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Mark Goldberg sets me straight on Canadian rates

I was feeling my oats yesterday when I twittered a CBC piece on the high cost of mobile service in Canada.  The CBC piece struck a nerve, as I had just read Andy Abramson’s comparison of US and European mobile operators approach to service.  I have to say, I had no experience like Andy’s last year trying to buy voice and data SIMs throughout Europe.  It was easy in Germany and Spain, horrid in Austria, the Czech Republic and Denmark, and I had given up by the time I reached the Netherlands. Voice service wasn’t hard to get in those places, but prepaid data?  Fuhgeddabout it!  Nevertheless, I’ve not had great experiences with our local carriers ability to service the customer either. 

In any case, Mark Goldberg swiftly missiled off a piece of email to me this morning saying:

The CBC story you linked to is 2 weeks old.
I have written 5 blog posts that discredit the OECD study… according to the OECD, US rates are the worst – worse than Canada in all categories… do you really believe that?
Check out:
http://mhgoldberg.com/blog/2009/08/unravelling-oecd-flaws.html
http://mhgoldberg.com/blog/2009/08/ctia-letter-refutes-oecd.html
http://mhgoldberg.com/blog/2009/08/cost-of-free.html
http://mhgoldberg.com/blog/2009/08/canadian-wireless-data-leadership.html
http://mhgoldberg.com/blog/2009/08/oecd-study-needs-reality-check.html

Oops.

It’s actually true, in my opinion, that Canadian rates have fallen and become very competitive.  Two years ago I spent $500 to $700 per month on  mobile service with Rogers, with one phone.  Today I buy service for 4 phones and a USB data stick, all with generous 3G data plans plus 16Mb/s home internet for about the same price as I paid two years ago for a single phone.

I don’t believe the OECD study any more than Mark does.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Andy August 27, 2009, 6:36 pm

    Thanks for that update – I was just as loose with my old facts as well!

  • Brian Sharwood August 28, 2009, 7:10 am

    Alec,

    Mark has a strong vested interest in protecting the carriers interest. ie. He's excellent PR for them. I've been there, and done that.

    From someone who conducted a similar study (and the OECD study is now much closer to the SeaBoard one) I'd say that there's a larger point that he's missing. Overall I'd agree things have changed. The OECD study is a year old.

    I blogged a piece about it last week. Should really do an update.
    http://think-forward.ca/2009/08/look-to-the-futur

    When is someone going to do a similar study on Canadian Airfares!! That's where the robbery is happening. (Buffalo enjoys the fruits I'm sure)

  • Brian Sharwood August 28, 2009, 11:10 am

    Alec,

    Mark has a strong vested interest in protecting the carriers interest. ie. He’s excellent PR for them. I’ve been there, and done that.

    From someone who conducted a similar study (and the OECD study is now much closer to the SeaBoard one) I’d say that there’s a larger point that he’s missing. Overall I’d agree things have changed. The OECD study is a year old.

    I blogged a piece about it last week. Should really do an update.

    http://think-forward.ca/2009/08/look-to-the-future-carriers-canadians-oecd-report-reflects-the-past/

    When is someone going to do a similar study on Canadian Airfares!! That’s where the robbery is happening. (Buffalo enjoys the fruits I’m sure)

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