Prices for wireless and home internet services declined in 2022, ISED’s (Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada) Price Comparison Study of Telecommunications Services, revealed.
The 15th edition of this annual study, released last week, compared the prices of telecommunications services within Canada, as well as internationally with the U.S and six other countries.
For the study, data about prices was collected from incumbent telephone and cable companies (including their flanker brands), as well as MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators), regional wireless market providers, and wholesale based competitors. The surveyed companies included Bell, TELUS, Rogers, Shaw, PC Mobile, TekSavvy, Freedom and more.
The report revealed that Canada’s wireless prices fell by an average of 2.6 per cent across all levels, with declines up to 16 per cent for the largest data plans in 2022. For home internet, prices declined or were stable, and an 11 per cent decrease was recorded for mid-range plans.
Prices are generally the lowest in Quebec and the highest in Ontario and British Columbia, the report noted. And, MVNOs, flankers, or regional providers offered the lowest prices compared to major national service providers.
Even if Canada tends to have the highest prices internationally, along with the U.S and Japan, it did perform favorably against them.
Industry minister François-Philippe Champagne said in a release, “I’m pleased to see that prices continue to decline for most wireless and internet plans; however, there is still more work to do. It’s clear from this study that competition is key to further reducing prices, and our government will continue to pursue the policies necessary to increase consumer choice for telecom services across Canada.”
The policy direction issued to the CRTC in February was one such key action that Champagne’s ministry expedited to ensure competition, affordability and consumer rights took precedence over the influence of market forces as prescribed in the now rescinded 2006 policy direction.
The decline in prices detailed in the study could also bode well for the C$26 billion Rogers-Shaw merger, which has hit several roadblocks due to competition and price increase concerns. The two-year long merger battle now awaits Champagne’s approval.