Telecom Lobbyists Successfully Remove Canada from Wireless Pricing Report
We’ve heard the same story over and over before. An overseas consulting company releases a wireless pricing report, showing Canada pays some of the highest prices in the world. But immediately reports are shot down by lobbyists or supporters of Canada’s incumbents.
An example includes reports from Finland’s Rewheel Research, which determined Canada’s wireless data pricing is among the worst in the developed world. This report was disputed by Telus, which commissioned their own study to combat the so-called flawed study.
Root cause of weak competition in the Canadian wireless market: The Canadian wireless market is ruled by provincial mobile network duopolies and monopolies.
— Rewheel/research (@RewheelResearch) September 9, 2019
When you are hired to discredit the work of others rule no.1 is to get the facts right. We do not rank countries by the median amount of gigabytes!
Guys get your act together, it's embarrasing?
If this is the best you could do the State Attorneys General will have fun in court pic.twitter.com/v8aTHpJTG0
— Rewheel/research (@RewheelResearch) September 19, 2019
Sweden’s Tefficient has previously released reports saying Canada’s telcos have the highest wireless revenue per gigabyte in the world. These reports are regularly disputed by the industry group representing telcos, the CWTA.
Now, it appears Tefficient has succumbed to pressure from lobbyists working for Canadian telecoms. According to The Wire Report, Tefficient says one of its upcoming wireless price reports will no longer include Canada. Why?
The “fact that the data is reported so late for Canada (and since none of the carriers report data traffic or usage) we aren’t too interested in incorporating Canada in our analyses going forward,” Fredrik Jungermann, founder of Tefficient, said in an email when asked about the company’s information on Canadian telecom pricing. He noted that was “primarily” the driver of that decision.
He said that “another reason is the workload created when lobbyists try to shoot down the credibility of the whole report because they don’t like to see Canada presented as an outlier. We have no business in Canada and have, unlike lobbyists, no agenda.”
Tefficient says CRTC data on wireless is also embarrassingly delayed compared to other nations.
“Tefficient will include Canada in upcoming reports – if CRTC data is published with less than a year’s delay. In our upcoming 1H 2019 report we cover 42 countries. 21 of these have to date reported Q1/1H 2019 data. 40 reported 2018 data. 2 still on 2017 – Canada & Switzerland,” wrote the company on Twitter. Well done, CRTC.
According to consumer advocacy group OpenMedia, its executive director, Laura Tribe, reacted to the news by saying, “If anyone’s ever wondered just how powerful (and toxic) Big Telecom’s lobbying is… they’ve bullied impartial international analysts so much, that now **they won’t even include us in the report**.”
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out Canada’s wireless pricing is expensive, when compared to other countries in the world. If you’ve ever travelled internationally and used local wireless services, the price differences are an eye opener.