canada big 3

Canada's big 3 telecoms top list of most-expensive wireless providers in the world

Telus, Bell and Rogers continue to lead the world in charging customers way too much money for services that, in some countries, are considered a basic human right.

A new report from the Helsinki-based mobile market analysis firm Rewheel shows that Canada had the most-expensive monthly prices for internet access in the developed world during the second half of 2020 so far.

And it's not just "Canada" on the whole topping the list this time around, but specifically the "Big 3" telecoms that together control more than 90 per cent of the country's wireless market.

Telus was found to have "the least competitive monthly prices" out of 168 different providers across 48 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Bell came in second place, followed by Rogers, completing the trifecta of what many experts refer to as the Canadian wireless oligopoly.

Thanks to the exorbitant rates and controversial business practices of these three juggernauts (not to mention the CRTC's reluctance to regulate them), Canada was found to be the only country surveyed with a weighted average minimum wireless service price above $90 per month.

In other words, we could get cheaper cell phone plans in pretty much any other country on earth with suitable infrastructure: The U.K. and Finland were found to have the most competitive monthly prices of all countries studied.

When looking specifically at "mobile broadband plans with at least 100 gigabytes and 50Mbit/s peak speed," Rewheel found Rogers Canada to have the highest monthly price in the world.

Such a plan with Rogers will currently cost you 17 times more money than an equivalent plan in India.

Rewheel, which has been tracking broadband prices around the world since 2014 through its Digital Fuel Monitor, based its most-recent report on smartphone, mobile broadband and wireless broadband minimum monthly plan prices posted during the second half of this year.

Ironically, it was during the first half of 2020 that Canada's federal government ordered Rogers, Bell and Telus all to drop the prices of their major cellphone plans by at least 25 per cent within two years.

"Wireless services are no longer a luxury," said Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Navdeep Bains, in March when announcing the news. "They are a critical necessity—for working, for learning at school and for engaging in modern society."

"Canadians shouldn't have to choose between having a cellphone or heating their home. These new tools build on a number of initiatives we already set in place to help lower prices, improve access and ensure affordable, high-quality wireless services in every corner of our country."

We've seen little by way of price cuts yet, but should the Big 3 fail to sufficiently drop their prices by 2022, the Liberal government has promised real, regulatory consequences — ones that go beyond the shame of consistently showing up on lists of the greediest companies on Earth.

Lead photo by

freestocks


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