CRTC creates online tool for Canadians to find the closest wireless provider

Ian Hardy

February 19, 2016 11:52am

Under the leadership of Jean-Pierre Blais, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has made it its a mission to bring more wireless competition to Canada, as well as reduce how much Canadians pay to access those services. While the trek still continues, Blais and his team have created a tool to help Canadians quickly find the closest service providers in their area.

No, it’s not Google, but a dedicated tool that lives within the CRTC’s website and offers quick access to information on TV, Internet, wireless and phone service providers across Canada. In addition, the CRTC also gives a brief tutorial on how to change your service provider and compare monthly rate plans between the different carriers.

While it’s not the prettiest resource, it seems to be a more cost effective solution than the expensive Rate Plan Calculator that Industry Canada once offered. The search can be ordered by different carriers, including Rogers, Bell, Telus, Wind, or by specific location.

crtc tool

Blais, Chairman and CEO of the CRTC, said in a statement issued to MobileSyrup, “We have heard repeatedly that consumers crave choice and affordability when it comes to choosing communication services. We listened to what Canadians told us and many of our recent decisions have an important common thread: choice and sustainable competition. We know this is how we can ensure Canadians benefit from a world-class communications system. The new online tool that we are introducing today will help Canadians select service providers that make the most sense for their needs, their budgets and their realities.”

Source CRTC
  • Tech Guru

    Amazing. The various providers already have lists like this on their sites.. good thing the CRTC put manpower into assembling this instead of mandating cheaper rates for Canadians.

    • MassDeduction

      I’m curious, did you test the resource before commenting? It lists MVNOs like Cityfone and other options that most Canadians are unaware of, and that offer better deals at some service levels.

    • Clearly, they did not. A good service for those that what to know what else is out there without having to hunt like a madman to find it.

  • Obaid Ansari

    What a waste.

  • rgl168

    I need a tool like that? Walk into Square One and Erin Mills Town Centre and you’ll see mobile phone retailers in virtually all corridors inside those malls.

    • awhite2600

      You’ve described every mall in Canada. Any decent sized mall will have stores/kiosks for the Big 3, (Robelus) their budget brands (Fido, Kodo, Virgin), the minor players (Wind), independent cell stores (Wireless Wave) and the stores owned by the Big 3 (Source, Blacks). Even the smaller malls will have at least half a dozen places to buy a phone. …and we wonder why mobile phone plans are so expensive.

    • MassDeduction

      I’m curious where the mall kiosks are for Public Mobile, Cityfone, Primus Wireless, etc. They’re MVNOs that this tool lists. Seems useful to me if you’re going to check out all the options when shopping around, rather than just the high profile options.

    • rgl168

      But would I need the CRTC to give out the same information when it already existed elsewhere? (ie. Wikipedia, RFD, etc.)

  • deltatux

    How are they aiming to reduce the wireless cost and bringing in more competition when they ruled yesterday to shut out full MVNOs? That’s how you compete and lower prices.

    • MassDeduction

      In fairness, they didn’t shut out full MVNOs, they just failed to mandate them. Operators can still offer full access to MVNOs if they choose. Though I agree mandating them would have been a benefit.

  • Graham Wilson

    Given that the landscape has changed a bit, I would like another try at the rate plan calculator, as per the linked article.

  • Luke

    Would be more useful if it had a list of the closest cell Towers to my location. 😀

  • Brad Fortin

    Looking at the tool, apparently I have access to Bell, Rogers, Telus, their subsidiaries, and a few MVNOs that run on Rogers. The big 3 and their subsidiaries all have the same plans at the same ridiculous prices, and the MVNOs all have the same plans at the same ridiculous prices.

    Good thing the CRTC made this tool to show us our choices between the big 3 and the big 3 via proxy while doing absolutely nothing about the price collusion. Baby steps, I suppose.

  • blzd

    So many options to choose, I just don’t where to start!


  • Benjamin Lehto

    So, what will actually bring about competition in Canada?

    People getting out into the streets on planned event days and protesting in European like numbers (say 100,000 plus in all the major cities across Canada)

    People cancelling all their services for the Big 3 and their subs in enough numbers across Canada all at the same time through a viral campaign and be willing to do without for the short term to show the Monopolies that Canadians are fed up and demand they compete for our money

    Cause, commenting on forums certainly doesn’t do it. There’s a big discussion on the CBC on an article regarding the CRTC’s and MVNO’s and lots of comments but again, what good does it do?

    • w00

      As for getting competition in Canada, all I can suggest is putting up with a bit of potential pain and go with the smaller providers to boost their profits and allow them to more quickly build out.

      Even if they could, the big American telcos don’t want to come to Canada, spend $1,000,000,000 getting a network built, then… how to make that back on their potential share of a market of 35,000,000?

      As for protesting? I can’t see it happening.

      How many are even willing to forego the very latest phone as soon as they can afford it, contract terms be damned?

      Or how about a viral campaign to convince a protest consisting of giving up mobile internet?

      Um, would take nearly 2 years for all the current contracts to expire, and a lot of potential protesters would be traumatized by the lack of access to FaceTwitGram within hours.

      Just go with the smaller companies, while they still exist in their current form, don’t sign up for contracts, ditch or reduce mobile data — it’s all I can think of.

  • m-p{3}

    Meanwhile they neutered any chances for newcomers to compete as an MVNO. I don’t trust the CRTC anymore to represents Canadians’ best interests.

  • Do Do

    Would consumers even notice if the CRTC didn’t exist? I see ZERO value in wasting tax dollars on that department. They come up with regulations that ae ignored regularly and do NOTHING that provides any meaningful help to consumers. Each time that I’ve contacted them about a problem, they’ve done NOTHING. They simply suggest I complain to someone else about one of their rules not being followed by one corporation or another. The CRTC is nothing more than a paper lion and probably more likely a fake department to give the public the illusion that there’s someone watching on behalf of the consumers when in fact they’re just a partner of the corporations. Oh ya and they apparently go after telemarketers, whoopty doo.

  • Colton Blumhagen

    Well I found a bunch of carriers I’d never heard of, including 7/Eleven. Yes, they have a carrier. lol

  • Raidan Michaels

    A really cool idea would be plans that actually cover only the cost of services on a BYOD. Buying a phone outright, unlocked and ready to use on any network is what I do! But if only there were a justifiable way to get a good plan at a low cost with my own phone… I guess taking 10% off is good? Or not allowing off-contracts to exist at all anymore? Wait… Oh right…. I’m just a number! How dull of me………………. 😐

  • Pingback: How to get the best cell phone deals()

  • Vito R.

    I want to know how much this cost to build…

  • TechGuy

    What choice other than the Big 3 realistically? And all the Big 3 offers is inferior quality service for premium price. On Rogers, I have near zero reception at work, 2-3 bars at most at home (which is in the middle of downtown Toronto), and experienced huge dead zones within central North York. Meanwhile, people pay half the price for the same amount of data in Asia and still have reception while taking the subway. For me, the Canadian wireless landscape is beyond bleak.