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Canada Leads OECD Countries With Highest Data Roaming: $25 for 1MB

It’s no surprise that Canadians pay some of the highest broadband and cellphone rates in the world. Its these expensive data roaming rates that can result in horrifying $6000 charges for the uninformed user.

The latest report shows Canada leads all Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) members with the highest data roaming rates. In the comparison for 1MB of usage, Canadians pay $24.61. Yes, it’s quite disappointing, but that’s the reality given our mobile climate, consisting of a few dominant carriers that control and dictate pricing.

Here’s the graph showing 1MB of data roaming usage of OECD members:

Now, Canada doesn’t pay the highest charges out of all OECD members in all of the tests done. Here are results from the rest of the report, summed up here:

1 MB in one session – average price by country of origin of the traveller – Canada is highest out of all 34 OECD countries.
1 MB in one session – least expensive destination by country of origin of the traveller – Canada is 4th highest out of 34 OECD countries.
5 MB in 5 sessions in different days – average by origin country of the traveller – Canada is sixth highest.
5 MB in 5 sessions over a week – price of the least expensive destination by country of origin of the.
traveller – Canada is 13th lowest.
5 MB in 1 session – average by country of origin of the traveller – Canada is fourth highest.
5 MB in one session – price of the least expensive destination by country of origin of the traveller – Canada is about halfway least/most expensive.
20 MB in 20 sessions over a month – average price by country of origin of the traveller – Canada is sixth most expensive.
20 MB in 20 sessions over a month – price of the least expensive destination by country of origin of.
the traveller – Canada is seventh least expensive.
20 MB in 20 sessions over a month – average price by country of origin of the traveller – laptop use.
only – Canada is eight most expensive.
100 kB picture MMS sent – average price by country of origin of the traveller – Canada is third most expensive.

To sum up:

1. Expensive (values compared to average or mid-point).
2. Expensive
3. Expensive
4. Cheap
5. Expensive
6. Mid
7. Expensive
8. Cheap
9. Expensive
10. Expensive

Regardless of what the data shows, the facts are data roaming rates in Canada are overpriced. There are roaming packages available, but even then it’s very expensive. 

What do the carriers have to say about this? Telus blames Rogers:

Telus Corp.’s vice-president of mobility marketing Brent Johnston said he “absolutely agrees” with the OECD report’s findings about high prices in Canada, and blamed it on the previous monopoly Rogers had on international roaming deals (because Bell and Telus used a wireless technology that differed from most international carriers, unlike Rogers).

Mr. Johnston said wireless providers could still make a profit by cutting roaming charges considerably. He said Telus would announce a significant price reduction before the summer travel season.

How has your data roaming experience been on the Big 3?

Here’s a link to the full OECD report.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Chris Clarke

    Hi folks, this is Chris at Rogers. I just wanted to share our perspective on these findings from the OECD.
    We’ve
    introduced a number of innovative options to help our customers manage their
    roaming costs and we’re continually introducing new plans and pricing as we
    aggressively negotiate with roaming partners around the world.

     

    For example,
    our customers traveling internationally can purchase travel packs and save
    greater than 80%.

     

    In the U.S, one
    of our top selling travel products is a plan that virtually erases the border
    between Canada and the US and enables customers to use their domestic plans in
    the US with unlimited roaming for an incremental $10 per month. 
    (this plan is called Rogers One Rate Roaming – we introduced this plan early
    last year)

     

    Another of our top
    selling products is a US Travel Pack for which the most you pay is $3 / MB and
    the lowest is $0.80/ MB depending on what you need. 

     
    These products
    would rank us among the lowest cost of countries surveyed.
     
    We’ve also made
    it easy for customers to sign up for these travel packs on the go and we also
    offer alerts and tools so customers know when they’re entering a roaming zone.
    We believe it’s critical to make roaming affordable and we’re continually
    looking for ways to deliver this for our customers.

  • Chris Clarke

    Hi folks, this is Chris at Rogers. I just wanted to share our perspective on these findings from the OECD.
    We’ve
    introduced a number of innovative options to help our customers manage their
    roaming costs and we’re continually introducing new plans and pricing as we
    aggressively negotiate with roaming partners around the world.

     

    For example,
    our customers traveling internationally can purchase travel packs and save
    greater than 80%.

     

    In the U.S, one
    of our top selling travel products is a plan that virtually erases the border
    between Canada and the US and enables customers to use their domestic plans in
    the US with unlimited roaming for an incremental $10 per month. 
    (this plan is called Rogers One Rate Roaming – we introduced this plan early
    last year)

     

    Another of our top
    selling products is a US Travel Pack for which the most you pay is $3 / MB and
    the lowest is $0.80/ MB depending on what you need. 

     
    These products
    would rank us among the lowest cost of countries surveyed.
     
    We’ve also made
    it easy for customers to sign up for these travel packs on the go and we also
    offer alerts and tools so customers know when they’re entering a roaming zone.
    We believe it’s critical to make roaming affordable and we’re continually
    looking for ways to deliver this for our customers.

  • Chris Clarke

    Hi folks, this is Chris at Rogers. I just wanted to share our perspective on these findings from the OECD.
    We’ve
    introduced a number of innovative options to help our customers manage their
    roaming costs and we’re continually introducing new plans and pricing as we
    aggressively negotiate with roaming partners around the world.

     

    For example,
    our customers traveling internationally can purchase travel packs and save
    greater than 80%.

     

    In the U.S, one
    of our top selling travel products is a plan that virtually erases the border
    between Canada and the US and enables customers to use their domestic plans in
    the US with unlimited roaming for an incremental $10 per month. 
    (this plan is called Rogers One Rate Roaming – we introduced this plan early
    last year)

     

    Another of our top
    selling products is a US Travel Pack for which the most you pay is $3 / MB and
    the lowest is $0.80/ MB depending on what you need. 

     
    These products
    would rank us among the lowest cost of countries surveyed.
     
    We’ve also made
    it easy for customers to sign up for these travel packs on the go and we also
    offer alerts and tools so customers know when they’re entering a roaming zone.
    We believe it’s critical to make roaming affordable and we’re continually
    looking for ways to deliver this for our customers.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Ex

    Imagine if we could make the savings greater than 80%. Maybe lower the data fees? Hmm?

  • shampoo

    Keep telling yourself that $3 /MB is a good deal. 

  • shampoo

    Keep telling yourself that $3 /MB is a good deal. 

  • shampoo

    Keep telling yourself that $3 /MB is a good deal. 

  • Toto

    Feed us S***t and tell us it’s chocolate ya

  • Toto

    Feed us S***t and tell us it’s chocolate ya

  • DS

    Contrary to some of the other replies I tend to agree with you. Most of the travel options Rogers offers are a good deal, also compared to other Canadian carriers.
    The one thing that is crooked is that your $10/mo. One Rate add-on is not available to your most loyal customers who have a 6GB data plan obtained through a retention offer (or even as a limited time promotion). Asking those customers to step down to 1GB/month for $10 more is insulting and unreasonable. I really wish Rogers would fix that one of these days, even if you cap the roaming data at a lower amount than the full data bucket! The $10 US Data Roaming option that reduces to $1/MB is not a comparable alternative.

  • DS

    Contrary to some of the other replies I tend to agree with you. Most of the travel options Rogers offers are a good deal, also compared to other Canadian carriers.
    The one thing that is crooked is that your $10/mo. One Rate add-on is not available to your most loyal customers who have a 6GB data plan obtained through a retention offer (or even as a limited time promotion). Asking those customers to step down to 1GB/month for $10 more is insulting and unreasonable. I really wish Rogers would fix that one of these days, even if you cap the roaming data at a lower amount than the full data bucket! The $10 US Data Roaming option that reduces to $1/MB is not a comparable alternative.

  • http://www.vitaltitles.com/ Nick

    While I appreciate that you’re trying to make a presence here, I’m not seeing this and going “WOW THANKS”.

    Your Rogers One data plan includes 500 megs. For ANYONE traveling anywhere using Data, 500 megs is absolutely positively NOTHING. It costs $60 and sure, it releases the data fees for roaming, but unless you can up that to 1 gig at a minimal amount, it does little to help travelers. And what happens if you use 200 megs in canada and 400 in the states? what happens to the overage charges?

    What you, and other providers, need to do is really think how much it costs you to supply us data while roaming.

    Share those numbers with us.

    If you’re not willing to do that, it’s clear you’re fleecing us blind.

    There’s no reason we should be paying nearly as much as we do. It’s inexcusable.

  • http://www.vitaltitles.com/ Nick

    While I appreciate that you’re trying to make a presence here, I’m not seeing this and going “WOW THANKS”.

    Your Rogers One data plan includes 500 megs. For ANYONE traveling anywhere using Data, 500 megs is absolutely positively NOTHING. It costs $60 and sure, it releases the data fees for roaming, but unless you can up that to 1 gig at a minimal amount, it does little to help travelers. And what happens if you use 200 megs in canada and 400 in the states? what happens to the overage charges?

    What you, and other providers, need to do is really think how much it costs you to supply us data while roaming.

    Share those numbers with us.

    If you’re not willing to do that, it’s clear you’re fleecing us blind.

    There’s no reason we should be paying nearly as much as we do. It’s inexcusable.

  • gordunramsie

    I disagree with what you just wrote. You think users are stupid enough to believe your PR b*llshit? Your nothing but a fake. 

    You can’t go around the web posting this drivel, and not respond to customers. It’s NOT ENOUGH! You can’t just post and RUN away. WAKE UP BIG BOI!

  • gordunramsie

    HE NEEDS TO WAKE UP!

  • This Roger guy made me log in

    Oh such a crazy person… $3/MB is a good deal? Whenever I check my emails, I have to pay $5. Do you want to call it a good deal? We really need a competition. As soon as my contrac is over, I will move to the small carriers.

  • Cellular Guru

    The margin on these data roaming charges are so high they should be illegal.  1MB of data costs less than 2 cents to provide to a customer and yet we are charged upwards of $20/MB?  1000% margin, wow.  $19.98/MB is profit for the carriers (sometimes higher).  This is a ridiculous practice that has to stop.  Smart consumers will just buy prepaid SIM cards and have their phones unlocked.  If the prices for international data/voice roaming were reasonable then myself and many other educated consumers would pay the Canadian carriers for the service, but I don’t see this happening in the near future.  Like Telus said, Rogers made HUGE profits from international roaming agreements when they were the only GSM provider in Canada, now Bell and Telus both have HSPA+ networks and support hardware that works world-wide.  Here’s hoping that the entire world wakes up and does what is best for consumers!  If Telus can push for much cheaper roaming agreements for their customers, I can see that will work out very favourably to them in the near future.

  • Chris Clarke

    For what should be obvious competitive reasons, we can’t share the info you’re asking for, Nick.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Ex

    LOL!

    Can’t share = you don’t know!

  • Chris Clarke

    I understand your frustration, DS. Thanks for sharing that feedback.

  • Chris Clarke

    I understand your frustration, DS. Thanks for sharing that feedback.

  • Chris Clarke

    Sorry you disagree, but I’m neither a fake nor am I running away.

  • Chris Clarke

    Sorry you disagree, but I’m neither a fake nor am I running away.

  • Calgary

    we are the 2nd largest country, you cant put a tower everywhere and expect low costs

  • Calgary

    we are the 2nd largest country, you cant put a tower everywhere and expect low costs

  • jailbrokeunlockediphonelover

    Chris,

    Good of you to reply on here (especially given the vitriol levelled at you). I am with Fido. I’ve been on a 10-day trip to the US, a 12-day trip to Brazil and a 6 week trip to Australia in the past year. I would have had to pay Fido $3,000 for the data and voice I used in Australia (about 1.5GB) and close to $1,000 for what I used in Brazil and in the US. Instead I used local SIM cards on my jailbroken unlocked iPhone. They cost me $60, $12 and $120 for the three countries respectively (Brazil was $2 USD for 2GB that could be used for 48 hours). EVEN accounting for 100% mark up to you as a reseller of a foreign carriers data and voice the prices I would have had to pay would far far less (maybe about 5% of what it would have cost me to use Fido roaming.

    So, Fido didn’t get any of my revenue – none. And, I will continue to just buy local SIM cards as I travel and so does almost everyone I know. Lost revenue Fido because of their usurious foreign roaming rates….

  • Anonymous

    My data roaming has been great! Because I don’t use it, BECAUSE IT IS SO DAMN EXPENSIVE!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Except that they only provide coverage where there is populous, not the entire country.

  • Anonymous

    Except this has nothing to do with the size of our country and everything to do with the amount of money we pay when we are out of the country. 

  • Anonymous

    Except this has nothing to do with the size of our country and everything to do with the amount of money we pay when we are out of the country. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m in the same boat as DS, but additionally, IF I wanted to step down from the 6GB plan, which I don’t because just regular usage puts me at about 1.5GB a month, I would STILL have to pay the ridiculous ECFs for “cancelling” my data contract early.  You know what I call that? Pathetic inflexibility.

    For an add-on that I can control at my own will, that allows me to allocate up to say, 1GB per month and use that in the US, for about $10, that I could live with.  Don’t count on me to pay $50 for a data add-on pack that only gets me a measly 25MB, which I could spend in about 2-3 minutes. That’s just sad.

  • Anonymous

    I’m in the same boat as DS, but additionally, IF I wanted to step down from the 6GB plan, which I don’t because just regular usage puts me at about 1.5GB a month, I would STILL have to pay the ridiculous ECFs for “cancelling” my data contract early.  You know what I call that? Pathetic inflexibility.

    For an add-on that I can control at my own will, that allows me to allocate up to say, 1GB per month and use that in the US, for about $10, that I could live with.  Don’t count on me to pay $50 for a data add-on pack that only gets me a measly 25MB, which I could spend in about 2-3 minutes. That’s just sad.

  • Anonymous

    I went to Barcelona and asked for how much it would cost me for a Travaler Package.
    Like 150$ for 75Mb or 100Mb… Or 0.03$/Kb. I feel like it was ok if I was using the 80s cellphone.

    What the…

  • Anonymous

    I went to Barcelona and asked for how much it would cost me for a Travaler Package.
    Like 150$ for 75Mb or 100Mb… Or 0.03$/Kb. I feel like it was ok if I was using the 80s cellphone.

    What the…

  • Anonymous

    I went to Barcelona and asked for how much it would cost me for a Travaler Package.
    Like 150$ for 75Mb or 100Mb… Or 0.03$/Kb. I feel like it was ok if I was using the 80s cellphone.

    What the…

  • Anonymous

    I went to Barcelona and asked for how much it would cost me for a Travaler Package.
    Like 150$ for 75Mb or 100Mb… Or 0.03$/Kb. I feel like it was ok if I was using the 80s cellphone.

    What the…

  • Burzum

    Then, Chris my friend, eat this: ROGERS IS CRAP!!! Coming from a so called third world country, is really disgusting to see companies like yours who only tend to abuse customers without any remorse! Your prices are higher than anywhere…………
    Your offers are really crappy stuff (well, at least for us customers! we pay you smile!)..but what really drives me crazy is the insulting fact that you guys wanna make us believe you are giving us SPECTACULAR offers……..
    I have news for you: we are not stupid, some of us actually have worked in Telecomm business, and so, we know that your company is just taking advantage from us!

    Ok, go ahead, take advantage, that’s what we deserve for not being united and not being able to boicot our Canadian carriers….but at least don’t insult us trying to convince us about your so called “benefits”! 

    Have you ever asked yourself about why so many people hate your company?……is simple you want love, show us respect and decent fees…we may still not love Rogers, but at least we can show also some respect.