Cellphone plan prices drop for millions of Canadians

News Release

Study reveals that cellphone plan rates are more affordable in regions with aggressive competition

December 12, 2017 – Ottawa ON

Canadians have said that they find the cost of cellphone services too high, and the Government of Canada is listening. The Government is focused on the three elements of telecoms service that matter most to middle-class families: quality, coverage and price.

The Government of Canada has asked telecoms providers to lower their prices and has taken steps to promote competition. For instance, in June 2017, the Government provided direction to the telecoms regulator that could potentially open the door to companies using innovative solutions to provide Canadians with more affordable wireless service options.

Today, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada released the 2017 Price Comparison Study of Telecommunications Services in Canada and Select Foreign Jurisdictions.

The study found that positive trends are emerging in Canada’s telecoms sector. Prices for low- and mid-use wireless plans are declining, allowing more Canadians to access services at rates they can afford.

The study also found that competition is producing meaningful results for Canadians. In regions with strong competition, wireless prices are as much as 31 percent lower than the national average.

While progress is being made, the Government will continue to watch market dynamics and promote more competition so that all Canadians can have high-quality services at affordable prices.

Quotes

“We are pleased to see that prices for cellphone plans for many Canadians have declined. At the same time, we have heard concerns from many Canadians who said that prices are still too high. We remain focused on providing high-quality, affordable telecommunications services to all Canadians.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick Facts

  • Low-use mobile wireless plans were cheaper in Canada than in the U.S. for the first time since 2013.

  • Regions with strong competition are the least expensive mobile wireless markets in Canada, for example:

        o At 5 percent below the national average, Montréal is the least expensive for low-use mobile wireless plans.

        o At 18 percent below the national average, Winnipeg is the least expensive for mid-use mobile wireless plans.

        o At 26 percent below the national average, Regina is the least expensive for high-use mobile wireless plans.

  • Canadian prices for the highest-level broadband plan declined by 17 percent since last year.

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Contacts

Follow the department on Twitter: @ISED_CA

Karl Sasseville
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
343-291-2500

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
343-291-1777
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca


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