Canadians paid less for telecom services in June 2023 than a year ago, according to Statistics Canada. But the recently released figures miss details that tell the full story.
The June 2023 Consumer Price Index shows Canadians paid nearly 15 percent less for cell services this year than in June 2022. The figure builds on a trend that Stats Canada recorded for May 2023, which saw an 8.2 percent year-over-year decline.
The report credits the June price drop to the lower cost of cellular plans and promotional pricing.
The costs for internet services also dropped by 3.2 percent in June 2023 compared to the same month last year. While prices in May 2023 saw a 1 percent jump compared to the year prior, prices month to month shows there was a 5 percent decrease between May and June 2023.
The report states this was the largest one-month decline reported since February 2019. Stats Canada credits this to promotions in Ontario and lower prices in Quebec.
But if these numbers seem a little confusing to you, you aren’t alone. Canadians still pay some of the highest cellular and internet prices on the international stage, as seen in the 2022 telecom services price comparison from Wall Communications.
David Soberman, a marketing professor at the University of Toronto, told The Canadian Press this plays a major role.
“Our rates are still astronomical compared to what people are paying in other countries,” he told the publication. “Even if we’ve had a 15 percent drop in the actual cost that we’re paying for mobile telecommunications, it’s still significantly higher than is being paid in other countries.”
OpenMedia’s executive director Laura Tribe further told the publication the lower prices don’t apply to Canadians locked into plans.
For example, both Chatr Mobile and Lucky Mobile offered customers free services through a bill credit. But like most promotions, these were only available to new activations. The savings didn’t apply to customers already using the eligible plans.
“This is an announcement that says somewhere, on average, people are paying less, and I think for a lot of users, it’s actually quite frustrating to see that when they don’t see that reflected in their own bills,” Tribe told The Canadian Press.
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