CRTC bans locked phones and carrier unlocking fees


  • Rey

    Oh wow, that is great news. I am actually surprised they went ahead and did this (specifically the part about all new phones being unlocked as of Dec 1st). Some how though I feel the $50 Robellus is losing on unlocking fees… they will make it up somewhere else

    • It’s Me

      They will certainly try to make it up elsewhere. Which is crap since it was never a legitimate fee to begin with.

      “We aren’t allowed to basically steal from you this way anymore, so we’ll make it up elsewhere”.

    • Yanik K

      I know what the big 3 will do now.They will dissable on ROM level basebands (radio frequency) AWS1 for HSPA+ and AWS3 for LTE for Freedom Mobile and the likes to kills compation anyway.Like they have done with many previous phones loke Samsung Galasy2 and 3,LG G3

    • Yanik K

      I don’t understand why people are so excited about CRTC tgis time.It is topical of them to make maginal make-up changes every 2 -3 years that don’t do any difference for real compation becaus e the big 3 operate in cartel mode.They just fixing​ prices and territories.CRTC just creative to make chages like this that is very easily avoidable in Canada because 10% of real wireless compatition is operating in different frequency that is easy to restrict on device level.The real need of change is real MNVO ,no overchargeds fir data,no data limits( only trotholling after allocated hi speed amont of data) ,resonable price regulation for roaming.All this will work realy fast to bring those horrible Canadian prices donw but government don’t do it beacuse they all in the pockets of those big 3 one way or another.I just hope that one day at least one MP will stand up for us comsumers in this area and will start this real change and not diversions from real solutions.

  • Yoda TDot

    Bravo Canada

  • Ricky Bobby

    Expecting another round of political layoffs from Robellus.

    They’ll be getting that $50 somewhere else

  • Andrew Goldenberg

    Well done CRTC. We need more of this listening to consumers stuff and then coming up with rules instead of asking the industry to self regulate.

  • Granny is ALIVE!!!!

    Unlocked phones as of Dec 1st- finally!

  • Eric M.

    This is very good news for Canadians, I am very happy that we finally get unlocked devices from the get go.
    I applaud this CRTC decision.

  • That Guy

    This is amazing news. So happy for this. Hopefully there isn’t stupid stipulations like you gotta be the original account holder or something along those lines

    • RidgeBoyGenius

      You’ll have to have a line active with the carrier in question. Other than that, should be fine.

    • Arman

      And you had to wait 3 months before you could unlock the phone. How stupid was that!

  • Surveillance

    Carriers will stop selling phones as a result of this move, they will only sell plans now.

    • RidgeBoyGenius

      Fine with me. They can stop competing on price of device and start competing on plan price

    • Salinger

      That would be brilliant. Let Best Buy and other retailers sell phones outright like they do with every other piece of electronics, and let the carriers do what they should be doing, concentrating on improving their plans for customers.

    • RidgeBoyGenius

      Couldn’t have said it better

    • Pedro

      Perfect! Separate the phone from the phone plan and get some competition going on those plans.

  • Grumpel

    This is amazing!

  • villain

    good. still have more work to do on rogers, bell and telus though BUT it’s a start

  • Alex

    great news, but hate to be the downer here, but i feel that robellus is just going to increase prices…

    • Philosoraptor

      And? They can’t do it to your existing plan.

    • Alex

      they could try. I remember they tried to increase my bill by calling me, and mailing me new contracts to replace my old. When i called in, they said this was done due to changes, and i have to just accept it. They kept asking me to say yes, which felt like some bait. So I continued to refuse, and hung up. I haven’t had a price increase, but according to the documents sent to me, and what i was told, my plan would go up $60 per plan, (so from $60 to $120) , on my 3 lines.

      Also, rogers called me regarding a CRTC Mandated price increase on my cable line. Unless anyone can confirm otherwise, but i’m pretty sure thats not right. CRTC would not MANDATE rogers to increase their cable prices. If they did, it be more than just me going nuts atm.

    • Philosoraptor

      Ok, maybe not literally. But they won’t. It’s not standard practice. If mine tried, I’d be gone.

      There are enough options in Canada for me to let them know I won’t pay their exorbitant rates. It may involve me jumping through some hoops but I’ll do it.

      We keep having the highest prices because we keep paying. Sure, we complain, but words do nothing.

    • rgl168

      Virgin twice increased my plan since wireless code took effect. Finally had it and move to Public Mobile.

    • heynow00

      May want to reread your terms of service. Carriers can make any changes they want to your plan including giving you a completely different plan as long as they give you 30 days notice.

    • PeterC

      And the customer is then free to switch carriers and keep their phone to resell or use.

  • Ryan

    lol ya rite

  • Clean Toronto

    Just buy an unlocked phone to begin with. Don’t deal with any carrier nonsense/bloatware.

  • MailmainDelivers

    LOL if anyone thinks that a public telecom company is gonna take the hit on revenue, you’re kidding yourselves. Plans and phone prices will go up to make up for the churn increase & reduction in revenue from lack of unlock fees. Additionally, carriers will make it easier to hit that $50/$500 overage/roaming cap so that more of their customers hit it. Overall they’ll make their revenue and then maybe some extra. This is far from a good thing for consumers.

    • Zee

      They increase plan prices every few months anyway. Lowest data plan is now $45/mo. on Virgin and Fido compared to few months ago when it was only $30/mo.

    • David Nyarko

      The carriers might be digging their own grave if they think they can maintain the ridiculous overage rates. I will not be surprised if in future the next big thing will be why the overage fee (eg data overage) charge should be way greater than the data rate included in a plan. What we should realize that mobile communications is becoming an essential tool for business and personal use, and if the carriers cannot come up with innovative solutions, they might open themselves up in the near or far future to the government making the data overage charges equal to the actual plan data rates. e.g. if a tablet data plan can be $15/2GB, why should a data overage be $50/1GB, since the transport mechanism is identical.

    • It’s Me

      Umm, if churn increases then they might actually have to compete to combat churn, which in every other industry mean improved prices.

      You argument is that can these illegitimate fees were a good thing for consumers. That’s a strange position.

  • Beebs

    Next unlimited LTE plan

  • Arman

    Really god job CRTC… 🙂

  • tvguy

    This is excellent news. Now, if only we could get unlimited data plans!

  • villain

    the big 3 is without a doubt going to turn around and spit in the CRTC’s face and just up plans and hardware like they did when the CRTC made them eliminate 3 year contracts. Canada needs more mobile provider competition besides the big 3 coddled.

    • Acrobat1991

      Exactly my reply I made on twitter (for this article)

  • KiwiBri

    Wow.. Amazing how long it’s taken to catch up with some other world markets in this regards

  • deltatux

    It’s time for carriers to be just that carriers. Let the device market to be open & free just like they should be. North America is one of the few bastions where carriers controls the selling of devices. In many other places around the world, people walk into electronics stores to buy their phones. Carriers still sell phones but they compete with electronics store for that business.

    This is an extra incentive for not only competition amongst carriers but also competition for devices & lower their overall cost.

    • Matt

      I think the carriers are ok with your thoughts here, no more free phones, no more contracts just month to month service, but you have to buy your phone on your own, so instead of getting the S8 or IPhone 7 on a contract people now have to buy their phones outright, enjoy paying full retail for your devices up front, $500-$1k whenever you want a new phone. Also no more having to deal with customers who want their device balance waived to upgrade early… that is a win for the carriers

    • deltatux

      This really is a win-win situation for everyone. Carriers can even switch to a financing model to allow people to finance their purchase just like they do with housing, cars, rings, furniture & etc. Some providers are already switching to that model instead of the contract model already.

      With an open market, anyone can sell phones, offer financing plans, compete on price & have their device to operate on any network of their choosing. Carriers will then have to compete over not just price but also service (be it technical or customer service). We might finally see dual-SIM phones in North America like you do in Europe & Asia.

      Another up side is that devices are no longer marketed & designed for a particular carrier. No more being held hostage by the carrier for updates, less hardware variants needed, less bloatware & so much more!

      All of this might culminate & actually promote proper competition. All we’re missing is allowing MVNOs to exist in Canada.

    • Anna Ma

      i brought my phone (s8) outright… but it’s locked to a carrier…. i paid in FULL…. it’s LOCKED… i do understand if you get subsidy then you would want the phone to lock for say.. about two years (standard contract) then carriers should provide an unlock code thereafter…

      but since i buy my own phone in full… this new change is welcoming.

    • samsvoc

      If you buy on contract, you’re still financially obligated to pay off the phone, no need for locked phones. Locking phones, is the providers way of squeezing blood from a rock. Could you imagine buying a Honda Civic and having the gas cap locked to only Esso stations! THAT’S NUTS.
      Thumbs UP, CRTC. A win for the average Joe.

    • Crazy Legs™

      And it’s also their way to try to force you into expensive roaming plans by adding that extra cost and hassle. They know that you can get a cheap pay-as-you-go SIM when you travel outside the country and want to make it difficult and pricey for you to do that.

    • samsvoc

      Yes, I know, it’s sad. I’m traveling to Europe this summer and checked rogers roaming plans, $10 for 20MB of data, Crazy. Just getting a local sim.

    • jroc

      Roam like home dude. $10/day and you can use your phone just like you’re in Canada.

    • samsvoc

      Already checked, this doesn’t apply to me as I’m a corp client.

    • David Nyarko

      I think the carriers would not do that since they will not make money. Do you remember when one could save about $20 on BYOD plans from the major carriers and that has about all disappeared? Because a number of people went with that and they could not make as much revenue as they wanted. So the plan structures have been changed so that over a 2 year period the BYOD savings will not be as great as if one got a subsidized phone on a plan thus drawing customers back to that model.
      As i noted in my comments to the CRTC earlier this year, there must be a clear demarcation between the phone cost and the plan subsidy as Koodo does with their tab (i.e similar to financing the phone). This is what will bring transparency.

  • XY

    carriers will find a way to put the fee back onto us (aka another excuse to raise price of plans), if they were already making millions a year from it, their bottom line will require the same funds to remain in their pockets.

    • Matt

      Actually what will most likely happen is you will see device discounts disappear, for example if you go to koodo right now you can get a iPhone SE for $0 on a $360 tab, effectively a $244 discount off the cost of the device from Apple. The difference is you have to pay to unlock the phone and can’t do that for 90 days from koodo so in saving the $244 they are at least guaranteed to get most of that discount back. Now fast forward to December 1, if you could sign up with koodo, cancel right away and get the phone unlocked for $360 why would you buy from Apple anymore? And why would koodo take that risk that you are just looking to buy the cheapest unlocked phone and won’t be with them for service as well?

    • Stephie

      This kind of thing doesn’t really happen for high end, high priced phones though, and only really occurs at the ‘discount’ services providers. Telus/Bell keep the retail pricing for phones way higher than it would be if you bought it from a ebay or something of the sort. Look at the phones that were released last year, Telus/Bell is still selling them for 7-800 while ebay is selling them for 4/500. I’m sure any discount they are giving on devices is either from surplus or from a bulk purchasing discount. that 360 is likely way more than they paid per device in the first place.

    • Matt

      if you buy off eBay you are not buying directly from Apple/Samsung ect, you might be getting a phone that was acquired in not the most legal way. the phones are sold directly to the consumer from Apple/Samsung in most cases for the same price that all phone carriers list them at, there is very little profit on the phones themselves for the carriers and they make their profit on the monthly plans themselves. What you are saying won’t affect almost all phone carriers in Canada, they are happy for you to get your phone off e-bay and just pay for the monthly fee. If you get a phone from most carriers they put that $7-800 into your cancelation cost as the device balance

    • David Nyarko

      I think you might be mistaken that just because Apple/Samsung sell phones at the same price as carriers, there is not much profit. Do you recall when the Nexus 5 came out? Google store sold it for $350 but all the carriers sold it for $500. Google made a profit and definitely the carriers made even more. Since then Google upped the prices for the Nexus 6 onwards in line with the carrier charges which means an even greater profit for Google. So the manufacturer store price and carrier price being the same does not mean minimal profit.

    • TP

      If you get a phone from a particular carrier and just cancel out the account right after, you can’t get the unlock code from the carrier anyway. Carrier mandates that you stay with them for 90 days to qualify. At least that’s what I heard from Koodo.

    • Matt

      Under the new laws you would get the phone unlocked out of the box removing any need to get it unlocked after getting service meaning you could cancel right away

    • TP

      What I’m saying is that, the people who currently do that tactics would not care much about this. Most of them are going to ebay and getting the unlock code for $5 anyway. Any most people who do stay, stay because they are tied to the contract/financing, and/or they are satisfied with the service, not because their phones are locked.

    • KiwiBri

      unfortunately iPhones cost more than $5 to unlock. More like $50

    • John Lofwire

      Yeah and thats with a carrier..

      online the best i could find for recent iphone is 80$…

    • TP

      The people I talk about here are usually Android users, as this type of promotion usually promotes Android phones.

    • John Lofwire

      Yep they gonna increase price thats 100% sure.

  • Jim__R

    Totally unexpected and totally awesome!

  • Nelson Hudes

    This is totally amazing !

  • gommer strike

    No arguments for me, this is a good thing for customers. Phones locked to any carrier is not a good thing. I understand that carriers want to lock the customer in for loyalty reasons but people can and do either resell their smartphones or give them away to friends and family for second-hand use.

    • Brian J

      I kept my old Samsung Galaxy S4 once my contract expired and now use it as a GPS for my car. There are plenty of uses for an old smart phone.

    • It’s Me

      I understand the carriers wanting to lock, but that never made it OK. They should never have been allowed to lock nor charge an unlock fee. They’d like to randomly take money from people for no service as well, but they aren’t allowed to.

    • HiHoSilver

      Loyalty is always better when it’s freely given by the customer. Being held hostage is a whole different kind of loyalty and rarely bears goodwill.

  • Benjamin Gronberg

    So thrilled! This is why I’m happy the CRTC exists!

    • AppleBerrySandwich

      CRTC does more harm than good

    • mauriceh

      Go away trollyface

    • John Lofwire

      You are wrong J-Ro go read my previous post.

      I prove it with an iphone 6S 32 gb as an example how wrong you are.

    • I wouldn’t say wrong. Plans have gone up. When LTE first came out you could get a new iphone for the same price as it is now but for $60 a month on Bell or Rogers (likely Telus but I can’t remember). Now for the same type of plan it is more than double.

      Inflation doesn’t happen that quickly as it hasn’t even been 5 years, so what else could be causing it? It is the fact that smartphones are the new normal and they usually cost between $700 to $900. They know that people are less likely to pay for that outright and are less likely to go back to a feature phone so they raise their plans through the roof.

      I get you are in the industry but don’t pretend that rates haven’t soared over the years.

    • John Lofwire

      Telus gave LTE to all LTE enabled phone when its came out.
      No matter what plan you have.
      i know a friend who has a old unlimited data plans from BB day and he always buy phone full price and even today still have thats plan.
      He got LTE right when its became available.

      in past 5 years phone maker also got very hungry.

      Iphone 5S cost like 650$ full price
      now iphone 7 cost 899$
      Its the same on android side as well average price was 450 to 600$ and now its 700 to 1000$ easy…

      So clients expect to continue to pay almost nothing for the device and keep same plans its make no sense..

      So i think Carrier are greedy but client are also greedy.

      They should all work like koodo you have the plans and you have the financing completely separated from each others.
      Thats way you know thats if you want a 1000$ phone at 0$ You gonna have an extra 41$ on your monthly bill over 24 months period so your 45$ unlimited canada with 4 gb plan will at the end cost you 96$ a months.

      So yes carrier know if you had a smartphone you wont go back to a flip phone.
      They do make sure to work on thats end thats i fully agree.

      But there is more to this equation than Carrier.

      There is the phone maker and the clients..

      Also 2 years forced agreement are part of the issues as well.
      lets take the same iphone 6S 32 gb as example.

      775$ over 3 years = 21$ ( again removed the numbers after the , to simplify )
      775$ over 2 years = 32$

      So at least 11$ increase in price is valid based on 2 versus 3 years to absorb phone price.

      Add to thats phone difference in price..

      iphone 5S over 36 months contract = 18$ a month aprox for financing
      Iphone 6S over 36 months contract = 21$ a month aprox

      21 – 18 = 3$ + 11$ = 14$ increase.
      We gone from 60$ average to 75$ average since 3 years.
      So yes carrier pocket more money ( 1$ average per client ) so its million or $ a years.

      But the issue is we always been overpriced lol so base price should never been thats high.

      the increase by itself is logical because of 3 years financing to 2 years increase monthly financing by a good margin and phone price increase also increase thats same financing margin.

      Problem is when we where at 60$ for all included plans ( data ans all ) we should had been at 40$ or even 30$

      So we are still 20-30$ too pricey overall.

    • I agree with the greedy clients but that is expected because both the carriers and the OEM’s used their billions to create the greedy consumers we have today. The question now is the abuse. They lured us on to data with plans that were $60 for 6gb with the latest phone and now not even 5 years later those same plans cost more than double. They are making more than $1 per user because $65 to $75 is just for air time, this doesn’t include data. Once you include data you are in the triple digit range. So if they make $1 for $75 dollar plans they are making at least $30 to $50 per user by current plans and rates.

      The fact that we had 3 year contracts didn’t really matter because they let you upgrade after 2 years most of the time meaning they likely got the phones on discount because they bought in bulk and we are believing that they are getting them and selling them breaking even at MSRP.

      We the consumers got greedy but the businesses got greedier and no one stepped in or is stepping in to address their practice.

    • John Lofwire

      First of all i forgotten to say i am in Quebec.

      Back 5 years ago its was in fact 57$ for 350 min + 6 gb of data.
      Now its 75$ for unlimited with 4 gb of data.

      So my point still stand but for Quebec.

      Fully agreed thats they are clearly abusing in others provinces.

      As for phone pricing i be truthful.
      Beside apple you are right they pay the phone easily 50% of the MSRP price.

      For apple phone there is 0 profit ( thats why by example on apple store you see iphone 7 at 899$ and at carrier level its 915$ ) because thats the only way to make minimal profit on apple device. There is no discount even if you buy 50000 iphone they will be sold to you at the price apple store sell them to client… Apple the most greedy company on earth.. ( and has 40-50% of sales are apple device if you want to be in the game you have to have them in store.. )

      Anyhow sorry for not been clear about in Quebec.
      But even so in Quebec we are still overpriced ( to a much lesser extend ) than other provinces.

    • In Ontario, GTA specifically, we are heavily over priced. The prices we pay cannot be explained and they go up yearly. If you were to believe it was all for “network upgrades” we should be on 7G by now with what we pay

    • John Lofwire

      double post by mistake sorry.

    • Vision

      Not everyone has 1000+ just to spend on a phone .

    • if you can spare to save 100 a month over the course of your two year term, you have enough to buy 1 new phone, accessories for that phone and a trip to New York by flight. If you can’t afford to save that amount, you likely shouldn’t have the phone.

  • Pedro

    Good call CRTC. This locked phone shenanigans was bogus from the very start.

  • Stephie

    I want to be happy about this, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the carriers will find a way to have this be bad for us.

    • skinned

      They will decrease carrier incentives with the argument that the locks helped customer retention and they need to recoup that cost if anybody asks.

    • Brian J

      I have switched carriers twice and, likely, will again when my current contract is up. I do not think that locked phones help with customer retention at all…anecdotal evidence perhaps but, I would venture a guess that most people feel this way. Rates and service do that.

    • skinned

      I completely agree about the retention. I’m just certain they’re going to find a reason to raise prices and use this policy as a justification. They’re even better at it than mobile services.

    • Not retention but fraud. They used the high fee to make extra money off customers. I think originally it was to help combat fraud but they used that and constantly upping the rates to get customers for more money on the way out.

      They don’t really offer loyalty plans and when they do they are worse then what you have and they don’t like selling phones outright. They kinda have too much power in the market.

    • It’s Me

      Forced retention isn’t legitimate retention. Here’s an idea…if they want to retain customers, how about they compete to retain customers. Like every other business in the world outside of monopolies and hegemonies.

    • Graison Swaan

      The problem is they don’t really have to compete. There’s only so many carriers you can go with and they’re all basically the same. They don’t care about the customer it’s more about “what the maximum we can get away with”

    • It’s Me

      Yes, which is defined as a hegemony. They are a cartel that works together to ensure maximum prices. Even the Competition Bureau acknowledged this, twice this year, that our cartel cooperates to keep artificially inflated prices inflated. But they acknowledged it and did nothing.

  • internetofdavid

    This is a great change for consumers!

    • skinned

      It will be nice not to have to pay for carrier mobility, but I don’t expect the carriers to just roll over on this one.

  • AppleBerrySandwich

    Great – I’m sure phone and or plan prices are going up again!

    • Zee

      Plan prices go up any way – phone locked or unlocked!

    • KiwiBri

      agreed, these carriers are still laughing !

    • NolandC

      Mines going up $9 as of August. Loyal customer reward xD #Rogersisthedevil

    • John Lofwire

      Only rogers/Fido increase your plan like this ( whitout renewing with a new device )

      Bell, Telus , videotron do not do thats you can keep your plan as it is forever if you wish as long as you dont renew with a new device.

    • Ali F.

      Yes me too, $9 up with Rogers.

    • fenrrito

      …so u mean to say u live under a rock and haven’t seen them going up in the past 3 months just for fun?

  • Jamie Donald Blackwell

    if the carrier provides good , reasonably priced service they dont have to worry about the device being un locked because they will retain that customer.

  • fred

    Thanks CRTC. Long overdue.

    Too bad Jean-Pierre Blais is leaving.

    • Marshall Davidson

      Blais’ tenure was somewhat mixed. Some might argue he bungled the cable TV pick and pay packages or the fact that costs went up considerably with the 2 year mobile contracts the CRTC mandated. Basically the man was a grandstander but I can see how some would think he was a gift to consumers.

  • lukeysboat

    Appeal in 3. 2. 1……

    • Just Jess

      Who are they going to appeal to?

  • jay


  • Crazy Legs™

    I’m fuzzy on how locking the phone prevents theft. If I sign up on a contract, they have my name, address, DL or some other identification. Should I stop paying my bill, they will disconnect my service, sent it to collections, sue me what-not. At that point, the phone is stolen (as I have not paid for it fully) blacklist the IMEI, and I can’t use it any more.

    That’s about as effective as having it SIM locked.

    Wait, unless… It’s all just been a scammy money grab to force people into paying for overpriced roaming packages. It was never to prevent theft.

    • Jim__R

      I believe the argument (to which I do not subscribe) is that these stolen phones would head overseas where the blacklist does not apply.

      However, I agree with you. Send the delinquent account to the collections agency, and it’ll be sorted out soon enough. No other product that is financed (which is basically what we are talking about) is locked in the way that cell phones are, so there’s just no justification for it. The providers merely need to do *proper* credit checks and follow the standard procedures for qualifying a person for financing. Not rocket science.

    • John Lofwire

      And i agree if the client wont pay they can at any time blacklist the phone itself so its wont be possible to be used.

    • Mr Dog

      I believe he is referring to when someone steals it prior to purchasing/activating.

      i.e: Bell Employee from random store, slips it into his bag. He can go ahead and use it on Rogers and Bell will not know until a few months later when that store does inventory. Than it takes another 1-3 months to add it to the blacklist.

      Where as if it is locked and they steal it. They can only use it on the Bell network and now when it is registered before selling, there is a flag somewhere and they know right away it was stolen.

    • John Lofwire

      I am partially with you on this.

      Here the official reason we give to client ( i work for a telecom ) When a phone is locked its cannot be used on another network so if someone steal it they will have a harder time to use it as its wont work on any others carrier.

      Also the Blacklist system sometime can take up to 90 days for an IMEI to be blocked on all carrier but blacklisted IMEI will be blocked immediately by the Carrier thats inscribe the device to it.

      Still i agree with you they stretched thats excuse way too far.

    • ArclightX

      That’s corporate speak and you know it.

      Ex-Telecom Eng, (thankfully), here and you know as well as I do if the public only knew half the shady stuff Robellus does to screw the customer there’d be riots.

      I’ve found a good rule of thumb for the public to use to discern the truth is… Listen to what the industry is saying, then think the opposite and that’s what’s actually happening.


    • Yami

      You go to bell and buy the galaxy 8 free gift gift card etc, you pay 0 for device they need you to stay

      Say you take the 90 plan for can wide and 3 gb with that in mind it takes 24 months at 43 dollars and change to pay off the device tab.

      in two years bell has made a little over 1100.

      If you went to wind the next day and never paid bell they lose 1035 for the device replacement they need to buy, and they need to sell 2 contracts to make up for the loss.

      Or as others suggest the plans will go up to mitigate the cost of ppl leaving early.

  • NolandC

    “Canada’s telecom regulator has announced that as of December 1st, 2017” Typo?

  • bomi

    Robellus has stated before that they will pass the cost of unlocking fees to the consumer. I wonder how much they’re gonna raise the plans now. They always find some way to screw us over.

    Also this will affect prepaid customers the most. Robellus will no longer have an incentive to subsidize prepaid phones if you can just buy a phone and use another carrier. This is going to suck for those with troubled credit or can’t afford to go month to month. $50 flip phone going to be like $100.

    • John Lofwire

      I beleive they will put it on top of device price at start.

      Lets say you pay an iphone SE 100$ well its gonna be 150$ thats how corporation work..

    • Faiz Imam

      That just makes paying full price and doing BYOD more attractive. Which further makes it easier to switch when you’re not happy with your phone.

      I’d expect that to cause reductions in plans, which is what we want.

    • Ontari_do_not

      I’m not sure if that is really the plan. The way I see it now that all phones are sold outright, the only “competition” is the monthly plans. I mean, if Canadians can cancel without recourse, there’s no difference between a monthly prepaid and postpaid except one is much more formal.
      If that’s the case, there’s exorbant freedom in switching back in forth. Businesses don’t like inconsistent revenue and so they gotta consider bribing customers into something long term. If they can’t offer a phone at discount or subsidy, maybe they’ll have to move towards a year long discount or something to keep people there.

  • This would have been game changing 10 years ago but now they make so much money off of new rate plans and pushing people to upgrade to their crappy plans that it doesn’t matter. Until people learn to buy phones outright, they will always be fleeced because upgrading or switching carriers equals nothing but big bills.

    • John Lofwire

      not 100% accurate.

      IF a phone is 775$ outright. ( iphone 6S 32 gb )
      you pay it 0$
      Thats 775$ financing.
      Divide thats per 24 months
      thats 32$ financing a months right? ( i removed the number after the , )

      So if you pay lets say 75$ for unlimited 4 gb plans.
      We can agree thats after financing its come to 43$ monthly.

      Koodo BYOD at 45$ give unlimited call and 2 gb data.
      Chatr BYOD at 45$ give unlimited call and 3 gb of data.
      Virgin mobile BYOD at 45$ give unlimited call and 2 gb of data.
      freedom mobile BYOD at 40$ give unlimited call and 4 gb of data ( best one i found )
      Videotron BYOD at 44.95$ give unlimited call and 2 gb of data.

      So in the end its not thats bad when you look at the real numbers.
      I dont say in canada we are not overpriced i just say thats having an agreement or not dont make much change.
      you pay the phone full price now or you pay it monthly thats basically what happen now.

      If you buy it full price at start and switch carrier you have no fee.
      If you got financed and switch before end of your agreement you only pay back the part of the phone you did not pay at start.

    • That isn’t bad at all. I’m with Bell and I think that is my problem. The premium carriers don’t have great BYOD plans. Or, at least they aren’t great compared to my grandfathered plan.

      The unlocked phone real might help more with going to another Carrier BYOD but the problem is getting them to sell it to you.

    • John Lofwire

      Well thanks to this update they wont have choice to sell to you so thats solved.

      As for the big 3 its normal they wont offer great BYOD because they all have lower end brand.

      Rogers has Fido who has similar 40-45$ BYOD plans.
      Telus has Koodo.
      Bell as Virgin mobile.

      The big 3 do offer some crazy good BYOD plan for business i saw plan as low as 35$ including unlimited min and shareable data ( 1 to 3 gb )

      But i know they gonna increase phone price to cover unlock fee they loose thats i can feel it happening deep down..

    • formulaphone

      Oh you better believe they will.
      And the rest of us who couldn’t care less about unlocking will have to help pick up the tab.

    • MrQ

      Where are you located? Koodo BYOD 2GB is $65, not $45 in Ontario, BC, Ontario

    • John Lofwire

      Oh sorry i am in Quebec and all the pricing i gave are for Quebec.

      I forgotten thats in others province its even worst…

      IF in quebec i think we are a bit over priced for you guys its must make no sense at all..

      Again sorry for thats.

    • ToniCipriani ✓pǝᴉɟᴉɹǝʌ

      If there’s a will, there is a way when it comes to Koodo out of province plans, lol.

    • Harry Saxon

      Where are these BYOD plans? They are 65$ if you live in Ontario or BC. And telus Rogers bell all lock you in at 100$ plan if you want a 7plus with those options. So 2400 + 380 they charge upfront – 1215 outright works out to 65$ dollars a month. So outright buying and going with public mobile at 40$ a month saves massive. 600$ over 2 years.

    • Wufai

      FYI Fido offerED promotional $50/5GB BYOD in Ontario if you know how to get it, not advertised but available to all who were aware.

    • ArclightX

      Koodo BYOD SK Plan $48: 5Gigs, Unlmtd Calling, Unlmtd Txting US/Canada

      Just say’in…

    • ToniCipriani ✓pǝᴉɟᴉɹǝʌ

      It should’ve came along when Wind, Mobilicity were started.

  • Andrew Holt

    Good first step, but what I’d really like to see the CRTC focus on next is forcing the Big 3 main providers into selling off their flanker brands (FIDO, Virgin, Koodo, Chatr, Public Mobile, etc) and having those flankers become independent, true MVNO’s. The big 3 should have never been allowed to purchase thoses flankers in the first place and is the main reason there is no real competition in this country. In the past, as soon as one of those formerly independent flankers got big enough, one of the big 3 just bought them out. Rogers, Telus, and Bell should only be able to operate their main brands and have no ownership in any other “pseudo” cell provider.

    • jroc

      Koodo and Chatr were all started by their parent brands…not bought by them. Virgin Canada was a joint venture by BCE and Virgin.

    • ToniCipriani ✓pǝᴉɟᴉɹǝʌ

      Well Public and Mobilicity both end up getting bought by Telus and Rogers respectively.

    • monkeymo

      tbf Telus wanted mobilicity but the CRTC kept blocking their purchased agreement with mobilicity.

    • Andrew Holt

      well that’s true, but all of the big 3 have purchased flanker brands or other smaller providers at one time or the other. Telus with Public Mobile and way back with Clearnet, Rogers with Fido, and Bell recently with MTS and Aliant. The point is, if the CRTC is serious about competition, they shouldn’t allow the big 3 to create the illusion that their flanker brands are the competition. These flankers should be all independently owned and operated with no affiliation with the big 3 if we want to create real competition.

    • SV650

      Aliant has always been a Bell brand.

    • Andrew Holt

      They were just a shareholder in the company, not fully owned by Bell until late 2014

    • SV650

      I didn’t say Aliant was always 100% owned by Bell, I stated it has always been a Bell brand. Bell has been a majority shareholder in Aliant since its formation in 1999. The final buy-out was by share exchange with the individual shareholders of the 3 former provincially-operated telcos, in which Bell was also a major shareholder!

    • Techguru86

      Thankfully we now have Freedom and Shaw and now with LTE, Everywhere plans and new spectrum, competition will have to happen against them

  • Do Do

    Locked phones are probably the most vile thing the carriers did. There was zero excuse for it and only served to demonstrate how criminal their nature is, and for the most part, the governments all allow it.

  • TheTechSmith

    It’s about time!

  • First step in the right direction with cellphones in Canada. Now, reduce the criminally high rates for data plans.

    • Benjamin Lehto

      That they will never do. If it didn’t happen under the most consumer friendly Chair (Blais) during his tenure, then it’s not gonna happen afaic.

  • MoYeung

    I am reading the same news story on cbc… Apparently, they have talked to “Rose Behar, senior reporter for the tech site MobileSyrup in Toronto.”

  • Vinay Bhat

    The first ever right decision by CRTC.

  • Jesse


  • Andrew Holt

    Don’t worry, the big 3 have a big plan coming to us on July 1 to celebrate Canada’s 150. For $150, you will get 150 MB, 150 local minutes and 150 texts. Very patriotic.

    • Chris

      And it will cost them $0.00150 in running costs.

      Funny thing, a couple of hours ago I mentioned “Robellus” on android police and they deleted it…

    • Troublemaker

      Hahahahha what a boss…cant stop laughing…but it could be a reality soon hahhaha

  • Stephen_81

    Personally I’m happy with this because I generally have to get phones unlocked. I also buy most of my devices outright unless the carrier refuses to sell it outright during launch week.
    But the CRTC isn’t really helping Canadians in opening up competition. they’ve removed a pain point yes, but really this just mandates carriers all do more of the same, contracts became financing plans with the last rules, and now this will reduce the push for carriers to discount devices.

    Because I buy my devices already and can afford to, this isn’t going to hurt me, but I suspect carriers will kill off grandfathered plans, and start doing discount incentives based on years of consecutive service. You’ll have crazy churn at the start as grandfathered plans are dropped and people jump ship to the greener grass, but ultimately without anything binding you to the contract except the cost of the device and it being super easy to jump, why lock in pricing indefinitely?

    if the CRTC really wants to do something, regulate wireless like broadband and hope we get some 3rd parties in. City people will be happier at least.

    • Warren Chang

      They’ll have to pry my 6GB for $60 grandfathered plan from my cold dead hands. I also have to buy my phones outright now and it is without a doubt a huge financial hit initially but over the course of a contract, buying outright is still cheaper in the long run.

      CRTC needs to set up more government subsidiary carriers like Sasktel to provide the consumer another option and drive the overall market prices down. If these subsidiaries have shown anything it’s that Robelus can offer better and cheaper plans when the market forces them to but greedy corporations want to squeeze everyone as much as possible and the CRTC sits on their hands far too often watching as we get nickel and dimed

    • Stephen_81

      I am completely against government subsidized carriers. If the government getting more involved, make Wireless a Ultility and use my tax dollars to buy back the infrastructure and sell it to all carriers to use for competition. Government backed subsided competition means that the market can’t actually sustain itself, that is important when markets are developing, but after established the government should get OUT.

      And truthfully, the can easily take away your 6GB plan if they want, to be fair to them, if I hadn’t upgraded my 6GB plan based on inflation it should be about $71 today. so grandfathering is something the business model WILL be looking for ways to kill off and the CRTC is making it easier to kill it off.

  • Cody Williams

    I am still in shock but still laughing. lol “The big three warned that if they didn’t charge an unlocking fee for the few customers who want it done, the cost would have to be passed on to everyone.”

    They come to the telecom UNLOCKED. It costs the TELECOM money to LOCK them. If they didn’t LOCK them, they wouldn’t have this expense. Due to all phones after Dec.1 coming unlocked, this now can not be the stupid excuse that THEY caused in the first place.

    • Yeas

      Just remember they (individually and totally on their own … joke intended) found the worst possible interpretation for the wireless rules in 2013 and then tried to blame the rules. Expect to see a similar tantrum on this update.

  • Shamoy Rahman

    This is awesome. Now they should end Qualcomm’s artificial frequency monopoly and force every phone sold support every single frequency. I’ll actually consider getting phones on contract now. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    This is a big step in right direction but CRTC needs to do a lot more than this. It’s about time we Canadians don’t get robbed by these big corporations. Still nothing on UNLIMITED DATA. I was hoping that CRTC will announce something regarding this and make the Carrier offer truly Unlimited Plans. For raising prices and reducing features these big3 can easily follow and give examples of other nations like USA, so why they not following in this American carriers all of them offer unlimited LTE DATA now. CRTC put your freakin foot down the ROBELLUS throat and make this happen.

    • heynow00

      The CRTC wont force telecoms to provide unlimited LTE data.

  • Wufai

    unlocking companies will continue to cater to their main customers from the US. Canada is a very small market in comparison.

  • Grom Hellscream

    Something missing from this joyous article is they will impose a 5% tax on data plan. The government is out to make money for itself too…
    But I’m all for this free unlocking.

  • Brett Gersekowski

    The statement by the CWTA is false. Sometime back in the latter half of 2009, I was a relatively happy Fido customer. My old Motorola RAZR died and I decided I wanted to upgrade to an iPhone 3GS. At the time, I was happy to sign up for a new 3 year contract, however, Fido told me that the subsidized handset prices were only available to new customers and that if I wanted to upgrade to an iPhone 3GS, I would have to buy it outright. Without going into the customer service abomination that followed, I ended up buying the iPhone 3GS outright at a cost of over $900. That phone was still locked and remained so for aabout 18 months or more until I paid a hefty fee to obtain the unlock code from Fido. For the record, Fido had long been owned by Rogers at that time. Also for the record, the Fido store in the Eaton Centre didn’t have the 32Gb model that I wanted, so I ended up having to go to the Apple store instead to buy it. I had to tell them which carrier I was buying it for, as the guy in the store confirmed that all of their iPhones were carrier locked. Buying a phone for full price up front has never been any guarantee of getting an unlocked phone and carriers have sold customers locked phones for full price for years. I’m not sure if they’re still doing it today, but given the realities of the industry, pretty much all handsets come from the same stack in the warehouse, so you can bet your bottom dollar that they’re all locked and I’ll be surprised if any of them are handing out unlock codes for free to anyone. I know for sure it wasn’t the case back in 2009-2011.

  • Richard

    While I do like the unlock status as of Decemeber 1, 2017 I have to say My Bing your own device plans have increased significantly since it went from 3 years to two years for contracts. Shouldn’t make any difference but it did. Who will eat the costt that they no longer make money unlocking phones?
    After all the big 3 are certainly not going to eat any cost and so the only option is to increase cost of plans so across the board period.
    I also think an improvet needed is that I should have to concent to going over my bill period….it should not wait until I am 50 over to stop teh flow. They already know what my limit is. I particually think of this for people that have kids with phones. 4 kids could be an added 200 before any action is taken…that’s not right at all in this day in age and especially since they already know my limit. . Why is there a 50 dollar limited needed at all. Not all companys have shared plans
    Another I hate is provinces like Sasatchewean ( maybe Manitobia) have far better plans ( really check it out …open virginmobile plans and set your location to one of them) compared to the rest of Canada because of their competition of sask tel. So what doe rthat tell you . I am not talking just cheaper prices, but also more data. That’s just wrong since we are all Canadians. I don’t think the big 3 should be allowed to pull offsuch crap. Where is WCOC on this?????