CWTA Responds to Say Wireless Data Prices in Canada are Competitive


The data firm Tefficient recently released data in its 14th analysis of data usage across 13 countries. The analysis included countries such as Canada, Singapore, Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong. The study found that Canadian wireless providers charge the most per data, while their customers tend to make limited use of that data.

“The most expensive mobile data countries are Canada, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic and the Netherlands and — as a consequence — mobile users in these countries are using very little mobile data,” the company said in its report.

In countries where unlimited or very generous mobile data plans are available, the company found that usage is higher. Such is the case in Lithuania, Austria, and Korea, where unlimited data plans were introduced.


Image courtesy of CBC

The industry group that represents wireless providers in Canada, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, also pointed to the quality of wireless service in Canada — saying things like 4G/LTE networks increases usage and value for consumers.

CBC News reports the CWTA and OpenMedia has commented on the Tefficient study.

The CWTA argues Canada has competitive prices compared to other countries in the world, based on a recent report by the CRTC, which analyzed the cost of wireless packages with 2GB and 5GB per month in Canada at $46.47, less than the $50.68 cost in the USA and $51.81 in Japan.

canada data prices

But still, Canadians are paying two-thirds more compared to the same coverage in Italy ($14.35), France ($14.98), Australia ($15.57) and the UK ($17.61).

“What we find when looking at the available data is that usage is more directly correlated to network quality,” said Marc Choma, vice-president of communications for the CWTA.

Additionally, high data prices tend to cause users to use less. “When people pay more for data, they use less of it because they’re worried they’re going go over their data cap and incur these crazy, huge overage fees,” said Katy Anderson with Open Media, who has helped campaign to end data caps.

Whatever the case, let’s hope that prices eventually drive themselves down (or is that just a hoop dream?). While that may not happen, Canadians with unlocked iPhones can get some decent Boxing Day promos from Fido, Koodo and Virgin right now.


  • Nick

    What a bunch of bullshit.

  • Mrleblanc

    You do realize that 35$ USD is 48$ CAD… Koodo has 2Gb plan for 50$ CAD ! You literally took the worst exemple as Verizon is the priciest telecom operator in the USA… Verizon 4Gb plan cost even more (50$ USD/67$ CAD) than Koodo 60$ plan with the same amount of data

  • Honesty Counts

    “The industry group that represents wireless providers in Canada, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association”

    What would you expect from a group that represents the providers? Honesty?

  • johnnygoodface

    3G/LTE quality!??? Really? Half the time data speed is hawfull, even on “supposedly” LTE. Telus client.

  • Michel Plante

    CWTA are you out of your minds???

  • huddyrocks

    Yes, you do realize you are comparing one of the US’s most expensive providers to one the big 3’s ” budget” providers. To be fair, compare it to bell/rogers/telus. The difference is substantial. Or pick a budget US carrier and compare, same result . We are paying more.

  • NOHoldsBar

    Right. Aren’t inflammatory comments such as this article considered trolling? More importantl, it’s fake news which has been trending recently.

    Statistics prove that those with more than one birthday live longer lives.

  • NOHoldsBar

    No. Mrleblanc always chooses to cherry pick sources or information to support price gouging and whatever ret arded position he takes.

  • raslucas

    It’s a super skewed article. Let’s not ever forget though that Canada is the second largest country in the world. That’s a lot of towers.

  • huddyrocks

    True, and using currency conversion to justify an cost comparison argument is not valid either. When our dollar was almost/at par with the greenback, prices were the same. Cellular plan prices in Canada do not go down as the dollar goes up. Price comparisons have never been based on what a foreign plan can be purchased for with Canadian currency,

  • xeronine992

    Actually, I’m not agreeing with Mrleblanc, but I remember when the dollar started to get really weak Rogers did increase prices (I think it was when they adjusted prices so BYOD was the same price was those who had a subsidy) and blamed it on the weak Canadian dollar.

  • huddyrocks

    True, but the comparison is for plans only, not plans with hardware subsidy. Most phone sets are sold based on US dollars. Service plans are not.

  • Matthew Montano

    This ‘2nd biggest country’ line doesn’t cut it. Canada is one of the most urbanized countries. It’s not as if R/B/T subsidizes rural coverage with urban subscriber revenue, they will only do it if it earns $. Hence poor or no rural coverage in Canada.

    Another point that the article doesn’t handle well is R/B/T may not charge a lot, but because of insane overage charges, people are scared and use so little, so the net $/MB is higher.

    And R/B/T stills makes oodles of cash on things that don’t exist in my US phone bill. Text a US #, 5 cents please. Call a US #, 20 cents/minute please? (iPhone) Visual voice mail is still $5/month. Roam Like Home, pulllleeeezzzeee. I pay $72USD a month for 6GB LTE data and none of the BS above.

    Still waiting…