Prices of communications services trended downwards in 2018

News release

August 8, 2019 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

Prices for most communications services decreased in 2018, according to the CRTC’s Communications Monitoring Report pricing publication issued today. The national monthly average reported price for wireless, Internet, television and home phone services (combined) was 11% lower in 2018 than in 2016.

The most significant price reduction was in the mobile wireless market. The four mobile packages analyzed in the CRTC’s report showed that prices dipped by an average of 28% from 2016 to 2018, with the most significant drop being for services offering 5 gigabytes (GB) of data or more. For example, the average monthly price for a mobile service with unlimited voice, text messaging and 5 GB of data fell by as much as 35% in 2018, from $78.36 in 2016 to $51.05.

As for the CRTC’s target broadband speeds of 50 megabits per second (Mbps) for download and 10 Mbps for upload, the average monthly reported price decreased by 3.2%, from $82.05 in 2016 to $79.40 in 2018.

The Communications Monitoring Report also shows a price drop of 8% from $27.64 to $25.55 for the average price of basic television packages between 2016 and 2018.

While prices have been trending downwards, Canadians’ appetite for the latest mobile devices, more data and faster broadband speeds are contributing to a general increase in their communications bills. In addition, the prices paid by Canadians will vary depending on other factors, such as region and service provider.

Consult all the information in the CRTC’s pricing and expenditure publications or on Open Data.


“The latest pricing data illustrate a positive trend for consumers, who have raised concerns about the prices of communications services. We have taken steps to address some of these concerns and have plans to consult with Canadians and explore further ways to improve the availability and affordability of services, including in the current review of mobile wireless services.”

-Ian Scott, CRTC Chairperson and CEO

Quick facts

  • The 2019 Communications Monitoring Report provides a comprehensive overview of the Canadian communications industry, with various data and information, and includes emerging trends and issues. The expenditures and pricing publications can be consulted now, while the telecommunication and broadcasting publications are scheduled for the fall.

  • The CRTC’s expenditures and pricing publications reflects trends and averages as reported by the telecommunications industry.

  • As part of its review of the mobile wireless services, the CRTC wants to ensure competition in the market provides a choice of affordable and innovative services. As part of this proceeding, all parties may file further comments with the Commission by October 23, 2019.

  • The Commission will hold a public hearing on the review of mobile wireless services beginning January 13, 2020.

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