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Canadians Could See Cheaper Wireless Plans After NAFTA Negotiations

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According to a new report from Global News, Canadians could see cheaper wireless cellphone plans following NAFTA negotiations.

One of the Trump Administration’s proposals for the renegotiation aims to make it easier for telecoms in the United States to do business in Canada. In a statement Walid Hejazi, a professor with the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, said:

“Canadian consumers would ultimately benefit from this. It gives consumers more variety and lower prices.”

The NAFTA negotiations were released yesterday and aim to provide “fair and open conditions” in the telecommunications industry.

Canada’s telecom market is currently dominated by three providers: Bell, Rogers and Telus. The domination by these three players has made it difficult for foreign players to compete, which greatly impacts customer experience.

In 2016, the CRTC reported that Canadians are paying some of the highest prices for basic wireless service in the G7 nations.

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  • FragilityG4

    Hopefully this comes to fruition. However I’m a little pessimistic about the final outcome. I think the big guys in the states will just align their prices. Why not? If you can gouge, then gouge.

  • Mr Dog

    It will be the same in the end.

    They all make the same profit margins. People forget telecoms have a lot more ground to cover and fewer people to service here than they do in other places.

  • SV650

    According to the graphic above, it would be more expensive to be using a US carrier than a Canadian one. Not sure how this becomes cheaper!

  • IAmTaka

    Wait we are cheaper than the US? Is this accounting for currency exchange? I’d be interested to see when/what/whose plans they looked at and was it the lowest/highest/median of the plans they survey’d. This graph is missing a ton of information.

  • informed consumer

    This will probably end up the same as when Target came to Canada. People expected prices similar to those in the US and Target folded because prices in store ended up being the same as in Canada. There were NO deal with Target in Canada.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    You know our telecommunications industry is bad when we’re looking to Trump to fix it. Heaven forbid any Canadian leaders actually trying to help Canadian consumers.

  • awkpain

    An American carrier wouldn’t have any infrastructure. They’d have to rent it from existing carriers… so prices would be almost exactly the same.

  • erth

    they should allow michigan electricity companies to sell to ontario as well. that would lower the price of electricity in ontario. the market fixes all price issues.

  • It’s Me

    The numbers are from Wall, which is run and staffed by former industry employees and executives. Take their “findings” with a grain of salt.

    Further, as long as they aren’t allowed to take over one or more of the big 3, if the Americans were to come in, they would have to compete aggressively on price to get a real foothold.

  • FragilityG4

    The problem is the Green Energy Act. This Act pays Ontarians for solar and wind power, first and no matter what, at four times the amount its sold for. This bribe to get people to use renewable energy is sucking our province dry… oh and there’s no way out of the contracts without paying a hefty payout alla the Mississauga gas plants. Thank you McGuinty/Wynne Liberals.

  • rob geo

    why not just let sprint/t-mobile into canada with their unlimited data plans? with the 5g lte coming in a year or so at nearly 30 gb/sec wired internet would be a thing of the past!

  • Tim

    In none of those levels is American wireless service less expensive than Canada and all but the first (where it is tied with Canada), it’s actually more expensive. Perhaps we’d have an advantage if they went head to head with Canadian carriers and there were all kinds of options in the market, but as someone else pointed out, they’re likely to be virtual operators buying capacity initially. By the time this deal is worked out, ratified, phased in, spectrum is auctioned/sold, and infrastructure is built for new networks we’ll be 10 years down the road. And who knows what the landscape will look like then.

  • Bill___A

    We see this talk every once in awhile. AT&T used to have an arrangement with Rogers which was co-branded, they don’t anymore. I don’t see them coming in and building infrastructure on such a large landmass with a lower population and amortizing it more slowly,. Our best hope is for the existing carriers to be able to lower their costs and pass on some of the savings now that they have done such significant builds in Canada.

  • rob geo

    the points people are making about the price charts and infrastructure are true, however, these are all based on an understanding of current technology. if you look at a coverage map for u.s. carriers they all just magically end at the border. the wireless signal, of course, doesn’t just end at the border but we are prevented from accessing it due to government regulations. if those regulations were removed or modified we could get immediate benefits from u.s. carriers without them doing anything. it would be limited but with 80% of canadians living within 100 miles of the border there would be great pressure on canadian carriers to make arrangements with the u.s. ones. about technology, the 5g lte is different with the wireless signal going to a tower then sent to the target tower underground using fibre optic cables. this is much more effecient and cost effective then the 4g which bounces signals from tower to tower. telus built their fibre optic network 30 years ago so they are in a perfect position to form an alliance with a u.s. carrier!

  • Riddlemethis

    Bwahaha. Not going to happen. No click bait captions please!

  • toysandme

    Our best hope is to have Videotron expand to the rest of the country.

  • Intrepid026

    I looked at the graphic. Did the authour? The U.S. pricing is equal to (level 1) or more expensive (level 2-6) than the current Canadian rates. How do you draw the conclusion (at least from this graphic) that having a U.S. telecom present may lower prices?!

  • Brenda

    As several have said, there’s not a great different between US and Canadian rates so I don’t see how this is going to make any difference. A US carrier coming into Canada with an unlimited data plan might, but I’ve seen enough complaints from people using US carriers to be suspicious of using them.

    The numbers seem out-of-date. Or maybe they just got the data from published prices. I have a level 4 plan with Bell for $55 which would put it as the second lowest of the countries. Just happened to walk into a Bell store at the right time. And I live in Quebec.

  • Dom

    None of this crap is ever going to happen. The big 3 will remain the big 3 forever, and prices are only going to skyrocket.

  • Quattro

    Your assumption that signals from the US can reach 80% of Canadians is insanely flawed.

  • Quattro

    What makes you think ANY country will allow Trump to dictate changes to existing agreements? It’s just not going to happen, at least not unless there is an equal benefit to the country as a whole. And US telecom prices are not an improvement.

  • Bill___A

    I don’t think that would do it. However, there is value in some carriers having smaller coverage areas and charging less. Some people don’t travel much, or only go in cities.

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