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Wireless report claims critics and complainers too 'simplistic'

Last Updated May 8, 2018 at 7:43 am PST

(iStock Photo)

Montreal Economic Institute says comparisons of Canada's wireless prices to those of other countries are misleading

Right-leaning policy group argues Europe, with much lower wireless prices, is far behind the Canadian industry

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – If you complain after comparing the prices of Canadian wireless services to those in other countries, a new report suggests you are being too “simplistic.”

The Montreal Economic Institute says critics of wireless prices in Canada regularly claim that they are among the highest in the world, but argues such comparisons are misleading.

“It’s like comparing what two people pay to lease a car, without saying that the first is a highly-paid executive leasing a Lexus she uses every day, while the other is a low-income retiree leasing a Yaris that he uses once a week,” says Martin Masse, senior writer and editor at the right-leaning policy group.

“So obviously one person pays a lot more but she gets a very high quality car that she uses all the time and she has the means to pay for it. This is the problem when you just compare raw numbers without looking at what you pay for. In Canada have one of the best networks in the world, we have the fastest speeds and our companies are among the ones that invest the most in the advanced technologies,” he tells NEWS 1130.

Related article:

Canadians paying most for data in developed world: report

Masse argues Europe — where wireless service prices are much lower — is far behind the Canadian industry.

“They have lower prices but they don’t invest much, their companies are not really profitable, and they are still trying to recoup their investments from older technologies.”

Masse also insists there is at least as much competition in Canada as anywhere else, with rates corresponding to the quality of services that Canadians demand.

“This is what emerges from a detailed analysis of relevant factors as opposed to a simplistic comparison of a few prices,” he says, claiming that Canadians have many affordable options offered by minor brands, regional providers, and resellers.

“We always focus on the fact that we pay more than elsewhere, but people don’t realize that prices are going down. The problem is that our bills seem to go up every year but people forget they are paying for more and more services and better quality services,” Masse says.

“If you go from a regular cellphone to an iPhone 8, obviously the regular cellphone doesn’t have a data plan and it’s very cheap. The wireless plan for a smartphone is much more expensive but you get many more services.”

Masse says it is easy to complain, but critics are not looking at the big picture.

“We’d all love to pay less for services but I think we have been trashing our telecom companies for several years and we should be proud that we have some of the best services in the world.”

Rogers is the parent company of NEWS 1130.