The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Cost of basic cellphone service up 16% in a year, full-feature packages down 15%

  • Print

TORONTO - The price of basic wireless phone service in Canada has gone up 16 per cent since last year but packages with more features have held steady or gone down, according to an annual study commissioned by Industry Canada and the CRTC.

The 2014 study by Ottawa-based Wall Communications says the average price for the most basic cellphone service with low call volumes and no text or data was $35.70 per month.

Prices for mid-level packages with average call volumes and more features were unchanged, at about $45.26 per month.

Meanwhile, a third level of service with high call volumes, a full set of features and up to one gigabyte of data usage, declined in price by 15 per cent to about $80 from about $94 a month a year earlier.

Bernie Lefebvre, vice-president at Wall Communications, said Canadian wireless prices have been declining since 2008, with only a few exceptions.

"I would say, overall, the prices have been trending downwards but that Level 1, voice-only basic package, went up this year," Lefebvre said in an interview from Ottawa.

He also noted that Level 2 basket of services, with 450 minutes of talk time and 300 texts, broke the downward trend by remaining flat this year compared with last year.

Compared with prices in other countries, Canada continues to be less expensive than the United States but more expensive than Europe, Lefebvre said.

The pricing of Canadian wireless communications has become a political issue, with the Harper government bringing in a number of policies that it says will increase competition and reduce costs for consumers.

Industry Minister James Moore noted in a statement that average wireless prices have decreased by 22 per cent since 2008 and prices for packages that include data have fallen faster over the same period.

"We are encouraged by the findings revealed in today's independent report, which confirm that our policies for more choice and lower prices are working to support Canadian families. We will continue to stand up for consumer choice and robust competition in Canada's wireless sector," Moore said in a statement.

- Follow @DavidPaddon on Twitter.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Jets Bogosian-Little-Ladd

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060710 The full moon rises above the prairie south of Winnipeg Monday evening.
  • MIKE.DEAL@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 100615 - Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 The Mane Attraction - Lions are back at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. Xerxes a 3-year-old male African Lion rests in the shade of a tree in his new enclosure at the old Giant Panda building.  MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you plan on attending any of the CMHR opening weekend events? (select all that apply)

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google