Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Wireless market ‘functioning well’ in Canada: researcher

Fred Lum/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Wireless services in Canada are globally competitive both in prices and in innovative technology on offer to consumers, contrary to what many observers claim, says a research note published by the Montreal Economic Institute.

Canada ranks in the middle for wireless prices charged among developed countries, says author Yves Rabeau, associate management professor at the Université du Quebéc à Montréal.

"Canada is neither among the best, nor among the worst," says Mr. Rabeau, who is also an associate researcher at the institute.

Story continues below advertisement

The price of a basic wireless plan in Canada is comparable to what is paid in U.S. cities, although higher than in other cities examined, according to 2012 figures by Wall Communications, says Mr. Rabeau.

In four out of six usage scenarios cited in the most recent biannual report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development on the communications industry, prices are lower in Canada than in the U.S., though they are higher than the OECD average, he says.

"Furthermore, in the usage case including the most calls and text messages, Canada ranks as the fifth least-expensive of 34 countries."

It is inaccurate to say that Canada has higher roaming charges than all other OECD countries, as has been claimed by many Canadian media outlets, he adds.

The comparison is based on downloading one megabyte while roaming without a plan, an unrealistic situation, he says.

A far more realistic study concludes that Canada ranks as the seventh least-expensive of 34 countries, according to the research note.

Other studies show that Canada is holding its own in the deployment of the latest wireless technology, says Mr. Rabeau.

Story continues below advertisement

Canada is also not at the Third World level when it comes to the penetration rate of broadband wireless services, "as critics are fond of claiming, but once again right in the middle of the pack of rich countries," he says.

"We are therefore far from the caricature propagated by certain analysts of a Canada trailing the rest of the world in Internet and wireless access."

The upshot is that Canada doesn't need more regulation to force providers to lower prices, increase download speeds and improve service quality, he says.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said in April it intends to revisit its decision almost 20 years ago not to regulate the wireless industry. It should refrain from doing so, Mr. Rabeau concludes.

"The wireless market in Canada is in full expansion and functioning well."

Independent analyst Amit Kaminer says he has not read the report and can't comment directly on it, but believes there has been an improvement in wireless service and prices in Canada over the past few years.

Story continues below advertisement

"If you compare 2006 and 2012, there is a world of difference. We have better service choice, better technologies and better prices than we used to. Canada is not perfect but it's progressing,"Mr. Kaminer, of consultancy Seaboard Group, said in an interview.

In an e-mail, he added: "Wireless is better now: more competition, more choice to consumers, better service and better prices."

But he cautioned that there are challenges ahead, including making sure that the improving situation is sustained over the long run.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies