The CBC reports that Industry Canada spent $1.4 million on the cell phone cost calculator that was scrapped due technical limitations/lobby pressure. I first covered the cancellation in a column last week.


  1. Unfortunately
    The cell phone companies do their damnedest to make the plans nearly incomparable. Add to this that you are now getting a bunch of new entrants online, they need to be added into the mix as well, ensuring that the calculator is location-aware (for instance, to give only companies serving the area where you expect to use it, as well as apply the applicable regional pricing and plans for the majors). Let’s not forget the “introductory” prices that the majors employ, then boost the price once the introductory period has expired. Now, if you want to add in roaming charges, even in Canada…

    $1.4 million over 3 years. That’s about $466.7K per year. According to the article, about 60% was wages, so about $280K per year. That would be about 4 employees, once you account for wages and benefits. Seems to me to be somewhat underfunded and thus doomed to failure.

  2. How the heck does this cost 1.4 million ?? There are 3 to 5 cell phone players in the market, the ‘program’ would assumably let you check what your requirements on a plan are (wanted minutes, call display, etc) and then it would show a chart with the 3 or 5 companies and their prices. Whoopee !!! THIS cost 1.4 million ??? Do honest people ever get a say in the government? Or is it just lobbyists and companies smart enough to play the game and rip off the government. Here look has a chart that compares the cost. Think it cost over a million? Or even a thousand ? Ridiculous

  3. I would have done it for 99.9% cheaper
    100 000$ per variable sounds like a raw deal to me.

  4. Money, its a gas.
    I want my tax money back and the code to this rip-off that Harpers co-conspirator Clement pulled off on all of us.

  5. How do cell phone companies calculate their plans?
    Do cell phone companies have a calculator that determines the profit margin for each of their phones? How do they know that their plans are comparable or even profitable? Perhaps the research and calculator already exists. Then again, it could all just be hand waving. Violà, there’s your plan and now pay up.

  6. @Jot
    There are something like 26 different companies nationally. There are 3 to 5 that actually put up towers. The rest use those towers. Not all of these companies serve the nation. For instance, MTS services Manitoba. DryTel services a chunk of Northern Ontario on GSM that isn’t serviced by Rogers (Rogers customers pay $0.60 per minute to roam on their network). Etc.

    Now add the folks that piggy-back on the towers of others (for instance, Virgin Mobile did this before they got bought… President’s Choice Mobile uses the Bell Mobility network)