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According to an article released last week, regarding world-wide release of the Iphone, of the 21 countries in the launch, Canada was the 20th most expensive.

I think you have your answer.
 

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Relative costs are much higher in Canada, due to poor competition. Its an oligarchy. Excuse of 'lots of land to cover, not as many people' is lame IMO, as they dont serve remote areas anyway, so it doesnt cost anything!
 

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Two words - monopolistic rip-off. That's what makes Canada such technologically-challenged. I was very upset by the service local cell-providers offer for the money, even comparing to not-so-economically-advanced backhome. There's only one cure that this country needs and it's the healthy competition. In everything.
 

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Not surprising at all. The outrageous cost (due to lack of true competition) has prevented wireless growth in Canada. I use my cell phone as an emergency tool rather than a toy or status symbol due to extremely high monthly costs and 3 year contracts.
 

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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).
 

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Close to 15 years ago, I forecasted cell phone to take over land lines but...

If cell phone companies had left aside greed, they could have easily made land lines almost obsolete and taken most of the market. Priced properly, with normal monthly subsciption, NO fee on local calls and comparable/competitve to land line long distance phone calls most people would have let go of their land line toward a convenient portable personal phone.

The survey points out age 16 to 60; it would be very interesting to see some age brackets being part of the survey. For example, many of the younger people let's say below 25 years of age were raised with cell phones (just like computers). Many of them found pretty hard coping with the extensive billings from such and finally gave up their expensive toys to the benifit of the old land line phone system (as they got older with greather responsibilities).

In my opinion, the older genration which was raised and use to the old land line system integrated the cell phone technology solely for their business affairs or emergency as their was a pay off for any of the calls they were doing.

The survey and the above responses speak for themselves. The use of this technology is overpriced for most Canadians to make it their daily choice of telcommunication tool!

Cheers!
René
 

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cell phone use...

Given the cost and lack of proper packaging of cell phones in Canada, you didn't need an expensive survey to find out those "startling" statistics....
 

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Cell Phone Costs

I have a U.S. pay as you go cell phone with international calling. I pay $130 for 1600 mins and is good for 240 days. No other costs. Now go figure!
 

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Besides the high cost of using a cell phone in Canada, could another reason be ease-of-use? Not necessarily the technology itself, but the process itself (credit checks, long contracts, etc.). Though I've never bought a cell phone outside of Canada, I have heard/read many sources confirming the simple process of getting a phone in Asia & Europe. Just buy a phone, get a SIM w/ a phone #, and you're good to go. Not that simple here...

Also, we are often way behind the "rest of the world" when it comes to new models & new technology. By the time it reaches N.America, it's an old, outdated model in Europe!

So yes, I agree that cost is a major factor, but it's not the only one.
 

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The study also fails to mention how much more expensive having a landline is in many countries. Our wireless rates are a little higher than most countries (data is much higher though), but they have much more expensive landline rates. That said, is the problem our wireless rates, or their wireline rates?
 

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hardly a shock

Longer contracts, older yet more expensive cell phone models...and 1 or maybe 2 companies to buy them from. You do the math.

I canceled my landline cause I barely use my phone as it is, so the cell is fine (use Skype for what little long distance I do use). Plus my landline would get spam...sorry, I mean "exciting sales opportunities", mostly my bank offering insurance. Every single night from 7pm til about 9pm. Who needs it.

My current cell is 2.5 years old though. I was waiting for the iPhone, until Rogers got it. Now I'm waiting for Google's Android, another GSM provider, and the spectrum auction, even if it is a red herring.

Most tech stuff just costs more in Canada, and is the older model. However, we have hockey. :eek:
 

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That 67% statistic is about to fall a bit more. As soon as my contract with Bell Mobility is up, I'm canceling the service and will live without a cell phone until the industry shapes up, or I leave the country.
 

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land line and wireless companies being the same is a problem too. They want both businesses to do well, so encourage prices so people have both but not just one or the other.
 

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I had a cell phone but like many was annoyed with the high prices and the nickeling and dimeing. When my contract was up I did not renew and went with pre-paid cell phone... still supporting the industry I suppose, but at $10-15 a month instead of $30-40. It's going to have to be a lot less than $75/mo for a 3G phone before I will be interested!
 

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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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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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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.
 

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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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