The Trudeau government has detailed its next steps to lower wireless prices, revealing it plans to “reduce the cost of mid-range wireless services by 25 percent and further increasing competition.”
This afternoon, Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (ISED), announced the 2019 Price Comparison Study, commissioned by Wall Communications. This study reveals mid-range plans have not dropped in price, but regional providers did offer plans “up to 45 percent lower than plans provided by the three big national carriers.”
A chart from the pricing report comparing Canadian wireless prices to other countries, “in purchasing power parity (PPP) adjusted Canadian dollars” seen below, shows prices are more expensive in Canada when it comes to data ranging from 1GB, 2GB, 5GB and 10-49GB data buckets. Look at the price difference between Canada and Australia, for example:
According to Bains, the government will start reporting on wireless pricing every quarter to “establish a clear benchmark” and for transparency, to meet its goal of a 25% price reduction.
Rogers, Telus and Bell were specifically called out by Bains, noting for plans with 2GB to 6GB data, they “are expected to lower their prices by 25 percent in the next two years.”
“Canada is at an exciting turning point in the future of connectivity. Wireless services are no longer a luxury. They are a critical necessity—for working, for learning at school and for engaging in modern society. We heard Canadians when they asked for more affordable options for their wireless services, and we have delivered,” said Bains in a statement.
What if these price targets are not yet in 24 months? The minister says “the Government will take action with other regulatory tools to further increase competition and help reduce prices.”
In other news announced today to increase regional competition and lower prices, Bains laid out rules for the 3500 MHz spectrum auction key for 5G, which will reserve 50 MHz for small and regional players, “ensuring they are on a more equal footing with the three big national carriers.”
“These new tools build on a number of initiatives we already set in place to help lower prices, improve access and ensure affordable, high-quality wireless services in every corner of our country,” added Bains.
So there you have it, folks. Let’s see if Rogers, Telus and Bell will reduce their prices by 25% in two years, as stated by the federal government.