Researcher: Canada’s Wireless Market is ‘Functioning Well’


Are you happy with the current state of wireless in Canada? Historically people have always had something to complain about, whether it was the ‘lack’ of competition or expensive data roaming, but new research done by the Montreal Economic Institute paints a different picture than before.

According to their report, Canada is ranked in the middle when it comes to wireless prices among developed nations, according to Yves Rabeau, associate management professor at the Université du Quebéc à Montréal:

“Canada is neither among the best, nor among the worst,” says Mr. Rabeau, who is also an associate researcher at the institute.

The price of a basic wireless plan in Canada is comparable to what is paid in U.S. cities, although higher than in other cities examined, according to 2012 figures by Wall Communications, says Mr. Rabeau.

In four out of six usage scenarios cited in the most recent biannual report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development on the communications industry, prices are lower in Canada than in the U.S., though they are higher than the OECD average, he says.

Other findings related to usage case involving the most calls and SMS, Canada ranks the fifth-least expensive out of 34 countries. He also notes media outlets have been inaccurate in their claim Canada has higher roaming charges out of all the OECD countries, a comparison based on downloading 1 megabyte while roaming with a plan. A more accurate study denotes Canada as the seventh least-expensive out of 34 countries based on their study.

Rabeau also revealed Canada is keeping up in its deployment of the latest wireless technology, and noted the industry should be refrained from regulation by the CRTC since “the wireless market in Canada is in full expansion and functioning well.”

One thing we do need to is is applaud our major carriers for launching high speed 4G LTE networks (which tomorrow’s iPhone 5 will support). The downside of the industry would most likely be their complicated plans and expensive add-ons (remember when caller ID was a few bucks?).

Last November, WIND Mobile’s financial backer noted it was a ‘mistake’ to enter the ‘protected’ Canadian wireless market. Around the same time, the CCTS (Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services) released their report which stated 80% of wireless complaints were related to billing or contract disputes.

Think of your wireless situation today compared to five years ago. Are you better off or worse?

[via The Globe and Mail]


  • Are you kidding me?! For less than HALF of what I pay here for what many would consider a moderate to high end plan (with unlimited minutes, a small bucket of long distance, and data) I could get a totally unlimited calling plan with NO long distance, caller ID, Voicemail, and a big data bucket.

    Whoever did this “study” must have compared it to the most expensive plans they could find in the US market.

    As for “Remember when caller ID was a few bucks?”, it still is for many of us, myself and my wife included. Heck, we don’t even get Voicemail for free.

  • Stockholm syndrome. That is all.

  • Guy Brown

    Stll like the idea of 2 year wireless contracts. I’d pay more up front to get that especially with the advances to phones

  • draz

    I have to admit.. the 6gb data plan is probably the biggest advantage for us over the USA.
    Our voice plans and 3yr contracts still stink but when it comes to the iPhone we really have no choice but to pay the at least $50/mo fees.

    Retention plans are really the only way for consumers to at least get a decent deal, but that is still too much compared to many other countries.

  • mike

    For those that are complaining, we have great quality and coverage from our carriers. For those that have been to the states, you’d know AT&T is crap. 3G speeds in China is less than half of what we have here on average. We also have almost no dropped calls. Considering we are also one of the richest nation in the world, I’m happy with my $60 retention.

  • Dolf

    We live 6 months of the year in Canada and 6 months in HI and have both countries cell phones. Apples to apples comparison we pay double in Canada.

  • steve

    My wife pays $40/month + tax for unlimited north america wide calling and texting, unlimited data, voicemail and call display. Not on rogers, telus, or bell however. She hasn’t had any problems with dropped calls.