Rogers, Telus, Bell CEOs Tell MPs Prices are Going Down

Canada mobile phone arpu vs inflation

Remember when the CEOs of Rogers, Telus and Bell were summoned to Ottawa to explain to Members of Parliament why wireless prices were increasing?

Well, the meeting took place with the House of Commons industry committee on Monday. Instead of showing up in person, the CEOs of the ‘Big 3’ attended virtually, to explain what’s happening with wireless and internet prices, including Bell CEO Mirko Bibic and Darren Entwistle from Telus.

Tony Staffieri of Rogers had some internet issues and the committee was unable to hear him; this apparently caused some heckles from MPs (Rogers and internet downtime!).

The meeting was held in response to Rogers’ announcement of an impending average $5 price hike for non-contract wireless customers (we first told you of the price increases), sparking widespread debate about the cost of telco services in Canada.

Bibic did not confirm whether Bell would implement similar increases, emphasizing instead the company’s commitment to lowering expenses. Entwistle expressed confidence in future price reductions for consumers, though he did not detail how this was going to happen.

Staffieri faced direct questions about Rogers’ decision to raise prices, especially considering the current affordability crisis. He defended the price increase, explaining the hikes were targeted at customers with older plans and aimed to provide them with more valuable alternative plans, reports Global News.

The ‘Big 3’ CEOs pointed to recent data from Statistics Canada showing a 16.4% drop in wireless prices over the last year, from January 2023 to January 2024, when comparing cellular services to the all-items Consumer Price Index.

On Monday, the Canadian Telecommunications Association, the industry group representing telcos, reached out proactively to share “facts about telecom pricing and services in Canada.”

“StatsCan data is clear: while the cost of most goods and services have gone up in recent years, telecom prices have declined,” said a spokesperson.

In fighting back against Committee members claiming Canada has the most expensive telecom prices in the world? “This is simply not true,” said the CTA.

“The most recent Government of Canada price comparison study, which does not account for the superior quality of Canadian wireless services, shows that of the 8 countries it surveyed, wireless prices in Canada are lower than in the U.S. and Japan. And if you look at entry level 5G plans from the major carriers in Canada and the U.S. today you will find that Canadian prices are lower,” stated a CTA spokesperson in an email to iPhone in Canada.

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh said yesterday, “[Canadians] pay among the most expensive cell/internet bills in the world.” He added, “We have to get their greed under control to get prices down.”

What do you think? Are you seeing wireless prices fall across the board? Only Quebecor’s Freedom Mobile is still offering a $34/50GB Canada-US plan. None of the ‘Big 3’ telcos match this plan, aside from Telus-owned Public Mobile, albeit temporarily.

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