Sky-high per-gigabyte costs are contributing to considerably lower data usage, report finds.
Canadian Cellphone Prices:
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How depressing is it to be a cellphone user in Canada?
Numerous studies have answered that particular question in a myriad of ways, but as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
The chart below, from Sweden-based telecommunications consultancy Tefficient, tells the story succinctly:
Here’s the Reader’s Digest version. The vertical axis on the left measures how many gigabytes typical cellphone subscribers in different countries use per month. The horizontal axis along the bottom shows how much money, in euros, cellphone carriers make per gigabyte.
Canada is alone way over on the right and near the bottom. In other words: Canadians are using comparatively little data – about one gigabtye – compared to people in other countries, but Canadian carriers are making far more money than their counterparts anywhere else.
Let’s put this into perspective. Canadian carriers are making about 45 euros – about $62 Canadian – for every gigabyte of data used. In Finland, carriers are making about 2 euros – or less than $3 – for every 7 GB used.
Even Americans are making out like bandits compared to Canadians. U.S. carriers are making less than half their Canadian counterparts while providing customers more than double the equivalent data.
As Tefficient’s report puts it, “The most expensive mobile data countries are Canada, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic and the Netherlands and – as a consequence – mobile users in these countries are using very little mobile data. The average consumption in Finland is 13 [times] that of the Netherlands,” and Canada.
What can be done about this? Nothing, evidently. Canada’s governments and regulators have been trying to lower wireless prices for the better part of a decade, to no avail.
The CRTC is also this week expected to introduce new basic broadband definitions and regulations. If those rules mean any sort of additional costs to the country’s vertically integrated service providers, they’re virtually assured to pass those on to their wireless customers in the form of more rate hikes.
Merry Christmas everyone!