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Smart phone carriers raise contract rates
Canada's three largest wireless providers have raised rates on cell phone contracts
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Canada's three largest wireless providers have raised rates on cell phone contracts.

Rogers, Bell, and Telus have all added $5 to monthly prices on new voice and data plans.

The moves happened over the past few weeks and also apply to discount brands like Virgin, Fido, and Koodo.

Existing contracts are not affected.

The change means the so-called 'Big 3' Canadian telecoms now charge at least $80 per month on a new smartphone contract.

Plans with more included data usage can cost up to $165 per month.

E-Commerce lawyer and technology law columnist Michael Geist says while communications companies might attribute the rate increase to "changing market conditions" and new federal wireless regulations, he blames a lack of competition.

"In one sense, they're [raising prices] just because they can get away with it," he says, "until we get more competition in the marketplace, I don't think there's any doubt we'll see fees continue to increase in the future."

Recent additions to the Canadian wireless marketplace, like independent providers Wind Mobile and Mobilicity are facing financial challenges.

Public Mobile recent sold to Telus.

Geist says the government should step in to level the playing field, adding that the established competitors have an unfair advantage in that they can bundle wireless services with other products, like TV and Internet.

Disclosure: Bell Canada is the parent company of NEWSTALK 1010.

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15 0

Canada's three largest wireless providers have raised rates on cell phone contracts.

Rogers, Bell, and Telus have all added $5 to monthly prices on new voice and data plans.

The moves happened over the past few weeks and also apply to discount brands like Virgin, Fido, and Koodo.

Existing contracts are not affected.

The change means the so-called 'Big 3' Canadian telecoms now charge at least $80 per month on a new smartphone contract.

Plans with more included data usage can cost up to $165 per month.

E-Commerce lawyer and technology law columnist Michael Geist says while communications companies might attribute the rate increase to "changing market conditions" and new federal wireless regulations, he blames a lack of competition.

"In one sense, they're [raising prices] just because they can get away with it," he says, "until we get more competition in the marketplace, I don't think there's any doubt we'll see fees continue to increase in the future."

Recent additions to the Canadian wireless marketplace, like independent providers Wind Mobile and Mobilicity are facing financial challenges.

Public Mobile recent sold to Telus.

Geist says the government should step in to level the playing field, adding that the established competitors have an unfair advantage in that they can bundle wireless services with other products, like TV and Internet.

Disclosure: Bell Canada is the parent company of NEWSTALK 1010.

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