A new report by the SeaBoard Group, called Death Grip, says Canada’s wireless phone companies bind customers to overly long contracts. The cost to cancel your iPhone 4 contract after six months is $256 with AT&T in the United States. And, given that it is your only option, well, one can appreciate that the incumbents are loath to break ranks and give up the three-year handcuffs. This 32-page report is written in techie talk, so if you find it a slog, just go to the chart on page 17. Shrink the contract terms and make the subsidies more transparent, SeaBoard advises wireless carriers. Broken cell contracts with penalties enrolled for settlement with us often range in the $1,000 – $2,000 range. In Canada, we allow the competitive drive to be curtailed by a group of incompetent beaurocrats at the CRTC. In short, the problem goes away when incompetent political appointees are fired and real competition is allowed! In the meantime, Bell, Rogers and Telus can laugh at consumers and provide the lowest service for the highest price. The handset subsidies are consumer driven, in North America the consumer tends to not want to pay full price for a handset and demands a deep discount. Canadian Costs are high, simply because the cost to operate a network and the subsidization of the handsets.
Let’s not pretend that extending cell coverage in Canada is not a profitable venture.
One other thing about our friendly neighbourhood carriers- I think that they are indeed finding creative ways to bump the profit margin up in Canada.
T-Mobile has 150+ Million subscribers world wide and I would assume has a significant agreement in place with Blackberry to purchase at a much lower price therefore able to sell the handset cheaper on their website and then leverage their partnership with NewEgg to ensure lean inventory management practices.
From what I see I believe your wrong about the assessment that CDN providers are jacking the price up to inflate profits.


To your initial point Kris, this blog is a little Misleading simply because it is not informing the consumer properly and slanting in a direction that is adding fuel to the fire rather than really trying to help people understand their costs and options. You claim that Canadian wireless networks are some of the best in the world – not true.
While it is true that Canada is a large country with a low population, that isn’t an explanation.
The vast majority of Canada’s land mass has no cellular service whatsoever, because almost nobody lives there. Canada’s cell phone networks are located where most Canadians live, and this is a very very small part of the country.
Rogers once had an ad campaign claiming that their network covers 92% of Canadians, which is very different from claiming that their network covers 92% of Canada. Sadly, Canadian telecom policy for decades has been that it is better for Canadians to be fleeced by Canadian companies instead of charged a fair price by a foreign company.
Oh, and if you change your plan, your contract is now extended for 3 years from the date of the change. Networks-HSPA+ is readily available with almost all the major carriers with some even moving to HSPA+ Dual Cell in just a couple months. Government – Regulations have changed, with the inclusion of Wind Mobile that allowed a shift in policy towards foreign investment.
Whatever people think of this column, I still think that a contract with unspecified terms should not be enforceable.
I believe that it is reasonable if all the details of a contract are spelled out prior to signing. Since I am not a crackberry iphone carrying need to have it, need to use, my phone is a pay as you go. Like everything else in our consumer based society, purchasing power of the average citizen decreases while profit corporate shareholder demand increases.
I believe there is a false expectation that is improperly set by our access to American media and it’s simply more expensive up here in every sense of the word.


I’m a paying customer as well and would love to get everything and pay next to nothing. I hate to hear everything in Canada has the best wireless network, Canada is the best place to live. This is twice the length of a typical British postpaid contract (18 months) and one-third longer tha a typical U.S. So, if you are in the market for a smartphone in Canada and elect to get a subsidized phone rather than pay Apple the full $779 (32GB), your only option is a three-year contract from Bell, Rogers or Telus.
It shows the iPhone 4 cost over the lifetime of a contract in Canada is $3,689, compared to $2,396 in the U.S.
With the continual innovations in handsets, keeping a phone for three years makes you increasingly out-of-date. An an example, RIM has gone on the record multiple times saying that Canadian wireless carriers are holding back progress. Sensible Canadians are more likely to look at the ridiculous cellular fees and keep their landlines.
It is an industry protected from foreign competition, and the Chretien government made a big mistake when they allowed Telus to buy Clearnet, and Rogers to buy Fido. I believe out of all the wireless companies, Telus is an amazing place to work and be a client; I know I try my best on a daily basis to ensure my clients get the best possible experience. I know a lot about the industry as a whole and I often feel that consumers are not informed properly.
Getting lectured by a shill for the industry, as if he is capable of providing a comprehensive or balanced view of the facts.



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