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Mounting anger over Canadian mobile pricing

The drums continue to beat this morning for lower cost cellular service in Canada. 

When the Globe and Mail writes that consumers in Canada are being raped by the mobile phone companies the story has finally gone mainstream.  It's not too late for the carriers to pull this one out of the fire, however.  Despite the waves of criticism, only a few early adopters like myself and Jim are making extensive use of WiFi on mobile devices. A price cut, and an iPhone launch (rumours at VON say it will be March of next year) would likely quell that criticism. 

However, by keeping prices high Rogers (and by extension Bell and Telus) are inviting a CRTC-led review of their monopolistic pricing practices in response to mounting consumer criticism.

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Sean O'Mahony November 7, 2007, 10:23 am

    I can't see why Rogers in particular would reduce its pricing — they are just maximising the return on their very smart acquisition of Microcell.

    I've written about this subject many times before myself. I cannot see how the CRTC is going to force Rogers to do anything as they were the fools that allowed GSM to be controlled by a single carrier. Every other GSM operator in the world must look at the Canadian market and just drool.

    My particular view is keep the CRTC out of the picture completely. They are completely incompetent.

    Leave it to the market. Darren Entwhistle over at Telus is a smart operator. If I was sitting where he is I would be getting myself a GSM licence and opening a second front to cream some of the profits away from Rogers.

    Over at Cubic we are trying to help. If you are leaving Canada and heading abroad *don't* use Rogers for your international roaming — get a MAXroam SIM. For example if you are in the UK calling back to Canada Rogers will charge you $2.00 a minute. We will charge you between $0.60 and $0.84 a minute.

    Or, as Alec suggests, get yourself a good Wi-Fi handset (sorry, not from Rogers, they don't carry them), find yourself a hotspot and go crazy.

  • Francis Moran November 7, 2007, 10:34 am

    If the rape and abuse is intolerable while operating on Rogers' own network, the pain is all the more acute when roaming abroad.

    Fortunately, there is fix to this.

    I recently wrote about how I slashed what had been upwards of $200 in cellular charges for a typical week of business in Britain down to less than $20 by unlocking my Rogers phone and buying a U.K. pay-as-you-go SIM. (And calls back to Canada were $.08/minute!)

  • Alec November 7, 2007, 10:35 am

    Do you think Telus as the cash to actually do a GSM build out, Sean? If I was Ted Rogers, I'd drop the prices as soon as that started, and make Telus' build-out unprofitable.

  • Alec November 7, 2007, 10:36 am

    I did the same, Frances, while in the US.

  • Sean O'Mahony November 7, 2007, 10:54 am

    I think Telus definitely has the resources Alec and it would be a long-term play. We *need* at least two GSM operators in Canada. Geez when I lived in Luxembourg there were four and there are only 400,000 people in Luxembourg.

    Of course Rogers can reduce their prices but Telus has the horsepower to weather that storm.

    There is the additional juicy target of all the inbound roaming. Rogers collects every single penny from every external GSM customer who comes to Canada. This is lovely revenue that becomes available to a second GSM operator.

    If only I had a few hundred million myself I'd go for it 😉

  • Jim Courtney November 7, 2007, 7:16 pm

    The head to head comparison has a link on the sidebar of the Globe and Mail story.

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