INFOGRAPHIC BY LOREN PELAEZ
Any Canadian with a smartphone knows how expensive those monthly phone bills can get.
If you exceed the data in your phone plan, something as mundane as checking an email will rack you at least $10 in overage charges. A full gigabyte of data adding an astounding $100 to your phone bill.
But it is no secret how high phone bills are in Canada. A 2017 report found that Canadians are paying much more for mobile services compared to other nations in the study.
A phone plan with unlimited nationwide calling, unlimited text, and two gigabytes of data will cost an average $81.61 in Canada. These same services in Japan will cost on average $60.11, in Italy: $41.22.
Why are mobile services so pricey in Canada?
The gist of the problem is this: the telecom industry in Canada is fortified by protectionist regulations. This makes it difficult for foreign companies to throw their hat in the ring and compete against the Big Three – Bell, Telus, and Rogers. With limited competition in the market, these companies can continue to maintain their high rates.
There are discount brands like Public Mobile and Lucky Mobile (owned by Telus and Bell respectively), which offer lower rates available on a pre-paid subscription basis and only for customers who already have a phone.
Unfortunately, the Big Three aren’t likely to slash their prices anytime soon, and the alternative options are underwhelming, to say the least.
On the bright side, the CRTC has mandated the Big Three to offer more affordable rate plans for Canadians. Let’s see how they do.