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Canadian government to begin regulating domestic roaming rates

moore

It was intimated during Prime Minister Harper’s Throne Speech in October, and reiterated during an interview by Industry Minister, James Moore, and today the government is delivering on its promise to regulate roaming fees.

Pushing back against the aggressive nature of the Big Three telcos, the Canadian government is set to alter the Telecommunications Act to cap domestic roaming fees. “The roaming rates that Canada’s largest wireless companies are charging other domestic providers can be more than 10 times what they charge their own customers,” said Moore in a press release issued today.

The near-term effect will be the lowering of costs for 2G and 3G service for carriers, such as WIND Mobile and Mobilicity, that piggyback off the incumbents’ existing networks. At the moment, the new entrants are limited to 2G service in areas their own cell towers don’t reach because reasonable prices could not be obtained for higher-speed 3G networks.

Moore, who replaced Christian Paradis as Industry Minister in July, previously noted that Canadians have been “hit in the face pretty hard” with roaming fees, both domestic and international, and planned to work with the CRTC to affect the necessary regulatory changes.

The specific stipulations of this domestic roaming will be to prevent incumbents from “charging other companies more than they charge their own customers for mobile voice, data and text services.” The release explicitly notes that this move will improve the standing of new entrants in the eyes of Canadians, many of whom don’t consider their coverage truly national due to the sharp downgrade in service quality between Home and Away areas.

This change to the Telecommunications Act will only be in place until the CRTC decides itself what to do about roaming; it’s clear the government doesn’t want to play too heavy a hand in this game.

The government is also amending the Act to allow the various provincial and federal regulatory bodies, such as the CRTC, to fine telcos who don’t follow the rules. For example, if an incumbent does not adhere to all tenets of the Wireless Code of Conduct, they are subject to monetary penalties.

Curiously, the last amendment involves sharing of information between the CRTC and Competition Bureau “so that consumers benefit from greater cooperation.” The CB is a branch of the federal government, so it’s unclear what direct benefits this will have for consumers.

Simon Lockie, Chief Regulatory Officer for Wind Mobile, is pleased with the government’s move. “This is an important step in the right direction for those, like WIND, who believe Canadians deserve true choice and competition in wireless,” he said. “Today’s announcement shows that Prime Minister Harper’s Government is serious about competition and serious about consumers.”

  • RG

    There is little reason to start a political debate here on MS. Nevertheless ‘Why a conservative government is picking up a fight with (at least) one big business sector?’ is one of the more fascinating Canadian stories of recent times, in my opinion.

    • TomsDisqusted

      It’s very straight-forward: it’s good politics and good governance. It’s good politics because Robellus are easily the most hated companies in the land, and it’s good governance because it is their job to enable/promote competition, and nowhere is this needed more then in consumer telecom services.

    • Delphus

      The problem is that they have no clue what they are doing most of the time, changing rules as they go along and scaring businesses away.

      You think the Robellus campaign scarred away Verizon this summer??? Hell no, the government did, as Verizon had no clue what they would be getting into if they were to bid on spectrum.

      You think they should do something about the oil industry in order to lower what we pay at the gas pump?!? Why shouldn’t they, Big Oil has been raping us for a lot longer. But wait, Harper in the same bed as Big Oil, so much for “protecting” the public.

      Harper just jumped on the bandwagon to get votes…

    • Scazza

      It’s funny, but part of the reason Verizon and other carriers won’t come up here is because of the heavy handedness of the gov’t when it interfers with private business. The recent attacks from the Harper gov’t against private industry like cellular shows that the government up here can and will tell you how to sell your product, and that would never fly in the US in these extremes. I’m not saying these recent changes are not good, they are, but it really hurts other companies who may fear coming here knowing that the gov’t can just come along and bully you into changing your product.

    • ScooterinAB

      That’s certainly an interesting view I hadn’t considered. If I were running a business, I can’t say I’d want the government all over me suddenly, making up rules and forcing me to do certain things. Perhaps this is what those reports on this behavior damaging Canadian investment meant.

    • sk1d

      It’s an easy political score with the masses. Everyone hates their cell phone company and for the most part, the hatred is justifiable. This change in regulation is much easier for the government to accomplish than say improving healthcare, or poverty or fixing pensions or infrastructure.

    • Canadaboy

      No, I don’t hate my cell phone company. I’m on Wind.Not everyone hates their cell phone company.

    • Matt

      Good for you. Have a gold star.

    • Mike

      I feel sorry for you. Wind sucks!

    • Tornado15550

      Care to explain why? Or are you just a pissed off Robelus executive?

    • Mike

      Why would you assume I work for the big 3? I am a rogers customer and I for one don’t have a problem with them.

      Wind is a cheap carrier that is not national. As far as I am concerned you get what you pay for. You pay less you get poor service. Until any of the smaller guys build their own network and have quality devices I will never consider them.

    • hyperhyper

      Really? I pay 1/3 of what I used to pay and get the same service. If you live on the outskirts of the city, I would agree with you but for 99% of us, it’s great. Yeah, I also don’t get LTE but I don’t do torrents on my phone anyways so it doesn’t really matter.

    • Mike

      You get what you pay for. I live in Langley which is part of Metro Vancouver and only part of it is covered by Wind. Until the whole country is a wind zone not interested in them.

    • hyperhyper

      That’s fair and I respect your opinion. Just want to add that while I love Wind in the city (Ottawa), it is not as fantastic when you are out in the more remote regions of the wilderness.

      It is supposed to fall back onto other networks when I am out of town but when I travel to more remote parts of Northern Ontario, it can be very spotty. I think it tries to default to the Rogers network (wish it was Bell as they have some decent coverage up North) and I think that is why I get the dead zones.

      That being said, I spend about 3-5 days a year in this “dead zone” so for me, the savings of $90/month is worth it.

    • Tornado15550

      Wind has an amazing selection of devices. The only thing they don’t offer, are iPhones (which you can bring in unlocked). Service is great in major cities (I always receive full bars), and they are only going to continue to improve their coverage.

    • Tornado15550

      Wind has an amazing selection of devices. The only thing they don’t offer, are iPhones (which you can bring in unlocked). Service is great in major cities (I always receive full bars), and they are only going to continue to improve their coverage.

    • Mike

      The devices I would be interested in are not discounted enough. Nor would they give me better deals. Like Telus and rogers have given me.

      I also used to do collections for all cell companies in Canada and wind by far had the most sleezest underhanded tactics to over charge there customers.

    • Titan4

      Wow a collections agent calling a company sleazy, I wonder if I will find a post by Rob Ford somewhere on this site calling someone criminal. I can’t believe how people can be so ignorant of facts when creating their arguments. You don’t like Wind, it is not right for you. I get it, they are not right for everyone, but all you need to say Mike is just that. I don’t like Wind. Your complaints regarding coverage and device discounts don’t really hold water. Wind is just over 4 years old. If you think that Rogers had even close to the coverage that they do now back when they were 4 years old (in the mid 1980s) then you are crazy. With regards to the device subsidy, you say that they don’t give enough of a discount then you must not understand basic finance. You may think you are getting a deal but the fact of the matter is Rogers (along with Bell and Telus) has an ARPU of @ $70/month. Wind has an ARPU of closer to $30/month. That extra $40 per month that you pay on your bill is where the extra discount on your phone comes from. In case you are wondering the $40 over 24 month amounts to almost $1000 dollars. I hope that you are getting a big discount. I used to work for both Rogers and Bell and whereas I am not in the industry anymore it always annoys me when people try to argue without facts. Lastly if you accuse a company of sleazy tactics you might want to point out what those tactics are. I worked for Rogers at a time when they coached their employees to tell customers that the SAF was a government charge. I also remember a time with Bell when we were rewarded on how many warranty repairs for clients we refused. If you want to claim your dislike for a company just be honest and say, I don’t like that company, unless you can back it up with facts don’t hide behind half truths.

    • Scazza

      You do realize that collection agencies exist for a reason. There are people out there who do not pay a debt and they are a required business in order to recoup losses a company has. This guy had a job to do, and if you think that its ironic that he calls another company sleezy, then your view of collection agencies is tainted by the little information you get from the news on these companies. They are a legit and required business, and working for one doesn’t some how invalidate you from having an opinion on shady practices by companies (although I would like to know what he means by wind being shady).

      Maybe the guy can’t afford to pay 350 upfront for some high end devices. Sure in the long run its cheaper, but that isn’t always an option for most people, hence why people lock into contracts and hence why collection agencies also exist. Its the nature of humans, we like stuff we can’t afford, and we go into debt for it.

      Also, for reference sake, early carriers DID have really good service in just 4 or so years, but that was mostly because Analog penetration was excellent, most phones had massive powered antennas and took up most of the space in your trunk too.

    • ScooterinAB

      I’d like to weigh in here. It’s true that Rogers likely had an equally small network when they were 4 years old. But that was also when cell phones were over a thousand dollars and a luxury item. Customers expect more of their cell phone carriers now. They expect coverage. They expect service. They expect quality devices. Our expectations have changed as this technology has a far more invasive and vital presence in our lives.

      With regards to the revenue numbers you shared (which are largely correct), it should be noted that Wind is struggling with an ARPU of $30, and has been unable to move forwards with network expansion and new services due to a lack of revenue. This is also shown by their rumored offer to Mobilicity, which is a very low-ball offer, likely because they cannot spare any more. Yes, Rogers sees a much higher ARPU for customers, but there are very clear reasons for it.

      Like all Canadians, I would like to see rates come down. But I also know that Canada has a very low population density, which leads to higher operating costs. While an ARPU of $30 might be ok for a European or Asian carrier with 3-5 times the customer base as the largest Canadian carriers, it is simply too low and unsustainable for a Canadian carrier, effectively killing Wind’s ability to compete in the market over the long term.

      As others have stated, you get what you pay for. If all you need is cell service in your immediate community, then Wind and other similar offerings might be a good match. But their small and overcrowded network are among the very reasons why others choose more expensive premium services over the lower cost. I choose the larger carriers because there are no other offerings for me, even though I live within 10 minutes of a major city. Even if cheaper carriers were available, I would still probably choose one of the Big 3, due to stability of service, availability of hardware, and the fact that I know my carrier will be around in a year or so. I vote with my wallet, and I need to be confident that the carrier I choose offers the services I need. That decisions isn’t solely made based on dollars and cents, nor will I cut corners just to save a buck.

      Whoever you choose, you have a responsibility to know what they offer, what they don’t offer, and why you chose them. If you’re pretending and having to justify for them, it’s probably not a good match.

    • kroms

      Mike your a tool. Not only that but clearly …..money is not a problem for you so I can see where your coming from.
      One day , hopefully you will learn how it is to feel like when you are ripped off and don’t have the luxury to just pay for everything , what ever the cost.

    • kroms

      And here is the problem. Wind (along with anyone else) can not compete because ROBELUS rule EVERYTHING.
      Wind does not suck. The whole mess of our Cell Carrier situation sucks because there is a MONOPOLY in Canada.

    • Matthew Livingstone

      Dude no need to rip on mike after those last few posts. I’m very concerned on how I spend my money but I still switched to Rogers from Koodo. I pay more yes but the services I have now far outweigh and justify my cost of service. Plus I learned something years ago that I haven’t seen anyone mention yet, Carrier firm/software. I saw this first hand when My friend and I had the same phone, one from Koodo, one from Telus. The Telus model had more features and menu options. I have yet to see a Sony Z1 from another smaller carrier. As android is mostly up to the carrier to evolve smaller carriers may roll updates out long after the big 3 have.

    • hardy83

      Political points.
      I doubt you’ll find ANY Canadian happy with the current communications industry right now, and it’s nice cheap political points.

      Even if it goes against everything capitalist and conservative.
      If the Cons weren’t a bunch of two-faced liars, they wouldn’t do anything and say free market will solve everything.

      However, since they have no spines or ideas of their own, and care more about political standing then actually doing good. They will make minor changes they think will score points for them in the next election, they so desperately want to win.

      As for this change, I doubt it will change anything. The big three will just charge everyone the max roaming rate, and possibly jack up their own prices again to make up for any potential lost revenue.

    • kkritsilas

      I’m sorry but your opinion is being clouded by your hatred of the Conservatives. The current domination of the cell phone industry was established in the years where the liberals ruled. It was the Liberal governments who essentially gave the spectrum Licenses to the Big 3. It was the Liberal governments who stood by while the Big 3 imposed “network access fees” and “network improverment fees” on already built networks, and then stood by while cell service to the rural areas failed to materialize. It was the liberal governments who have allowed the Big 3 to collude and actively discourage competition by allowing >90% of spectrum licenses to be in the hands of the Big 3. The Conservatives have made mistakes as well; the tower sharing rules imposed in the AWS spectrum auction were too loosely defined, were not actively enforced, and have served to keep Wind and other new entrants from achieving any substantial network coverage outside of major cities (sometimes within major cities). The same AWS spectrum auction rules falied to specify a time frame for deployment, which as allowed “pretenders” (some may even say “proxies”) to buy up valuable spectrum licenses and NOT deploy cellular networks. I am pointing at Videotron in the GTA, and Shaw in Western Canada.

      And since when is improving competition in a sector anything but the epitome of conservatism or capitalism? If your view on free market is centered around a 3 party oligopoly running wild, you need to study the definition of “free market” a little closer. Free market by definition implies competition, not the collusion that the Big 3 are participating in. Not business practices that both keep prices high, and serve to limit any other competitors potential entry into the marketplace.

      Do the Conservatives have this figured out? No, not by a long shot. But this is a warning to the Big 3 that they do NOT have a free reign to do as they please. The government has chosen to look at the roaming rates, just because they are so outrageous. I can see them taking a look at data rates next.

      If the industry will not compete, they will be regulated. The Big 3 can pick their poison, it is they who refused to compete in any meaningful way.

      Kostas

    • hardy83

      No no, don’t get me wrong. I blame every party and PM since Trudeau on the entire mess that is the wireless industry.
      Trudeau for making the telecom act, and then every single party since then that did absolutely NOTHING to fix the fundamentally flawed and protectionist act.

      While the Cons have done SOME things, I know they are only doing it for political points, and if Canadians were so pissed with the situation, they would’ve done what I said they’d do.

      If the Liberals or NDP were in charge, I have little faith that they would’ve done anything different.

      It’s all for political points, and not for the greater good.
      Corrupt and incompetent. ALL of them.

    • Andrew_notPorC

      It’s really not very surprising. Beating up telecoms (a pretty widely-hated industry) is an electoral winner. Also, the big 3 telecoms dropped their gloves with the government earlier this year, running a PR campaign opposing government policy.

  • Samuel Gomez Recuero

    Surely a move in the right direction

  • sicsicpuppy

    as with any canadian debate ,a decision on this shall arrive in 10 years

    • kroms

      lmfao

  • No lies

    All that’ll come out of this is the big 3 closing their 2g 3g networks and forcing the new entrants to invest money in 4G capable towers/phones. Look at telus closing cdma per example, they give preferential rates to their own clients and charge their competitors more, I don’t know about you but that makes perfect business sense to me. You can’t tell a company that they are charging too much for their own services then try to force them to lower it. Most would simply close shop and move somewhere else. Good job Moore good job hope you continue to feel like your making a difference.

    • Dylan Arbour

      That’s an absurd comment. Rogers is going to shut down their 2g service just to prevent less than 1 million roaming customers from being gauged? Rogers will still make a profit off this incredibly small share of the market; just won’t be as large.

    • No lies

      I don’t know what rogers will do I don’t work for you them however telus is already in process of shuting down Cdma, we already have a migration process for Western Canadians as we speak. The rest of Canada will be affected by March 2014. Bell will follow by the end of next Year.

    • Can37

      No Lies post is entirely accurate. In the industry, the “CDMA network” = 1XRTT + EVDO networks, These networks, which are sometimes 2G and sometimes termed 3G are going away. The HSPA and DC-HSPA (Which happen to use WCDMA as a modulation technique, but don’t let that confuse you) are also sometimes termed 3G networks, but also termed 4G networks.
      HSPA belongs to the GSM world, not the CDMA world in terms of standards.

    • No lies

      Thank you, someone who knows what he’s talking about!

    • Scazza

      He doesn’t understand that CDMA now accounts for less than 2-3% of users in all of Canada, which is a network band that is being phased out in the US (the only other major market where CDMA is used).
      Back before Bell and Telus opened up their HSPA network, all their old phones ran on CDMA, but now that every phone sold in the past 3-4 years is HSPA and doesn’t use the CDMA network, its costing money to maintain those transceivers for such a tiny portion of the network/customers and radio band. Once Sprint/Nextel shuts down its CDMA network (also early next year I believe), Bell will be the only one maintaining their CDMA network in NA. Putting people onto HSPA and closing down CDMA opens up those bands for other possible technologies or even future cellular service, but as of right now its a waste of money to maintain for Telus and Bell because no one makes phones for the network and no one SELLS phones for CDMA.

    • Can37

      Rogers is likely looking at refarming spectrum from the GSM/EDGE networks to HSPA (As Bell and TELUS are doing the same with their CDMA 1XRTT/EVDO networks.) Whether or not this results in the disappearance of GSM service or just the loss of some of the higher data rates remains to be seen. Rogers has a lot of low cost GSM only modems in the field, so any transition is likely to be very slow. As GSM is a fall back from HSPA, the GSM network also has value in a 4G world. TELUS and Bell HSPA/LTE phones do not fall back to CDMA so the economics and values are very different.

    • Scazza

      GSM shutdown will be much slower and take longer, if at all. CDMA/1xRTT modems were never popular. Most companies still entrenched in using the old GSM products are like tracking modems in trucks/fleet industry. CDMA never had the penetration that GSM did due to better roaming rates and agreements with US carriers, and so the closing of CDMA will have little effect on them.

      However, Voice over LTE/HSPA is pretty much built into most phones and it would not be an issue for most consumers if it does happen.

    • Liberal Phone Person

      wait what? You think the big 3 would shut off their 3G networks, the same network that carries all voice calls, and the majority of their data traffic, because they’re not allowed to gouge wind customers anymore?

    • No lies

      3g is Cdma, they are already closing it aswe speak. Read up on it

    • Sluma

      it’s because no one really uses cdma, it’s not because they are preventing other carriers from using it. There are other technologies that run 3G. WIND, Mobilicity and videotron don’t use cdma.

    • Liberal Phone Person

      obvious troll

    • Matt

      Not a troll… just misinformed I think.

    • Unwound

      3g is NOT universally CDMA. Read up on it.

    • kkritsilas

      3G can be CDMA (EVDO) or GSM. “Telus and Bell will not have a CDMA network by the end of 2014. ” (I added the Bell to the above quote. This is from a Telus corporate rep. Telus will NOT do anything with the HSDPA network for probably the next 10 years, and then will start to decomission it, as everything will be LTE by then.

    • No lies

      And they called me confused lol, in case it’s not obvious yet I’m a telus employee and yes the Cdma 2g 3g whichever you prefer will be shut down, take what you wish from it.

    • Scazza

      Shutting down CDMA has no effect on any domestic roaming from WIND or anyone. NONE of them use CDMA or could use CDMA. CDMA is a compeltely different radio technology that is no longer being used by any cellular manufacturer and it has no effect on anything to do with this article.

    • Ry29

      I checked, Public Mobile does use Telus CDMA for roaming.

    • kkritsilas

      3G is a very loose term that encompasses both CDMA-EVDO and HSDPA. 2G refers to standard CDMA or GSM (neither of which have high speed data capability). The “G” in 2G and 3G refers to generation of network service, 3G refers to a third generation set of standards in terms of data throughput, the first one that was able to allow effective use of the Internet with mobile devices. GSM EDGE was a 2.5G technology. HSDPA+ is actually a 3.5G technology, and LTE is a 4G technology, even though the carriers have muddied the waters some by referring to HSDPA+ as 4G at times. There is NO 3.5G or 4G level technology for CDMA.

      What Telus/Bell will be doing is shutting down the CDMA-EVDO part of their cellular network. They will not be touching the HSDPA/HSDPA+ network, aside from perhaps some additions to improve coverage by re-deploying HSDPA equipment from towers that have been moved to LTE.

    • Ry29

      Respectfully, I am fully aware of the subtlety of the various technologies we are discussing. I was commenting to Scazza that there is a carrier who is currently utilizing domestic CDMA roaming.

    • Scazza

      You are correct, however roaming rates negotiated for the CDMA network were much lower for Public than for HSPA with Rogers, and now that they are wholly owned by TELUS, this doesn’t effect them whatsoever.

    • No lies

      Cdma is already being discontinued, by the end of 2014 telus and bell will end it. As for rogers who knows what they’ll do. Cdma is an expensive and a headache to maintain, makes it almost not worth the little cash it brings. Besides hspa already covers 95% of the country with lte fast approaching the same it’s pointless to have a 3rd Network to run in the backend. Plus they can charge more on hspa since it’s a premium network and one that was recently build. But you know don’t take my word for it look at it what’s been happening around and you’ll see for yourself.

    • Matt

      But he works for Telus guys!!!

    • kkritsilas

      No lies is completely correct. Why do you thing he isn’t? CDMA will effectively cease to exist in Canada by the end of 2014.

      If he is incorrect, feel free to go into any Telus or Bell store and ask to buy a CDMA phone. Please be sure to let us know the result.

      Kostas

    • No lies

      Thanks ;-)

    • Scazza

      Technically, the buzz term “3G” applied to 1xEVDO, which is the last data technology that CDMA used here in Canada. So technically yes, Bell and Telus are shutting down a “3g” network, HOWEVER, this has NO bearing on HSPA networks whatsoever and effects no one who has a phone with a sim card (currently around 97% of cellular users).

    • Scazza

      For someone who works for Telus, he doesn’t seem to grasp it. What with CDMA being a huge part of their history. Maybe he is a new employee and read it in a memo or something…
      And correct, no carrier in canada uses the CDMA network for “domestic roaming”, so it effects no one.

    • Ry29

      Doesn’t Public use Telus CDMA for roaming?

    • Ry29

      Latest numbers from Bell showed 1 million customers still on CDMA.

    • kkritsilas

      Those numbers don’t matter. Sometime within the next few months, all Telus and Bell individual customers will be getting notification that their CDMA service is being discontinued, and they will be given an opportunity to go to a Bell or Telus store to get a new phone. Whether they go in or not is up to them of course, but their service will not be available as of Jan. 1, 2015.

      We were told about this as early as 2012 by the Telus corporate reps, and I have taken all of the CDMA phones out of service, and replaced them with GSM/HSDPA phones. Many CDMA towers have already been moved over to GSM/HSDPA. I suspect that the remaining ones will go directly to LTE,

      Kostas

    • Ry29

      I don’t disagree that a shutdown is looming. Looking at the current Bell coverage map, there is still considerable Northern coverage lacking on hspa, which CDMA does still cover. It would be such a step backwards pull the plug on them. Also, I wonder if Onstar is planning on replacing radios if requested.
      Overall, moving 10 percent of your customers is a considerable task.

    • kkritsilas

      The rural/remote areas will be getting the HSDPA/GSM equipment that is removed to make room for the LTE equipment. At some point, probably around 1-2 years away, all voice will be VoLTE, so the HSDPA equipment that is currently in use in the denser areas will be re-deployed out in rural/remote areas.

      Moving a customer base over to a new technology has been done before, when the TDMA system was shut down. This will be no different. The scale is somewhat larger, but then again, there are many more stores/kiosks/dealers that people can go to now.

      I don’t know much about On-Star, and I can stand to be corrected, but I would have thought that On-Star would have been designed to use either CDMA or GSM. I don’t think it is a CDMA only system, as it would have been impossible for Rogers customers to use it. And since On-Star doesn’t know which customers would have been buying their cars, they would have had to allow for GSM as well as CDMA service.

      Kostas

  • Joe

    Like the government has any idea how to be responsible with money. Overpaid clowns.

  • Delphus

    Right, now let’s see if Wind & cie actually lower their “out of zone” rates…

    Of course we’ll probably get a run around on this, little brother learning the ropes big brother laid down years ago.

  • Ry29

    The other main reason 3g roaming was not obtained is no phone back in 2010 supported Pentaband hspa. The new entrants had no choice to use 2g for roaming as all phones came with quad band gsm

  • CrazyFish

    Hi I’m ROBELLUS to correct this issue will plan to increase the cost to our customers so they are on par with the new entrants in the spirit of fairness and equality. Thank you for your business.

  • Curtis Gunderson

    When do the new roaming caps come into effect?

  • rc

    What does “charging other companies more than they charge their own customers for mobile voice, data and text services” imply. Does not sound to me like anything like mandatory wholesale rates for other companies as one can interpret this to mean that they can charge regular retail prices to other companies.

  • ABCONMan

    Now if only the CONS would take on the oil companies instead of giving them endless tax breaks. Doubt it.

    • Mike

      Ask them to lower the taxes on gas then. In Metro Vancouver half the cost at the pump is due to tax.

  • Son

    I don’t even know why we even get charged for roaming when we are still on their network just in a diferent location. like in the USA a*s long as you are on your providers network you dont get charged for roaming .

  • skullan

    “It was intimated during the Prime Minister”, should be “It was initiated”

  • Richie diggle

    Why not just have wind spend the money they should be to keep expanding their networks instead of waiting for the government to hand them a cheaper Piggie back option….

  • ScooterinAB

    All I’m going to say is that carriers who roam, such as Wind, agreed to pay/charge those roaming rates in the first place. When they signed their tower share agreements, they knew what they were getting into.

    • No lies

      It’s like complaining that you’re rent is too high, if you aren’t happy MOVE. Stop complaining already!

    • ScooterinAB

      I’m not complaining at all. I have no problem with the costs of domestic roaming.

    • ScooterinAB

      If you agree to the terms of an agreement that you find unfair, there is no one is to blame but you. If it wasn’t fair, you shouldn’t have agreed to it. If companies have a problem with their domestic roaming agreements, they shouldn’t have agreed to them.

    • ScooterinAB

      Actually, it is that simple. If one carrier wants to roam on another carrier’s network and agree to those terms, they have no right to complain. If they don’t like the terms, they should either exercise an exit or termination clause or shouldn’t have agreed to it in the first place. I fail to see why companies should be given a pass because they and they alone made a poor business decision.

    • ScooterinAB

      Actually, I would. When I sign something, I am fully responsible for that decision. When one renegotiates their mortgage, it is because there is a part of the agreement that permits that, not because that person got a hair up their butt and thinks that they should be let out of the agreement because they are angry. So yes. I would apply the necessity to make informed decisions and live with the consequences onto others.

      Fighting for change has nothing to do with companies making poor business decisions and then trying to get a pass on them, and whining to a government that is only bumbling around for free votes.

      News flash. The PC government risks losing power in the next election. Why do you think all these “pro-consumer” promises suddenly came out? There is certainly a need for any and every industry to improve and operate more appropriately. But this slash and burn approach, where successful companies are being punished for the failings of unsuccessful companies is not the way to do it. If the PC government cared about the affordability of Canadian living, they’d be going after utility billing companies for disgusting billing practices, fixing the price of gasoline, making retirement a viable option, and trying to solve the imports-dollar creep problem instead of jumping on whatever media hot button was available.

    • ScooterinAB

      I’m sorry, but you are absolutely wrong in thinking that I do not know nor understand how this country’s wireless networks were build. Please don’t mistake my acceptance of quality (albeit expensive) services for ignorance in business or history.

      I have asked you again and again to please stop putting words in my mouth and making false claims about my knowledge, interests, or understanding about this industry. You wouldn’t dare say these things to my face, for fear of social repercussions. I ask that you offer me that same dignity and respect when online.

      I know full well that there were initial subsidies given in order for some carriers to roll out their network. I know full well that it is absolutely unprofitable to enter this country’s wireless market without hundreds of billions of dollars in upfront cash. But I also know that Industry Canada is holding the hands of Wind and other new entrants and continually giving them favorable treatment. I know that Industry Canada is giving special treatments and handouts to everyone and their dog in order to force more business into the market and dilute it to the point of inoperability.

      I’m tired of my government giving handouts and hand-waving previously agreed upon business decisions, while actively punishing the companies that have succeeded in the market. I’m tired of how Wind and other failing companies are so fragile and precious and need to be protected from the big bad bullies. I’m also tired of hearing assumptions that success somehow equals greed. Yes, the Big 3 charge a lot of money for their services. Why is that a bad thing? Why is a viable business model something to be abhorred? Why are they the bad guy because customers demand that everything be given to them for free? Do you have any idea how often customers try and get a free phone out of their carrier? Why are the Big 3 the bad guys because someone wants a brand new iPhone every 6 months?

    • HeyYoWL

      Who exactly is assuming that success equals greed? I certainly don’t. You can be successful without being greedy by not charging obscene fees for things like the Big 3 are doing. Why is it a bad thing that the Big 3 are charging high prices? Is this a real question? Why would a consumer want to pay more for their bills than they have to? What have the Big 3 done with the huge profits they’ve made? A business will always try to find a model that makes the most profit for them, that’s understandable, but a consumer will always want to find a model that costs the least to them while providing them what they need. It’s all about finding the middle ground. I understand that as a consumer I pay more than it costs the seller for said product, because if I don’t, there won’t be a seller to do business anymore.

      But what they’re selling for aren’t fair prices. You just need to look at other provinces where there IS competition to know that they could sell for less. In Thunder Bay alone they had to lower their prices to compete and I know of people who pretended they lived in TB just to get in on a better deal for their phone. I for one have never demanded things for free and it’s you who’s putting words into others’ mouths now. The kind of people who want a new iPhone every 6 months are i****s.

      Rational people don’t mind paying for service, or even paying a little extra for service. But when you have to pay double the price of your competitor, the question that needs to be asked is “is this a fair price?”. You’ll find that generally no, it’s not when it comes to the Big 3.

      My plan with Rogers was way more than I needed (125 day time minutes, 1000 evenings and weekends, 1000 text messages, 6GB of data) for $60. Could I go for a lesser option? In minutes and text, no, I was at the lowest bracket they could offer me. Could I go for less data? Sure if I was willing to pay $5 less for 5.5GB less data. As someone who averages 2.5GB to 3GB this wasn’t acceptable.

      So I was stuck paying $60 for more than I needed, even though I’d gladly let them cut my services in half if they in turn cut my phone bill in half. I would gladly pay Wind prices for half their services with the Big 3 because the strength of the signal is always a boon. But the fact is that isn’t even an option. It’s things like this that upset others and it’s not because we want free things.

    • ScooterinAB

      The fact is that almost everyone who has come out against the Big 3 has equated success with greed. I’m glad to see that you personally know that they two are separate.

      I mean no disrespect by what I am about to say, but if you would read what I’ve posted, you would know that I do not support the prices charged by the Big 3 and also want them to go down and better reflect the costs of service. What I don’t support is this misguided belief that companies like Wind are somehow offering better services because they are charging less. The exact opposite is true. Companies like Wind have cut too many corners, and their failing business model that prevents revenue also prevents their expansion and improvement of services. Low price does not mean, nor has it ever meant, better service. While I agree that the Big 3 can continue to lower prices, I also know that they have been. There was been a minor price increase as a direct result of the federal government interfering in business matters and forcing carriers to only offer the less profitable 2 year term. I’m all for shorter terms, but all it did was increase prices, something that federal government should have thought about before throwing their weight around.

      Again, I do not support the pricing. But the biggest problem with pricing is with the customer. Just as you yourself pointed out, you demand services that you aren’t using. You admit to using less than half of the data that you are paying for, yet refuse to let go of it. If customers would just pick the services that they need, they would find better pricing within their carrier. I’m sick and tired of everyone quoting these 6GB data plans when almost no one needs 6GB of data. The only people that honestly need that much data for their phone are people like truckers and industrial workers who do not have Internet access in any other form. Everyone else is just being lazy and irresponsible with their phones. That’s all it is. You admit to only using 2.5GB of data, then complain because you are paying for 6. This is the same thing as iPhone users demanding a new phone every 8-12 months instead of responsibly using what they have. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. If you would responsibly use your data and make strong consumer choices, you probably wouldn’t be paying as much as you are. It is not Roger’s fault for charging you for the services that you demand of them.

      I want customers to see past the dollar signs and actually look at what is happening in the industry. You mention gladly paying for half the service. The often cited Wind offers something like 5% of the services and coverage that each of the Big 3 offer, yet charge around 50% for it. While their prices look good on the surface, the costing is wrong for what you are getting. Wireless services are not as simple as the price you are paying, and I wish for a moment that people would just see past that. As a Rogers customer, you can use you phone almost anywhere in Canada where there are other people (because Rogers’ network does more or less extend to everyone). That is a service that you are paying for as a customer. You are also paying for a service that will be here in a year, which isn’t something that some of the new entrants’ customers can say with faith. There are many other services that you are paying for as a Roger’s customer, just like how Telus and Bell customers are paying for services that are more than just their data limit and their minutes.

      So yes, the prices are garbage. But instead of everyone freaking out because everything went up by $5 when contracts moved to 2 year terms, let’s look at how prices were going down before. Let’s look at how new communities are having cell services made available. Let’s look at how each of the Big 3 is in a heated competition for building penetrations, network stability, and faster transfer speeds. These are all areas that the new entrants are failing at, while the Big 3 are making huge advancements. That’s what you are paying for. As a Big 3 customer, you are paying for advancements towards 100% coverage across Canada. If you are a new entrant customer, you are paying for a network that fails to go, fails to stay financially viable, and can’t every reach 100% coverage across their city. If all you need is neighborhood services like Wind, that’s fine. But the vast majority of customers want more, and most of them are fine paying for that.

    • HeyYoWL

      I don’t believe Wind provides better service because they charge less, and I would help no one is ignorant enough to believe as such. It’s hard to say if they have a failing business model at Wind since they haven’t released any figures, and one could argue that because so many people don’t give Wind a try it’s hard for them to increase business. It’s very possible that they have a viable business model if only more customers would join, providing them with additional revenues.

      I was never demanding services I wasn’t using. My argument was that I had no choice in the matter, I could either pay $55 for too much minutes and not enough data, or pay $60 for too much of both. There was no middle ground, and that’s an issue for me. So I could either pay for more food than I can possibly eat and not enough water, or more than I can possibly consume of both. You say that “if people would only pick what they need”, but that’s the problem, I can’t pick what I need. I can only pick from from what’s being offered and none of the Big 3 offers anything reasonable for customers. In this day in age, most people I knew use data more than minutes, why is there such a huge gap between the offerings then? The fact is it doesn’t cost mobile carriers huge amounts of money to provide data to customers, but the fees don’t reflect that.

      You’re right in that Wind may offer a lot less service and coverage, but in the end it costs a lot less than Rogers and that’s what matters. Wind doesn’t cover as much area or offer as much service, and hey, their profit margin could be the same as Rogers for all I know. But the point is that they cost $30 and that’s all matters to me. Like I said, I understand Rogers offers better coverage, that’s why if Rogers gave me restricted minutes, texts, and 3GB of data for $30, I’d switch from Wind even though I’d be losing unlimited for a lot of things. I can see the value in additional coverage, but I don’t see the value in paying double for it.

      I think you’re being a bit judgmental however when you say people are being irresponsible with their phones and their data. It’s not for you and me to decide what amounts to ‘irresponsible’ use of data. If a customer wants to use Netflix on their phone for example because they have a long commute day to day, there’s nothing wrong with that. Are we to only use data for checking e-mail and occasional YouTube? I for the most part visit a lot of websites during my breaks that may be media heavy, and I don’t want to worry about how much bandwidth I’m using. You can call it irresponsible, I just view it as “I have enough on my plate on a day to day basis, I don’t want to have to estimate how much data I’m using every day when it’s impossible to predict”. I admit to using only half to the 6GB I bought into, but I didn’t have any other in between option either. At the time when I had to plan, I could pay $25 for 500MB, or $30 for 6GB. You admit yourself to using 1GB of data. So you would’ve been in the same boat as me. I’m not sure why we’re having this discussion then when you’d be short on options yourself too. “It is not Roger’s fault for charging you for the services that you demand of them.” I’m not demanding 6GB of them, I’m demanding 3GB, but it isn’t an option.

      Why should it matter to me who will be in here in a year or two? If it happens that Wind goes bankrupt, how would it affect me? I’m not an investor, I’m a consumer. If that happens I’ll join someone else, I have no stake in their success. Rogers will still be here if I leave Wind, but in the meantime I will have cut my phone bill in half and have saved $360 a year in the mean time.

      The prices also didn’t just increase by $5 as you said, they increased by a LOT. In fact I’m not sure how they could justify the exponential increase. Is there any publicly documented proof that they’re using that profit towards expanding their coverage as well by the way? And when you say the vast majority of customers want more, and most of them are fine paying for that, are you basing that on fact or basing that on your own close circle of friends and colleagues? I myself am fine with paying extra, I’m just not fine with paying double. I’m sure most people would feel the same way.

    • ScooterinAB

      I can say for a fact that Wind is a mess, and that they do not have a viable business model. I worked for Wind recently and jumped ship once things started to get too dicey. Reports on their ARPU are also far too low to be sustainable. That that as you will.

      This whole thing about data use has too many people in a huff and that is basically what companies want. There are measure that people can take to mitigate data use. There are ways to get movies without using Netflix, which absolutely wrecks every data package available on the market. I hold firm that no one needs as much data as everyone is talking about. I can also say with a great deal of truth that about the only thing that costs carriers money is in fact data. More data use means more burden on the network, which means more towers and more spectrum. There are set dollar amounts that carriers have for the cost of each GB of data used by customers. Unfortunately, you are mistaken on that account. Voice and texting services, on the other hand, really don’t cost anything, although I would propose that it actually costs carriers more money to meter usage than it does to offer unlimited calling and texting. That’s a possible explanation why what metered plans are available are pretty mush the same price as in market unmetered plans.

      The reason why you should care about your carrier being around in a years is being spelled out by Public Mobile and Mobilicity. In the case of Mobilicity, (since I know exactly nothing about Public Mobile except that they were bought out) customers paid for devices and services that they may not be able to use once the company fails. Prepaid customers who are carrying a positive balance may lose that money when the company closes shop. Buying hardware and services from unstable carriers is more costly than just going with a stable carrier in the first place, because they may have to buy a new device and new services again. As a Rogers customer, you have little to worry about, because you can safely assume that your phone will work tomorrow, or in 3 months or a year. Moblicity customers face the reality that they will wake up one day without phone service and a less valuable device. As we grow more and more dependent on cell phones, and their costs go up, it is a very real problem if your carrier does not have a future.

      The reason I say that costs went up $5 per month for Big 3 services on 2 year terms is because that is the actual price change. I got that number from comparing rates and features available 6-10 months ago with rates and features now. The timing was relevant because I was able to compare feature for feature, thus getting a more scientifically appropriate comparison. The difference in pricing came out to about $5 on all accounts. That $5 partially makes up for 1 year’s subsidy on devices due to the loss of 1 year in the contract. That’s what it is. Take it or leave it.

      My conclusion about customers supporting the Big 3 over the new entrants is also based on available numbers and trends. While the reported subscriber numbers from each of the Big 3 continue to grow, the new entrants are either shrinking (Mobilicity losing almost 2/3 of their customers) or pretty much staying level (Wind reporting only a small growth, in the thousands of subscribers). Why would revenues and subscription numbers continue to grow for each of the Big 3 if customers did not want services from them? Why would the Big 3 still have over an 80% market share (and growing again) if customers were leaving for other services? There are also numbers for increasing penetration across Canada (both with respect to population and geography), and those numbers are solely the Big 3′s doing. Again, the costs might be off, but the numbers support my conclusion, and the conclusion is that customer aren’t supporting the new entrants as much as the Big 3.

      I do agree with you that there should be more fine selection available with plans. I actively support that. But I will also point out that it sounds like you have a promotional or special rate for your plan, and thus it can’t be directly compared to in market offerings. All carriers have 3GB data plans available. But because you have a special rate on your services, you just aren’t seeing it as an option. But it is there.

      At the end of the day, it’s a matter of perspective. I strongly disagree that you are paying double for what you are getting. You are only paying double the price of a lesser service. If you look at Rogers through Wind’s lens, of course it’s going to look off. You’re paying for a premium service because you are using a premium service. You need to look at it as that.

    • ScooterinAB

      The reason I keep accusing you of putting words in my mouth is because you are. You continue to make absolute claims about my understanding of this industry and its operations that are 100% false. I have asked you to stop yet you continue to say that I know nothing of this industry and don’t understand how it works. Stop. You are not psychic. You have no idea how much I know about this industry, business management, policy development, and budgeting.

      Saying the Big 3 have an oligopoly is like saying grocery stores like Safeway and Superstore have an oligopoly on groceries. That is complete and utter BS and not factual. Just because there are a handful of successful companies in the face of a number of failing and unsuccessful companies does not mean there is an oligopoly.

      Please do not for one second think that the Wireless Code of Conduct was brought in to punish the Big 3. If you would step back at look at the facts for one second, you would know that each of the Big 3 was already implementing everything in the code except for 2 year terms. The WCOC was brought in to set the standard for all carriers, including the new entrants and budget services that were lying to customers and openly ripping them off. It was Wind who forced customers to sign a contract they couldn’t read. It was Wind who lied (and continues to lie) about restrictions on unlimited services. It was Wind and Koodo who charged absolutely inappropriate and excessive cancellation fees. While Wind did waive the rest of the device subsidy at the end of the term, customers were still on the hook for sometimes 80% of the device’s cost in cancellation fees right at the end. The WCOC had far more to do with the new entrants and budget services than the Big 3. Don’t for a moment think the contrary.

      I want an end to the hand holding, and that is exactly what it is. You cry foul at the Big 3 for having special treatments in the past, yet demand the same for new entrants. Wind and other new entrants have been given enough special treatments and enough passes to more than make up for whatever the Big 3 were given when they started. Wind is 4 years old now. If they can’t develop an appropriate business model that will allow them to succeed in the market, it is not the responsibility of the federal government to keep holding their hand and given them special treatment. I eagerly await the day the Mobilicity finally fails because it will send a very clear message through the market that this kind of behavior has ended, and that wireless carriers are solely responsible for their business. But the federal government keeps extending their auction deadline and keeps looking upon them as a fragile snowflake that needs to be protected, instead as a company that slashed and burned and failed to make a profit.

      When it comes to the Big 3, they are absolutely competing. It’s obvious that you aren’t seeing the competition just because it isn’t about price. The Big 3 are constantly competing over territory, coverage, additional services, reliability, and next-gen technology. They are also competing over media properties in order to create more enticing and exclusive service for their customers while having more options to leverage for other carrier’s services. Pricing is also heavily competitive. Just because you aren’t seeing a price change doesn’t mean they aren’t competing. I constantly cite a certain Looney Tunes cartoon that spells out retail competition in a clear yet entertaining way. Businesses reduce prices in order to compete until they can not longer reduce prices. At that point, they start looking for other ways to compete while trying to reduce their costs. We’ve hit that point where under current models, carriers cannot reduce prices anymore and still profit, yet they continue to lower prices where and when they can (even if only temporarily) in order to stay competitive. Just because the prices are matched doesn’t mean they aren’t competing, and I wish for one second that you would realize that.

      The Canadian wireless industry is far from stagnant, and the only reason why the federal government is meddling is to get votes for the next election. The PC aren’t doing this for you. This is just a noticeable market that they’ve hastily jumped into. If you follow political discussions, there have been serious concerns raised about Stephen Harper’s leadership of the PC party. Basically, precedent shows that any PM can only stay in power for so long, and that the PC risk losing power in the next election if there is not a change. The PC jumped on this like a hand grenade in order to try and get votes because the Honorable Prime Minister will not give up power. If they really wanted to improve consumer rights, they’d be going after the oil industry and gas stations, where the price of gas always seems to go up over holidays and long weekends even though they already bought that fuel at a lower price. They would be going after utility companies for charging exorbitant service fees on necessary services, like the $35 per month billing fee I pay for water. They would be going after employers who do not pay a living wage and force employees to choose work over family. If the PC cared about consumer rights, they’d be going after all consumer rights, not just focus on one industry and actually cause more damage to it through their meddling and poor governance.

      As for the inoperability of the industry, I certainly hope you don’t mean how it is unprofitable for a foreign carrier to enter the market and try to go national. I have already proven that mentality wrong and misinformed, since the population density of Canada and the costs of operation cannot support any more dilution. The closest comparison of wireless services to Canada isn’t the US, Europe, or Asia. It’s Russia, a country with similar population centres and concentrations, similar size, and a similar amount of unpopulated space. But even Russia has 3 times the density and some 4-5 times the population. We are definitely reaching a breaking point where this industry may not be able to grow anymore or sustain any more business. Just because you’re ignoring the facts doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

      I’m all for better pricing and better services in wireless. But I do not support knee-jerk reactions and poor policy development when the goal is obviously a vote grab, or when such decisions are made with so much haste that they do irreparable harm to the industry that they are trying to regulate.

  • thomas nguyen

    i pay more per month on my gas for my vehicle than my cellphone bill. I’m thinking they should do something about the oil and gas industry! lets pick on something that can save us the most money instead of nit picking “roaming charge’ that may or may not affect all of us

  • Nitrof Nosaj

    Would be nice if the Canadian gov’t picked a fight with the Oil & Gas companies too. They could put way more money back in our pockets with regulated gas/diesel prices.

    • Scazza

      Are you kidding, do you have any idea how much money that industry brings in to their coffers? Its so easy to bully the wireless industry, and it wins you easy points with the populace, as everyone hates their wireless company.

    • jsebean

      Oil is heavily regulated price wise, that said, no way would they ever fix the oil industry :P

    • jsebean

      I stand corrected on the Oil thing, I guess it isn’t regulated price wise, except for some minor provincial exceptions. You are right, they should pick a fight with them, or even better, refine our own at a Canadian price.

  • Scazza

    I’ll never understand this, and it saddens me that most MS commenters are still so blind with hate for Robellus that they just hate on anything to do with them, that no one sees how insane this decision is.
    Lets say you are a courier company. We will call you National Canada. You deliver packages ALL over Canada, and you do it for a high price, but your package gets there fast, and on time. You started up with a bit of help from the government because at the time there were no national couriers, and without your help the courier industry in Canada would never have taken off… You set up free courior services for the Canadian Military, the actual government, and easily paid back what was given to you so you could start up, and provide Canadians service. So, you only deliver in Canada, but an American company comes a long and says “Hey, we here at America Pack and Ship, would love to deliver to Canada, and I’m sure you would love to deliver here. Lets set up an agreement where we deliver each others service, and offer a nice discount to each other, and we will not compete. We will be partners! And you think that’s swell.
    Then a little company pops up in a little town of Nowhere, Quebec, and its run by a little guy whos always on the news talking about how your company sucks, and how you are evil. He is annoyed that he only has an ox cart to deliver his goods slowly around his little town, but he does it for next to nothing. He whines and complains to the government about how its not fair that you have a national service and his service is so tiny. So the government forces you to offer to delivery these packages. Now, as a rival company, who is COMPETING WITH YOU, why would you not charge him more than a PARTNER WHO HAS A SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP with you?

    WIND literally brings NOTHING to the deal it has with Rogers, except revenue and loss of customers. Roaming agreements with ATT in the US brings an actual profitable relationships with no competition. Why would any business want to offer the same deal to its rival, as it does to its partner?!?!

    All this shows to foreign companies is that if you come here, and do well, the government will slap you down and force you to give service to your rivals.

    If you actually read my stupid anecdote, sorry, but when you look at it from any other industry, it is absolutely insane.

    • Scazza

      I’m not saying they are angels, far from it. Their business practices some times are horrid. However many commentators on here will **** on anything to do with them. Example: Bell has their “Lets Talk” campaign where they donated a few million bucks to charity, and the entire comment section here on MS was nothing but morons who will complain about anything, and crack jokes like a bunch of kids.
      So yes, many people here have blind hate when it comes to Robellus, no matter the topic or subject. Sure my anecdote is kinda ridiculous, I know, but it does show how insane it is for the Harper gov’t to force them to help a rival company, and complain when they give a discount to a partner. Any other industry would never have regulation like this. It is insane.

    • Scazza

      And I agree with you too. Much of their business IS geared around squeezing money from us in horrible ways. Roaming is one of them. The reason they dropped roaming is because they knew it was coming, and so its better to get started early (so you can release a nice press release saying “Oh look, we love you, we did something good”), but they did it early because they know the current government is LITERALLY out to get them in order to divert attention from other government failings and to score easy points with the populace.

      There are many commentators on here who are level headed and have legit points against the big 3, and when the form them into nice sentences I usually read them and agree. It’s rare for someone to actually be civil on here, and I get a TON of hate because I don’t always follow the crowd and just scream at anything to do with Robellus…

  • Brandin Chiu

    The past 18 months of the government’s “push” to make the industry more competitive has achieved absolutely nothing. The new legislation did nothing, and they continue to go after minor things to placate people who aren’t asking for the right thing.

    Plan prices need to go down.

    • Brandin Chiu

      “domestic roaming charges” refers to roaming fees we pay within our own country. The number of people who actually incur these fees are pretty minimal. Anyone on a major carrier either has service, or doesn’t. If you’re on Rogers, and you go to Whitehorse, you don’t start getting charged thousands of dollars because you’re out of service range — you just don’t have a working phone. This isn’t going to address what Canadians pay when they take their phone to another country — so yes, this does pretty much nothing to address the issue that our monthly bills keep going up.

    • Brandin Chiu

      I’ve seen only mention of Bell doing this, and nothing suggesting that this was prompted by government intervention.

      And even with these changes, current prices for adding voice + text, as well as data, is about 80.00 as an “add-on” to your original plan price — which is still way more expensive than either not using your phone, picking up a cheap pay as you go while you are there, or activating on a plan from there.

      While yes, this is “something”, I do not count it at all to saving Canadians money, because I can’t think of anyone who would pay this given any of the alternatives. How often do people really use their domestic plan in another country?

    • Brandin Chiu

      I’m happy you are pleased with the changes being made; I am not. I get frustrated when I see people screaming “Yay” at changes like these because it means they are being placated by every change other than the one that I feel is most pressing.

      The Wireless code was a very long document that changed very little. And ultimately, while all of these changes come into effect, plan prices continue to go up. This seems completely unacceptable to someone who pays for 3 cell phones, all on different carriers. The government’s push to help “everyday Canadians” should start at the very bottom — what we pay on a monthly basis — not what we MAY incur once in a while.

    • Brandin Chiu

      I fear you assume to much in my direction of my comment. A lot of people I know (family, friends, etc), as well as people from various forums, including MS host many people who are very pleased with what is happening. I just find that this is partially contributing to what little action is being taken towards the fundamental issue Canadians face — what we pay on our monthly statement. I strongly feel like we deserve more, and better service when compared to other regions of the world (specifically Europe). I will submit that I am being rash in my argument that “nothing” is happening, but I do feel like these changes are our government’s way of saying, “Here, we changed something, now shut up”.

      I think you need to take a step back and stop taking this back-and-forth so personally.

      As for my “argument” — its very clear: the real issue isn’t being addressed. It feels like the government is doing everything they can to change everything except what Canadians actually need: reduced plan rates. My saying that these other changes are not addressing this issue shouldn’t take away from that.

    • jsebean

      You must realize that it’s hard to achieve a balance between giving the carriers a little control over the network that they built while still looking out for the consumers and individuals, which the government is suppose to represent. I agree the wireless code was a bit useless and didn’t change much, but I still strongly support it and I don’t see much more than you can do. The fact that three year terms is cut out is one substantial change.

    • Brandin Chiu

      I’m all for two year contracts, but I feel the context of the change required greater insight by the crtc. If I was given the choice between Two year contracts with hiked monthly prices, vs 3 years as we had before, I’d vote to keep the 3 years. I really just feel they dropped the ball and hoped we’d be happy with what they “did” do.

    • jsebean

      I don’t see how monthly prices “hiked” I’m not paying any more than before, granted I don’t follow the mobile industry and the plans offered closely.

      Some provinces already banned 3 year contracts, and many other nations (the UK being one iirc) banned them as well. Considering the average mobile phone user doesn’t even keep their phone three years, nor do most batteries even last that long, I don’t think it’s an issue. Personally, I think the less debt people get into the better. After all, paying a couple hundred dollars on a 2 year term isn’t that big of a deal, it is a *luxury device*, if one can’t afford it then get a cheaper device. I don’t do the contract thing though, I suppose other people who do, if a 5 year contract was offered, maybe they’d take it… the question is should they even be allowed to offer such a rediculous term?

      I’ll be honest, I’ve not been too supportive of some things the Harper government has been doing, but I will stand behind him on this one.

    • Brandin Chiu

      At the time, my current phone (even on a three year contract just before the switch) ran me 80.00 per month for 3 gb of data and caller ID. The same plan, with similar voice package, but with 6 gb of data was only 72.00 on my phone prior. And that was a small jump for someone who was already paying at the top tiers. At last I checked, it was about 70.00 per month as the lowest you can go for most smartphones, when on a 3 year, it was 50.00 for a traditional 400-500 my of data. That’s quite a jump. This jump is also due in part to a partition between devices of quality and flagships. With a hardware amortization of only 2 years, carriers have begun separating top tier phones more heavily than before, setting up “classes” of smartphones, where you could before get almost any brand new smartphone on those 50/month plans. Now, those phones don’t qualify for their lower packages – - while of course some cell store staff tell customers that the phone won’t “work” on lower packages, which is of course total and udder bs, lol.

  • Richie diggle

    My thing is this.. You have a company start up who either doesn’t know the cost of creating a national network in a country as large as Canada (mass wise, not population) or who just doesn’t have the means to and government is seemly trying to alter the rules (that they themselves created) to make it easier for them.
    If the government wants to play such a large role in the telecom sector and give Canadians true choice and competition why not create their own national carrier… Invest the money and build their own network.

  • Matthew Livingstone

    This is a BULLSH!T call by the CRTC !!! As a Rogers customers WE alone should be entitled to the full access of the network OUR company worked on and paid to build. I firmly believe this of Bell and as well (even though I do not use them). The point is if another telco has to pay a premium to use our towers while they are outside of their own coverage THAT’S BUSINESS PEOPLE!!! If I was out of Rogers service area and had to pay extra to use Bell 2G I’d be grateful for the service as long as it worked when I needed. If you roam be ready pay, if you can’t afford it don’t use it or move to a company that will give you what you need. The big three are already Canada wide, if the smaller ones can’t compete, fold. Canada doesn’t need as many wireless companies as we have. Honestly ppl how many different options do you need to slice data and minutes.

    • Ben Burger

      Wow, are you serious?

    • Matthew Livingstone

      very. why should I accept other carrier users on my network at the same price I pay. I’m pay Rogers so I expect Rogers service priority over other carriers. If I had Bell I would demand the same thing. If you want more coverage from a carrier and you want to minimize domestic roaming choose a carrier with its own large network.

  • jsebean

    Best analogy yet ;). Sure, I’d love to build my own wireless company, anyone care to help? :P

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