TELUS Releases 42 Page Response to Canada’s Wireless Critics


There’s been a lot of debate back and forth, a war of words over the state of Canada’s wireless industry recently. First, we had Ottawa professor Michael Geist share his thoughts on why the wireless market in Canada remained “woefully uncompetitive”, a response to Scotia Capital’s report set to dispel myths about the wireless industry.

Journalist Peter Nowak weighed in with his response to the Scotia Capital report, further debunking the ‘myths’ reported. He just recently followed up with another response based on more up to date info (2012 Q3) from the Bank of America’s Global Wireless Matrix, that charts Canada against other worldwide markets.

Now, TELUS has responded to both Geist and Nowak by releasing a report titled “Why do Canada’s wireless critics want to turn back time?”. Written by Craig McTaggart, TELUS’ director of broadband policy, he goes on to argue against previous criticism of the wireless industry from the likes of, claiming their arguments against the industry use old data:

In the attached paper, I challenge the claims that Canada’s wireless market is “woefully uncompetitive” (as Professor Michael Geist puts it) and that Canadians “pay some of the highest prices in the world for some of the worst services” (as OpenMedia puts it). The most recent international statistics available show that prices for the kind of wireless services that Canadians actually use are below the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) average, in spite of the enormous area served by wireless services in Canada, our high standard of living, and the fact that Canadians use their wireless devices more than just about anybody else in the world. Canada also has some of the best networks in the world, in spite of the enormous cost of building and constantly upgrading them.

McTaggart goes into extreme detail with his response, which lasts 42 pages long and in the end stresses an open debate:

We are happy to have an open, constructive discussion about Canada’s wireless industry, but we think it’s fair to insist that the discussion be based on current data and rigorous economic analysis. If you think I’ve gotten something wrong, please say so. We started the TELUS Blog to have this kind of frank discussion, and as long as you respect our House Rules, we won’t delete your comments or call you names, like OpenMedia recently did to us.

There’s a lot of information going around and it can be hard to distinguish fact from fiction. I suggest you read all the reports and draw your own conclusions. The fact remains Canadians want better service and value from the wireless industry, which the Federal Government has long promised. The most recent CCTS report cited 60% of complaints were related to the wireless industry–which leads us to believe there’s still room for improvement.


  • Sarge

    3 Year Contracts? Yeah..change is needed. That is all

  • mike

    I would agree with Telus a bit. We do have very advanced networks here compared to the countries I’ve been to such as US, China, UK. Their networks are much slower (maybe because its congested). The 3g/LTE speed here is fast, voice calls are clear with no dropped calls. I don’t mind paying an extra 20$ a month for it

  • K3

    That words of someone that works for one of the big three might say. ????????????

  • Yukontina

    I live in the Yukon with the most expensive Internet prices in the world. The executives of our ISP regularly boast how fast and reasonably-priced our service is, I’m amazed they are able to maintain straight faces. With no standards to uphold and no true regulating body, they might as well baffle us with manipulated stats and BS.

  • Mike

    lol I don’t work for the Big 3, just my honest opinion. Everybody points out how expensive they are, but their earnings are down. You don’t have to believe me, there are more in life to it than a phone plan.

  • All 3 companies offer identical plans and “promotions” at the exact same time. Tell me how that is competitive? We still can’t get unlimited data like the US. We pay ridiculous fees/monthly plans. TELUS can shove it. We don’t feel sorry for the big 3. You are doing quite well!

  • I rarely pay under $120 per month for 1 cell phone only.

  • KJ

    Hmm I pay $82 a month to Rogers for 6gb, my 10, 200 day time and all that other jazz. Don’t feel $80
    Is high and I used about 3gb a month

  • FragilityG4

    Give me a break sure Canada is big but look at all their coverage maps … They only cover a fraction of the country.

  • Jon

    You realize that Canada’s LTE is IDENTICAL to the US one right? You also realize Canada;s LTE coverage is far, far, far inferior to US right? Shows how much you know.

  • WatDaPhuck

    I’m currently on vacation in Hong Kong. Over here, there’s a few providers, much like we have in Canada. But damn, the plans and prices here are dirt cheap! 1 month 5GB LTE, unlimited local out going/in coming calls, unlimited text, plus unlimited wifi (which is like EVERYWHERE, all you have to do is download their mobile app and login), all that for just about $50-$60 CAD a month. Coverages are great, customer services are good. I know, I’m comparing a city to a country, but there’s 7 million people living here, that’s about 1/5 of Canada’s population. Just a little facts on the side, Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region, it’s basically a country on it’s own rules apart from China.

  • WatDaPhuck

    Where do you live?

  • Coverage and plans in Hong Kong are awesome. What carrier did you go with? Last time I went with 3HK, bought a microSIM from the airport’s 7-11 after getting off the plane. Was online in a matter of minutes.

  • Farids

    How nice is this guy explaining 2 of the reasons “ECONOMY” and “high standard of living”. He indicates those reasons 3 times. “Economy” and “high standard of living”. Sound like: we jack up prices more than most of the world because the economy is pretty good here and Canadians make more money, and because: our standard of living is high, people can afford to pay more so we charge them more. That gives us a reason/excuse to jack up the prices. The guy is insulting everybody and all, and writes 42 pages to prove all the people are wrong and ripping them off is good, reasonable and carriers’ right. Only in Canada. In Europe this would’ve started a huge rally and ended in a year in full blast revolution 🙂

  • WatDaPhuck

    Hi Gary! Still on your site all the way from HK! =)

    I went with PCCW, only them and one other company have prepaid NanoSim, but PCCW was cheaper. I currently have a good for 30 days plan with 2.5GB (but not LTE), unlimited wifi, and $0.2 HKD ($0.03 CAD) per min local callls. Which is plenty as I mostly use WhatsApp. I paid about $40 CAD. Activation was easy, in and out of the store in 10 min, most of the time was spent on the sales explaining the plans, she even activated everything for me.

  • pure4


    Let me start with ‘FUCK YOU’ if you defend the Big 3 for even a second. Let me give you a list of why the Canadian consumer is getting bent over and taking it in the popper by these bastards.

    1. Canada is one of the only developed countries in the world to have 3 year contracts something that is unheard of almost anywhere else.

    2. The Big 3 have the highest profit margins per user in the world. This means the Canadian consumer is (again) being bent over by these guys.

    3. The big three only now have started installing LTD coverage throughout Canada They are slow to innovate because they don’t have to. There is no competition which drives up price and lowers service quality.

    4. Have you tired dealing with these guys on the phone? Trust me I’ve been a Canadian cell phone consumer for over 15 years and every time i dealt with them I felt treated unfairly because of their monopolistic position of power. Have you seen one of Bells/Telus/Rogers’ contracts? They are riddled with hidden fees, caveats, and fine print so you can’t get out of a contract and get trapped to pay them ridiculous amounts of money. Why do you think they have THREE year contracts anyway?

    5. They have long gone stifled competition bought out all new competitors and have a stranglehold on the market. Just ask the former Wind mobile owner why he regrets ever entering the circadian telephone market. Why do you think hardly anyone else is rushing in to invest in the Canadian market? Why isn’t Vodafone coming in here to complete? Ask yourself these questions.

  • pure4

    Another example of a Canadian consumer getting gauged by these fuckers..

  • WatDaPhuck

    Read my post above.

  • pure4

    82 is high.. Yes TELUS can shove it… If these new rules take effect they will finally get what they deserve.

  • WatDaPhuck

    Thank you, sir. Agreed 100%, especially #4.

  • haha, good to see you taking time from vacation to hang out here 😉

    Nice. Yeah nothing beats retail customer service in HK, it’s pretty nice when they take care of everything for you, explain stuff, and get it done in lightning speed. When I was in HK I was just happy to be connected to 3G, which was pretty fast on the iPhone 4S.

  • xxxJDxxx

    This is the reason we have seen some more reasonably priced plans and offers in the last year or so. It was a pre-emptive more to try to dodge regulation. The fact that they are trying to highlight the recent data is indicative of that strategy.

  • Drk

    Because Canadians only live and work in a fraction of the country.

  • FragilityG4

    Your statement makes no sense. Telus was complaining that Canada has more surface area to cover, but they only cover the inhabited areas which is minimal compared to the actual country size.

  • MTS Has Unlimited eve/wkd and Unlimited Data for $63.50. My co-worker is on it and is quite happy – besides the customer service.

  • Christopher Jones

    … but is it iphone compatable (GSM or CDMA and on the correct frequencies) and is it available from coast to coast?

  • Jason

    My internet at home cost me 45 and I get 150 GB my landline 40 and
    I get long-distance, unlimited local calls call id etc.

    How do you justify paying $82 for data on your small screen cell
    phone and some voice minuets? Using a cell
    phone in Canada is expensive