Canadians pay more for wireless because they demand more: report

Daniel Bader

September 12, 2013 5:52pm

A report co-authored by a pair of University of Calgary associates for The School of Public Policy posits “there is no evidence that there is a competition problem in wireless services in Canada.”

Jeffrey Church, Professor of Economics and Director of the Digital Economy Program, along with Andrew Wilkins, Research Associate for the Digital Economy Program, penned a 50-page report released today that takes issue with many of the Canadian government’s newly-implemented policies looking to foster increased competition in the wireless market.

Instead of paying higher prices than the rest of the world, the paper observes, Canadians pay exactly what the market can bear, since the country emphasizes postpaid service and our incumbent carriers offer faster and more reliable wireless than countries with similar penetration.

Moreover, the amount of revenue and, indeed, profit taken in by the Big Three are in line with many of the other OECD-based carriers, despite a higher blended ARPU, owing to the fact that Bell, Rogers and TELUS invest comparatively more in infrastructure and capital expenditures than many other privately-owned telcos.

The report argues that the government’s interventionist regulations will only have a short-term impact in pricing, which would return to modern levels as companies consolidate in order to raise margins in light of artificially propped-up competition.

Canadian telcos’ historically-higher blended ARPU is also explained by disparate billing practices, whereby US and Canadian providers typically bill senders and receivers for the minutes used; European and Asian telcos only bill the sender. Canada’s quickly-dropped prepaid market, which also contributes to lower ARPU, is another facet in the country’s seemingly-higher revenue share per customer.

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The report dismisses many of the OECD’s findings from earlier this year, taking issue with their reporting methodology. It’s worth noting, though, that the incumbent carriers used that OECD data to place Canada’s pricing in the middle of the pack. While the report admits that Canadians pay some of the highest prices in the world for prepaid data and low-usage postpaid plans, the carriers rank somewhere in the middle for medium and high-usage plans.

Going back to the carriers themselves, the report explains that, in light of a government-induced fourth national carrier, “there is a minimum gross margin required for the marginal wireless service provider to be just profitable…[and] the number of wireless service providers will adjust in the long run to ensure this margin is realized.”

The report concludes by saying that the high price of building a national network, which includes remote regions outside high-density cities, is extremely high for a country of this size, and consolidation may be a necessary outcome of  heavy-handed government regulation. “The commitment by the present government to enhance competition by committing to four competitors in every region is ill-advised. It is based on unsophisticated and misinformed textbook economics — that more competitors are better — which is simply inappropriate for services where there are important economies of network size, including economies of scale and scope,” it says, implying that the government’s recent decisions are a matter of vote-acquisition, and don’t have consumers’ interests at heart.

SourcePolicy School (PDF)

  • TheOnlyAdvantageToLiveInQuebec

    You need to explain me why in MB and SK they pay a lot less for more then.

    • erterte

      its simple, they have other carriers that only operate in those areas (MTS etc, quebec has videotron), and those carriers are the ones offering these plans and the big 3 have to match those offers. since those carriers dont operate in, for example, ontario, none of the big3’s customers in ontario will get those plans from the big3.

    • Twonald

      ok, i just moved back from Vancouver to Winnipeg. I’m back on Telus, but now i pay $5 less and i get 5GB instead of 1GB per month. I was on Wind for the last 6 months while out in BC and boy, do i miss it. $40/month for unlimited everything was sweet

    • Guy Incognito

      The last time I used Wind in Metro Vancouver, I had a hell of a time keeping a solid connection. Did you encounter much in the way of service disruptions?

    • Anaron

      When was that? If it was long ago, then chances are the service has been greatly improved. I’ve been with WIND since December 2010 and it’s improved a lot since then.

    • Guy Incognito

      Definitely later than that.

    • skullan

      So, the solution to this is to break-up the nationals into regionals.

    • Guy Incognito

      That would make thing worse. Not only would you take away economics of scale, but you’d create a nightmare scenario of interprovincial roaming.

    • Matt

      It’s what the US did to bell back in the 70’s or 80’s and split them up, it ended up causing higher prices in the US

    • madness

      Every thought that in MB and SK the service is great in the city but as soon as you exit the cites your coverage is not the best. So to distract you from complaining about the quality of the service they offer you a richer plan. Look at the Big 3 plan offerings for areas that they do not have the best coverage compared to the areas where they have maximum coverage.

    • J-Ro

      Your exactly right

    • iPlunks

      Try telling these complainers to travel north of those provinces

    • Chris Wutherich

      videotron is no better with pricing than bell or rogers. Its really a shame that they have a cell network hear since them buying up the spectrum stops wind and mobilicity from operating on montreal and actually providing us with good service.

    • CoolGuyConnor

      If I had to guess, I would say that it has something to do with MTS and Sasktel only offering services in one province, allowing them to offer cheaper services due to less upkeep in other areas.

      SaskTel is also a Saskatchewan Crown Corp, allowing it to have massive government subsidies to build out their network. MTS was a Crown Corp until 1996, which means they likely had their pre-existing network fully paid for, allowing them to spend more on their mobility networks.

      Also, both companies have to offer cheaper services due to only being available in their provinces and competing with Robelus’ nationwide networks. This is similar to why Videotron offers cheaper services.

    • Guy Incognito

      Because they have significantly less capex owing to the small area covered. Same goes for Vidéotron. Data roaming outside of Québec is $2/MB.

    • RLC

      The Capex required in SK was also minimized by networking sharing Agreements between TELUS and SaskTel. The sharing agreement could also include Bell.
      MTS also has a sharing agreement with Rogers.

    • Guy Incognito

      Very good point.

    • motivotto

      You need to start by looking at a map, and understanding that MB and SK network coverage is a little smaller than nationwide? And the regional competition may help drive some costs down, but over-all who cares? It’s MB and SK.

    • TheOnlyAdvantageToLiveInQuebec

      Ok nice, now ROBELUS are not national. Thanks, I didn’t know.

    • Anaron

      Local competition drives the price down. In Ontario, the big 3 dominate the market. It’d be a lot different if phones from the big 3 worked on WIND’s/Mobilicity’s network.

    • J-Ro

      Not really. Buying a phone from Rogers and using it on Wind makes less sense than buying a phone with Wind and using it on Wind. Wind phones are optimized to give you the best experience on the Wind network.

      I also live in Ontario and we do have a lot of competition, It is just no one cares about them because they want the hottest phones at a low price.

      We have PC mobile, 7-11 mobility, Wind, Mobilicity, public mobile, that Petro Canada brand and likely more. But they don’t offer the iPhone 5 on a 3 year for $199 so no one cares.

    • Josh Brown

      You can simply flash a new modem or QCN file for the carrier you are on and it works the exact same as that carriers phone. I did it with my Note 2.

    • J-Ro

      It is amazing that you can do that but the average consumer won’t. The average consumer doesn’t want to side load, flash or anything else that requires extra “work”. They also don’t want to pay full price for a phone.

      I do like that you can flash the modem though. I didn’t know that and I will consider it on my next phone purchase. No more carrier exclusives for me.

    • Josh Brown

      You just have to make sure that there is a modem available for that phone like T-mobile but there was a guy on XDA that combiled all the US carrier QCN files so that your Note 2 will work on ATT, sprint, Verizon, Tmobile. He is awesome. It is really not hard but it is possible to brick your phone if you flash the wrong modem.

    • J-Ro

      I’m going to get an older phone and try that. I want to at least learn.

      I remember I bought a T-Mobile phone and was devastated when I couldn’t use it on Bell.

      Thanks to you, That may never happen again!

    • Josh Brown

      Well check out XDA first to make sure you can do it for the phone you want. Most samsungs can do it and alot of HTC’s can as well, I haven’t checked other devises though. I think LG can as well as people unlocked LTE on the Nexus 4, but I am unsure if that was a modem flash or a hidden setting.

    • J-Ro

      I’ll give it a go with my old S3. Turn that bad boy into a world phone.

    • Josh Brown

      Search this on XDA it will tell you everything you need to know. I would post the link but it will get moderated.

      “How to enable 3G on TMobile AWS 1700MHz for ATT Galaxy S3 i747″

    • J-Ro

      I’m going to look that up as soon as I get home and start tinkering away.

    • J-Ro

      It was a slider. The name slips me now but it was made by HTC. It was a slider with a dual core.

    • J-Ro

      Yeah, this one was a T-Mobile exclusive though, that’s why it only worked on the AWS band. A shame too, because it was a really great phone

    • Anaron

      That may be true if WIND/Mobilicity had different networks in an ideal world. It’d be like switching from Rogers to Bell or Telus. The phone will still work because the frequencies are supported. It’s why an unlocked device from Google like the Nexus 4 will work properly on WIND, Rogers, Bell, Telus, any any other non-CDMA network. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case and on top of that WIND uses different frequencies.

      The issue you mentioned is seen with European devices on carrier networks in Canada and the US. It would work but it isn’t optimized so you might get poor signal strength and/or low data speeds.

    • disqusmy

      There are many people wants iphone only at a reduced cost.
      Also the map of coverage scares many people. Consumer tents to go with older brand, even the cost is higher, then complains why it wont match the new brand.

    • Ulfredsson The Vanquisher

      Income levels are lower there.

  • Average Consumer

    I wonder who sponsored this report?
    If i was to guess, it would be ROBELLUS.

    • Guy Incognito

      University of Calgary.

    • IJustGotaTan

      I wonder where Jeffrey Church gets his funding from.

    • Canucks

      Disclosure is mandatory if it is funded by the Big 3 so highly unlikely.

    • Ulfredsson The Vanquisher

      *hands Average Consumer tinfoil hat*
      Feel better now?

  • MisterChew

    HAHAHAHA! good find!

    • Canucks

      Where? Where? Or you are just one of the sheep that follow the crowd?

  • Ibrahim Elmi

    WE NEED GOOGLE FIBER TO COME TO CANADA AND TAKE CARE OF THESE GREEDY PIGS.

    • CoolGuyConnor

      Google Fiber has nothing to do with wireless…

    • erterte

      its ok, he’s just mentally challenged

    • Ibrahim Elmi

      tupid , did i say google fiber has something to do with wireless. i’m stating google fiber will threaten rogers,

    • Ibrahim Elmi

      stupid , did i say google fiber has something to do with wireless. i’m stating google fiber will threaten rogers

    • Guy Incognito

      Go on…

  • p_lindsay

    Least surprising thing I’ve heard all day.

  • fidorulz

    Not too sure where you see this cause its not on page 48 anywhere. Under About This Publication it says

    The School of Public Policy Research Papers provide in-depth, evidence-based assessments and recommendations on a
    range of public policy issues. Research Papers are put through a stringent peer review process prior to being made
    available to academics, policy makers, the media and the public at large. Views expressed in The School of Public Policy
    Research Papers are the opinions of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the view of
    The School of Public Policy

    • Travis Chalmers

      Glad someone reads reports before posting fake information about them…

  • Stephen K

    But we don’t get more!

  • Supacon

    I call BS. Who paid for this ‘report’, RoBellus?

    • Guy Incognito

      That would be the University of Calgary.

    • davedooter

      Who probably took some form of payment, you know… Like a new Gym or something.

      Stop being so naive. It’s how big businesses work.

    • Guy Incognito

      The department can receive funding from a large number of companies, but to say the study was directly funded by the Big Three is a lie.

    • davedooter

      And you know for a fact it wasn’t huh? Talk about your medication needing delusion.

  • Guy Incognito

    No it doesn’t.

  • David

    Looking at Figure 1 and Figure 2 in the report is quite telling.

    Figure 1 shows mobile penetration by nation as mobile connections per 100 population.Canada trails at 80 connections per 100 people (no other country is below 100!) while Finland tops the list at about 155 connections per 100 people.

    Figure 2 shows that ARPU by nation. Canada has the highest ARPU while portugal has the lowest.

    The interesting thing is that they are almost inverses of each other.

    Figure 1 (connections per 100) order by nation (low to high): Canada-US-Netherlands-France-Belgium-New Zealand-Spain-Norway-UK-Switzerland-Australia-Greece-Germany-Denmark-Sweden-Italy-Austria-Portugal-Finland

    Figure 2 (ARPU) order by nation (low to high): Portugal-Greece-Germany-Italy-Finland-Austria-Denmark-Spain-UK-New Zealand-Belgium-Sweden-France-Netherlands-Australia-Norway-Switzerland-US-Canada

    What this tells me is that lower prices = more connections = no loss in revenue/profits.

    Canada lags the world in cell phone penetration so there is lots of room to still grow. It’s unfortunate the big 3 can’t see that lowering prices will generate more customers and in turn maybe more revenue and profits.

    The article tries to explain this by saying Canada’s ARPU is so high and penetration so low because so few Canadians use prepaid cell phones compared to other countries. What I think it fails to mention is that maybe the reason for that is the big three make it nearly pointless to consider pre-paid plans. They are expensive, you still typically still have significant monthly payments and the per minute charges are expensive. I have looked at them and there really isn’t much benefit at all.

    • Guy Incognito

      ARPU is an increasingly irrelevant measurement, especially when comparing services from various nations. I suggest you look at things like the per megabyte revenue of combined voice and data.

    • RLC

      The report indicates that, in Europe, the practice of calling party pays has resulted in people having two cell phones to minimize off net calling charges. Also Calling party pays has resulted in higher rates of people replacing land lines with cell phones.
      Regarding the US the report indicates that the lower cost associated with landlines in Canada vs the US explains the difference w.r.t the USA.
      So the ARPU may be higher in Canada but would we be better of in Canada if we had to pay for both a Rogers and a Bell phone?
      The report is interesting and will take some time to read and assess.

      If you think we pay high cell phone rates in Canada go on the Verizon US site and check what they charge.

    • Guy Incognito

      Bell’s Voice and Data Plus, Rogers’ Share Everything, and TELUS’ SharePlus are nearly identical to AT&T’s Mobile Share and Verizon’s Share Everything. The major benefit is that Canadians can receive a $20 monthly discount if they go month-to-month with their own smartphone.

    • David

      For Verizon, adding additional lines is cheaper though so multiple line accounts are better off with Verizon.

    • Guy Incognito

      With contracts, yes. But if you bring your own smartphone, it’s $35 per month with the Big Three versus $40 on Verizon, regardless of the contract situation.

    • Frederick Edwards

      re: if you think… (thinking is good)
      I looked at Verizon’s ‘share everything’ plans: $100 for 10 GB for data per month, with $40 per added smartphone and $10 per tablet every month.
      Meanwhile, Rogers is $125 for 10 GB data per month, with ($55 per line, thanks accophox / $35 BYOD) per added smartphone and $10 per tablet every month.
      So Rogers is slightly more expensive with 1-3 lines, but cheaper with 4 or more lines.

      Also of note: Rogers has a $20 rebate if you BYOD, but they also charge $20/GB for overages, while Verizon charges $15/GB overage.

    • Accophox

      Correction: Rogers is $55 per subsidized smartphone, $35 if you bring your device.

      Verizon is $40, whether you bring your device or not.

      Also, worth noting is that with Verizon, if you Bring/Buy your device outright, you can get the same plan offered through Share Everything for $40 less ($70-4GB), under their prepaid option.

      But, let’s take a look at a hypothetical scenario. 4 people all want the Moto X. $170 on Rogers, $200 on Verizon:

      Rogers: 4*170 + [140+(55*3)]*24 = 8000.
      Verizon: 4*200 + [100+(40*4)]*24 = 7040.

    • accord1999

      However, the Verizon prepaid plans only allow access to their CDMA network, so speeds are limited to 1-2 MBits/s.

    • Guy Incognito

      Verizon is $140: $100 for 10GB data, $40 for the smartphone line fee with unlimited calls and texts. Rogers is $140 for 10GB with unlimited talk and text.

    • Frederick Edwards

      MB here: Rogers is $125/mo for 10gb.

    • Guy Incognito

      That makes sense. My figures are the national “normal”, i.e. B.C., Alberta, Ontario, etc.

    • Factchecker

      Ummm. why do you think a country should have 155 connections per 100 people? Maybe there is something broken that leads the average person to have 2 or more phone subscriptions? (Read the report)

    • Stephen_81

      The Big 3 to achieve 100 connections per 100 people would need to drastically increase their towers to connect more people, these towers get drastically under utilized which again lowers margins and maintenance fees.

      Canada has some great Prepaid plans for JUST phone access, it is only data that we get royally taken for a ride

    • Skippy76

      I use the $100/YEAR prepaid plan from Virgin. Sure, the calls might cost a lot but I waste a lot less money and time texting and talking on the phone.

  • Shawn Zhang

    We pay more because we demand more? I don’t remember seeing anyone DEMANDING Robelus to build this LTE network a couple of years back, and I don’t remember having a choice to stay on the HSPA network and not have to pay more for something faster either! How did Canadians “demand more”? Explain that please.

    • Guy Incognito

      Robust wireless networks are critical to the future of Canada’s economy. Your suggestion that Canadians did not demand carriers build LTE networks is outside of reality. Canadians saw foreign markets begin to roll out their LTE networks, and put increased pressure on our carriers to catch up.

    • Izzkid

      I agree with Guy. UK launched 3G long before we did and customers demanded that we too launch as well. It took some time to catch up. Now we have multiple carriers with LTE. Not many nations can say the same.

    • Guy Incognito

      And what nations can say the same tend to have sub-par LTE networks. At least we get something for what many perceive to be high prices.

    • nobody

      The government have theirs own agenda,nothing to do with saving you and I money. Just look at Winds and Mobilicity for example and see for yourself on how well they are doing so far operate as a cheap carrier. Geographically we are at a disadvantage and it doesn’t matter which angle you want to look at. Mr. Government, by adding a fourth player is will change nothing in the end. Maybe it’s time the public should know the truth behind the lies, Mr. Government.

    • Guy Incognito

      By the time the government’s mythical fourth carrier is up and running, the 2015 election will be over and done with. This is a calculated vote grab on their end.

    • Shawn Zhang

      Guy, before I say you are giving total nonsense, I’d like to see you explain those below first.

      1. How do you define if a wireless network is “Robust” or not? Is the HSPA network not “robust” enough, and that have been a reason of building the LTE network? Says who?

      2. “Canadians did not demand carriers build LTE networks is outside of reality”.

      I don’t know what “reality” you live in, but could you show me some evidence of actual canadian people, actual CONSUMERS, urging our big carriers to build the next-gen network, because the current one “doesn’t meet their needs”? And most importantly, could you prove that our good people did say with their voice that they AGREED TO PAY for the cost to build such network? Please, show me that this is actually the people’s voice being heard, considering that there are still a good amount of people who don’t even use 100MB data per month.

      Also, has there ever been any choices for anybody, who doesn’t fancy LTE and want to stay with HSPA with lower cost, given by our nationwide, leading carriers?

      3. “Canadians saw foreign markets begin to roll out their LTE networks, and put increased pressure on our carriers to catch up.”

      Again, please show evidence to prove, HOW did canadians put such pressure on our carriers? Please note that we’re talking about actual canadian people, not any decision makers of any company or organization.

    • Guy Incognito

      1. HSPA is certainly “fast enough” for most people, but it’s not good in the long run. It is spectrally inefficient. LTE can operate on as channels as small as 1.3 MHz and as large as 20 MHz. Furthermore, Cat. 4 Rel. 10 and beyond allows for carrier aggregation, which allows disparate bands to be used in tandem, making the most of the spectrum available to a given carrier in a given market.

      2. Canadians have long been asking for faster networks with greater reach. Only the most dense customer wouldn’t realize that part of their monthly bill goes directly to network maintenance, enhancements and expansion, things that are critical to providing sustainable, scaleable service.

      3. Much of paragraph 2 applies here. Canadians are exposed to a large amount of American influence. One example is TV advertisements. Remember a few years ago when Verizon started rolling out its LTE network? People were dying for Bell, Rogers and Telus to catch up. Remember when the iPhone 4S didn’t have LTE? A lot of people were turned off and upset by this. Canadians want LTE, and LTE is good for Canada.

      If you don’t like what the carriers are doing, your best option is to not give them your business, or invest in them and try to make your concerns heard at the next AGM.

    • Shawn Zhang

      1. You’re giving specs of LTE and briefly telling why it’s more advanced than HSPA, but you are avoiding my original question: what do you count as a “robust” network, and when would a network be “not robust” enough?

      2. You’re avoiding my question again. Again, did you show any proof that a convincing amount of ACTUAL CANADIAN CONSUMERS asked for the new network and AGREED TO PAY for it? You didn’t, and you probably can’t.

      3. Yes, Canadians are exposed to a large amount of American influence, but does that mean a majority of us actually presented a voice saying “yes, we NEED it” (notice the difference between need and want) and that made our carriers decide to go for it?

      No. And that’s my point here. We weren’t asked. It NEVER has been a decision based on what we need.

      So, unless you can use solid evidence to prove otherwise, please stop pretending you know better about how much we “need” a new network.

      “If you don’t like what the carriers are doing, your best option is to not give them your business, or invest in them and try to make your concerns heard at the next AGM.”

      Unfortunately I’m not gonna bother to do either, these simply aren’t choices for me or for most people. So what’s your point? That if I can’t do either, I should stop disliking what the carriers are doing here?

    • Scazza

      On top of what Guy just replied to you about, also consider that when we started rolling out HSPA widespread for the Olympics, the networks in Vancouver still greatly struggled to handle all those connections, that was years ago. As more devices get on the network (ipads, tablets, phones, cars…) HSPA becomes a crowded mess on many cell sites.

      We as Canadians are actually lucky that the Big3 put vast amounts of sites in our major cities, or you would notice major slow down all day due to congestion. LTE increases the number of users AND bandwidth to handle those people by more than ten fold, and even THAT won’t last more than a few years, as LTE+ specs already planning to accommodate even more users per site.
      HSPA is fast, but what happens in a few years (and even now to an extent) as more devices hit a single cell site, and demand more HD video, or massive apps, and burn through larger amounts of bandwidth? HSPA will crumble.
      I remember when GPRS was huge, or CDMA (and revA), and we saw way faster than dial up speeds… then Youtube took off and other date intensive things, and those technologies buckled.
      You personally didn’t ask for LTE, but you are also uninformed (no offence), and for the better, our carriers decided to get ahead of the game, and now we are one of less than a handful of countries world wide with decent LTE rollout.

    • Shawn Zhang

      I don’t think a more in-detailed comparison between LTE and HSPA since that’s not the point here. What’s important is that if we agreed to pay for what WE didn’t decide to have.

      “You personally didn’t ask for LTE, but you are also uninformed (no offence)”

      No offence taken. However, who was informed anyway? My problem is with someone who wants to make it sound like we were.

      And again, for anyone who doesn’t fancy LTE, do they have a choice to not use it and save? Such plans could be easily set up, but has there been any?

    • Stephen_81

      1: HSPA+ is limited to 84Mbps our mobile networks Canadian remote medical technology has goals of having doctors beable to remotely administer surgeries which would require uncompressed 1080p60 signals which works out to approximately 375Mbps
      With the advancement of Technology the limitations of HSPA+ would have been realized by business and science by the end of 2014. as it stands now the roll out of LTE is actually too slow.

      2: People have Prepaid options, my father pays $300 every 2 years as he pays $100 every 8 months for his mobile phone usage with Rogers Prepaid SIMS.
      Major cities were able to purchase devices outright without using subsidies and hold onto their current plans for years after they retired I maintained a BELL CDMA plan into 2011 by not upgrading my phone so I could keep service through out Northern Ontario
      The people agreed by demanding better/faster phones and constantly comparing to the US networks. many of us received surveys with our online bills to say what we wanted more and video streaming is something constantly asked for and the bandwidth limitations of CDMA resulted in the move to HSPA+ of which we maxed out and people continued to want more.

      3: unfortunately for Consumers, Corporations demand as much as consumers do and they are willing to pay more and pay on time. Meeting business needs keeps the economy going. Our internet speeds we enjoy today are driven not by consumer demand but business.

    • Shawn Zhang

      So are we happy with current LTE speed now? With new tech we can always be unsatisfied, and new networks always have to be built. I’ve no problem with that.

      I do have a problem though (and I think everyone should too), that the decision about building new network is out of our hands and not based on our voice—-while someone stands out and lies about that it is.

      It’s easy to separate consumer and corporation needs, rate plans for businesses are very easy to set up by all carriers. And while most of us are enjoying faster internet speed, who’s enjoying their next-gen internet bill?

    • Stephen_81

      I agree, we’ll never be happy with what we have. we are an economy built on wanting more always.
      Though consumers COULD vote with their wallets. WE DON’T because we don’t want to bother. Same as so few actually get out to vote. we’ll grumble on message boards but how often have we taken a stance?

      I canceled my Netflix when they announced they wouldn’t be bringing it to BlackBerry 10. that lasted 3 months now Netflix is back on because I too fall into wanting more for me.

      There are lots of options if you don’t want to be on the cutting edge, you have to look for them and ask for them.

    • davedooter

      ” Your suggestion that Canadians did not demand carriers build LTE
      networks is outside of reality. Canadians saw foreign markets begin to
      roll out their LTE networks, and put increased pressure on our carriers
      to catch up.”

      Or what? We would leave our current Canadian provider and go to a foreign company which is practically impossible?

      No Canadian said “Hey, look at what other parts of the world are doing! Building LTE infrastructures! WE MUST have those too!”

      Funny how your argument is that foreign markets dictate our infrastructure yet when other foreign markets decrease rates/increase features that doesn’t seem to dictate our pricing structure now does it. strange how that works.

      You live outside of reality. Take your meds.

    • Deciare

      If I had no choice but to use the Big 3, and could pay even $10 less per month in exchange for not getting LTE service, I would do so in a heartbeat.

      Instead, I would be made to pay for service I neither need nor want.

      Businesses at the forefront of Canada’s digital economy can pay all the premiums they wish. I merely desire service commensurate with my actual needs, which don’t include bragging rights.

      The lack of a widely-available, lower-priced, sub-par option is symptomatic of a captive market.

    • Guy Incognito

      You’re not “made to pay” for anything. You elect to do so. Before you sign up for a plan, take the time to negotiate a better deal. It helps a lot if you bring your own phone and are upfront about your monetary situation. Be polite and tell them exactly what your use would be, and generally they’ll find a way to accommodate you.

      Curious, but where do you live? There are a lot of MVNOs that might be worth looking into.

    • Deciare

      I live in Mississauga, and am satisfied with the service I’m getting from WIND (for $29). Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for my colleagues who live in other parts of Mississauga, Brampton, and Oakville. Most of them are on Virgin Mobile now, as they perceive it to be the lowest-priced option that will offer them reliable service at home.

    • Shawn Zhang

      If you have to all that to bring down the cost on your bill, aren’t we generally paying too much already?

    • Guy Incognito

      The price listed in store is the price the carrier would like to get. Everything is negotiable, and it only takes a few minutes.

    • Amparipaa

      ah yes, the elephant in the room: that nobody even acknowledges MVNOs as a viable alternative to the big 3 (not as in koodo or virgin, i mean companies that merely rent out big 3 airtime – not unlike TekSavvy, really)… or that prepaid is a better-value solution than postpaid.

      so if you want wireless prices to go down, then boycott the subsidized smartphone system and go down to prepaid. your wallet will be lighter, and you’ll hit the big 3 where it hurts: their ARPU.

    • Dragonballzpokemon

      This kind of thinking is what makes the difference between people running these companies and you.
      -Do you think Honda added in their cars a ton of options that you might never use just to make you pay more or perhaps also to ensure Toyota does not steal their customers over the same garbage options?
      -Do you think Telus will take a nap while Bell and Rogers build an LTE network?
      -Do you think Myspace is going to keep what they`re doing while Facebook.. oh wait that actually happened
      -Finally, if you want to wash your clothes in a basket with a soap then so be it however many of us enjoy the virtues of a washing machine. LTE doesn’t sound great for you but in my work field it is an amazing technology.

    • Shawn Zhang

      Wow, what a great mind you have, so you think you know how I think and how people running these company think?

      Here to answer your questions:

      – No I don’t think so.
      – No I don’t think so.
      – No I don’t think so.

      – And finally, if you could read my previous post properly, then please tell me why you think that my problem is with having LTE at the first place?

      Please, eyes off Dragonballz and pokemon for a while and be a bit more intelligent. I don’t know what you mean by saying LTE “doesn’t sound good” for me because I haven’t felt that way. Well…just read again.

    • TheGardener

      Give it up Shawn. If we didn’t have LTE, Canada would be far behind. Imagine, the iPhone 5 comes out and Canada does not support LTE? Obviously this is where the technology is going, faster speeds for a wealthy country.

      If you don’t like it, you can simply drop data from your plan, switch to Wind Mobile, or leave the country

    • Shawn Zhang

      Give what up??? The issue I’m talking about is majority of canadian people not having the voice on deciding to go for a new network or not. Can you read English properly? Why do you think I’m having a problem with the matter of having LTE itself?

      As a matter of fact, I’ve been enjoying LTE on my phone with a great retention plan that includes a lot of data, but I know that most people would have to pay double to get what I’m getting. Does that mean I should be OK with someone deciding to make a new network anytime and have me pay for it, without giving me an option to not use it?

      Funny though, I was immigrated from a communist country, and the dictators there sound a lot more like you, “if you don’t like us, we might screw you up or kill you”. But it’s good to see that you sounded a lot nicer since you are only asking people with different opinion (opinion that you assumed they have) to leave the country. Well then with all due respect, I ask you to kiss my a*s as returning the manner.

    • TheGardener

      Shawn- I’m asking you to give up this stupid argument you’re dragging along and admit you are wrong.

      Let me bring up something you posted earlier:
      “Guy, before I say you are giving total nonsense, I’d like to see you explain those below first.
      1. How do you define if a wireless network is “Robust” or not? Is the HSPA network not “robust” enough, and that have been a reason of building the LTE network? Says who?”

      And later you scorned him because he did not answer specifically how to define if a wireless network is robust or not. Well- I would say it would be robust if it uses the latest technology that accompanies the latest smartphone products (LTE).

      But before I say you’re full of loopy arguments, I’d like to see how you explain this: how do you know that if you are using a smartphone with data, that you are actually paying for the LTE service? Can you provide it or is it speculation?

      This is type of stupidity coming out of your mouth. Obviously, I know telecom companies built these networks and are recovering costs through customers, but I don’t need others to prove everything they are arguing and go back to discredit what they are saying if they cannot prove it. Do you get it? Or have you still not learnt english?

      I would say building an LTE network or not- is not an important issue to have the population vote over. Imagine how this country would run if every investment required a huge vote. This is not a crown company, it is owned by shareholders and is a business. If they make a business move (building LTE) that you cannot stand, then don’t support their business. Use WIND mobile, that’s cheap.

    • Shawn Zhang

      Ooh, could you first please specify what I’m wrong for?

      From the beginning my argument has been about canadian consumers not having the voice on going for a new network at any time and they pay for it, willingly or not, while there are people saying that canadians “need” or “demand” it without being able to provide obvious proof to support it.

      And while I’m using the LTE network over HSPA network as an example, please tell me, how does it seem to you that my problem is with “having LTE network”? You’ve been accusing me for not liking it, and told me to turn off data, or leave the country, and now even after knowing that I’m using LTE with a retention plan, you still tell me to “Use WIND moblie, that’s cheap”.

      So, is the above good enough to be reasons to question your English reading comprehension skill? Oh now you confidently ask me if I havent’ learnt English, so you think you’re doing fine. Then what makes you be this judgemental and ignorant? Excessive Hormone?

      “how do you know that if you are using a smartphone with data, that you are actually paying for the LTE service? Can you provide it or is it speculation?”

      Here’s the answer from me, and I’m QUOTING YOU YOURSELF, WORD BY WORD: “Obviously, I know telecom companies built these networks and are recovering costs through customers”.

      So now go ahead and tell me how my arguments are loopy, because my answer is 100% with your own fresh words. May I quote you again in advance: “This is type of stupidity coming out of your mouth”.

      Last thing for today, if you really just want to argue over a subject, instead of an ego, the please know that neither you nor I am more than a random guy on the internet.

      I once read this somewhere: Opinions are like arseholes, everybody has one, and everybody thinks that only theirs doesn’t stink. What I’m saying is, there’s really no point declaring who’s more wrong or stupid than you are, it’s just an “arsehole” like the other guy’s. If you think something is worth arguing about, just ask questions.

    • Yo Yo Ma

      I’m not sure what your idea of “Demanding” is.
      To me — Demand is defined by the ability and willigness of a consumer to buy a certain product at a given price in the marketplace.

      LTE network is the “product” component of the wireless network marketplace (just as LTE devices are the “product” component of the devices marketplace)

      I’m also not sure how you think Demand manifests itself.
      If it is:
      1) Protesters screaming for LTE outside Parliament… then No, didn’t happen
      2) People writing to CEOs of telecom companies, asking for LTE.. probably not.
      3) People’s expectations evolving in terms of — what they expect their devices to be capable of; speeds they are ready to experience, capacity of usage, etc … Then Yes.

      LTE networks are necessary (given our technological constraints and the type of telecommunication devices people use) to provide faster speeds. Faster speeds that were implicitly demanded by cellphone users that want to stream videos, access web pages, download apps, etc. I am not a very tech-savvy person so I don’t understand HOW exactly it provides higher speeds, but I’ve been told that it does.

      So yes.. maybe you specifically did or did not demand it, I don’t know. But the marketplace showed it has the ability and willingness to purchase LTE network services.

  • Travis Chalmers

    Lies much? There is no such statement in the report. Why are you making stuff up?

    • Guy Incognito

      Perhaps it’s because NotARogersEmployee isn’t aware of Canada’s anti-defamation laws.

  • TomsDisqusted

    There is a lot of bogus stuff in this report – e.g. independent analysts have debunked the ‘Canada is so big that it costs more’ argument many times over – but the about page doesn’t say anything about the CWTA etc.

    Making stuff up is not going to help us bring competition to Canadian wireless.

    • Factchecker

      Those “independent analysts” who claim it isn’t more expensive to build networks in Canada are: a) not independent; and, b) not analysts.

    • Guy Incognito

      Do your handle proud and back up your statement, Factchecker.

    • TomsDisqusted

      Take a look at the coverage maps of Canadian and other carriers and you will see the same thing: nobody anywhere builds in the big empty spaces. They built in urban area and populated rural area – which the US has tons of and Canada has comparatively little.

    • Guy Incognito

      No one builds there because no one lives there. The U.S. population is spread out far more than the Canadian population. In spite of this, Canadian carriers have done a pretty good job of ensuring a minimum level of coverage along rural roads between urban centres and rural towns and cottage country. That’s very expensive, because unlike in the U.S., there is unlikely to be enough traffic going through those towers to make them profitable, but they build them anyway.

    • accord1999

      But the USA has 10X the population. And those areas covered in Canada would still form one of the largest countries in the world.

    • TomsDisqusted

      “The areas covered in Canada would still form one of the largest countries in the world”?

      You need to learn some geography. Canada is a very different country then you think.

    • accord1999

      Actually you do, you seem to not realize just how big Canada is and just how small European and Asian countries.

      Just the area covered in Alberta and Saskatchewan would by itself be the largest country in Europe other than Russia.

    • TomsDisqusted

      Nice try, but that isn’t what you said before. Before you referred to the area ‘covered’ (presumably by cell, or by the rural population sufficient for cell, as we discussed). Now you are talking about ‘how big’ Canada is. I’m sure you’ve noticed that there is a massive difference between the two.

    • accord1999

      Please learn to read, nowhere did I change my message. Let me repeat it more clearly:

      The area covered by the HSPA networks in Alberta and Saskatchewan (ie service is available) is larger than every country in Europe other than Russia.

    • TomsDisqusted

      Each of sask and alb. are about equal to all of the big European countries (e.g. sask == france). Less then half of Sask and Alb are covered vs. the european countries which are almost 90% coverage. So, though you have chosen the provinces with far more then half of Canadian coverage, I still believe that is not true.

    • accord1999

      Alberta and Saskatchewan combined are about 1.3 million km^2. Alberta’s coverage area is probably closer to 70%, but even with a conservative value of %50, there are 650,000 km^2 of covered areas in these two provinces. The larges country in Europe other than Russia is the Ukraine at about 600,000 km^2.

      It’s true that Alberta and Saskatchewan have the highest coverage, but there are large covered areas in Manitoba, southern BC, the Toronto-Quebec City corridor and Atlantic Canada, all of which easily combine for 1.5-2 million km^2, or one of the largest countries in the world.

    • TomsDisqusted

      France is 650, but I’m quibbling – there are a bunch of similar size. And nothing in the East of Canada compared for coverage with Alb/Sask. Actually, I will concede that the coverage maps of Alb/Sask really surprised me – I didn’t realize that any provinces had coverage like that.

      Above, I started all of this by referring to ‘de-bunking’ of coverage issue. I admit that I’m changing the topic re: our thread, but the encompassing point of that de-bunking is that ARPU takes that into account. In other words, the cost of covering so much of Alb/Sask is very difficult to discuss in terms of km2, but ARPU shows us that, relative to income. Canadian carriers have dramatically bigger ARPU then the four biggest European countries (the underlying CRTC data only includes leading economies and shows Canada tied with japan for #1 overall; I can’t include links here).

    • RLC

      Does ARPU, by itself, have any value when comparing Carriers. After reading this report and the OECD report I don’t think ARPU has much value when doing Countryto Country comparisons and can result in some invalid conclusions.

      Some of the items discussed in some of the reports.

      How do you factor in the in some countries people using a landline to call Cell Phones are charged. This is a revenue source for some European carriers.

      How do you factor in the fact that, in some European countries, it is cheaper to have two cell phone plans with different carriers,
      than one phone.

      Is it reasonable to compare the ARPU of carrier that is using promotional pricing to attract customers vs a carrier with a full
      network. ARPU is the US increased after the carriers got people hooked on data, thanks to the IPhone.

      How does population density, the distribution of the population and coverage area effect cost carrier costs. How does overnment policy, tax structure and spectrum charges effect cost.

    • TomsDisqusted

      There will be small differences, but the point of ARPU is to make it possible to do these sorts of company vs. company comparisons (even in different countries). It isn’t for official country accounting purposes, rather it was designed for investors. So it is the best we’ve got for these purposes.

      I believe that, in spite of the word ‘revenue’ in the term, the figure is net of per-unit carrier costs, including network costs. Correct me if I’m wrong (I’ve never seen an average-income-per-user quoted or discussed). So Robellus’s high ARPU translates into their enormous per customer profits.

    • RLC

      In the wireless industry ARPU was originally used by the financial community in the early days when the industry was in growth mode and not profitable. The financial industry has moved on and does traditional balance sheet analysis to evaluate a business.
      The one value ARPU has to investors today is as a trend line. Is it increasing or decreasing, that along with subscriber count and churn are things that the investor community looks at.
      How to you account for the Iphone effect in ARPU? In the US & Canada the ARPU includes smart phone subsidies. While people in Europe purchase phones outright.

    • accord1999

      Regarding ARPU, I agree with you that prices by the incumbents is high. However, what I’ve found and what this report tries to show is that the Canadian pricing of the high-end data plans with subsidized smartphones is not unusually high, when compared to the incumbent telecoms of other rich, large industrialized nations, even in Europe like France and Germany. ARPU is not a true measure of an apples-to-apples comparison.

      Germany’s ARPU is extremely low, at like $25. At first glance, this would suggest that their plans are significantly cheaper than Canada’s. However, if you look at the websites of their two largest network providers, T-Mobile and Vodafone, you’ll find that their plans for large amounts of LTE data are expensive, at around 85 euros for 5-6GB of LTE data and a subsidized phone.

      I would argue that the Canadian (and American) incumbents have been more successful in getting their customers to sign up for the most expensive plans than their European counterparts.

    • TomsDisqusted

      The CRTC report I mention above (discussed in Michael Geist post) also compares data costs and finds that most of the European countries had cheaper data then Canada (the year analyzed was 2011).

      Actually, Germany was one of the cheapest, which jives with their low ARPU.

      I would also point out that the Canadian carriers are particularly good at getting revenue from users in ways aren’t in those data price comparisons.
      – The cheapest option I could find to stop them from blocking basic caller-ID is $7.
      – There roaming rates have been so high that bringing them in line with these other countries hit Rogers bottom line in a significant way.
      – The long distance system has existed in US wireless in a long time.

  • Guy Incognito

    It’s absolutely disgusting that you equate voluntarily paying for a non-obligational service with sexual assault.

    • Mr_Sweet

      Take a chill pill.

    • Will Maitner

      Non obligation service? Are you joking? It’s almost impossible to live these days without a cell phone. Technology moves forward, right. Find a house without a TV, which is a non obligational service. Find a house without a computer/Internet, another non obligational service. It’s the way of the world.

    • Guy Incognito

      It might be undesirable and detrimental to your quality of life, but it’s not essential.

    • Will Maitner

      Really? Prove it to yourself. Go one month without your cell phone and then tell me you don’t need it.

    • Guy Incognito

      I’ve done it several times, and it wasn’t that bad.

    • Jason Harder

      He should go without internet instead so we don’t have to hear opinions about “non essential service”

      but i will point out if a potential employer calls and you are not around to pick up these days …

    • Ulfredsson The Vanquisher

      Have already done that.
      Not hard at all.
      Just made me appreciate all that I can do with my cell.

      Now try to have me to go without my car for a month… I may kneecap you.

    • Anaron

      That’s the point. It brings your quality of life down. We live in a connected world and unless you have no desire to connect with other humans, you kinda need a way of keeping in touch (e.g. Internet access, cell phone, land line).

    • Guy Incognito

      In my case, I noticed no impact on my quality of life. In fact, I was much more relax.

    • davedooter

      Says the guy on the internet, responding to people on a mobile new site about not needing a mobile device.

      You must be mentally handicapped if you think your argument is valid at this point.

    • imdaddymc

      the internet has been classified as a basic human right… don’t know if that affects your statement.

    • Guy Incognito

      Nope.

    • Jason Harder

      Don’t feed the troll.

    • Skippy76

      Cell phones are FAR from obligational!!
      All you need is Vonage or some other cheap VoIP service.

      I said FU to Robelus a long time ago!

    • J-Ro

      Lol I hear what your saying but having a cell phone is a want and not a need.

    • Josh Brown

      You don’t really need cloths you can LIVE with out that as well, so is a Variety of food you can live on rice. You can also servive in a well insulated box. You should try living without those wants as well.

    • J-Ro

      This is Canada, of course you need clothes.

      AND, If you are comparing food, clothing and shelter to owning a cell phone, you are off your rocker.

      How does that even come close to being a valid argument?

    • Josh Brown

      If you don’t go out side you don’t NEED clothes, going outside is a priveledge, not a right. Because you have no clue what it is like to live with out wants and you are lecturing people that a cell phone is a want. Your house or apartment is a WANT, you eating anything but rice and beans is a WANT.

      So yes having a cell phone is a want. But I tell you this I saw some pretty poor Haitians, that lived in a tin shack and yet they had cell phones. The need to communicate is a pretty basic WANT.

    • J-Ro

      So your argument is not that people should stop complaining about living beyond their means but instead, anyone that disagrees with their complain should live with nothing?

      That is enabling in the worst form. I agree with some of your earlier post but this one I can’t get behind.

      I can’t feel empathy for someone who is upset that they can’t have their own way.

    • Josh Brown

      “anyone that disagrees with their complain should live with nothing?”

      Sorry I don’t know what that means. Can you explain?

      So you like high prices? Is there really something wrong with wanting a good deal so you can have better service and live with in your means? Sould being able to comunicate with friends and family be available to only those that can afford $85 a month?

      Especially when Rogers pulls in $500 million in 3 months from wireless alone.

    • J-Ro

      You can communicate with people easy. Get a low tier plan with unlimited voice. If you need data, get home internet and use Wi-Fi. If you need mobile data at great rates, Get a Wind phone.

      Why choose to pay more and then complain? No one is being held at gun point and no one will die without a cell phone with a plan that includes all the bells and whistles.

    • Josh Brown

      So what if you live in the country where there is no high speed internet and no wind?

    • J-Ro

      I can’t speak on other countries regarding a Canadian topic.

    • Josh Brown

      No like out of the city? You must be a city boy that has never left T.O.

      Yes there are parts of Canada in fact less than a few hours away that do not have internet in there homes they rely on Data plans to have the internet. Or their other option is to use Dial up like AOL.

    • J-Ro

      I am a city boy and I know there are places with less than we have here. But, they seem to be living and functioning without. So that must mean that it isn’t a NEED and is absolutely a WANT.

      Thank you for validating my point.

    • Josh Brown

      Ok cancel your internet and data plan tonight and live without it and report back in 6 months and see how you liked it.

    • J-Ro

      Lol I think your missing my point.

    • Josh Brown

      if it is a want and not a need then cancel it tonight.

    • Josh Brown

      I get so sick of you city kids that take everything for granted.

      Try and imagine paying $60 for a few gigs of home internet? Or going back to 56k a sec dialup speed?I would love to see you surf these boards when it takes 15 min for the page to load. And then you sit up on your high horse and complain that they are whiners because they complain that they are paying twice as much as people in the city, how dare they.

    • J-Ro

      That is why I CHOOSE to live in the city. There are people living in areas where the infrastructure isn’t the best but they are still happy with what they have.

      The people you claim to hate, are the ones your liking defending.

      And my original argument was that people CHOOSE to put themselves in high pay points for wireless service. Just like the article was trying to point out.

    • Josh Brown

      How do you know they ones that are complaining about high prices don’t have the options like you do? So all the farmers are just to move to the city if they want reasonably priced internet? instead of just wanting better cheaper service when the companies are making billions off of there backs?

    • J-Ro

      Because, like you said, it would take way too long to load a page. Why would you take half of your day to come on mobile syrup and vent to people that in no way can help your situation?

      Do you happen to live in a remote area where the internet is slow? Because you seem to be getting back to me quite quickly.

    • Josh Brown

      I am at work where they have a microwave dish, and pay a pretty penny for it. I also have 6gb of rogers mobile data. There is no wind out here.

      Same logic, why do you sit on your computer all day and complain about people complaining. Enjoy you cushy city life, and let people complain about what they want to.

    • J-Ro

      You know what, I have to agree with you there. I shouldn’t be complaining about the ones complaining. That gets no body anywhere.

    • Josh Brown

      Sweet, now I can get back to work, Thank you for the interesting discussion, I encourage you to not just think about yourself and to put yourself in other peoples shoes, like ones that don’t live in the city. I can be really eye opening.

    • J-Ro

      I can see how others feel out there. I just know there is always an option. I believe that life is easy on until we choose to make it harder.

    • Josh Brown

      So what is our option out here, other than not having internet or paying crazy high mobile internet rates? I would love to hear your expertise.

    • J-Ro

      Hard to say, considering I don’t know where out there is. But I would say that you have the option of moving to where that isn’t the case.

      I know your going to disagree with that but it is a solution.

    • Josh Brown

      So your very simple solution is that everyone in the country move into a major city? And this is better than simply trying to knock off $10 – $20 a month off of Mobile Data plans? You are joking right?

      This just reaffirm to me that people in the city are completely clueless? Where do you think your Hydro, Food, materials to make your phones come from? You produce them in the city?

      I haven’t seen lately a giant corn field in the middle of T.O. or a Nuc plant or wind mill farm, or a Aluminium mine. If there is you let me know.

      You are just like the people that didn’t want the Gas fired power plants in Mississauga, Why put it in the city when we can just stick it out in the country, no one lives out there.

    • Josh Brown

      “I believe that life is easy on until we choose to make it harder.”

      That is a profound statement from some kid from the city. Tell me what hard times in your life, give you the right to make that statement?

    • J-Ro

      City’s aren’t full of rich people, you know. I don’t need to go into my past but I have learned from experience to live within my means. I have a budget and getting the fastest, newest and best every year doesn’t fit into that.

    • Josh Brown

      That is good to hear, what do you pay for internet and what speed is it? How many options do you have?

      It is simple cancel your home internet for 6 months and no wind mobile just do everything off of the big three and they I will totally respect your opinion.

      Until you do that what gives you the right to tell people they cant have cheaper faster internet?

    • J-Ro

      I am completely with Bell. I don’t use Wind.

    • Josh Brown

      so cancel you home internet and do everything over your Mobile data plan. Then I will respect your opinion. Or you can go back to dial up.

    • J-Ro

      I did that as well. I used my 6 gig plan until I had enough income to get home internet. And I only got home internet because I don’t live alone. Just like you, I use my work connection for majority of my heavy usage and when home, I mostly text or read news articles online. I don’t even have a TV package.

      When I’m not at work, my Q10 is pretty much my PC.

    • Josh Brown

      How much do you pay for your 6 gb plan?

    • J-Ro

      I pay $50 before tax.

    • J-Ro

      I pay $50 before tax

    • Josh Brown

      That sucks. You don’t care that you pay $50 a month while Bell brings home a couple of billion a year in profits?

    • J-Ro

      No. Because all companies are making record breaking profits from the pockets of the people. It isn’t breaking the bank, so who am I to complain?

    • Josh Brown

      Ok I am going to come over tonight and rob you blind but don’t complain because everyone is doing it.

    • J-Ro

      Lol not the same at all. I am choosing to pay them. If I didn’t want to, I would stop. It is why I choose to pay the bank to hold my money and not keep it under my mattress. I pay for convenience.

    • Josh Brown

      But it is a service that is necessary for life and business, like Gas and they all keep the prices high. If there was a alternate choice FOR EVERYONE, I would be in total agreement with you, but there isn’t.

    • J-Ro

      You could write it off if it is for business. You get to claim more money back during tax season.

    • Josh Brown

      Do you know how that works? You still have to make that money to pay for the service. You just don’t have to pay the 30% income tax on that portion of your money. Writing it off doesn’t magicly mean you don’t pay for it.

    • J-Ro

      So you get 30% kept in your pocket. It isn’t much but it is better than nothing.

    • Josh Brown

      I just don’t understand if we can get the Big three to lower their prices so more people can use the internet and it is more affordable for people with lower incomes, why would we not do that?

    • J-Ro

      I am all for savings but I don’t think complaining will get us there. We complained for 2 year contracts and since then, pricing has gotten worse.

    • Josh Brown

      So we should just take it then? What is your solution?

      The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and that is what we are seeing with the government making these changes.

    • Josh Brown

      “There are people living in areas where the infrastructure isn’t the best but they are still happy with what they have.”

      How do you know that these are not the ones that are complaining?

    • davedooter

      Brilliant response. It shut that Guy Incognito up pretty quick.

  • Travis

    ad hominem

  • Stephen_81

    Can you link me to information that can challenge that report?

    All along those people who’ve taken more than high-school economics have argued the government isn’t using anything valid in their arguments and isn’t comparing anything remotely similar when talking about other countries.

    This is a political play for the un educated under paid. And the Feds are milking it

    • IJustGotaTan

      Interesting that they are using figures from July 2013. Coincidentally most plans went up the following month as the 2 year rule for upgrades went into effect.

    • Guy Incognito

      A good point, but I imagine the real reason is that July was the most recent month with the most complete data set.

    • Super_Deluxe

      I believe he means that why they chose to release this report now as opposed to before like before 2 year contracts when in effect and the prices were a bit better. Something tells me that they are trying to convince us to be OK with these increased prices.

    • Guy Incognito

      As I said, I imagine July was the most recent month in which a complete data set was available to the researchers. It takes time to write such a report.

    • Stephen_81

      I do agree would be nice to see revised figures.
      but a 50page report easily takes 2 months to build.

      and our price increase was 10% which would still keep us mid rage pricepoint on the highend plans, still expensive on the lowend plans.

    • davedooter

      A link? It’s called open your eyes and look around. Rogers, Bell and Telus are reporting year over year increase in profits while the cost to offer those services decrease. So explain to us why we should be paying yearly increases on our bills when the cost of delivery decreases? Why should we pay more to increase the big threes net profit margin to please board members again?

      Rogers, Bell and Telus are publicly traded companies so their financials are available. Do yourself a favor a compare their net earnings to the ARPU and use those economic skills of yours to tell us how our bills are justified. Thanks.

    • Stephen_81

      The fact Rogers and the other carriers continue to increase profits does not automatically negate the study.
      Rogers has not seen a spike in revenue or profits in the last 3 years. it has been steady growth which comes with the adding of customers and streamlining business.
      Costs to administer wireless have not gone down at all. Look at the Rollout plans of LTE in each city over the last 18 months and moving forward. does LTE hardware cost nothing? Has power in Canada and Fuel gotten cheaper? Has there been a public sector wage freeze? Did inflation stop?

      Canada is still seeing a conversion from VoiceOnly t Voice+Data subscribers which is a greater revenue and profit centre for Carriers it is just sensible business.

      If you compare ARPU’s with operating costs Rogers has a break even point of appox $35/user to think another carrier is going to come to Canada and offer greatly discounted services based on the Federal math you’re delusional.

      Are ARPU’s are the near the top of the world because Canadians don’t complain, and they don’t vote with their wallets. We had viable small carriers but less than 10% of people in their coverage areas actually took advantage of them.

  • MXH070

    Crapola…….

  • ineptone

    When living abroad I demanded something at least on par with what we pay here, because it’s the upper limit of acceptability, and was given more for MUCH less. 5000 texts. 5000 anytime minutes, caller ID, voicemail and UNLIMITED data – albeit 3G – for 15.00 GBP, or roughly $24 CDN, per month. So, to me, it seems that demanding more of your provider isn’t a reasonable argument for robbing customers of their hard earned money every month when in other markets customers demand just as much and pay considerably less.

    • Guy Incognito

      They’re asking the most that the market will bear. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s not “robbing customers” when the customers voluntarily sign up despite having viable alternatives.

    • Deciare

      Canada’s viable alternatives are on the verge of going out of business, and are far from viable for most. There’s a significant gap between service that is literally unusable in one’s own home, and service that exceeds all expectation. At this time, that gap is not only being left empty, but widening.

    • Kohl

      That’s because their business model is crap. You all loved it when they came into Canada with cheaper prices. Turns out those prices you thought you ‘deserved’ couldn’t keep their business alive.

    • ineptone

      Firstly, just because the market can bear it doesn’t mean it should reasonably have to.

      Secondly, you speak of alternatives that are viable when, in actuality, there aren’t any. If you look at the majority of “alternatives” they all offer the same plans, add-ons, and coverage at the same inflated prices. Yes, there are smaller regional providers, such as SaskTel, Videotron and, to a lesser degree, WIND and Mobilicity, with better pricing, but they can’t be construed as viable for the majority of consumers given their regional limitations. This problem isn’t just limited to cellular/mobile providers here in Canada either, but to all telecommunications. There is no fair or competitive market, certainly not by the global standard set abroad, and the ignorant acceptance of the flawed system by the very consumers oppressed by it is why it isn’t getting, and probably won’t get any better. You need to want for more instead of being happy with what others dictate you’re deserving of.

    • accord1999

      Why do you expect Canadian incumbents to match the price of Three, the relatively weak #4 telecom in the UK, when the UK incumbents don’t match its price.

  • Thomas C. Riddell

    I am bidding the big 3 paid for this Research

    • Guy Incognito

      That would require disclosure.

    • sicsicpuppy

      It’s somewhere in very fine print

    • Guy Incognito

      Please find it.

  • Kida

    Let’s be clear: the School of Public Policy at University of Calgary is a right-wing think tank, heavily funded by corporations. Although the report itself wasn’t sponsored by corporations, the organization itself is largely pro-business, anti-taxation, pro-exploitation of natural resources, anti-environment.
    In other words, this report is completely unsurprising from them.

  • Andrew Phillips

    We pay more because they charge more. I have an extremely good priced package (postpaid) here in Canada, but when I got a prepaid package with more of everything in the USA I paid less than half what I pay here. Even taking the difference in the amortization of the phone it is still significantly cheaper in the USA.

    • Guy Incognito

      Such is the beauty of economics of scale.

  • Alex

    SUPREME COMEDY.

  • annepelago

    We use Canada’s Telecom industry to demonstrate how blatant corruption can exist even in non theocratic countries. Amazing find, thanks for this article!

  • Canucks

    This lame joke of yours reflects a lot on your profile pic.

    Can you tell me where it said it’s funded by them? I am interested to know or you are just talking without thinking.

    • Guy Incognito

      It was not funded by the Big Three or the CWTA.

    • Canucks

      I know it wasn’t. I am asking him to prove what he said or he is high on something like on his pic.

  • sicsicpuppy

    We only demand reasonable monthly fees

    • Guy Incognito

      What would make you happy? What is your ideal plan? Please be as specific as possible. Everyone benefits when consumers are clear in what they want.

    • RoboBonobo

      Free unlimited everything! … jk
      I want to pay $80 a month, all fees included..

      unlimited minutes/unlimited texts/6GB with VM/CD included.
      And nation-wide no data roaming.
      I think Rogers offers something very similar on promo right now or recently, but my contract doesn’t end til a couple months from now.

    • Guy Incognito

      Pay whatever is left on your device balance and you should be able to get the BYOD rate. Several people I know have done that. That’d make the $105 plan $85, but you might be able to get a small monthly credit. It doesn’t hurt to ask.

    • RoboBonobo

      Yea man. Just don’t want to pay the $100 (or $200, I forget how much the minimum cancellation fee was) to cancel early. I’ll just wait til there’s another promo and switch or maybe talk to retention.

    • Guy Incognito

      Fair enough, but it doens’t hurt to call in to get an exact figure. You might find that you’ll more than recover the cancellation costs within a couple of months and have a better plan to boot.

    • Stephen_81

      I pay $84/m on Rogers for
      Unlimited Canada Wide calling/ Unlimited sent text messages to numbers in North America from Canada, Unlimited recieved text messages while in Canada and the USA. 6GB of data, VM/CD
      taxes and everything included.

      Calling Rogers retention should beable to get you the plan you need if you know what you want and have a reasonable expectation of fees

    • jeff

      Data only plans for a reasonable price. Also no bloatware

    • Guy Incognito

      This is possible. Get a a tablet or Rocket Stick SIM. You’ll be charged per minute for voice, per text for text.

    • thedosbox

      You should define “reasonable” and what you expect that to include. For example, I keep on reading horror stories from the US about $30/month tethering charges that are bundled into our rates.

  • Will Maitner

    The networks are built. Complaining about the continuing costs of building the network is BS. Everything here is ala cart. On most plans you have to pay extra for caller ID and voice mail. In the states that is included. Also, as long as you are on a network in the states, you don’t pay long distance to make a call to a local (to your home) number. Also, there is no roaming fees on on most US carriers. Oh, and you get way more data much cheaper in the states. Now, tell me again how their record profits are in line with what other carriers make. Tell me again how on average Canadians pay less for wireless than Americans. If you compared feature to feature, you pay WAY more in Canada for the Ashe plans.

    • RoboBonobo

      They’re still expanding the networks.

    • Stephen_81

      Go compare the profitmargins of the US carriers with the Canadian Carriers you’ll find both are on par with similar margins Rogers being the richest margin but by very little

      The fact of these margin numbers shows the difference spent in rebuilding the networks and maintaining against the users on said network. it’s pretty simple math to see after 3 or so hours of reading

  • fablehouse

    So Canada Ranks after 20 in most cases?

  • WhoCares1000

    What if it’s the other way around?
    Canadians demand more because we pay more.

  • Kohn

    I’m not a fan of high bills but most of you have the same parrot response for EVERY article on this site. I’ve collected to date 16 SIMs that I’ve had to use for service around the world and I can honestly say (without being a fan of the prices at all) we seriously have it pretty damn good for quality of the actual service. Some countries have terrible data speeds, don’t have LTE, don’t offer you a subsidy, or something else missing from the puzzle.

    Many of you have a hard time seeing the line between good business sense and first-world entitlement.

  • └̠[Ỹầşħ]┐̄

    NO WE DON’T YOU BLOAK! Here is what we want
    -Unlimited Internet
    -Unlimited Calling
    -Unlimited Text
    -Receiving International calls is free!

    THAT’S IT AND WELL CHEAP COST TO GET DEVICES on 18month contracts.

  • deltatux

    Personally, I think carriers need to split their plans between BYOD users and regular postpaid. Like honestly, why should I help pay the subsidy if I never asked for a subsidy? At least give us something cheaper if we do purchase our own device and then move us over to the regular postpaid if we decide to get a device under subsidy. The current “10% off” that some carriers are doing, I don’t really think is the total cost of the subsidy that they’re giving out. That means, we’re still paying extra and the carriers get to pocket it since they’re not subbing our device.

    • Guy Incognito

      Bell, Rogers and Telus give $20 off per month on shareable plans. Fido, Koodo and Virgin give 10% off all plans.

    • Nitrof Nosaj

      Telus also gives 10% off on all the other non-SharePlus plans if you don’t carry a device balance/are not in a contract.

    • Stephen_81

      unfortunately the nature of business is to collect profits averaged across the customers. I too am a purchase full retail person. and am pleased with the subsidies I get from my various carriers.

  • Anaron

    I’m very happy with WIND simply because I pay less for more. I get unlimited talk, text and data for $40/month. Sure, I don’t have LTE but I don’t need that speed. With that said, I hope WIND rolls out LTE and given my limited knowledge on the subject, I can only assume they plan on transitioning to LTE once they get the right wireless spectrum.

    The question is, will the Canadian government set aside spectrum for WIND and Mobilicity at the cost of 700 MHz-compatibility with current devices from Rogers, Bell, and Telus? If they do, then chances are the big 3 will have devices that are incompatible with the kind of 700 MHz spectrum left over (assuming the Canadian government sets aside the spectrum they desperately need).

    It’s been awhile since I researched this so feel free to correct me.

  • DeepSlicedBacon

    I propose a crown corporation take over the infrastructure (towers, equipment, what have you) and have it lease access to the telcos, ALL telcos. They share the same technology and begin to really compete on price. This eliminates direct infrastructure costs and increases the economies of scale.

  • Jack Lee

    We demand more…? Carries will adjust….? GET REAL ROBELLUS

  • deujama

    I just want a service that works at a fair price. I get that with Wind. However, I can say without question that it’s not a level playing field. That’s why I would welcome a foreign carrier who can bolster Wind into achieving LTE and expand their coverage. That would be fair competition. You can’t look me in the face and tell me things are fair when the big three are making crazy profits.

  • Dragonballzpokemon

    People think that the big 3 is robbing us when its really the people who are robing themselves:
    -Want a 2 year contract cause you keep breaking your phone now everyone who takes care of their phone is paying at least $20 extra per month for 24 months.
    -People complain they pay too much for what they have. Carriers increased the options included in the plans and raised prices across the board. Did you really need unlimited calling? Are you this desperate for attention?
    -People want to abolish contracts and wonder why customer service is declining. If you know you can jump ships at any time with no contract they know it before you. I have been going to the same grocery store for 30 years but the manager don’t care cause they know it might be the last time I go there. One day your relation with a provider will be the same you have with your grocery store.
    -Bring Verizon to save us!! Who would want to go into this kind of market.

    • phreezerburn

      Unlimited calling was a farcical thing at best. Voice was giving way to VOIP and all they could come up with was to block servers outright.

      I would rather go back to paying 26 cents a minute and get data plans equal to those of the US but that will not happen as profits would fall from a cliff.

      Also the tell as to a telecom’s profitability isn’t found on it’s ledger but in it’s management’s performance bonuses. Any company can hide profits and defer revenues until they need them on the book.

    • kkritsilas

      1. People want a new phoen because their old phone is out of date in 2 years. Phones do get broken, bu the rate at which phones are improving makes 2 year old phones obsolete (I said obsolete, not unusable) in most people’s minds. Most phones work fine, most phones (Android in particular) cannot be updated with the newest OSes, and by extension, after they are 2 years old, so they are perceived as being obsolete.
      2. The plan increases were out of line with the subsidy increase that resulted from going on a 2 year contract vs. the old 3 year contracts. In most cases 2-3X higher. That is pure gouging, and for those that believe that there is no collusion, please justify that the same increase (for all intents and purposes) was from all 3 carriers. Please justify why the data plans from all 3 carriers went up at the same time, and by pretty much the same amount. Please justify how all the 6GB/$30 from all carriers are all gone, considering that costs for data have declined.
      3. I don’t need attention, what I need is enough minutes to allow me to get rid of my land line.
      4. Customer service should be bundled in as part of your monthly plan fees. Whether that is on or off contract really doesn’t enter into it. I pay my monthly plan fee promptly and in full. Because I no longer am under contract of any type, are you saying that I am not entitled to speak to anybody at my carrier? The customer service levels are nothing to do with contracts or even plan fees, they are the results of cost reductions to increase profits, plain and simple. At what time in the history of free enterprise did it become benefical to a corporation to avoid contact with your customers? Somebody needs to read the Apple Retail playbook. Apple knows their stuff is more expensive than a PC or Android phone. They win and keep customers with great customer service. Take a hint, Big 3.
      5. Verizon was never a savior, They were a potential viable alternative to the Big 3, whereas most people do not see Wind or Mobilicity that way. As a potential alternative, they may (or may not, for that matter) have shaken up the market that may have forced some reaction from the Big 3. I don’t believe that we would have seen $20 all inclusive plans from Verizon. I do believe that ALL of the current carriers can have $65-70 plans with unlimited talk, text, data, with basic voicemail, and caller ID, and still turn a good profit.

      Kostas

    • Stephen_81

      I don’t believe Verizon would have done anything to help with data, if you look at the US verizon is doing ALOT of advertising to get people to drop their unlimited data plans and take a la carte data packages.

      as for the argument of Collusion if you look back at leaked documents of the plan changes all of them actually were a little different then they all changed to try and match eachother. that is actually how competition works. when one of my competitors offers XYZ included on all orders I quickly offer either the SAME XYZ or if I have ABC that I can do better I might offer that but you change to match your competition and when service is basically the same your only way to match is by pricing.

      Are all Mechanics in the GTA doing price collusion because they all have the same posted hourly rates?

    • kkritsilas

      If all the mechanics in the GTA were charging the same hourly rates, yes they would. However, unless independent mechanics are charging the same hourly rate as new car dealers are, your example is flawed. Independents don’t, because they have lower overhead. In the same way, I find it hard to believe that Bell, headquartered in Montreal, Telus, headquartered in Vancover, and Rogers, headquartered in Toronto, all with varying amounts of headcount, and specifically, different networks all having the exact same cost structure. And if they don’t have the same cost structure, why are all of their plans priced the same? Why can they sustain different pricing for the same plans in different parts of the country. People have pointed out that the Big 3 plans are cheaper in places like Saskatchewan and Quebec than they are in Alberta and Ontario. Does anybody really think the Big 3 are actually losing money in Saskatchewan and Quebec? I don’t believe they are, it is just that those areas have agressive regional carriers (Sasktel and Videotron) that are actually providing competition. When the competition is not present, they gouge, and they gouge big time.

      When one gas chain increases its prices, and all the others follow, IT IS collusion. Has been for years. Same is true for the BIg 3.

      Kostas

    • Stephen_81

      Have you ever built a pricing structure?
      your overhead argument still fits into my mechanic analogy. different dealerships have different overheads but mechanic costs are consistent across dealerships. Indepedents see WIND, Mobicity, PublicM etc.

      As for Pricing being the same it is shown in their margin Calculations who makes more per user as they are not equal and they price match eachother within a week of any promotion coming out. because THAT is how competition works you match your competition you price based on what the market can handle in regions with low cost competition they charge less but it is blended across all customers. they most certainly are not losing money in the cheap markets as Rogers for example as a $35/user break even point but they aren’t making the margins they need to grow and compete.

  • MassDeduction

    I got into wireless in 1998, in the early days of competition from ClearNet and Fido. I joined up with Fido (I guessed that GSM would be the long-term winner). In those days I paid $20 for 100 minutes. Except that you were also assessed a $6.95 system access fee, so $26.95 for 100 minutes. $46.95 got you 400 minutes. Voicemail, call display, and most other such things were additional costs (though call forwarding was included). Data was by the minute (not by the MB, by the minute!), and text messages cost 20 cents per. These plans were WAY better than what the incumbents offered, and the other carriers felt competitive pressure from these Fido plans! Hard to believe, I know.
    So the deals have, on the whole, gotten better over time.
    Comparing our plans with countries with a lot more people per square kilometre is unrealistic.
    Canada is the second largest country on the planet (geographically), and is incredibly expensive to build a network over. Fido and ClearNet tried, and it ended with ClearNet being acquired by Telus, and Fido being acquired by Rogers. Now we’ve tried again with Wind and Mobilicity, and Mobilicity is on the ropes, and Wind is not doing much better.
    I’m no apologist for the big three, I’m neither employed by them nor do I own stock in them. I’m just a consumer who is being realistic. Most countries have 3-4 major carriers, and that’s without the problems a network operator faces in Canada. If Canada wants a fourth national carrier, the way to do it is to create a framework for some combination of MTS, SaskTel, Videotron, Wind, and/or Mobilicity to merge. Or maybe get someone to actually *use* the spectrum that Shaw paid for in BC/Alberta (they had plans to roll out a wireless network, then backed off when they realised that it made no financial sense whatsoever to do). Otherwise we’d have five major carriers in areas like Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Quebec, and that is not realistic at all.

    • kkritsilas

      Plans have gotten better. But they have gotten better all over the planet, not just in Canada. To address a couple of points:

      “Canada is the second largest country on the planet (geographically), and is incredibly expensive to build a network over.”

      If anybody were trying to build 100% coverage over the entire country, this would be true. Reality is, the Big 3 DO NOT EVEN TRY TO COVER THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. This is a strawman argument continually raised by the Big 3, and is completely, purely, and blatantly, A LIE. The Big 3 cover the major population areas, and some of the higher population areas outside of the big cities. Other than that, without special subsidies (like the oil and gas companies are providing to Telus in Alberta) the coverage is non-existent. Try to get Rogers coverage in rural Manitoba, try to get Telus coverage in Northern Ontario, try to get any coverage in the middle of the Northewest Territories. It doesn’t exist. So that whole argument is full of hot air, A look at the coverage maps for any of the major carriers will show that clearly. Another example. I live on the east side of Calgary, and I am on Rogers. The LTE service in my area came on, YESTERDAY. I had visited my folks in Montreal (area called Ahuntsic/New Bordeax). No LTE service. The fairest comparison is the cost of coverage in the areas served by the Big 3 vs. the same costs of coverage for the same area in other countries. I bet it won’t be significantly more, if at all.

      :” Most countries have 3-4 major carriers, and that’s without the problems a network operator faces in Canada.”

      Most countries have 3-4 carriers that are actively competing for your business, not colluding with each other. Over and above that, argument can be made that Canada really only has 2 national carriers: Rogers and Bell/Telus, seeing as Bell/Telus are on the exact same network. Each of them (Bell or Telus) have NOT built a network, but only 1/2 of a network (Bell in the east, Telus in the west).

      As for “….Mobilicity is on the ropes, and Wind is not doing much better….”, it should be kept in mind that this is the end result of Big 3 business practices, and unusually high level of incompetence (Industry Canada is normally incompetent, as most government departments are) of Industry Canada in both drafting the 2007 Tower sharing rules, and following up on their implementation. Part of it can be said to be overly aggressive pricing on the part of Mobilicity and Wind, but it should be kept in mind that Wind, while not doing well, is earning a small profit, even with tis $40 everything unlimited plans. As well, both Wind and Mobilicity essentially hit the marketplace with a huge debt load (due to the money spent on the spectrum licensing), which the Big 3 didn’t have in their initial roll out, as they didn’t pay for their spectrum. Now, argument can be made that they actually had to be build out their networks from the ground up, which they of course did. But even that wasn’t even paid for by the Big 3 carriers; it was paid for my the subscribers with “system access fees”, on which I personally believe they turned a healthy profit on.

      As for the reports “…our incumbent carriers offer faster and more reliable wireless than countries with similar penetration….” this is laughable. To start with, this is a statement, with no facts to back it up. Second of all, the “countries with similar penetration” is more that likely an empty statement, as it cannot be established which countries have similar penetration. Please also define “faster and more reliable” as exists in Canada vs.othe carriers in developed countries, and define which they are. Is this vs. the US, Europe, the Far East (Korea, Japan)? Rogers keeps saying they have the highest coverage, fastest LTE network in Canada, and my LTE came on for the first time yesterday?

      This “profit taken in by the Big Three are in line with many of the other OECD-based carriers, despite a higher blended ARPU, owing to the fact that Bell, Rogers and TELUS invest comparatively more in infrastructure and capital expenditures” is also questionable. Verizon, with its 100+ Million subscribers, turned in a profit of just over $US1B. Rogers did the same, with a customer base of 9-10 Million. The report authors are sadly mistaken if they think Rogers is spending more money than Verizon, either in pure dollars, or on a per capita basis than Verizon. Verizon has upwards of 50,000 towers in the US, Rogers may have 6-7000. You can get Verizon coverage in the middle of the lake in Sand Pointe, Idaho. You can’t get any coverage in rural Alberta from Rogers. So please take the time to get your facts straight, and publish a factual report; not something full of things that can’t be verified because most people don’t know better.

      As for “Canadians pay exactly what the market can bear”, please let us know, ye oracles of higher knowledge (took 2 Phds to come up with this gem), how is it possible not to? Only way not to is to not have cell service, considering that the Big 3 have >90% market share, and in a lot of rural locations, there is no Wind or Mobilicity service.

      Kostas

    • MassDeduction

      Then how do you explain the failures of both Fido and Clearnet? They had it all: in on the ground floor of digital wireless, spectrum provided free for them by the government, only one national carrier to compete with (both Telus and Bell were just regional rumps at the time), and the public only just beginning to adopt wireless in big numbers for the first time (so a smaller incumbency advantage). I guess you believe any failed competitor was just poorly run? Can they all be that poorly run?

      And since urban sprawl is such a big problem in North America, I suspect the number of subscribers per square kilometre is still far lower in Canada, despite limited rural coverage in places (though rural BC is extremely well coveres, despite mountainous terrain).

      And Bell does have a Western network (there’s a Bell cell site right by my house, in a suburban area near Victoria), and Telus inherited an Eastern network when they bought Clearnet. Yes they have network sharing agreements on top of that.

      As for all that stuff near the end of your message, I’m not sure who you’re quoting, but it’s not me! :-)

    • kkritsilas

      I don’t exactly remember the exact reasons for Fido and Clearnet being bought out. Could have been anything from being badly run, to not having enough capital to continue expansion, to their receiving offers that were so attractive that they sold out. I don’t see its relevance to today’s situation with Wind & Mobilicity. These are new entrants coming into a fairly well served market.

      As for the stuff at the end, it refers back to the main article.

    • accord1999

      Verizon makes a lot more than $1 billion. Verizon Wireless’s results from Q2, 2013

      Revenue: $19.976 billion
      EBITDA: $8.511 billion
      Operating Income: $6.464 billion

      VW is the most profitable non-government owned telecom in the world.

    • Stephen_81

      Great post.
      I don’t agree with a lot of it. but well written as someone who travels extensively back when Bell/Telus has CDMA you DID get coverage in all those areas you are saying have no coverage now. Bell/Telus to compete with Rogers had to go GSM for data speeds. They couldn’t afford to stay CDMA and sit on slow data as long as Verizon did in the USA
      if you compare the Bell/Telus HSPA+ coverage with Verizon LTE coverage you’ll see Bell very much spent the money expanding out beyond just urban centres. though because of regional carriers who you get service with in which province depends on partnering especially in Manitoba and Saskatewan because of the former crown ownership and costs the carriers partnered. Rogers is partnered in Manitoba, Bell/Telus in Saskatewan. (I’ve had to carry both a Rogers and a Bell phone, just like in the US I have to carry both a Verizon and AT&T phone for nation wide reliable service)

      If you look at the profits per user account between the Big 3 and the Big 4 in the USA you’ll see they are very similar with Verizon you have to take some liberties and use the US census results as to average family size and break their values down to match other carriers reporting values.

      I don’t 100% agree with this report but I certainly respect their math MORE than the math and reasoning the Federal government is using to defend why we need a 4th National carrier and how they would stop an official merger of Telus/Bell Wireless for them to compete against the new player.

    • meohmymy

      You wrote: “Canada is the second largest country on the planet (geographically), and is incredibly expensive to build a network over.”
      —-
      Just to be clear, none of the carriers cover the entire country. Stray to far from the 401 in Ontario and you may be out of service and likewise there is not even complete coverage on the Trans Canada Highway. The telcos only provide service where there are population centers and sometimes on the highways that connect them. Subscribers per sq. mile of coverage is probably the same here as in the US. This is a myth the big 3 are trying to use to convince people high prices are justified.

    • accord1999

      Canadian coverage is somewhere between 1/5 to 1/6 of total area. That already means Canadian per subscribers/area is higher than the US. But why compare with the USA, the plans from each countries’ incumbents are similar; the main differences are for struggling #4 networks T-Mobile and Wind.

      But look, Canada and the USA are both continental spanning countries where even a fraction of each country would be giants in Europe. It doesn’t matter that only a small portion of Canada is covered, because even that small portion would be one of the largest countries in the world and where the “densely populated” parts of Canada aren’t even very densely populated compared to those of most industrialized countries.

  • Delphus

    Wow nice to see that most comments are made by folks with some sense and not automatic assumptions that these guys were paid by the big 3.

    Brings hope to humanity :-)

  • Bob Smith

    Lol. Probably got a hefty donation to the school by the big three to do the research and tailor it.

  • Lakh Jhajj

    The Professor got paid by big 3

  • Emily Nelson

    I must admit, I’ve had a pretty boring day at work and this has been pretty funny to read. Thank you!

  • David Craig

    Canadians pay too much because we tolerate paying too much. Look no further than your four corner intersections with multiple gas stations all selling their “competitive” product for exactly the same price. And the price is lower in Windsor, ON (pop 200,000) than the GTA. Where is the outrage? Four national carriers in Canada results in 4 carriers with the same pricing!!!

  • PT

    The question is how muck kick back do the scumbags “Professor” are getting from RoBellus? Make me sick!

  • Thr1ve

    Gotta love that anyone who says anything good about, or takes side with robelus is automatically accused of being paid off by them or working for them… Seriously, pull your heads out of your rectums…

    *Waits for the inevitable replies saying I work for or have been paid off by the big 3*

  • Wufai

    Sorry to post on an old article. But I got an interesting mobile plans for signing up an iPhone5S 16GB from Hong Kong. Priced has been reverted back to Canadian for comparsion, no taxes in HK and prices includes mandatory fees like 911 etc. Note Hong Kong plan features are not copy/paste as in Canada.
    Phone: iPhone 5s 16GB unlocked, costs $0 for 2 year contract
    Plan: 3500min +2000min internetwork (ie roger to roger) / 5GB(4g) / 10000sms / $63.59 per month (Total cost for 2 years: $1526)
    Tidbits: Data overchage is $1.2/100MB, up to $115 where data will be cut off. After 15GB usage data speed will throttle to 128kps. / These ARE NOT retention plans!
    I really don’t believe Canadians are paying more becuase we demand more, why are people in Hong Kong demand so much more but pay less? Are Canadians really so slow and efficient comapred to the rest of the world?

  • dejan sunderic

    > Bell, Rogers and TELUS invest comparatively more in infrastructure and capital expenditures

    Well, who made a decision to make separate network instead of sharing a network with someone? They did. Now we have to pick up the tab.

    > since the country emphasizes postpaid service

    It’s not “the country”, but carriers. They charge us a lot for every minute and every SMS.
    How come I payed only 10 euros for 2GB of data (+ unlimited talk and text) in Italy on vacation? We cannot get that kind of rate even on contract.