Incumbents Raise the Price of Monthly Plans by $5

by Istvan Fekete on March 19, 2014

The Incumbents have raised the base prices for new plans by $5 in the majority of markets over the past two months. It started with Telus, who recently withdrew from the CWTA, but its move was quickly followed by Rogers, and now Bell.

Also, after the acquisition of Public Mobile, the Telus’ first big move was to raise the price and lower the amount data included in monthly plans.
This is the second time within a year that the country’s big three players have raised the price of base plans. The first hike in prices came after the CRTC announced its new wireless code of conduct. The carriers reacted by raising the price of base plans and also the amount users need to pay for a new smartphone when purchased on contract.

And now, six months later, the same carriers have announced that their current pricing is not okay and they must raise the price of the monthly base plan. Now, all three charge $80 per month for new smartphone plans with a new contract. Existing contracts remained unchanged.

So what’s next? If this continues, we can expect another price hike in six months time, maybe a year. And how long will this continue? This isn’t exactly what Ottawa has been pushing for.

The 700 MHz spectrum auction results were seen as a victory for Ottawa, as every region gained a fourth player, and Quebecor has emerged as the fourth national player acquiring spectrum in key areas.


In practice, the competition in the wireless landscape has remained unchanged: the Big Three will recoup the money spent on spectrum by raising the price of monthly plans, and Quebecor remains in Québec – at least until Ottawa does something to regulate the market to foster the growth of smaller players.

So what’s the result of the 700 MHz spectrum auction? $5.2 billion for taxpayers with the promise of wireless competition. Oh, and I almost forgot: this money will be paid by taxpayers, as wireless subscribers.

Update: In an email sent to us, Sarah Foster, Rogers’ Community Manager, has pointed out the reason why the carrier has raised the price of some of its plans.

“Like any business, we regularly adjust our prices and the services we offer. We do this not only in our wireless business but across all products we offer our customers,” she wrote.

Also, the changes were made based on consumer demand for more data, so Rogers introduced a new 2GB plan for $5 more while keeping the 1GB plan for $85/month. For another $5, they added another 1GB to their 3GB plan.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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