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posted by LaminatorX on Monday March 24 2014, @02:01PM   Printer-friendly
from the Hosed-by-Hosers dept.

pbnjoe writes:

"CBC has a report on apparent price fixing by the country's top carriers.

Canada's big three wireless carriers have hiked the base prices for new plans by $5 in most markets over the past two months.

Rogers, Telus, and Bell Mobility now all charge $80 per month for new smartphone plans with a new contract, $5 more than what many of those same plans cost when they were introduced last year. The prices for other smartphone plans with more data cost upwards of $145.

The price hikes affect every province except Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

This exclusion appears to be due to the strong local competition from MTS and SaskTel, respectively; equivalent plans there are $55 cheaper than elsewhere in the country.

The $80 a month plan includes 500 MB of data, unlimited nationwide calling, unlimited messaging, voicemail and call display.

Existing plans are unaffected.

For more, here's Ars Technica's coverage of the story."

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by WizardFusion on Monday March 24 2014, @02:14PM

    by WizardFusion (498) on Monday March 24 2014, @02:14PM (#20231) Journal

    That is super expensive compared to the UK. I am paying about £30 a month (50usd/55cad)
    This gives me 2000 minutes, 2000 text and unlimited data.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by dublet on Monday March 24 2014, @02:25PM

      by dublet (2994) on Monday March 24 2014, @02:25PM (#20241)

      If you already have your phone and don't intend on changing, let me save you another 10 quid a month, and you get unlimited texts: http://giffgaff.com/goodybags [giffgaff.com]

      It's a second tier network, running on O2. It means O2 customers get preferential treatment but in my experience I haven't noticed any worse signal/connection issues than when I was with Three.

      I've got one of their cheaper packages as I don't make many phone calls but use a lot of texting + data. Costs me 12 quid a month, and I have a Nexus 4, which was a bargain. Costs me way less than any contract I've ever been on, no crazy fees and no contract period!

      Like you I was incredulous that anyone would pay 80 of any currency a month for a smart phone + data plan!

      • (Score: 1) by JoeMerchant on Monday March 24 2014, @03:14PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday March 24 2014, @03:14PM (#20277)

        The U.S. rates are improving, slowly. A big thing here is the "family plan" where the carrier reams you for the first phone, then additional phones are added for much less. Right now, we have 3 phones each with 500Meg data per month on T-Mobile for $90 per month, you can add unlimited data for $20 per line per month. I believe the rates are $80 per month for 2 lines, or $50 per month for 1 line.

        Like I said about Canada, the infrastructure costs in the US are higher, and not just because of the geography - the carriers have also fragmented the spectrum... it really sucks. Depending on where you live, you are more or less forced into the carrier that has "real" coverage in that area. In North-Central Florida, that means Verizon, but in the Keys it means AT&T. Luckily, the major metro areas have more choice, but when you travel, you suffer - and AT&T / Verizon are much more expensive than what I'm quoting for T-Mobile...

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday March 24 2014, @02:43PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday March 24 2014, @02:43PM (#20252)

      Canada is a little bigger than the UK - lower population density = higher infrastructure cost per subscriber.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Monday March 24 2014, @05:44PM

        by davester666 (155) on Monday March 24 2014, @05:44PM (#20377)

        ...which some of the carriers have dealt with by...joining with other carriers to create a shared network.

      • (Score: 1) by hamsterdan on Monday March 24 2014, @07:23PM

        by hamsterdan (2829) on Monday March 24 2014, @07:23PM (#20459)

        Telecoms like to use that BS argument. Montreal and Toronto areas alone make for a *third* of the whole country, yet the prices are the same in those cities. And yes, cablecos and telcos LOVE price fixing (same goes for oilcos)

        • (Score: 1) by JoeMerchant on Sunday March 30 2014, @12:11AM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday March 30 2014, @12:11AM (#22980)

          Absolutely, the real price fixer is "whatever the market will bear" - when you've got the potential of being mauled by a bear out in the middle of the woods, you'll likely pay a lot for reliable cell service. When you live in the high density cities, you make enough money to pay higher rates for the service than it costs to provide them.

          Cable and telcos have made huge profits by fixing a "flat price" across everybody. Some people out in the boonies get their service for less than it costs to provide it, but I think the government regulators smile on this and give the monopolistic bastards a pass when they price gouge in the cities.

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 1) by Teckla on Monday March 24 2014, @07:24PM

        by Teckla (3812) on Monday March 24 2014, @07:24PM (#20460)

        lower population density = higher infrastructure cost per subscriber

        That is only true if a population is evenly spread out. If I recall correctly, the vast majority of the Canadian population is rather concentrated in a few areas.

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 25 2014, @01:08AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 25 2014, @01:08AM (#20665)

          This is true, except no matter what the density in BFN(butt frickin nowhere) Canada, you still need coverage.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bucc5062 on Monday March 24 2014, @02:16PM

    by bucc5062 (699) on Monday March 24 2014, @02:16PM (#20233)

    You have to admire the chutzpah of major carriers these days. "No, really FCC, merging us will bring about more competition, not less" though they leave out it is just competition upwards, not down.

    I wonder if Canada has any anti-trust laws or equivalent RICO laws people could bring to play. Something else that this one time Canada's businesses smell worse then our own.

    --
    The more things change, the more they look the same
  • (Score: 4, Funny) by Thexalon on Monday March 24 2014, @02:17PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Monday March 24 2014, @02:17PM (#20235)

    "Your winnings, Mr Harper."

    --
    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by halcyon1234 on Monday March 24 2014, @03:53PM

    by halcyon1234 (1082) on Monday March 24 2014, @03:53PM (#20294)
    Not too long ago, the CRTC passed some laws kinda sort capping the amount of money the telcos were allowed to gouge their customers. Something like limiting the cap on cancellation fees and SOME hidden charges. It was a nice gesture, but utterly pointless. It was extremely limited in what it was addressing-- a symptom rather than the disease. "You may not gouge the customers on three year contract cancellations when this specific wording is used". The very first thing I assumed is that the telcos would just tack those fees on somewhere else-- raise the base price of a contract, add a service fee under a different name-- something. Ripping off customers is their major profit center. It's their business. It was just a matter of where they were going to stick it.

    And here we are.

    Sidenote: How the heck do I change my account so that the default option for posting is "HTML Formatted" rather than "Plain old text"?!?
    --
    Original Submission [thedailywtf.com]
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by jakartadean on Monday March 24 2014, @04:02PM

    by jakartadean (3945) on Monday March 24 2014, @04:02PM (#20300)

    The $80 a month plan includes 500 MB of data, unlimited nationwide calling, unlimited messaging, voicemail and call display.

    Oohhhh, only $80 a month, and you get all that??? 500MB data??? call display??? Canadians must be having orgasms every time they turn their phones on.

    Seriously, isn't about time the Canadian government got out of regulatory capture, or at least hid it a little better? I refer you to Air Canada's purchase of Canadian Pacific or whatever it became, the wheat board (mercifully broken), the dairy board (a few Quebec farmers bend the country, and other farmers, over a foot locker), vertical integration in TV and many others. Where's the outcry? Or, at least, the Canadian outcry aka whinge?

    • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday March 24 2014, @05:23PM

      by Gaaark (41) on Monday March 24 2014, @05:23PM (#20352) Journal

      I see your whinge and raise you an "It's a jelly."

      --
      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 24 2014, @11:05PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 24 2014, @11:05PM (#20628)

    These days you can get a decent plan for $30 to $40 a month.

    Aldimobile was good. $35 for unlimited texts, near unlimited voice, 2.5Gb data. Per month. Was.

    Boost is ok. Whirlpool.net.au if you want to read about it