Cellphone programs mean talk isn't cheap: poll

It appears to be just about impossible to find a great deal as it pertains to cellphone programs in Canada, a fresh poll has found.

Sixty-one % of Canadians think cellphone programs are too pricey, and significantly less than 10 % think they’re obtaining a great deal, shows the poll from the Angus Reid Institute.

John Lawford, executive director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Ottawa, specializes in telecommunications for consumers. He said the findings aren’t amazing.

"People don’t just use their phone cell r&b song mainly for voice any more, it’s data now," Lawford said. "That’s really put a lot of pressure on prices and made it perhaps less competitive but certainly more costly for consumers."

Canadians are recognized to pay more for their cellphone plans compared with other countries that are area of the Firm for Economic Co-operation and Development, Lawford said.

That is demonstrated with a Wall Communications Inc also. study for the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Payment, which found cellphone plans in Canada are among the most expensive in the global world.

"I believe everyone accepts that Canada’s wireless pricing is a little higher than it should be, so that probably indicates that there’s insufficient competition," Lawford said.

The Angus Reid poll, which surveyed 1,522 people last month, also found 55 % of Canadians think there’s not enough competition on the market. Almost 50 per cent of the public people polled in Manitoba thought the same, even though the province has local company MTS in addition to Rogers, Bell and Telus.

The analysis suggests mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) could grow competition. They may be small providers that rent network capacity from larger companies at a low cost price. They sell the product at a lesser rate.

Recently, an appeal was denied by the CRTC by MVNOs that could require large carriers to market their services to them.

The larger companies argued requiring carriers to enter such rent agreements would discourage them from maintaining and expanding network infrastructure.

"If you don’t own anything, no actual towers or wires, and you also want to set up a virtual network, you want to re-sell Bell’s wifi, you can’t because Bell doesn’t have to give you it to you," Lawford said.

Though MVNOs could create more competition even, the scholarly study found 61 per cent of people had not heard about the CRTC ruling.

Lawford said if people want change, it’s up to these to speak up.

"I encourage individuals who have concerns about pricing to let their MP know, not the CRTC just," he said.

"The MPs put pressure that the regulators can’t. If people really find that it’s becoming an expense that they can’t bear, then they should complain in a politics way."

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