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Rogers, Telus and Bell Explain $5/month Wireless Price Hikes

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This past weekend Canada’s incumbent wireless carriers increased monthly plan prices by $5/month across the board, specifically Rogers and Bell. Telus first hiked their prices in January and Rogers and Bell to their nationwide voice and shareable data plans, with prices starting at $80/month for 500MB from all three carriers. Shareable voice and data plans ranging from 500MB to 15GB per month are priced the same across the board.

Fido, Koodo and Virgin Mobile also revamped their price plans resulting in some plans having less data and minutes along with a price increase.

When asked to comment on their price increases, Rogers explained to CBC News the “needs of our customers are changing as they’re doing more than ever before with their connected device.”

As for Telus, the company said despite raising their monthly prices in January, it lowered the price of its ‘most widely used’ data add-ons last week. With its recent acquisition of startup wireless carrier Public Mobile, the former has similar plans to increase monthly rate by $5/month on March 19, reports MobileSyrup.

Bell did not comment to inquiries from CBC News.

Journalist and wireless industry watcher Peter Nowak explains his thoughts on why we’re seeing these simultaneous price hikes:

Why is this happening? It’s very simple, really: the new entrants are dead, and so is competition. Public Mobile has been bought by Telus, Mobilicity is under creditor protection and Wind is being left to wither on the vine by its Russian owner Vimpelcom (neither of those last two companies bought all-important new spectrum in the recently concluded auction).

The one potential challenger that did buy spectrum in that auction, Quebecor, isn’t just being coy about whether it will actually use it, the company is also now in a state of flux since its chief executive Pierre Karl Peladeau just declared himself a separatist.

With Ottawa declaring victory in the wireless competition front in its recent 700MHz spectrum auction results, what are your thoughts on the state of wireless today in Canada?

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