The annual filing of telecommunications services for the federal government shows the annual drop in Canadian wireless prices, but, as usual, concludes that most G7 countries had cheaper packages.
"While progress is being made, prices in Canada are still expensive compared to other countries," the study commissioned by the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) said in a statement.
For example, Canadian plans with two gigabytes of data a month cost an average of $ 75.44 per month when the survey was carried out in 2018 in June and July, compared to $ 81.61 per month in 2017.
The study also compares higher and lower levels of service, but wireless plans with 2 GB of data are a good indicator because they reflect patterns of use by many Canadians.
The report found that the average price in four US American cities was almost 20 percent lower than the Canadian average, to $ 61.26 for 2GB data plans based on currency adjustments.
Prices of 2GB were lower in Berlin ($ 45.80), Paris ($ 30.91), London ($ 26.56) and Rome ($ 21.11). Only Tokyo was more expensive at $ 81.52 – the only city that was studying and who increased the year.
In Australia – the only non-G7 country covered by the annual study – the price-adjusted $ 24.70 currency in Sydney was less than one-third of the Canadian average cost for a Level 4 service that includes 2 GB of data.
The study segmented the wireless market into six levels of service. Level 1 – with just talk time and without text or data – costs $ 25.73 on average, and Level 6 – Family Plans rich in features with at least 10GB of shared data – costs an average of $ 227.87 per month.
The wireless industry describes the disadvantages of the study
Key players of the Canadian wireless industry, however, claim that there were serious shortcomings in an annual study prepared for the federal government since 2008.
The Canadian Wireless Communications Association, which represents most of the country's main carriers, said it was pleased that ISED admits that wireless services prices are falling in Canada.
"However, we are still concerned that this study does not provide an accurate comparison of wireless services between countries because it does not take into account many, many different promotions offered by Canadian service providers because they are vigorously competing for customers," says CVTA. he said in an e-mail statement.
Similarly, NERA Economic Consulting, commissioned by Telus Corp., and not a member of CVTA, claims that the official Canadian study is poorly designed and subject to inaccurate interpretations.
"It really does make little sense because it is being compared [the prices of] completely different plans, "NERA's Christian Dippon said in an interview before ISED published this year's report.
Dippon came to this conclusion after examining earlier reports prepared from 2008 to 2017 by Valla or Nordiciti Group using the parameters set by either government or federal telecoms regulator.
The NERA study proposes an alternative methodology that compares Canadian plans with benchmarks that should measure how much international service providers would charge for the same level of service.
According to NERA, 89 of the 111 Canadian mobile wireless plans in their sample were below their international standard.
Press Secretary for ISED's Minister Navdeep Bains said he was not able to comment on the report on Friday.
In a statement, Bains said: "We are working hard to reduce the cost of mobile phone plans. And as we progress, our government remains focused on promoting greater competition in the telecommunications sector in order to lower prices for Canadians while making sure that they can benefit from the latest technology and high-quality services. "