Government of Canada takes action to offer more affordable options for wireless services
“Canada is at an exciting turning point in the future of connectivity. Wireless services are no longer a luxury. They are a critical necessity—for working, for learning at school and for engaging in modern society. We heard Canadians when they asked for more affordable options for their wireless services, and we have delivered. Canadians shouldn’t have to choose between having a cellphone or heating their home. These new tools build on a number of initiatives we already set in place to help lower prices, improve access and ensure affordable, high-quality wireless services in every corner of our country.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
The 2019 Price Comparison Study also shows that Canadians have been paying more overall compared to consumers in other G7 countries and Australia.
The Government’s priority is to enhance competition as it contributes to more choices at affordable prices for consumers. To enhance competition, the Government has taken these steps:
- Set out pro-competition rules for the 600 MHz band spectrum auction that led to regional providers more than doubling their share of spectrum, creating more competition in the marketplace;
- Issued in June 2019 a policy direction to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to encourage all forms of competition and to foster affordability and lower prices in all telecom decisions;
- Engaged the CRTC to explore lower cost wireless offerings, resulting in its mandating the three big national carriers offer low-cost data-only plans; and
- Reserved 50 MHz in the upcoming 3500 MHz spectrum auction for small and regional telecom companies to enhance competition in the market.
The CRTC’s ongoing Wireless Framework Review is looking at three broad areas: competition in the retail market, mandating wholesale access for mobile virtual network operators (MVNO), and the future of mobile services in 5G. The Government is following this proceeding closely.
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA
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