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OECD Says Canadian Wireless Rates Third Highest in the Developed World

The Globe reports that a new OECD report finds Canada pays among the highest wireless prices in the world. The OECD numbers say that for a “low-use” basket (defined as including 360 minutes of voice calls, 396 text messages and eight video messages per year), Canada ranked 20th most expensive out of 30 countries last year. For “medium-use” (780 voice minutes per year) Canada ranked 28th out of 30. And for “high-use” (1,680 voice minutes per year) the country ranked 19th.

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One Comment

  1. A couple of thoughts on this one
    First of all, the editors at the Globe need a grammar lesson. For instance, under normal usage 28th out of 30 would indicate third from the end, in this case, 3rd lowest.

    However, one needs to remember that cell phone rates in this country are set in a screwy way. The claim is that the rate is jacked up so that the companies can recoup the subsidy that most people get on the phone… however they don’t reduce the rate once the subsidy has been recouped, or if you didn’t have a subsidy. In some European countries, for instance Finland, you buy the phone separately from the plan… Thus you pay a couple hundred dollars up front but get a lower plan rate because of that.

    So, do the Canadian companies gouge their customers? Sure. Is it more expensive to run the network here? Probably, given the average population density means that they likely need more towers, in particular once you get into cottage country and the rural areas. Are they screwing over their customers? In a sense, yes. They are notorious for locking the customer into a new 3 year contract on a plan modification (in particular with the new companies coming online in the next couple of years, this allows them to charge an ECF).