CRTC takes steps to make lower-cost data-only wireless plans widely available to Canadians
December 17, 2018 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
Today, the CRTC announced that Canadians will soon have more innovative and affordable options for mobile wireless services. Bell Mobility, Rogers and Telus have committed to offer a broad range of lower-cost data-only mobile wireless plans to Canadians within the next 90 days.
Further to a public proceeding, the national wireless providers will introduce a variety of lower-cost data-only plans that were not previously available in the market. The plans will range from as low as $15 for 250 MB to $30 for 1GB of monthly data, with a mix of prepaid and postpaid options, on both the 3G and LTE networks.
The CRTC will monitor the implementation and availability of these plans over the coming months to ensure that the national wireless providers honour their commitments.
Earlier this year, the CRTC announced that it would initiate a comprehensive review of mobile wireless services in early 2019. Through this review, the CRTC will examine whether further action is required to improve the choice and affordability of mobile wireless services for Canadians, among other issues.
“Canadians deserve to have access to a wide range of mobile wireless plans in the market. While the new lower-cost data-only plans represent a step in the right direction and provide more choice for Canadians, we remain concerned by the overall condition of the market. To this end, the review we will launch next year will look at the state of mobile wireless competition more broadly.”
Ian Scott, Chairperson and CEO of the CRTC
In March 2018, the CRTC concluded that there was a gap in the wireless market for lower-cost data-only plans and launched a proceeding to ensure that the gap was adequately filled by the national wireless providers.
Data-only wireless plans will further empower Canadians to use the voice and messaging applications of their choice, using a combination of Wi-Fi access and cellular networks.
The CRTC expects that the national wireless providers’ plans will remain in place at least until the end of the wireless review that is set to begin in early 2019.
Some providers will offer discounts or increased data allowances on their lower-cost data-only wireless plans for Canadians with disabilities.
Certain national wireless service providers, as well as competitors, have already introduced lower-cost data-only plans.
Bell Mobility, Rogers and Telus must report back to the CRTC every six months with information about their data-only wireless plans, including demand and marketing efforts.