Highest Priced Wireless in the World: Justified for Canada

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Highest Priced Wireless in the World: Justified for Canada

Postby jon » Tue May 08, 2018 12:04 pm

Canadians pay some of world's highest wireless prices, but it's justified: Study
David Paddon, The Canadian Press

TORONTO -- Canadians may like to complain about paying some of the highest wireless prices in the world, but we should also acknowledge the country also has some of the world's most advanced networks, according to a new report from the Montreal Economic Institute.

The private-sector think tank says Canada's relatively high prices are justified by the quality and reach of the service, the size of the country and the investments that carriers are making in fifth-generation wireless technology.

"Yes, we pay more. But we get a lot more. That's what I'd like people to take into consideration when they complain about their prices," author Martin Masse said in an interview before the report's publication on Tuesday.

Citing several other studies, the 40-page MEI report says Canadian wireless carriers are among the world's biggest investors in wireless infrastructure "however one calculates it: per connection, per subscriber, per capita, or as a percentage of their revenue."

The benefit, it adds, is that Canadian carriers are consistently ranked among the fastest in the world, citing statistics from telecom equipment maker Cisco and Open Signal, which measure networks in various countries.

The think tank, which takes an anti-regulatory stance, receives some funding from the telecommunications industry players but says it makes its choices independently.

The study comes as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is in the midst of requiring Rogers, Bell and Telus to add a basic, data-only wireless service to their product lineup.

Hundreds of consumers making submissions to the CRTC's public consultations have generally rejected the pricing proposals submitted recently by the three national carriers as too expensive.

"The three proposals by Rogers, Bell and Telus for data-only plans offer far too little data for their cost," Nathan Emberson of Toronto said in a written submission to the CRTC.

"It has been frequently shown that mobile phone plans are exorbitant in Canada. Moreover, there is no argument to justify these costs other than a lack of competition and political will," Joel D'Astous-Page of Quebec wrote in French.

Masse said he doesn't think Canada should follow Europe's lead, or even the United States, in emphasizing low prices at the expense of infrastructure improvements because their carriers aren't keeping up with the investments on advanced fourth-generation and fifth-generation networks.

"In five years, when we have our 5G networks deployed here . . . in Europe they will still pay low prices for crappy services and no 5G, or years behind us in deploying 5G, which will have an impact on their whole economy.

"We all want to pay less. But is this what we want?"

Masse added that people who want lower prices have the opportunity to pick alternatives to the main services offered by the three big national carriers under the Rogers, Bell and Telus brands.

For instance, Rogers operates Fido and Chatr; Bell operates Virgin Mobile and Lucky Mobile; and Telus operates Koodo and Public Mobile. In addition, Shaw's Freedom Mobile, Quebecor's Videotron and Eastlink compete with the Big Three.

In short, the CRTC's price comparison done by the Nordicity consulting group "ignores most factors that explain how these products and the markets where they are produced and sold are different," Masse wrote in the report.

"This amounts to comparing what two people have to pay to lease a car, without informing us that the first is a highly-paid executive leasing a Lexus that she uses every day, while the second is a low-income retiree leasing a Yaris that he uses once a week. The raw numbers simply do not tell us much."

Independent consultant Mark H. Goldberg, who organizes the annual Canadian Telecom Summit, said in an email that he agrees that a focus on price alone doesn't make sense with something as complex as wireless.

"We are still seeing hundreds of thousands of new customers each quarter, which seems to indicate that Canadians are still seeing value and getting their first phones," Goldberg said. "I think that is an encouraging signal."
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Re: Highest Priced Wireless in the World: Justified for Can

Postby skyvalleyradio » Tue May 08, 2018 4:23 pm

What a pile of crap & I put the blame squarely on the useless, taxpayer-supported CRTC commisioners. Time to get rid of these industry ass-kissers, overhaul the CRTC & make one minister responsible for broadcasting/telecomm in this country. Since all they do is 'rubber-stamp' everything these industries want, all it takes is one person to sign off on the work the CRTC staff undertake. Thankfully, I no longer have a cell phone & am just as happy to spend my money on a good "ham radio" handheld that can access regional repeaters. I'd rather donate to support the local radio club's efforts to keep reliable repeaters on air instead of forking over my pension cheque to the telecomms. :argue:
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Re: Highest Priced Wireless in the World: Justified for Can

Postby tuned » Tue May 08, 2018 8:48 pm

I think Marcel Masse is a former chairman of the CRTC and now back at the industry trough. I love his pathetic attempt to scare customers...
"in Europe they will still pay low prices for crappy services and no 5G" What a load of garbage.
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Re: Highest Priced Wireless in the World: Justified for Can

Postby Mike Cleaver » Tue May 08, 2018 11:18 pm

This story was constantly repeated on Robbers News 1130 today which just happens to be owned by one of the big three super gouging cell phone companies in Canada.
No opposing views or arguments aired, they didn't bother to question Micheal Geist about this "study" or anyone else who constantly has been telling us we're being royally screwed.
Gotta love objective journalism.
Mike Cleaver Broadcast Services
Engineering, News, Voice work and Consulting
Vancouver, BC, Canada

54 years experience at some of Canada's Premier Broadcasting Stations
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Re: Highest Priced Wireless in the World: Justified for Can

Postby Richard Skelly » Tue May 08, 2018 11:55 pm

Jesus Murphy. When did The Canadian Press start writing PR blurbs? Where’s the dissenting voices in this supposedly objective ‘article’.

The message might as well be: “Canadians, do not complain! Just write a cheque, close your eyes and think of the CRTC as the carriers have their way.”
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Re: Highest Priced Wireless in the World: Justified for Can

Postby Coolcat » Wed May 09, 2018 10:29 am

If Europe isnt getting 5G there might be a message in that. I am not one who gets too whipped on this stuff but some of the speeds are scary and cant be good for people's health. Any thoughts?
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Re: Highest Priced Wireless in the World: Justified for Can

Postby tuned » Wed May 09, 2018 10:45 am

To get those high speeds you have to have antenna's everywhere that are much more intrusive than the ones we already have for 4G. There are legitimate concerns about the electomagnetic activity generated by them but don't expect the corporate media to spend much time talking about the issue. Instead we'll get PR bumpf like the press release that started this thread. But make no mistake 5G is going to get shoved down our throats whether we want it or not and it will be used as a justification for ripping us off for the next decade.
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