Canada tracks progress on reducing prices of wireless services

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s telecommunications service providers and their front-line workers have been doing their part and providing essential services to keep Canadians connected. Now more than ever, Canadians are relying on telecommunications services for work, school, finances and health care-making access to high-quality and affordable services essential. That is why the Government of Canada continues to be committed to helping reduce the cost of some of the most popular wireless plans by 25 percent over the next two years and further increasing competition, as well as tracking progress toward this goal.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced the publication of the first set of wireless pricing data on 2 GB to 6 GB data plans from February to June 2020. Price monitoring will be ongoing, and wireless pricing data on these plans will be updated quarterly going forward.

Over the next two years, the three major wireless providers and their flanker brands, which represent 90 percent of the national market, will be expected to offer plans in the 2 GB to 6 GB range that are 25 percent cheaper.

If these options are not offered to Canadians by then, the Government will look at other regulatory tools to further increase competition in the marketplace and help reduce prices.

Quotes

“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have engaged with Canada’s telecom service providers to ensure they can continue to provide the services that we all rely on to stay connected. I want to thank them, along with their essential workers, for the actions they have taken. From waiving home Internet overage fees to maintaining, repairing and upgrading their networks, they have helped support Canadians during this difficult time. In that same spirit, our government is optimistic that it can continue working with the big three providers to reduce the cost of mid-range wireless services by 25 percent over the next two years. The tracker launched today will help monitor progress toward this goal.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Quick facts

  • On average, Canadians were using about 2.5 GB of data per month in 2018.

  • The benchmark price, or the price to which the 25 percent reduction will apply, is based on prices advertised on company websites in early 2020 for post-paid, bring your own device (BYOD), unlimited talk and text 4G/LTE plans in the 2 GB to 6 GB range.

  • In Quebec, prices for the 2 GB and 4 GB data plans were already lower than the January 2020 benchmark prices.

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