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Virgin Mobile Store Moves into Montreal

Virgin set up shop in MontrealIf you’ve been watching current events in Canada, you know that last week brought about much talk about cellphone rates throughout the country.  The news covered how cellphone rates seem exorbitantly high right now.  With prices moving up, many people are concerned about the future.

That’s where Sir Richard Branson comes into the picture.  The chairman of Virgin Mobile, Branson sees nothing wrong with a little competition in the mobile market – even in Canada.  You may not know, but recent reports have shown that Canada has some of the highest cellphone rates in the world.

What kind of rates are we talking about?  Canadian cellphone companies are charging really high initial rates among member countries for downloading outside the network.  On the contrary, however, the same reports also show us that the rates for Canadians are on a sliding scale and go down significantly for larger downloads  and are actually lower compared to rates in other countries.

Still wondering what this has to do with Sir Richard Branson?  As chairman of Virgin Mobile, he has actually taken credit for helping move those prices down in the cellphone market.  He believes his “little” company has made the bigger cellphone service providers nervous and has encouraged better rates across the board.

So, Virgin Mobile’s very first store in Montreal has opened and Branson was there to cut the proverbial ribbon.  The flagship store is on Ste. Catherine Street West, right on the corner of Drummond Street.  Before the store moved in, Virgin phones were sold only at kiosks throughout the city at shopping malls and The Source stores.

Because Virgin Mobile is a foreign company, Canadian law won’t allow it to set up a phone network.  This rule has plenty of critics, consisting particularly of cellphone companies that want to move into Canada.  For now, Virgin Mobile can’t have its own network in Canada, but Branson seems ready to jump right onto it should those rules change.  Right now, Virgin Mobile has an arrangement set up with Bell, which the company is happy with currently.

Now that Virgin Mobile has officially moved into Montreal with its own store, we’re wondering if Branson might have the skinny on some of those Canadian rules we just mentioned.  Will there be a big change on the horizon?

What else will Sir Branson be doing while in Canada?  Well, he’s tying his visit in with the popular television show, “Glee.”  Wondering what we’re talking about?

During his visit to promote the new store, Branson will also be visiting Dans la Rue, an organization that focuses on helping troubled youth.  Alongside Sir Richard will be IMA, a popular pop singer from Quebec, and Cory Monteith, a Calgary native that also happens to play Finn on “Glee.”  Together they promote Virgin Unite, which donates $15 from the sale of every RE*Generation Samsung Gravity 3 to various kids’ charities.

Jon Huser

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