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Why no mobile Web 2.0 apps in Canada?

Really cool mobile data applications pop up all the time in Europe, the US, and Asia.  Canadians never seem to use them though.  Ever wonder why?  I'll give you a hint… wireless data plans are outrageously expensive here. 

Here's a chart, courtesy of ThomasPurves.com, which will show you just how expensive.  That's right, the cost to transfer 500M of data on Rogers is $1600.  The first 200 megs are $100, and then after that the price rises to a steep $5/M.   By jacking the price sky high on overage, the carrier can earn fat profits from the heaviest users.  Pretty nifty trick, isn't it?

Purves chart

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • jules April 10, 2007, 2:35 am

    Holy cats – that chart is staggering. There's never much said about the cost of data transfer. I wonder if these prices will change once data transfer over wireless networks becomes much more mainstream (ie evdo cards in everything but your toaster)…..

    I'm starting to see wireless connectivity as a replacement for dial-up internet service for applications in remote areas, but only for apps that have VERY low data transfer rates.

    cheers,
    jules

  • Alec April 10, 2007, 3:14 am

    I think one of the points to make is that most of us will never use 500M on a mobile device, given today's technology. I have the 200M account on my BlackBerry, which costs $100 and usually use arund 30 to 35M. But the alternative was the 25M account, which cost $65, with $7/M for overage. Even though I never come close to the upper limit, the price of the overage on the cheaper plan was so steep that it made sense for me to go to the largest plan.

    Now, with the nifty Nokia N95 phone I've been playing with I could see easily how you could hammer through a couple of hundred megs.

  • Boris Anthony April 11, 2007, 1:25 pm

    A major problem here is that the carriers, and even most people, still think that mobile internet is something only big corporate executives need or want or use (and can pay for), when the reality i sthat those weenies are the last to do anything remotely data intensive (or interesting).

    *Millions* of people in other markets moblog like mad everyday, new apps like Jaiku require full time connectivity and transfer significant amounts of data back and forth just to be used, and people *use them*.

    What it comes down to is Canadian mobile service providers are *greedy* and they are taking advantage of *ingorant* customers, as long as they can. We just need to start pushing…

  • tony fish May 16, 2007, 3:16 am

    Hi – there must be change of heart – will be speaking on 'Mobile Web 2.0' in Ontario in October

    Author Mobile Web 2.0….

  • angryman March 14, 2008, 6:36 pm

    I just got a SMS from Rogers which says that they going to apply long-distance rates on top of my current air time rate to all long-distance incoming calls.
    This is just ridicules.
    In Canada we have worse mobile service in the world and this is not a joke. Most developing countries have lower price rate for much better quality mobile service. I will vote for anyone on next election who can promise that we will have the mobile service provider that can deliver high quality service with a reasonable price rate. There is no one country in Europe has so high price rate and so poor quality!!!

  • angryman March 14, 2008, 6:56 pm

    I just got a SMS from Rogers which says that they going to apply long-distance rates on top of my current air time rate to all long-distance incoming calls.
    This is just ridicules.
    In Canada we have worse mobile service in the world and this is not a joke. Most developing countries have lower price rate for much better quality mobile service. I will vote for anyone on next election who can promise that we will have the mobile service provider that can deliver high quality service with a reasonable price rate. There is no one country in Europe has so high price rate and so poor quality service!!!

  • Mike March 20, 2008, 11:31 am

    Try Hutchison 3G…we roam across 5 European countries with NO roaming charges to call home – your phone behaves exactly as if it has not left home.
    The there is a data-plan to add-on for only $10pm which is called unlimited but has a "fair-use" policy with a limit of 1GB. Download speeds currently are up to 3.6Mb/s and being increased to 7.2 "soon".
    Perhaps the Canadian mobile operators have agreements between themselves to keep prices very high – sometimes known as a cartel, which in many countries is illegal. What a good thing there is a shake-up coming in May 2008 when the spectrum auction should admit some competition.

  • kuasha November 3, 2008, 8:51 pm

    I have been using unlimited internet just for 25$/month on my mobile and I could use that to connect from my laptop- with bluetooth- may be little slower- but its unlimited. Also I used to call anywhere in the world with 10 cents per minute max- with a country wide call less than 2 cents per minute. Five numbers with quarter rate. And the country I was using is Bangladesh. Now I got a rogers and it really is not the thing close to that plan. Huh..

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