Canada's Wireless Prices Justified Even If High by World Standards: Think Tank

By Paddon, David | The Canadian Press, May 8, 2018 | Go to article overview

Canada's Wireless Prices Justified Even If High by World Standards: Think Tank


Paddon, David, The Canadian Press


Canada's wireless prices justified: think tank

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TORONTO - Canadians like to complain about paying some of the world's highest wireless prices, but a Montreal Economic Institute report says they should also acknowledge the cost of having some of the world's most advanced networks.

"Yes, we pay more. But we get a lot more. That's what I'd like people to take into consideration when they complain about their prices," author Martin Masse said in an interview before the report's publication on Tuesday.

His 40-page report says Canadian wireless carriers are among the biggest investors in network infrastructure "however one calculates it: per connection, per subscriber, per capita, or as a percentage of their revenue."

The benefit, it adds, is that Canadian carriers are consistently ranked among the fastest in the world, citing statistics from telecom equipment maker Cisco and Open Signal, which measure networks in various countries.

The Montreal Economic Institute, which takes an anti-regulatory stance, receives some funding from the telecommunications industry players but says it makes its choices independently.

The study comes as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is in the midst of requiring Rogers, Bell and Telus to add a basic, data-only wireless service to their product lineup.

Rogers has proposed a $25 per month plan with 400 megabytes of data at 4G speeds. Bell and Telus have suggested 500 MB of data at LTE speeds for $30 per month.

Katy Anderson of Open Media, an advocacy group that pushes for lower-cost telecommunications services, said "at the end of the day, we know that so many Canadians pay way too much for their cellphone services."

She pointed to a short-lived price war last December, when Rogers, Telus and Bell offered heavily discounted plans with 10 gigabytes of data for $60 per month. …

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