. I quickly realized that there must be a better way - it's a concept that's been in my head for so long I was getting lost in the weeds. So I asked more specifically what the problem was and how she would solve it. The solution wasn’t easy to come up with. I tried my best to help explain the technology behind the networks - maybe that would help. Eventually, we found a new topic.

I hadn’t considered how dotmobile could solve her specific problems or how the industry impacted her. This was literally the first time she had complained about it (to me, at least), and it made me realize that there must be millions of stories out there about the problems that need to be solved.

Clearly, the wireless industry has hurt everyone at some point in their life - monthly bills that were too expensive or inflexible, punitive overages and cancellation fees, convoluted billing and customer service policies. Unfortunately, the big telecoms mission is to have just one more day of the good life - high margins and big returns for investors. Day after day they’re successful, and it has been like this for decades.

We’re going to need a bigger boat.

Back in 2018, Algis and I decided we would strike out on our own and disrupt the status quo. So, after taking a summer off to decide if we really wanted to commit ourselves to the cause, we came up with a plan. In it, we decided to weave our members into the very fabric of what we were building. We called it member-powered.

Attracting members-organically would be a key part in validating our concepts, and also help in proving to ourselves and others that Canadians wanted to see real change. Signing up as a founding member was a start, but we knew we could do more with the idea.

The next stage was to openly share our vision and the plan to get there. Our Build It! page invites members to vote and provide feedback on ideas and concepts. It’s an approach that I can’t imagine any other telco taking, and I’m excited to see what we can build together.

Still, even with all of this, that conversation with my girlfriend had struck a chord. I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something we were missing.

So what gives? We have market research and decades of industry experience. We partner with experts in telecommunications, user experience, micro-services architecture, and data privacy. We’re even involved in the regulatory proceedings for next year’s CRTC hearing.

All of that experience, all of that expertise and talent being used to build solutions... but are we solving your problems?

It’s easy to validate that affordability is an issue. It’s obvious that there is a lack of service and pricing differentiation in the market. What does this look like for a student managing their budget? What about a new Canadian trying to get a local phone number? How different is it for a mother deciding on the first phone plan for her children?

These are real-world problems that are faced by real people like you, and you're the one who understands the problem best.

Which brings us to today’s member-powered initiative - understanding the problems faced by Canadians by listening to their specific stories. We’re reaching out to our over five-thousand founding members and other communities both online and offline to better understand the challenges and hardships caused by the wireless industry.

Want to share your story?

What will we do with your story?

  • Summarize the most common problems and share them through our website and social media pages, suggest solutions and invite feedback from our members
  • Share your stories with policy-makers during the CRTC hearing next year so that your voice is properly heard
  • Maintain your privacy because it’s important to us; we will remove names or other personally identifying information from the story (unless you tell us otherwise)

I firmly believe feedback from our founding members plays a critical role in validating concepts and helping us to build a better, more focused product. The best way to do this is to see if what we’re building can be applied to real-world examples from real Canadians.

You can help us change wireless in Canada by signing up as a founding member on our website, and then by sharing your story. We’re listening.