Microsoft Outlook ActiveSync 14.0 and your cell phone

When you connect your cell phone to email service, do you ever wonder what sort of information Microsoft has on your cell phone? You can actually check and see, by going to your OPTIONS > MOBILE DEVICES under your account. You should get a screen similar to the one below:


Mobile Devices

Now before we go any further. I do have 4 devices hooked up, 2 are cell phones, and other 2 are applications (located on the tablet+desktop). Let’s concentrate on the 2 cell phones. I have a BlackBerry and an iPhone. Let’s see what they have logged on those two devices.

You might already be surprised that BlackBerry actually reveals your full phone number to Microsoft. Online they only show last 4 digits, but believe me…Microsoft has your full phone number, whether you like it or not. iPhone surprisingly does not gives your number out to Microsoft. 1-0 for iPhone.

I have selected BlackBerry (highlighted) and all you we need to do is click on the little pencil to see additional information. Let’s see what information they have on the BlackBerry:

BlackBerry Details

I have removed last 4 digits of my phone number, Device ID and Device IMEI. Microsoft had the entire identity of my phone. EVERYTHING!. If you are keeping count, that’s iPhone 4 and BlackBerry 0.

Let’s look at the iPhone:

iPhone Mobile Device Details

iPhone did not reveal everything, as a matter of fact they have shown limited information. The only thing I had removed is Device ID. I probably could have left it, as I don’t see that same ID listed anywhere on the box or on the device. Final Score: iPhone 4 and BlackBerry 1.

Is BlackBerry truly a privacy oriented company? From what we had observed here, no they are not. As a matter of fact they didn’t keep anything private from Microsoft (Outlook client).

Thanks for reading.

AWS-3 Spectrum to be auctioned to new players

The aws-3 also known as 2,500-MHz block has been reserved for new players and will be auctioned off next April (2015). This is a much higher frequency than previous auctioned off blocks. Which in simple terms can transmit more data if you are able to get the signal. However, the downfall is that it won’t penetrate walls as good, nor is it a good frequency to use in rural areas. Cellular towers are required to be closer to one another, therefore making it more expensive to build.

Regardless of the drawbacks, Wind Mobile is one of the “excited” companies about the new rules imposed for the upcoming auction. Will it create competition which is the current goal of the Canadian government. The odds are that it won’t. The hope is that new wireless providers will emerge from the upcoming auction.

Rogers down for 3 hours due to software glitch

Rogers wireless has approximately $9.42 million wireless customers and all of them were down between 6:00 PM and 10:30 PM. The most interesting part is that voice and SMS were down, however DATA was up and running.

The apparent software glitch was due to heavy traffic and was not handled properly by the switching system causing a major crash. There have been no specific reports of how the software works and what it has to do with switches. The assumption is that there is a two way system where one voice is carried over and the other signals between the towers, therefore when you are driving it makes sure that it switches you over to the nearest tower to you. Allegedly that’s what failed which caused the primary system to run into a loop.

There is an underlying denial that hacking was involved taking down the system.

Current result and resolution is the update of the current software thats being used (fixing the hole) and giving all the postpaid subscribers a day of service refund (if you are paying $30 monthly, you would get $1 discount on your next bill).

The most disturbing factor in all of this is that 911 was not functioning. Interesting part is that Rogers recommends users of having a land line if they are required to make 911 phone calls. Who has a land line anymore?

PRO TIP: If your provider is ever down, take out your sim card, reboot the phone and let the phone roam on any network to make that important 911 call. Hopefully, you can do all of these steps while in an emergency situation. Or get a Bell land line.

Blacklist for stolen phones in effect (Canada’s first)

The Canadian Cell Phone “blacklist” database has been created a while ago, but it was never implemented by any of the Canadian telecoms. Needless to say the technology has been used in various countries such as U.S. and U.K.

Blackberry if you recall had been using this technology in their own eco-system for many years. What they would do is disable any of the core service such as BBM, and email. Therefore, you were only able to use anything that wasn’t Blackberry service related. They did this particularly with Demo models and did implement stolen blackberries to be included in the database as well.

Why did all the telecoms agree and decided to share the current database. It’s possible due to the rise of robberies in the Greater Toronto Area particularly Rogers stores there was a consensus to kick-start the database.

What’s in included in the database?

IMEI which every handset has. You can check your IMEI by typing *#06#.

Therefore, if you are planning on purchasing a used or new handset, now you can check online if it has been “blacklisted“. Click here

If you are unable to go on the internet to check the IMEI, the easiest way to check is to pop in a SIM correlating to the cell phone. If you are unable to make a phone call the chances are your cell phone was blacklisted.

UPDATE: Its important to note that the database DOES NOT include any of the phones stolen prior to September 30, 2013.

Canada Spectrum Auctions 700 MHz band

Today is the day where the mobile applications must apply to be part of the auction which takes place January 14, 2014. The applicants must submit beneficial ownership, associated entities information along 5% deposit which could be in the millions.

The word is Wind Mobile, Telus, Bell and Rogers are currently the only players in the auction. The hope is that there will be a foreign entity involved. As you may recal Verizon was the early entrant who backed out after they staked into Vodafone.

We won’t find out who the players are until October 22, 2013 who the entrants are, unless they somehow leak it. On November 8, 2013 we should know the actual publication of final list of qualified bidders.

Even if a foreign entity does win an auction, builds a telecom, and then finally starts to roll out the service, we will not see any discount and they will submerge as the other 3 (Bell, Telus, Rogers).


  • less towers required to cover the required space vs. other bands
  • penetrates objects such as walls easier vs. other bands
  • compatible with 4G


My Thoughts: Apple iPhone 5C Pricing (Canadian)

I’m honestly a bit confused. The point of releasing iPhone 5C was to complete with cheaper Android models. Looking at website the 5C will be sold for $599.00. Essentially are there any cheap Android handsets that cost $600.00? It sounds to me that its priced too high to appeal to the “other” consumer. If you are going to spend $600.00 to begin with, whats an additional $120.00 to get the proper iPhone 5S? (iPhone 5S is listed at $719)

True Apple Fanboys will continue to purchase the high end product, iPhone 5C was supposed to be for “everyone else”. I doubt people will buy it for a mere $600.00.

I wasn’t going to speak about the specifications, but thus far it appears that 5C is a cheaper version of the original iPhone 5. Therefore, you are better off purchasing a brand new (or used) iPhone 5.

My current assumption as you gather by the short notes above is that Apple completely missed the mark on the pricing of the iPhone 5C.

The true price point should have been $399.00.

I know what you are going to say. People won’t buy the expensive version if it was that much cheaper. I disagree, as I previously stated the Apple fans will continue to purchase the high end product and with a price point of $400.00 you would get “everyone” else to buy into it.

Only time will tell, but I don’t foresee iPhone 5C a hot seller.

Rogers Trade-Up Program (cash for your phone)

Ever wanted to avoid or and just go to your local Rogers store and trade your old phone for cash. Now you can. Of course the trade-in value is not as high as you would get on the website mentioned above, however there are no hassles. As long as the screen is responsive, the phone powers up and it actually works, you will get the cash.


Some common devices/prices:

Rogers iPhone 4 (16GB) = $90.00

Rogers iPhone 4S (16GB) = $185.00

Rogers iPhone 5 (16GB) = $280.00

Samsung S4 = $160.00

Blackberry Z10 = $150.00

Blackberry Q10 = $170.00

Wireless Wars Rogers, Bell, Telus

Has anyone observed wireless priced plans on August 7 vs. August 8? Lets say that in one day data dropped from 6gb to 500mb and voice stayed the same. Oh and the price somewhat stayed the same. Why the change? Well it’s a tactic used by the big 3 telco’s to stick it to CRTC for lowering 3 year plans to 2 year max and by not allowing the big 3 to bid on the upcoming spectrum. Who got screwed? In the end the consumer did of course. Nothing new there.

What’s frustrating is that if you look at Bell Mobility website vs. Rogers wireless the pricing and the offering changed on the same day. Do the telecoms sit in one room and decide what they will offer? Isn’t that somewhat price fixing? I assume its legal, gas stations have been doing the same for decades.

Best part is the website Fair For Canada, it’s a complete joke full of lies and deception. Guess what, all 3 telecoms were in on the website as well.

In conclusion, I doubt that Verizon would lower the priced plans but at least it’s an alternative choice to the big 3, and my hope is that they don’t sit in the same room to decide what prices they will offer the following day.

Rogers wireless offering as of August 22, 2013


Bell mobility offering as of August 22, 2013



Porting Issues (FreePhoneLine/Fongo) to Rogers

Rogers Wireless Home Phone porting at first seemed easy. It took about 5 days for the number to be ported. I was porting a number that is originally from FreePhoneLine/Fongo to Rogers. After the number did get finally ported the first issue was that any phone call that came from FreePhoneLine/Fongo would not go through and there was a mysterious message saying “The number you have reached is not in service”. But with that same ported number I was able to call FreePhoneLine/Fongo numbers.

The support at FreePhoneLine/Fongo was pretty good. Took about 10 emails, and about 8 hours or so, and the problem was on their end. The main switch was fixed and I was able to call from FreePhoneLine/Fongo to the newly ported number that was at Rogers now.

New Problem: If you call the ported number from Skype, you will get that same message “the number you have reached is not in service”.

Not sure who to contact for that issue. I did speak with Rogers and they did do a number refresh, but that didn’t do anything (except reset my answering machine).


Rogers Wireless Home Phone

An interesting email appeared in my inbox from Rogers Wireless which is one of the big 3 telecom providers out here in Canada. Their offer:

Wireless Home Phone Plan for $9.99 – (includes: Unlimited Canada Wide Calling, Call Display, Enhanced Voice mail)

I was impressed, and noticed that the service was not available until July 23rd (the email was received few days prior).

On July 23rd, I went to a local Rogers Store. I was asked if I was a current Rogers subscriber, I responded that I was. I provided my current wireless number. The clerk retrieved a device, placed it on the counter. The cost for the device was $29.99+tax (no contract). I paid for the device via credit card. The clerk had asked if I wanted to port a phone number. The number I provided to be ported was from FreePhoneLine (now known as Fongo). The system immediately accepted the port and apparently my port date was scheduled 5 days later. That was that. Well not really. (Porting Issues)

The device was easy to put together, there was a SIM card and a backup battery. The SIM card is the standard size and there was a label of LTE on it.

Wireless Home phone worked immediately. The router (or home phone device) has two telephone jacks in the back, a usb port and a power button. I had a wireless base that I hooked up to it and oddly enough an old Bell telephone taking up the second port.

The sound quality is superb. Its been a couple of weeks now, and I have not had any drop calls, no static, no issues. Nothing! The price point is incredible and will surely get attention from the Cogeco and Bell in areas such as Oakville and Burlington.

The target market is for areas where Rogers is unable to provide their regular Home Phone service.


UPDATE (Aug 28): The other party seems to hear a banging noise that lasts about 10 seconds and then it goes away. On my end I hear a tiny barely noticeable clicking sound, but apparently its really loud on the other end. I have the unit 200 meters away from the nearest electronic device (I have tried two different locations, and same result). It could be the wireless phone base? Another odd piece of information is that the problem doesn’t occur on every phone call. I can’t figure out what the heck it is. Anyone else experiencing this? Please comment.

UPDATE (Sept 11): I have swapped the current V-tech cordless phones and upgraded to Panasonic cordless phones. Both sets were DECT 6.0 and therefore I’m unsure if the knocking was coming from the handset or actual ZTE Home Phone device. Thus far with the new cordless phones there has not been any noise.