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That study only used Rogers as a comparison. It ignored Bell/Telus, all the flanker brands, MTS and SaskTel, and all the new entrants. In addition, it fails to account for the cost of providing a high-speed network to such a dramatically spread out population over such a huge space.

I do think we're getting over-charged, but not by as much as they suggest and they fail to account for the reasoning behind it.
 

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I think the network layout costs have long since been recovered....especially given the incremental billions we have paid in SAFs.

And even though we have a dramatically bigger country than most, the vast majority live in a tiny sliver of it. It's not like there's contiguous coverage in northern Ontario or central Newfoundland.

We do have much higher costs, no doubt about it.
 

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The "dramatically spread out population over such a huge space" has not prevented the oligopoly of carriers, buttressed by the CRTC, from making record profits year after year.
 

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Let me say that I don't disagree with the statement that Wireless rates in Canada are among the highest in the world, however, I think there are compelling reasons why Canadians should expect to pay more than countries like Japan or Britain or Korea or Taiwan and yes, even the United States.

First rule of economics: Lower costs mean lower prices.

To suggest that Canada can be serviced as cheaply as Japan, Korea, Tawain, England or even the United States is silly.

Second Rule of Economics: As Volume goes up Fixed costs as a proportion of costs goes down.

Again to suggest that you can service 30 million people as cheaply as 60 or 250 million people is silly. Bigger populations mean you can amortize capital costs and maintenance costs over a greater customer base.


Third Rule: More Government Regulations and Requirements means more costs. Canadian Telcos and Cable company's are burdened with excessive requirements and subsidies to many parts of Canada which drive up costs.

The reality is this study is flawed in both its methodology and its findings and using the results to advance any argument - either for or against - is ridiculous.
 

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I think the network layout costs have long since been recovered....especially given the incremental billions we have paid in SAFs.
But they didn't stop building years ago. All the carriers are constantly upgrading, tweaking, and expanding. In the last couple of years Bell, Telus, MTS, and SaskTel have poured over a billion dollars into HSPA networks. Rogers has been upgrading GSM sites to HSPA+ in order to keep pace.

And even though we have a dramatically bigger country than most, the vast majority live in a tiny sliver of it. It's not like there's contiguous coverage in northern Ontario or central Newfoundland.
There may not be continuous coverage, but it's also not as though they only cover the Golden Horseshoe and other major urban areas. All of these networks cover large rural areas, highway corridors, and cottage country.

We also are spoiled by much better coverage than much of the world, even the United States. The cost of that is higher prices.
 

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The major factor behind elevated prices in Canada is the closed market. You really think that if the CRTC truly opened up the wireless market to international competition that prices for consumers wouldn't plummet and services increase?
 

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I don't think prices would drop dramatically across the board. Would it help? Yes, but as hugh mentioned, there are several other factors that contribute to the higher wireless prices here in Canada.
 

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The two highest priced countries were the U.S. and Canada. They were also by far the biggest countries with relatively low population density.

I also wonder why they did not compare wireless rates in countries like China and Russia. Also some other major OECD countries were left out but they added India????


Also what about qualitative differences? Is the service in all 11 countries equal in every way? If not, then the difference in price may also be a function of QOS.


Would prices fall if the government opened up competition, absolutely, however, I would suggest the same could be said for all eleven countries in the study. Many of those 11 countries are not the most competitive in the world.
 

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I don't disagree with most people's sentiments here. We enjoy a lot of space here in Canada, and there is a cost to that - higher infrastructure costs in the form of utilities, energy, transportation, etc.

I also agree that the study is quite incomplete and a small sampling. The thing that really surprised me, and the reason I posted the article though, is the relative price differences from the results.

I expect to pay a bit more for certain things in Canada, but not to this extent.
 

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I agree that there are many factors and I am not necessarily in favour of open competition as a solution to everything. My experiences come mostly from living in the States, where cell phone service is far from perfect, but definitely superior in price and services than Canada. It's not just the cost, but little things like charging you for caller ID (which it actually costs the carriers to suppress that data) and voicemail, that tell me that a bit of competition would do wonders for consumers in this market.
 

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Consider that we also receive superior service to many of those countries. India may have far cheaper cellular service, but it is primarily 2G GSM and dropped calls are not that uncommon.

What is it about the United States that is so much more competitive? The United States is dominated by 4 national carriers with a handful of flankers and a few regionals. Canada, with 10% of the population, has 3 national carriers (with a fourth attempting to become a national carrier), numerous flankers, and several large regionals. While I question the value of all these flankers as much more than confusing consumers, how many carriers do we need?

And, according to this study, we're only nominally behind the US in terms of prices, despite the vast difference in population.
 

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Nobody mentioned other intangibles (both good and bad) that also account for overall higher rates... 3 year lock-in plans, heavily subsidized phones, etc.
 

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Agree with most of what you have written here and above, although I have to note that none of the new carriers is planning on building a national network. Wind is the most ambitious but even it has no spectrum or plan for Quebec which is still very much a part of Canada.

More significantly, I've yet to see one of these so-called studies that compare the costs of wireless around the world using the comparator of "number of hours of work required to pay a month's bill". That is, how many hours would a person earning the average income for the country have to work to pay his/her wireless bill. To be fair, such an analysis would need to use after-tax dollars.

What I'm getting at is that while costs are low in places like India, so are incomes and, by extension, operating costs (wages paid to carriers' employees). How many of the people wanting low prices would also support a 25-30% drop in Canadians' average income? If prices are so terrible here, why is the growth in demand for more voice and data services continuing so rapidly as it is?
 

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If prices are so terrible here, why is the growth in demand for more voice and data services continuing so rapidly as it is?
...because the smartphone is the medium of the future.
 

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I should start this off by admitting that I am an employee of one of the big 3, although I don't work on the wireless side. These are my own thoughts, not company policy.

Canada is far less dense than any of the other countries. This point is always countered by the fact that we have a lot of our population within 100km of the US border. But don't forget that 100kms from a 5000km border is still a lot of area - on it's own, probably as big as some European countries with a far higher population. And all other countries have their populations concentrated around specific areas as well, they also have vacant area that they don't have to serve.

The study that showed that Canada's wireless operators were the most profitable in the world was only one year, and from what I read, the study ignored capital costs, which are undeniably higher in Canada than elsewhere. If Canada's wireless companies are so profitable, then why did it take so long for new companies to enter the market? Why hasn't Shaw launched a wireless product? Why haven't existing smaller companies (TBaytel, sasktel) undercut the big 3 on mobile prices and taken the market by storm? Why did the government, at taxpayer expense, have to subsidize the cost of spectrum in order to get new companies to compete? (Yes, when you accept a lower price on spectrum by denying the sale to the big three, there is a real cost to taxpayers) And why hasn't this sickening profitability shown in the bottom line of the big 3? Look at the stock price of the big 3 over the last 10 years, the growth is in line with other mature companies.

Lower labour costs are an obvious difference that would make it impossible for us to compete with the prices in China and India. Europe tends to subsidize telecoms while Canada regulates them. If municipal governments built telcom networks, and let the companies share them as in Sweden I'd bet we'd see lower prices as well.

The study itself only seems to look at at rogers, and ignores the fact that the Rogers plan it quoted already includes text messaging as one of the options. (The others being more minutes, early evenings etc) They also double the price per minute to reflect free incoming calls outside NA, but they ignore the fact that NA plans have free weekends and evenings. While they say it costs $67.50 for 250/250/500megs, a quick look at my company's site shows you can get 200min, nights and weekends, unlimited text, and 1 gb of data for $65. The real cost of a comparable plan is probably around $50, which isn't out of line with Denmark and Finland, given the population densities.


And the last point I'll make is that while the title of the thread says the prices are the highest in the world, there are a lot of countries included. And having just visited Australia and spent a lot of money on communication, I can safely say that Australia's prices are higher than ours.

The idea that more companies will result in lower prices, in my opinion, isn't true. Most mature markets in first world countries have 3-4 large carriers, but have lower prices for reasons unrelated to the number of competitors.
 

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alberta should have the lowest cost/person


the oil and gas industry pays unbelievable amounts to communication companies which they dont have in other markets

yet we still pay the highest?
 
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