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Canadian Android Carrier Forcing Firmware Update 238

Posted by kdawson
from the monopoly-rents dept.
Wolfier writes "For wireless carrier Rogers in Canada, it seems that 'Customer Safety' only becomes a concern after months of neglect. Rogers is the only GSM carrier in Canada and so the only choice for Android users. Months ago, a customer called Rogers to report a firmware bug that was preventing users from making 911 calls under certain circumstances, and informed the carrier that Google had fixed the bug (recording of that call). But Rogers is only doing something about it now — namely, cutting data access of paying customers until they accept a mandatory firmware upgrade that not only fixes the 911 problem, but also contains 'extra' features that prevent users from ever gaining root access to their phones — even non-subsidized ones. And some phones are also getting bricked by this 'official' update. The moral: we really need to open up the competition here up North."
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Canadian Android Carrier Forcing Firmware Update

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  • GSM Providers (Score:5, Informative)

    by Denis Lemire (27713) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:22AM (#30913518) Homepage

    Rogers is no longer the only GSM carrier. At the end of '09 Telus and Bell launched their own GSM networks. So counting Fido (owned by Rogers) there are now four Canadian GSM based carriers.

    • Re:GSM Providers (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:26AM (#30913550)

      Wrong.

      Bellus deployed their HSPDA network for 3G, which works across all 3G enabled phones. They still each maintain a CDMA network for regular service.

      I couldn't take a Bell or Telus Blackberry and expect to use it on Rogers unless I used their HSPDA network.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Denis Lemire (27713)

        Of course they still maintain their CDMA networks. It's not like they were going to pull the plug on all their existing clients in order to upgrade to GSM. A modern unlocked GSM phone will work just as well on Rogers/Tell/Bell now (assuming you could find such a thing). ie) The iPhone runs on Telus and Bell, let's not pretend Apple made a CDMA version just for Telus and Bell.

        Your point stands that a CDMA based Telus or Bell Blackberry (as per your example) purchased prior to their new deployment will not wo

        • Re:GSM Providers (Score:5, Informative)

          by Nermal6693 (622898) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:51AM (#30913694)

          A GSM-only phone will not work on Telus/Bell. The new network is WCDMA/UMTS-based and does not have a 2G GSM component.

          • They do (Score:3, Informative)

            by Jon.Laslow (809215)
            I unlocked and sold a Rogers iPhone 3G to a friend who's using it on Telus. Works perfectly.

            I got rid of the iPhone to due to Rogers network problems in my area with that model. Guess what kind of phone I got? Here's a hint: It starts with HTC and ends with Dream. I just can't win.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jonavin (71006)

      If you're going to count Fido as separate network (really a MVNO), then you might as well count Koodo , Solo and Virgin Canada as well. And technically Bell and Telus and their MVNO doesn't have a 2G GSM network, just a 3G UMTS/HSPA network.

      You'll also need to include WIND Mobile too if you're counting 3G networks. Although they currently don't carry any Android devices, they are the only ones with T-Mobile US devices and Nexus One users (imported from US).

      Out of all these, only Rogers (Dream/Magic/LG) and

    • by anethema (99553)
      Just to expand on what the AC said, most notably Wind Mobile is expanding in a few markets and all the newcomers are in the AWS band, which is the same as T-Mobile in the USA.

      While Wind does not yet offer any of their own Android phones, there have been reports of people with Nexus One's etc working fine on their network.
    • Re:GSM Providers (Score:5, Informative)

      by Adambomb (118938) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @01:26AM (#30913888) Journal

      Note: The networks you're mentioning from Telus and Bell are UMTS only, with no 2G GSM support at all. Won't matter in 5-10 years, but just a heads up.

      The problem people don't really seem to get about mobile pricing and "competition" in Canada is that it really is a system with only two sides Rogers and Telus/Bell. Telus and Bell themselves barely compete as their pricing structures are nearly identical beyond minor differences, which makes sense given their Network Sharing Agreements [www.bce.ca].

      Fido is effectively the WestJet of our carriers, cherry picking the majority of their clients within high population density areas [www.fido.ca], which did make them a competitor within the major cities and a large portion of the market until about 2004 when they became wholly owned [wikipedia.org] by Rogers.

      Some people may mentioned the MVNO's Koodo and SOLO Mobile not realizing that Koodo is effectively a slightly lower margin Telus [wikipedia.org], and Solo Mobile is Bell [wikipedia.org] (down to the same exact 'customer service' tools, except I believe Solo CSSR's are primarily through Canadian based subcontractors only).

      Given these details, you see we have effectively two sides only. Two sides which somehow magically conviced everyone in the country that it makes sense for them to have doubled the price (two-sided billing) of per usage SMS's from 15c to 30c a piece. Two sides that maintain suspiciously close pricing that tends to vary only by small amounts for specific cases. Two sides that maintain a consistent CHURN back and forth between the two sets of groups generating Long Term Contract Charges and a variety of fine print charges so that when One is considered the evil, users switch to the other (with similar THEY ARE THE WORST rants concerning the business model in either case, rogers OR bell). The only reason it works is that the worst things only happen to a low enough percentage for each carrier that after they ragequit and go to the other side, its unlikely for it to happen again to the same person (post 90 day billing errors that are considered valid so long as client wasnt able to ask the right question to a CSSR before the 90 days was up thanks to the Consumer Protection Act [HAH], defective merchandise that is considered not covered under warranty but still generated a contract with a valid LTCC charge if cancelled [*cough*AUDIOVOX*cough*], etc).

      The long and short of it is Telco companies have us by the short hairs up here in Canada. Heres hoping WIND Mobile takes off, but given that they only launched in friggan December, i cant have an opinion quite yet.

      • Well said!!

        Let's hope that the various cable companies like Shaw here in the west and EastLink in the Atlantic are stepping into the cellphone market. Here in Calgary, ten years ago Shaw gave Telus a beating when it came to Fast Internet and currently they make pretty good inroads in the VoIP market.

        On the other hand, also the pricing of cable companies seems to go up-and-up with no end in sight. So also they could use some more competition.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by samurphy21 (193736)

      Agreed. If the issue was that you can only get an Android phone via Rogers, then

      http://www.telusmobility.com/en/NS/htc_hero/index.shtml

      http://www.bell.ca/shopping/en_CA_ON.Samsung-Galaxywith-Google/69236.details

      There's at least two other nation wide carriers looking to do business with you, right now. Ones who have proper coverage in Eastern Canada, unlike Rogers, in many non-metro areas.

  • Rogers is terrible (Score:5, Informative)

    by Merritt.kr (1120467) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:23AM (#30913524) Homepage
    I run CyanogenMod on my Rogers HTC Dream, and it has apparently had the fix for this issue for 5+ months. Yet I am still cut off from data access, they keep insisting I install their update.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Call them and threaten them with lodging a CRTC complaint and small claims dispute if they don't comply. Tell the CRTC now.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I'm not saying that you shouldn't do this, but the CRTC itself is a sad state of affairs. Full of corrupt members at the Telco's beck and call. For sure we should keep filing complaints, but my hopes that anything will be done about it are nil.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Call Technical Support (not the regular csr's) and ask for a Network Refresh. Turn your phone off and on, and you're good to go.

    • by Jester998 (156179) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @02:22AM (#30914170) Homepage

      I run Cyanogen on my Dream as well, but I got around the data blockage like so:

      If you were quick enough to take advantage of the free HTC Magic upgrade they offered, you can just root the Magic and install CursorSense (at least 1.2.1). CursorSense is a mod of the official Rogers firmware, so as far as Rogers is concerned, you have a 'patched' phone, so they re-enable data access on your account. At that point you can switch back to your Dream with full 3G access.

      I was without data for about a day (my Magic only arrived Monday, a day after they started blocking data), but since then I've been fine.

      Rogers can take their mandatory upgrade and shove it. :p

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @02:33AM (#30914204)

      I callled them, said I had installed the update. They asked me to verify the build number, which I read back to the guy from the screenshot in the update documentation, and they turned my data back on. The hardest part was the time spent on hold.

    • Stop paying your bill. Hire a solicitor.
  • by BitZtream (692029) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:25AM (#30913536)

    I thought the one of the battle cries that Android fanboys wave at the iPhone fanboys was that it was open and you weren't locked into running what the provider wanted, you had root on your own device and they can't take it away ... Turns out they can force remote updates and lockout root?

    Gonna be lots of pissed off fanboys, this should be a nice calm discussion ...

    • by MorderVonAllem (931645) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:28AM (#30913566)
      According to the summary they're not remote updating but cutting off access if you don't update the firmware - a bit different. Though I didn't RTFA as it's just a forum...
      • by BitZtream (692029) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:29AM (#30913572)

        Yea, I'm a douche, I didn't even read the entire summary apparently.

        • by Heretic2 (117767) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @01:40AM (#30913952)

          You just have to fake your Android version to appear to be the version they're looking for. If you look through the forum threads linked in the story the exact method is there. I will put it here for convenience:

          adb shell reboot recovery
          ***Wait for Magic to boot into recovery***
          adb shell mount -a
          adb shell
          cd system
          ls
          ***look for your build file, will be build.prop or build.sapphire.prop most likely***
          CTRL-D ***to quit the shell***
          adb pull /system/build.prop ***or whatever it was called***
          ***make a backup copy and edit the file***
          adb push build.prop /system/build.prop
          adb shell reboot

          The actual changes you need to make to the file are:

          ro.build.description=3.05.631.7 CL#118917 release-keys
          ro.build.changelist=118917
          ro.product.ua=
          ro.build.fingerprint=rogers/htc_magic/sapphire/sapphire:1.5/CUPCAKE/118917:user/release-keys
          ro.build.display.id=DRC92 3.05.631.7

          Once you reboot your Magic, you should see the changes in Settings->About Phone under "Build Number".

          Call into Rogers and get then to reset your network and you should be good.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by litui (231192)

            I'll add a note that this approach isn't 100% proven. We don't know for a fact that the mods are sending the same information to Rogers contained in the build.prop files as the Rogers firmware is sending, or that the mods are even sending that information at all.

            However, I do endorse this approach for lack of better ideas, and my phone is connected in spite of being on CyanogenMod.

            I'm not sure if the network reset itself or the build.prop fix is responsible, but I'll take what I can get.

      • by smash (1351)
        i'd rather have a remote update, than end up with a phone that doesn't make/receive phone calls and fulfil the operational requirements sold to me on the spec sheet.
      • by ensignyu (417022)

        Just the fact that they're discriminating based on version is already pretty bad. They ought to just send you a SMS with a warning message every week or something.

    • Google is to Apple as Rogers is to AT&T here; this is the carrier being evil. On the iPhone it's both. Of course, you can just jailbreak your iPhone so I don't see a huge difference either way.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by CNeb96 (60366)

      I thought the one of the battle cries that Android fanboys wave at the iPhone fanboys was that it was open and you weren't locked into running what the provider wanted, you had root on your own device and they can't take it away ... Turns out they can force remote updates and lockout root?

      Gonna be lots of pissed off fanboys, this should be a nice calm discussion ...

      No the battle cry was that you could install any userland app you wanted without asking anyone's permission like Apple's app store but that app would still need to conform to the android API for apps, which AFAIK is java like and doesn't give the app any low level access. The fact that it runs on Linux is near irrelevant to users (since they don't give you or apps native access) but I suppose it would make it easier to port the whole OS to new hardware platforms.

      • Actually, they somewhat recently released a Native Development Kit which allows JNI style access to native code.
    • by Thinboy00 (1190815) <thinboy00 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:56AM (#30913730) Journal

      Android doesn't come with root. It comes with the ability to install your own apps without having to jump through some lame "app store" or other technical/political hoops.

    • by MobyTurbo (537363) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @01:16AM (#30913846) Homepage

      I thought the one of the battle cries that Android fanboys wave at the iPhone fanboys was that it was open and you weren't locked into running what the provider wanted, you had root on your own device and they can't take it away ... Turns out they can force remote updates and lockout root?

      By comparison, Palm not only has root available on all their WebOS phones, it is provided by Palm's SDK itself and not by an unsupported hack that can be closed later at the carrier's or device maker's discretion. CEO Jon Rubenstein has even publicly praised the Homebrew community, who's efforts are encouraged, and they've promised not to close developer mode.

      Maemo, from Nokia (N900, Nokia Internet Tablets) is even more open in a way; not only you have root, you have essentially a little Linux computer with all that implies; this is due to it's UMPC heritage, it originally wasn't really a smartphone OS. (Though it's a little easier to hack the apps for WebOS with "patches" because they're just JS/HTML5 text files, except the new native apps. :) )

      Really, although Android has Linux, among the Linux-based phone OSs, it is probably the most closed.

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        Yes, the failure that is Palm is reaching for anything it can get, we got that.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Palm not only has root available on all their WebOS phones,

        All 300 people who bought the Palm Pre in the UK will not attest to your assertion.

        Android is Open Source, part GPL and part Apache. WebOS is closed source, it uses the Linux Kernel but most of the OS is proprietary.

        I can install a pre-rooted mod on my HTC Dream, easily enough mod already exist for the HTC Magic, Hero, Nexus One, Samsung Galaxy and Motorola Droid/Milestone. I cannot customise nor install a custom version of WebOS on a Palm d

        • by MobyTurbo (537363)

          Palm not only has root available on all their WebOS phones,

          Android is Open Source, part GPL and part Apache.

          It's partially open source. Ever seen the source code for Android Google Maps or any of the other Google apps on Android?

          WebOS is closed source, it uses the Linux Kernel but most of the OS is proprietary.

          It has a lot [palm.com] of open source components. Not just the kernel. WebOS is a recognisably Linux in a way the Android isn't [livejournal.com], it contains many of the elements of Linux besides the kernel. Heck, it even contains an ARM assembler on-board. (And mine contains gcc too, but that's because it has a Debian chroot installed. :) ) Even the closed-source stuff is mostly HTML5 and Javascript, is not obfus

      • by Xyde (415798)

        >you have essentially a little Linux computer with all that implies

        Haha, be careful with that one ;)

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by MobyTurbo (537363)

          >you have essentially a little Linux computer with all that implies

          Haha, be careful with that one ;)

          I own an n810, the predecessor to the N900 smartphone. Maemo indeed is Linux, and other than a few adaptations for the UMPC-sized screen, is a lot more like running a desktop distro than a smartphone OS. The applications are C and C++ mostly, and use libraries similar or identical to those of Linux desktop apps for the most part.

          WebOS is a lot like Linux under the hood, but a lot of it is "under the hood" as far as the user and even non-native app developer are concerned. (Native apps are a different story,

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Builder (103701)

            I don't think that the GP was questioning whether or not the N900 did run Linux - I think he was responding to the 'and all that implies' statement. Not everyone will see that as a positive thing.

            I've tried the N900 and I personally feel it is a steaming pile of unusable shit. It's not a phone I could hand to my parents and expect them to use. It's hard to use one-handed, too many applications do not support portrait mode and the Ovi store selection is dire.

            The hardware is OK and the platform has potential,

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by MobyTurbo (537363)

              I don't think that the GP was questioning whether or not the N900 did run Linux - I think he was responding to the 'and all that implies' statement. Not everyone will see that as a positive thing.

              I've tried the N900 and I personally feel it is a steaming pile of unusable shit. It's not a phone I could hand to my parents and expect them to use.

              Yeah, the N900 is really just a Linux UMPC with a cell radio added. WebOS has a much smoother interface, a bit better interface as far as that goes than Android even (here I go again talking about WebOS on an Android board, it really *is* a nice OS tho, too bad about the lack of apps and hardware build quality for the Pre.)

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by alexandre (53) *

                Well well, needs these days...

                As someone who upgraded from a very old Nokia phone (6020) to a N900 recently i can say that the phone is very easy to use and i get the added bonus of having a desktop like experience with it.

                It does everything my older phone did and a whole lot more so I can't see how it's this bad...
                It might not be full of apps like an iPhone yet but at least i can sleep well knowing what's running on it.

  • Rogers finally gets off their collective duff, and fixes a potentially life-threatening bug.

    Within weeks of the GSM hack being published.

    Is there anything Rogers gets right? Or are they currently the most abusive monopoly Canucks have to live with?
    • Re:How ironic (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dubbreak (623656) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:42AM (#30913638)

      Is there anything Rogers gets right? Or are they currently the most abusive monopoly Canucks have to live with?

      While I agree rogers sucks, they aren't a monopoly. Canada does have a problem with cell providers though. There has to be collusion between the cell companies, that's the only explanation for the ridiculous rates canadians have to put up with. I've had a cell phone since '98 and comparable plans have not gotten cheaper since then. I've been on all the major canadian carriers as well and while coverage is acceptable now it still sucks. Best coverage and cost I ever had was in Vancouver with Fido before they were bought out by Rogers.

      "High speed" internet is the same thing. It costs the same as I was paying in the 90's and I had better bandwidth then (no upload speed caps, much more consistent DL speeds). If I want higher upload rates I now have to pay a premium for them to up the cap. Awesome.

      • by TikiTDO (759782)

        They are most certainly a monopoly, just not a cell phone monopoly. At least in Ontario they are the only cable provider. Of course they also offer discounts all of the services they provide if you get bundles, so while they may not be a monopoly in all markets, just the fact that they are in one is already a big problem.

      • by Wolfier (94144)

        Maybe it's a collusion, or maybe it's simply because the market is not saturated yet, so the carriers are in no rush to compete for customers because there always are those who don't have a phone yet.

        I suspect when the saturation gets higher (which is happening), customers will switch carriers more aggressively (which is also happening). The hope is that after a year or so, the prospect of having anything like a collusion would make less sense than going all out and compete - because they'll hopefully be r

      • Re:How ironic (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Aceticon (140883) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @07:17AM (#30915286)

        My experience too.

        I live in Europe (UK at the moment) and took my (unlocked) GSM phone to Canada when I went on vacations there. Since I was going to be there for almost a month, I bought a SIM card from Rogers to use in Canada and avoid roaming costs.

        My experience:
        - A Pay-As-You-Ggo (i.e. no contract) SIM is ridiculously expensive (C$50 with no included minutes). For comparisson sake, £35 (about C$60) in the UK with no contract gets me a SIM card, a mobile network dongle (really!) and includes £15 in credit (and the UK is hardly the cheapest mobile phone market in Europe, in Holland I got a SIM card for 5 EUR).
        - In Canada you pay to receive calls (wtf!)
        - Top-ups expire after a while: in other words, you load money into the phone and if you don't use it before a set deadline date then Rogers just takes it away.
        - Making calls does cost about 2/3 of what it costs in the UK. Again, please note that the UK is far from the cheapest mobile market in Europe.
        - Checking your voicemail is free in the UK but costs money with Rogers in Canada.

        To top it all up, they assigned me a mobile number which was re-used from somebody else and came subscribed to some "pay-to-receive one SMS joke a day" scam - this required a call to Rogers support where they first tried to deny all responsability and finally relented and repayed the money taken from my account only after I got angry, mentioned that number re-use was not my choice - their problem not mine - and mentioned something about "deceitfull sales practices" and that maybe it should be escalated to the local regulatory entities. I had to demand a block be put on all SMSs to that number to avoid further such issues.

        All in all I'm happy this was only for a month and I don't see how you Canadians take it.

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:29AM (#30913580)

    On a closed system, the company behind the system should be able to push updates, especially when there's a security or safety risk involved.

    But Google is claiming this is an "open" smartphone... and under this scheme it's usual that the user control when to upgrade.

    What a contradictory situation this brings up...

    • Obvious solution: cell networks shouldn't be closed systems in the first place.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BitZtream (692029)

      The user does control when it gets updated. They just lose other things and get annoyed to all hell and back until they upgrade.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mjwx (966435)

      What a contradictory situation this brings up...

      Not really,

      You're assuming all phones are as locked down and restricted as a certain phone, Android devices are not. You see the telco only controls the service, not the handset. You can wait for the telco to get of their arse and publish an update or you can do it yourself as many Optus (Australia) and Rogers Dream owners have already done.

      Now Rogers is being a bastard and threatening to cut off any user who does not upgrade to the latest Rogers ROM.

  • by litui (231192) <litui AT litui DOT net> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:36AM (#30913624) Homepage Journal

    I've documented everything I've collected on the issue here: http://www.litui.net/archives/796 [litui.net]

    More detailed and ordered than the OP's links.

  • Android is available on both GSM and CDMA phones. You don't have to have a GSM carrier to get a phone running Android.

    HTC Hero, HTC Drois Eris, Motorola Droid, and the Samsung Moment are all CDMA Android phones.

    I understand most of the CDMA Android phones are locked to specific carriers, and that could be an issue. If your carrier can't get a phone, that's a problem between the manufacturer and the carrier. It's not a CDMA vs. GSM issue that a particular carrier is refusing to secure your OS of choice.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Jonavin (71006)

      In Canada, the CDMA carriers (Telus, Bell) don't allow foreign CDMA handsets. So you couldn't import an unlocked Verizon DROID for example.

      However, as of late last year, nearly all carriers now also have a UMTS/HSPA network (aka 3G GSM), including the new ones like WIND Mobile. They are all capable of using foreign handsets with compatible bands (which means AT&T or T-Mobile compatible depending on the network).

      There actually isn't any CDMA Android devices in Canada. Telus does, however carry the UMTS/H

  • Contract breaking? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <(ten.frow) (ta) (todhsals)> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:45AM (#30913664)

    Considering that Rogers isn't giving you data service anymore, a service that you pay for, could this be used as a way to break out of the contract?

    After all, they refuse to provide the data service, they're not holding up their end of the deal, and you're paying for a service you cannot use.

    Hell, at least call them and demand a credit for service not provided. Or move the SIM card to an iPhone and demand they activate the data service.

    It's not like the data comes with the plan - you're free to buy any voice plan with a data plan.

    • You are probably not a lawyer. IANAL. Anyone who wants to break his/her contract should consult a real lawyer, who will in turn consult the contract and determine whether this is feasible. Contract might contain language like "Rogers reserves the right to suspend access to The Services under X circumstances... [You can't break the contract just because] Rogers has suspended Your access to The Services...[etc]".

    • by CraigoFL (201165)
      You and I might see the logic in the argument, but I doubt there's much legal leg to stand on even if you cared to try and fight it. They're not "refusing to provide service", they're "requiring an update" for a problem which happens to (somehow) conflict with an essential (911) service. Install the fix, and you're back in action, so they're not denying you much at all. All of this will be covered under the Terms of Service I'm sure. I doubt any judge will go for the "they should be doing better than they a
    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Yea, except you signed a contract that states they are allowed to require certain things like compatible software. So you are in fact the one refusing to comply with the terms of the contract.

      Do you even read the contract you sign?

  • Always nice to see a company exhibit such care for their customers and not be evil/greedy/stupid. Oh, wait . . .
  • If I'm going to be locked in anyway, at least I might as well get the free black turtleneck.

    Question is, what gives Rogers the right to force people who are PAYING for their phones to require them to update. You don't get the phone for free - a portion of your monthly cost goes towards paying the phone. The phone is YOUR property, not theirs. Try canceling before your term is over, they'll hit you with $20 for each unused month to pay for that phone.

    • If I'm going to be locked in anyway, at least I might as well get the free black turtleneck.

      If you join (at the paying level) Apple Developer Connection [apple.com], you get a black T-shirt.....

      Turtlenecks are only for important folk.

  • Word #5 (Score:5, Funny)

    by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:51AM (#30913706) Homepage
    It wasn't until the fifth word that I realized the U.S. wasn't under attack.
  • by starbugs (1670420) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:54AM (#30913714)

    GSM is 2G
    Telus has HSPDA (or commonly called HSPA).
    No GSM-only phone will work on Telus or Bell.

    Many new 3G phones can use Both, so an unlocked phone can be on either network by just switching sim cards.
    Besides having the same Tech. The phones must also support the specific frequencies used by that carrier.
    Many European 3G phones will not work in North America.

    It is rumored that Telus will get both the Milestone [engadget.com] and perhaps even the Opus one [cellphones.ca] this year.

  • by gehrehmee (16338) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:55AM (#30913716) Homepage

    Is there any practical way to conceal the details of the device from the carrier? To prevent the carrier from knowing the ID#, model #, or software details of the phone, beyond the identifying numbers on the SIM card?

    As far as I'm concerned, if I own the hardware, I should be able to do what I want with it. All the service provider should care about is the SIM card to which they provide service.

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      You can do whatever you want with the hardware, you own it.

      Likewise, the carrier can do whatever it wants with ITS hardware, including not letting you access their network without following their rules, regardless of how arbitrary or ridiculous those rules are.

      It goes both ways.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by litui (231192)

        Actually, they legally can't in Canada.

        From http://techreview.eatuniverse.net/2010/01/24/rogers-disconnects-data-services-to-g1-users/ [eatuniverse.net] :

        "Some of you may recall legal precedence for this kind of issue, dating waaay back to the 70’s when Bell (then Northern Telecom) tried to force its customers to use Bell branded phones, and tried to attach a special fee to modem/fax use. The courts ruled against Bell, and the CRTC jumped in and made all sorts of rules to prevent telecom’s from requiring propriet

  • by CraigoFL (201165) <slashdot AT kanook DOT net> on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @12:57AM (#30913734)

    The user-applied fix isn't available for Mac or Windows 7 users. Those users are required to call into the Rogers tech support line to get the fix.

    I did that, and had to wait on hold for over 30 minutes while the phone support waded through the (expected) deluge of calls. When I got through, I was told that I could either:

    • Go to a Rogers store to get the fix
    • Have a micro-SD card shipped to me (3-5 biz days wait) that contained a fix. (I don't know why they couldn't offer the fix for download).

    I stopped in the Rogers store to get the fix. I waited for about 20 minutes while the customer support people (calling them "techs" wouldn't be accurate) installed the fix software on their in-store computers. Then I was told that the fix would wipe my phone. Did I have a backup? I said no; I haven't been able to find any evidence of Rogers-capable phone-sync software that works on my Mac (it's all Windows only). The store person offered to make a backup there, but after doing so he said that it only backed up my contacts, not my apps or settings (IMO the important parts). I walked out hoping that the SD solution will be better, but at best, I'm locked out of my wireless Internet service for 3-5 days.

    It's hard to imagine how Rogers could have made this process worse.

    • by canajin56 (660655)

      It's hard to imagine how Rogers could have made this process worse.

      Wait until you get the $10,000 bill for that SD card you ordered from them! ;)

    • by dkf (304284)

      It's hard to imagine how Rogers could have made this process worse.

      Maybe the SD card will try to install leaching viruses on your phone, and yet won't actually fix the issue due to having the wrong version. Which would help with the viruses I suppose; you still won't have data service...

      Or perhaps the SD card will be formatted with a filesystem that's only understood by AIX.

    • by haruchai (17472)

      "It's hard to imagine how Rogers could have made this process worse."

        Don't go throwing down the gauntlet in front of Rogers like that - they'll surpass your worst expectations.
        I was a customer 12 years ago and swore I'd never spend another dime on Rogers services again.
        My former roommate wouldn't listen and signed up - a year later, he too quit in disgust.

       

  • but... (Score:2, Troll)

    by smash (1351)
    Apple is evil, and android is open!

    Wait... what?

  • For those interested, there are further discussions here [androidforums.com] and here [androidforums.com].

    In my case, I use Linux exclusively so this weekend I had to hunt down a Windows XP box (since it doesn't work on 7) that I could use. There was no way I was going to trust
    the clowns at a Rogers store nor wait for the SD card to get shipped.

    As much as I like Android and the whole concept of an open mobile platform, there is still a lot of work [loconet.ca] to do in terms of letting all members of that mobile ecosystem know who is resposnible for what. The

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @01:34AM (#30913926)

    I received text messages last week warning of the cutoff and forced update.

    I called Saturday afternoon and politely asked the CSR if I'd receive any consideration for running an unaffected 1.6 ROM and have made a few 911 calls. Apparently the guy made a note. I asked for his name and ID number and hung up. Next day neither of the phones had internet, so I called up and sang the same song to the this CSR; he insisted that I had to update, I explained that I'm not affected and being asked to install an earlier revision of the ROM is hardly an update. He said all he could do is "reset the phone" when we hung up. He asked me to restart my phone when we hung up and when I did, my 3G signal was back and has been back since.

    I've been getting texts to update, though.

  • micheal moore has told me all about how wonderful canada is and how all it's government control and regulation has made it a paradise!!
  • I stand corrected (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wolfier (94144) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @01:52AM (#30914020)

    Thanks for letting me know Rogers is no longer the GSM monopoly here. Here is some more background information and more of my opinions below.

    The bug was, when GPS is turned on, calls to 911 can crash the phone. This bug was fixed in Android 1.6 and subsequent releases, which came out months ago. However, Rogers stated that there'd be no 1.6 updates to their customers (contrary to what Magic users in other countries can do).

    Data for all Dream/Magic users went down on Sunday, and will remain down until the update is applied. The reason for data shut down is that, apart from shutting down GPS, which a carrier cannot do remotely, shutting down data is also a work-around for the 911 call issue - so, this way it's guaranteed that 911 calls will always succeed from the moment they activated the block, thus, covering their ass from potential lawsuits.

    What's on the update:
    1. The 911/GPS crash fix in the main firmware.
    2. HTC's new Sense UI made for 1.5.
    3. New radio firmware
    4. New bootloader firmware

    #1 is the only necessary part to fix the 911 issue. #2 is of dubious usefulness to users, especially if it requires a full backup, that Rogers claimed can be done with "3rd party software" - but the software that can fully back the phone up are all root-user-only. How ironic.

    #3 and #4 are out of pure user control so customers can no longer unlock or root or run custom firmware. I have no complaint if it's for subsidised phones. However, unsubsidised phones (i.e. those we have paid a full price to buy) are also forced to update, even for people who run custom firmware that *already* has the 911 issue fixed.

    So we're given 2 carrots (911 fix and Sense UI) and 2 big sticks (useless control freak firmware updates).

    My opinion is, they could have rolled out a fix sooner - if a lone hacker can do it in his spare time, I'm sure a major wireless carrier can do it - the sooner the better, because there are people whose life might be at risk.

    Instead, Rogers probably spent a lot of time testing the unnecessary parts of the fix (Radio firmware and Bootloader), and also testing their totally useless "add-ons" (branding, partner bookmarks, unremovable links to Rogers Shop, "Ringback", Ringtone purchases, etc.) - without wasting time testing these unnecessary parts that provide negative values to their customers, especially those using unsubsidised phones, I imagine they could have rolled out the fix sooner - even for only ONE day, and putting less of our lives in danger. In my opinion, it's putting profits higher than customer safety.

    They say they cannot support rooted phones, but people are not asking for support. They're only asking to get the service they have paid for - "service" meaning usable bandwidth. Somehow these carriers or some backwards-thinking PHB inside still think they can provide something more than bandwidth, and forcing these extra "services" to unsubsidised phones somehow seem to have a priority even when customer safety is at stake.

    • by loconet (415875)

      However, unsubsidised phones (i.e. those we have paid a full price to buy) are also forced to update, even for people who run custom firmware that *already* has the 911 issue fixed.

      According to this post [androidforums.com], for rooted phones with the 911 fix, you can call Rogers and have them restore your data. Are they not doing that anymore?

      • by Wolfier (94144)

        According to a lot posted on forums, no, they're requiring *everyone* to upgrade (or for those who already have the fix on unsubsidised phones, downgrade).

        Apparently they're not doing network resets anymore. I had to social engineer a bit to get mine done.

  • by scdeimos (632778) on Wednesday January 27, 2010 @02:07AM (#30914102)

    There's more info and discussion over here regarding the Android 1.5 firmware and the E911 bug...

    Rogers HTC E911 GPS Bug Update [iwantmyonepointsix.com]

  • Unlike the "quasi free" Android, Maemo 5 IS free. No one can cut off your root access.

I find you lack of faith in the forth dithturbing. - Darse ("Darth") Vader

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