data only packages canada

Canadians to get cheaper cellphone package options

At long last, Canada might actually be catching up to the rest of the developed world when it comes to our wireless phone service rates.

Bell, Rogers and Telus have all agreed to offer a "broad range" of lower-cost, data-only plans to their customers within the next three months at the behest of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

The so-called "big three" (and essentially only) national carriers were ordered to come up with data-only plans back in March, but have going back and forth over how much they would cost ever since.

It looks like big telecom finally put an offer on the table, however, one that the CRTC found suitable.

The regulatory body said in a news release on Monday that "further to a public proceeding, the national wireless providers will introduce a variety of lower-cost data-only plans that were not previously available in the market."

These plans, which the CRTC expects to be available within 90 days, will range in price from as low as $15 a month for 250 MB, to $30 for 1GB of monthly data.

It's nice that Canadians will soon have the option to forgo expensive voice plans they don't even need in order to use the internet, but critics argue that these new plans still cost way too much money for so little data.

Consumers will have both prepaid and subscription options on 3G and LTE networks, and the CRTC promises to monitor all plan rollouts "to ensure that the national wireless providers honour their commitments."

"While the new lower-cost data-only plans represent a step in the right direction and provide more choice for Canadians, we remain concerned by the overall condition of the market," said CRTC Chairperson and CEO Ian Scott in today's release.

"To this end, the review we will launch next year will look at the state of mobile wireless competition more broadly."

Good. We're looking forward to it.

Lead photo by

Bruce Reeve


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