Canadians Should Have Highest Wireless Rates, Telus Executive Says

by Istvan Fekete on July 17, 2013

There is an ongoing battle between telcos and consumer advocates over the controversial subject of whether or not Canadians are paying the highest cellphone bills.

The subject is timely, as the wireless players are preparing to ditch their three-year plans to welcome customers with new two-year price structures. There is a discrepancy though: while Canadians have saluted the CRTC’s decision to force wireless players to implement two-year contracts, the reply coming from the carriers isn’t looking good.

At first glance, two-year terms are more expensive than the three-year plans they replace.

In a blog post telco critic Michael Geist points to the most recent “OECD Communications Outlook”, a major international report issued once every two years. The report contains detailed comparative data on the telecom industry throughout the developed economy world.

“Canada ranks among the ten most expensive countries within the OECD in virtually every category [of voice and data plans] and among the three most expensive countries for several standard data only plans,” Geist writes.

And looking at the numbers, Canada’s position isn’t that good: the country was listed as the second most expensive of 7 countries for 1GB of data at speeds Canadians (specially Telus customers) are likely to receive, and the second most expensive of 19 countries for 500 MB of data for tablets.

But these numbers look totally different from an incumbent’s perspective. According to a TELUS exec, who replied in a blog post to Michael Geist, Canada should have the most expensive service in the world. But it doesn’t.

“When you consider our enormous investment, challenging geography, sparse population and outstanding networks Canada really SHOULD be the most expensive country for wireless service in the OECD, but we’re not. That’s a great success story we should be celebrating,” Ted Woodhead, Senior Vice President of Federal Government and Regulatory Affairs at TELUS writes.

From his perspective the facts show a completely different picture: Canada has some of the best wireless technology in the world (100Mbps anyone?) and Canada’s price is much better than the U.S. in 12 of the 15 wireless price categories. In other words, you, dear Canadian wireless subscriber pay less than an American for wireless services. What do you think?

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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Canada's Wireless Problem Not Related to Competition, But to Politics, Study Says — TheTelecomBlog.com
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