Minister of Innovation says government is monitoring CRTC efforts to review carrier unlocking fees

CRTC sign

Canadian carriers earn a significant sum charging Canadians to unlock their phones. Now, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development says that the government is following the CRTC’s effort to investigate these charges.

Minister Navdeep Bains was at the annual Canadian Telecom Summit, in Toronto, where he touched on the subject of carrier unlocking fees.

“Last year Canadians paid nearly $38 million [CAD] to have their cellphones unlocked,” said Bains.

Bains’s citation of the $38 million figure is in reference to a CRTC review that showed that Canadian telecoms charged $37.7 million in 2016 for unlocking approximately 943,000 devices.

At roughly $40 per unlock, Canadians were charged approximately $10 more in 2016 than in 2015.

“I know that the CRTC is looking at this issue, and our government will closely monitor results of the CRTC review,” said Bains.

During his speech at the summit, Bains also made announcements concerning Wi-Fi-first MVNOs and 5G spectrum releases, emphasizing the fact that Canadians are in need of more accessible wireless pricing.