Study finds Canadians lag in use of mobile phones - Page 2 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-07-23, 11:55 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Mississauga, W. Churchill-Derry
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Originally Posted by PhotoJim View Post
It really isn't that bad here. Sure, rates could be lower but they are not horrible.

Data is the expensive thing and data rates are coming down. The new competition will also help.

Voice access is not exhorbitant. The most expensive it should be is 30 cents a minute (e.g. Virgin prepaid). Monthly packages bring the rate down nicely. If you want to live on your phone, yes, Canada is more expensive than some other places but it is not hard to get unlimited evenings and weekends. Many providers offer free incoming calls, and some providers offer free calls between subscribers. These things help.

Toll rates are still high. These will come down one of these days. I expect the day of differentiating between a long distance and local call will disappear (except with respect to overseas calls).

As for the geography, the covered portions of Canada are huge, even if we ignore the substantial portions of northern Canada that have little to no coverage. The 700 distance between Regina and Calgary, for example, contains only one city of any significance (Medicine Hat - Moose Jaw and Swift Current are both well under 50,000). Conversely, a 700 km line from Munich, Germany carries you through from Rotterdam, Netherlands to Aachen, Belgium to Frankfurt, Germany to Stuttgart, Germany to Zurich, Switzerland. Consider the population along that line. Nearly any line you draw through western Europe, and even into the western peripheries of eastern Europe, will show similar results. Europe is a very densely-populated place and it's a lot cheaper to provide good mobile phone coverage.

I spent a month in Europe last September and while I loved the mobile telephony there, I'd have to give up cheap Canadian restaurant meals (they are about twice as expensive in Europe) and cheap Canadian gas (about twice as expensive in Europe, too).
Look at my backhome, "the Borat country" if you wish.
Only three times smaller than Canada, less populated but with just a little higher average population density than Canada (5.2 vs. 3.2 person/sq.km).
My previous operator's average per-minute cost is 10 cents. Airtime rounding - 1 second, not a minute. Free unlimited text messaging. One time connection fee - $25 (they give you a SIM-card, you buy any unlocked phone you find anywhere in the world), $20 of which is resereved towards your final payments. No monthly fees, no long-term obligations. 60 minutes a month of free calls inside the operator's network (any party, not only wife or 5 friends). No long distance concept at all within the operator's network - same price between cities as local. First 50Mb of traffic are free each month.

So, the geography and existing landlines myths are just lame excuses for one big word - GREED.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-07-23, 12:28 PM
 
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Location: Regina, SK, CA
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You can call it greed, but it isn't. It's the free market at work.

We've had competition in the wireless business before. Fido was independent, and we had Clearnet. Notice that neither one could make a profit. Businesses are in business to make a profit.

Now, it seems that Rogers, Telus, Bell, etc. are probably earning excessive profits, but that hasn't always been so. The new wireless spectrum auction will bring in some competition and put some downward pressure on rates.

There are many reasons why wireless rates would be higher in Canada than a -stan country. Generally, rates are proportional with GDP per person. The richer a country is, the higher rates tend to be because richer people can afford to pay more and poorer people can afford to pay less. Wireless rates in most of eastern Europe are a lot cheaper than they are in the west, for example. Part of this is because wireless spectrum is a lot cheaper in poorer countries than it is in rich countries. (Witness the recent auction - $4.3 billion for 10 years of access to the 1700 MHz band. Rogers alone will be paying just shy of a billion dollars of that. Quebecor is paying almost $500 million.)

Call it greed if you want, but it isn't. If you want a free market, you are going to create a situation where companies want (and are entitled) to maximize their profits. If you want government to regulate the crap out of everything, then you'll have a less profit-oriented society, but that has other costs.

By the way, one thing that the government of Canada could do that would help this situation a lot is to ease the restriction on foreign ownership of wireless carriers. If foreign investment were permitted on a greater basis than now (right now ownership must be at least 53% domestic), we'd have more companies that would want into our wireless industry. The government of Canada chooses not to do this for various reasons, but I believe this restriction has significant effect on our rates.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-07-23, 12:47 PM
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I agree with you that businesses have a right to make money, but what the big 3 cell companies are doing is gouging their customers. They are doing it because they can and there isn't anything we can do about it, besides giving up our cell phones. This recent spectrum auction hopefully will enable us to actually do something about this.

On a side note, I hope that the big 3 start losing money once the new cell phone companies are established here in Canada.

Last edited by james99; 2008-07-23 at 02:01 PM. Reason: removed quote from prior post
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 2008-07-24, 12:28 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Mississauga, W. Churchill-Derry
Posts: 137
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoJim View Post
By the way, one thing that the government of Canada could do that would help this situation a lot is to ease the restriction on foreign ownership of wireless carriers. If foreign investment were permitted on a greater basis than now (right now ownership must be at least 53% domestic), we'd have more companies that would want into our wireless industry. The government of Canada chooses not to do this for various reasons, but I believe this restriction has significant effect on our rates.
I genuinely agree with you, but 3 cell companies working in different standards are not a free market. 3 GSM companies would be a free market, but this situation is simply a monopoly. I prefer GSM for many technical factors, but what options do I have?
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