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Price Comparisons of Wireline, Wireless and Internet Services in Canada and with Foreign Jurisdictions 2019 Edition

The 2019 Price Comparison Study of Telecommunications Services in Canada and with Foreign Jurisdictions, prepared by Wall Communications Inc., is the twelfth (2019) edition of the annual telecommunications services price comparison report. The purpose of this Study is to provide a detailed comparative price analysis of telecommunications services within Canada, as well as an international comparison (G7 + Australia).

This year, the telecommunications services examined in this Study were classified in three categories: mobile wireless telephony, fixed line broadband internet, and mobile wireless internet. Individual service baskets were defined according to increasing levels of service usage and feature availability under each category.

National incumbents, regional service providers, and resellers/mobile virtual network operators were sampled for the Study. Domestically, prices were collected in six cities across Canada (Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina and Vancouver). Internationally, data was collected in seven countries, including four cities in the United States (Boston, Kansas City, Minneapolis and Seattle), and the largest city in all other countries (Australia, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany and Japan).

Table of contents

Executive Summary

This is the twelfth (2019) edition of ISED's annual telecom services price comparison study. The purpose of this Study is to provide a detailed comparative price analysis of telecommunications services in Canada relative to the United States and six other countries. The individual service categories covered by the Study are:

  1. Mobile Wireless;
  2. Fixed Line Broadband Internet; and
  3. Mobile Wireless Internet.

For each individual service category, prices are measured for a series of defined "service baskets" which have been designed to reflect typical Canadian low to high telecom service usage levels and features. A middle or "average" consumption basket for a typical Canadian consumer is included in each service category. There are three to six service baskets or "levels" defined for each service category. The lowest available advertised regular prices, as offered by the surveyed service providers included in the study, are used to measure the prices of each of the defined service baskets.

For Canada, the surveyed service providers include the incumbent telephone companies (e.g., Bell and TELUS) and cable companies (e.g., Rogers, Shaw and Videotron), resellers of telephony and/or Internet access (e.g., Primus, Teksavvy and Distributel) and regional wireless market providers (e.g., Freedom, SaskTel, Videotron and EastLink). In addition, Flanker brands (offered by the national mobile wireless providers or incumbent fixed broadband providers) are included and used for separate comparisons. Prices are measured in six metropolitan areas: Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina and Vancouver. Aggregate Canada-wide prices are determined on a weighted average basis.

For international comparison purposes, prices have also been measured using the same methodology for the same set of service baskets for seven other countries: Australia (Sydney), France (Paris), Germany (Berlin), Italy (Rome), Japan (Tokyo), the United Kingdom (London) and the United States (Boston, Kansas City, Minneapolis and Seattle).

Key changes to this year's Study include the elimination of tracking landline telephony prices and any type of bundled service. In addition the lowest mobile wireless basket (i.e. simply 150 minutes of voice service) has been dropped. Flanker broadband services are examined in a spotlight section. We also provide a substantive examination of recently released national MNO mobile plans.Footnote 1

The highlights of this year's price comparison study update follow.

Mobile Wireless

Five service basket levels are considered for the mobile wireless service category:

Mobile Wireless Trends:

Fixed Broadband Internet

Six broadband Internet service baskets are included in the study, which are primarily defined on the basis of download speed:

Trends in fixed broadband service:

Mobile Internet

Three mobile Internet service baskets are included in the study. Level 1 covers plans providing 2 to 5 GB, Level 2 covers plans providing 5 to 10 GB and Level 3 covers plans providing greater than 10 GB of data usage per month.

The following table provides a summary of the 2019 price comparison results for Canada and the seven surveyed foreign jurisdictions included in the study. All reported prices for the surveyed foreign jurisdictions exclude sales taxes and are expressed in purchasing power parity (PPP) adjusted Canadian dollars.

Summary of International Price Comparisons 2019
Average Monthly Price in PPP adjusted $CDN
Canada U.S.A. Australia U.K. France Italy Germany Japan
Wireless Service
Level 1 (Talk and Text) $37.62 $42.89 n/a $16.32 $10.76 $12.25 $14.92 $35.31
Level 2 (1 GB) $64.80 $50.17 n/a $35.56 n/a n/a $22.89 $57.82
Level 3 (2 GB data) $74.42 $59.50 $22.35 $24.72 $33.09 $26.80 $41.08 $78.42
Level 4 (5 GB data) $87.57 $63.04 n/a $28.48 $27.28 n/a $54.67 $95.63
Level 5 (10-49 GB data) $205.78 $171.41 $67.80 $64.36 $49.55 $58.30 $91.01 $179.31
Broadband Service
Level 1 (3-9 Mbps) $35.98 $62.50 n/a $37.52 n/a n/a n/a n/a
Level 2 (10–15 Mbps) $53.20 $69.35 n/a $40.36 n/a n/a n/a $47.76
Level 3 (16–40 Mbps) $55.20 $69.02 $62.36 $46.11 n/a $49.26 $49.15 n/a
Level 4 (41–100Mbps) $72.01 $75.48 $75.06 $55.20 n/a $42.27 $53.80 $63.69
Level 5 (100–249 Mbps) $83.25 $93.01 n/a $75.87 $33.79 $49.26 $65.87 $77.69
Level 6 (250–500 Mbps) $93.03 $120.62 n/a $78.62 $41.20 $42.27 $47.64 $76.31
Mobile Internet
Level 1 (2–5 GB) $40.60 $39.72 n/a $15.12 n/a n/a $20.45 $66.43
Level 2 (5-10 GB) $64.04 $62.05 $15.03 $21.11 $20.73 $10.56 $32.81 $69.41
Level 3 (10+ GB) $82.99 $85.97 $23.66 $27.85 $30.05 $15.06 $40.50 $98.68
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Summary of Canadian Prices 2019
Average Monthly Price $CDN (and YOY)
2019 2018 2017 YoY%
2019/18
Wireless Service
Level 1 (Talk and Text) $37.62 $39.43 $40.95 −4.59%
Level 2 (1 GB) $64.80 $70.99 $70.70 −8.72%
Level 3 (2 GB data) $74.42 $75.44 $81.61 −1.36%
Level 4 (5 GB data) $87.57 $87.32 $104.49 0.29%
Level 5 (10-49 GB data) $205.78 $227.87 $264.65 −9.69%
Broadband Service
Level 1 (3-9 Mbps) $35.98 $40.67 $41.83 −11.54%
Level 2 (10–15 Mbps) $53.20 $57.36 $65.54 −7.26%
Level 3 (16–40 Mbps) $55.20 $70.70 $65.59 −21.91%
Level 4 (41–100Mbps) $72.01 $87.00 $82.54 −17.23%
Level 5 (100–249 Mbps) $83.25 $102.76 $95.10 −18.99%
Level 6 (250–500 Mbps) $93.03 $123.87 n/a −24.90%
Mobile Internet
Level 1 (2–5 GB) $40.60 $38.28 $43.01 6.08%
Level 2 (5-10 GB) $64.04 $61.90 $60.79 3.45%
Level 3 (10+ GB) $82.99 $83.35 $82.28 −0.43%
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

1.0 Introduction

This study provides a 2019 update of the previous annual telecommunications price comparison studies conducted since 2008.Footnote 6

The consumer telecom service categories covered in this study include the following categories:Footnote 7

  1. Mobile wireless telephony;
  2. Fixed line broadband Internet; and
  3. Mobile wireless Internet.

A series of service baskets reflecting different service usage and feature levels was established for each service category in the first Study of 2008. Consistency in category characteristics over time is sought to the extent possible. However, key market changes may lead to some category revisions. Service category revisions and additions have occurred in past years and are noted where relevant. In short, the Studies attempt to balance maintaining consistent categories over time (to allow for inter-temporal comparisons) while recognizing that key technological and market changes should be reflected in the prices being tracked.

For Canada, the study provides a comparison of prices for each defined basket in each service category for the following cities: Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina and Vancouver. Service prices for Canada as a whole are derived as the weighted averages (according to market share and population weights) of the prices measured for each of the six surveyed cities. The prices of national service providers (i.e. MNOs), regional providers, flanker brands and resellers are reported.

The study also measures prices for the same set of service category baskets for Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the United States (U.S.). As a result, the study covers all G7 countries along with Australia. Major service providers in each country are surveyed. Service basket prices in these seven foreign jurisdictions are compared with those measured for Canada.

There are some notable modifications and additions to this year's StudyFootnote 8:

  1. Prices for fixed (or landline) telephony are not tracked this year;
  2. Prices for bundled service are not tracked this year (as was the case in part for the 2018 Study);
  3. The former Level 1 service category for Mobile Wireless is not tracked;Footnote 9 and
  4. Flanker brands providing fixed broadband services in Canada are examined this year and are discussed in a spotlight section.

We also note that a special Spotlight section on mobile wireless has been added to this year's edition, due to a significant change in Canadian national MNO pricing that occurred several months after the initial data collection was conducted. The intent of the Spotlight section is to provide an indication of how the new MNO pricing impacts Canadian average pricing. The Spotlight exercise is limited in scope but does provide an indication of the new pricing landscape for mobile wireless. Pricing for broadband fixed Internet and mobile Internet has not been impacted.

We note that the construction of price indices is not an exact science and there are multiple methodologies that can be employed. However, the general methodology used in all the Canadian Telecom Pricing Studies has been adopted by other agencies around the world (including the OECD) and provides a legitimate and useful snapshot of the listed prices available to consumers for various levels of telecom services.

In terms of layout, the next section of this report, Section 2, provides a brief review of the methodology used to measure and compare stand-alone and bundled service basket prices, and describes in more detail all changes made in the 2019 study relative to last year's study. The remaining three sections of the report, Sections 3 through 5, provide Canadian and international price comparison results for mobile wireless, broadband Internet and mobile Internet, respectively. A detailed summary of all service baskets and bundles included in the study is provided in Attachment 1. Historical domestic price levels for various services and baskets are provided in Attachment 2. International historical price series are provided in Attachment 3.

2.0 Methodology

2.1 Service Basket Design

As in previous studies, this study relies on the service basket-based price comparison methodology described in Wall Communications' 2008 methodology report.Footnote 10 Various modifications to the 2008 methodology have been made in successive studies primarily to reflect changes in service usage patterns or market characteristics over time.

The price comparison methodology used in this study is based on a "service basket" approach where separate telecom service baskets are defined on the basis of increasing "levels" of service usage, features and, where applicable, performance. The number of defined service basket levels for each of the stand-alone telecom services considered in this study varies from three to six in total:

  1. Mobile Wireless: Basket Levels 1 to 5
  2. Broadband Internet Access: Basket Levels 1 to 6
  3. Mobile Internet Access: Basket Levels 1 to 3.

Each of the service baskets has been designed to reflect, as applicable, low, mid, high and higher volumes, including unlimited service options that are generally intended to capture a broad range of typical Canadian consumer usage levels, including an "average" consumption basket for a typical Canadian consumer.

The specific service elements included in each service basket are described in the following sections and the associated service elements and usage assumptions in each case are also summarized in Attachment 1.

2.2 Canadian Price Data Collection

The Canadian price data included in the study has been collected from a variety of telecom service providers (TSPs), including incumbent telephone companies (i.e., Bell Aliant, Bell Canada, Bell-MTS and TELUS) and incumbent cable companies (i.e., Eastlink, Videotron, Rogers, Access and Shaw). Service prices from resellers Primus, Vonage, Teksavvy, Petro-Can, and PC MobileFootnote 11 are also collected for the study. In addition, mobile wireless services offered by regional wireless service providers Freedom, EastLink, Videotron and SaskTel are also taken into account. In terms of geographic coverage, price data is collected for each of the following six Canadian cities: Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina and Vancouver. Table 1 provides a list of the surveyed Canadian service providers in this year's study broken out by city and by service basket.

Table 1
Selected Canadian Cities and Service Providers
City Service Baskets Service Providers
Halifax Broadband Internet Bell Aliant, Eastlink, Teksavvy and Primus
Mobile Wireless Bell, TELUS, Rogers, Eastlink, PC Mobile, Petro-Can, Incumbent Flanker Brands
Mobile Internet Bell, TELUS, Rogers, Eastlink
Montreal Broadband Internet Bell, Videotron, Primus, Teksavvy, Distributel, Incumbent Flanker Brands
Mobile Wireless Bell, TELUS, Rogers, Primus, Videotron, PC Mobile, Petro-Can, Incumbent Flanker Brands
Mobile Internet Bell, TELUS, Rogers, Videotron, Primus
Toronto Broadband Internet
Bell, Rogers, Primus, Teksavvy, Distributel, Incumbent Flanker Brands
Mobile Wireless Bell, TELUS, Rogers, Primus, Freedom, Petro-Can, PC Mobile, Incumbent Flanker Brands
Mobile Internet Bell, TELUS, Rogers, Freedom, Primus
Winnipeg Broadband Internet Bell-MTS, Shaw, Teksavvy
Mobile Wireless Bell-MTS, TELUS, Rogers, PC Mobile, Petro-Can, Incumbent Flanker Brands
Mobile Internet MTS, Bell, TELUS, Rogers
Regina Broadband Internet SaskTel, Access Communications, Teksavvy
Mobile Wireless SaskTel, Bell, TELUS, Rogers, PC Mobile, Primus, Petro-Can, Incumbent Flanker Brands
Mobile Internet SaskTel, Bell, TELUS, Rogers
Vancouver Broadband Internet TELUS, Shaw, Primus, Teksavvy
Mobile Wireless Bell, TELUS, Rogers, Primus, Freedom, PC Mobile, Incumbent Flanker Brands
Mobile Internet Bell, TELUS, Rogers, Freedom, Primus
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

City-specific prices for each of the stand-alone and bundled service baskets offered by the TSPs listed in Table 1 are determined using each service provider's respective estimated subscriber-based market share as weights.Footnote 12 In addition, to determine Canada-wide market prices, city-specific prices are aggregated using corresponding city population levels as weights. Weighted average prices for each surveyed city and for Canada are provided in Attachment 2 for each of the service baskets and bundles included in this study.

In addition, for the mobile wireless service baskets, services offered by the incumbents' flanker brand services – i.e., Bell Virgin, Rogers Fido and TELUS Koodo – are also taken into account. The incumbents' flanker brand service prices are included in the calculation of the above-noted city-specific and national aggregate prices.Footnote 13 In Section 3.2 below, the incumbents' flanker brand prices are compared with incumbents' and regionals' mobile wireless prices as a separate analysis.

The price data collected for this study is drawn from the surveyed TSPs' websites and, where necessary, supplemented with further clarifications from customer service representatives (CSRs).Footnote 14 The price data reflects currently advertised prices that are generally available to new customers or existing customers changing service plans. The lowest available currently advertised price is used to determine the total price of each service basket. For this purpose, regular or "basic" prices are used – short-term promotional discounts available to new customers are not taken into account.Footnote 15

In keeping with past studies, prices for baskets that include data also include the cost of a smartphone. For early years in the study, the (amortized or rental) price of a specified smartphone (such as an Apple iPhone 5 or 6) was typically included into the basket. More recently a non-standardized, lower cost smartphone has been utilized. The reasons for moving away from a standardized smartphone are numerous: the variety of smartphones today makes choosing a "standard" phone problematic, the sophistication of even low cost smartphones provides consumers with considerable functionality, and the supply of smartphones (from several manufacturers as well as including the resale market) has made the purchase price of smartphones with basic and in some cases advanced features drop to levels in the $100 range, rendering the leasing cost (explicit or implicit) relatively low.

When choosing the basket price from each vendor in each basket, we examine prices for plans that include a smartphone, prepaid plans and bring-your-own-device plans. Where a smartphone is not included in a plan, we amortize the listed purchase price of a lower-cost smartphone over a 24 month period to derive a monthly device cost.

2.3 International Price Data Collection

Seven foreign jurisdictions are included in the study: Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. With the exception of the U.S., in each case, price data was collected for the services available in each country's largest city. For the U.S., four cities of varying size distributed across that country were used – i.e., Boston, Kansas City, Minneapolis and Seattle. The service providers surveyed by country and, as applicable by city, are summarized in Table 2.Footnote 16

Table 2
Selected Foreign Jurisdictions and Service Providers
City Basket Service Providers
United States
Boston, MA Broadband Internet Verizon, Comcast/Xfinity, RCN
Mobile Wireless AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, US RegionalsFootnote 1
Mobile Internet AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
Kansas City, MO Broadband Internet AT&T, Time Warner, Windstream, Xfinity
Mobile Wireless AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, US RegionalsFootnote 1
Mobile Internet AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
Minneapolis, MN Broadband Internet CenturyLink, Comcast/Xfinity
Mobile Wireless AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, US RegionalsFootnote 1
Mobile Internet AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
Seattle, WA Broadband Internet CenturyLink, Comcast/Xfinity, Wave
Mobile Wireless AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, US RegionalsFootnote 1
Mobile Internet AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
United Kingdom
London Broadband Internet BT, Virgin, EEFootnote 2, AOL
Mobile Wireless EE, Virgin, Vodafone, O2, "3"
Mobile Internet EE, Virgin, Vodafone, O2, "3"
Australia
Sydney Broadband Telstra and Optus
Mobile Wireless/Internet Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Virgin
France
Paris Broadband
Orange (France Telecom), SFR (Neuf Cegetel), NumericableFootnote 3
Mobile Wireless/Internet Orange, SFR, Free, Bouygues Telecom
Germany
Berlin Broadband Internet
DT, KDFootnote 4, Vodafone
Mobile Wireless/Internet DT, KD, Vodafone, E-plus (KPN), O2
Italy
Rome Broadband
Telecom Italia, FastWeb, Vodafone
Mobile Wireless/Internet Telecom Italia (TIM), Vodafone, WIND, "3"
Japan
Tokyo Broadband Internet NTT, J:Com, KDDI, Yahoo! BB
Mobile Wireless/Internet NTT DoCoMo, SoftbankFootnote 5, au KDDI, Y!MobileFootnote 5
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Canadian incumbent flanker brand mobile wireless price information is included in Canadian prices. The U.S. regional brand (i.e. US Cellular and C-Spire) service prices are not included in the calculation of U.S. national aggregate prices.Footnote 17

For international price comparison purposes, foreign currency prices have been converted to Canadian dollars using currency market exchange rates adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP) differences between countries. For this study, the OECD's latest available PPP comparative price level indexes for 2018 were used for this purpose in conjunction with average market exchange rates for the same period.Footnote 18

Canadian dollar-based price comparisons between Canada and other countries can be affected significantly by year-over-year currency exchange rate fluctuations. PPP-adjusted exchange rates take into account both changes in exchange rates and PPP adjustment factors between countries and, therefore, generally provide a more appropriate economic basis for comparing price levels between countries. For this reason, all of the international price comparison results shown in the main body of this report are based on PPP-adjusted Canadian dollars. Own-currency and non-PPP-adjusted Canadian dollar price comparisons are provided in Attachment 3.

It should be noted that fluctuations in both exchange rates and PPP adjustment factors could affect international price comparisons over time. This caveat is particularly relevant to inter-temporal comparisons given the significant changes in both exchange rates and PPP adjustment factors over the last decade.

As well, it should also be noted that service prices in the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Australia and Japan are typically quoted inclusive of retail value added taxes (VAT) or goods and services taxes (GST). Where appropriate, we have excluded applicable VAT or GST charges to allow cross-country comparisons of service prices excluding government sales taxes.Footnote 19 On the other hand, where applicable, other industry-specific regulatory fees and surcharges are included for price comparison purposes (e.g., 9-1-1 fees, universal service fees and other regulatory fees).

2.4 Summary of New Additions and Updates

As noted at the outset, there are several modifications to this year's study. These include:

  1. Prices for fixed (or landline) telephony are not tracked this year;
  2. Prices for bundled service are not tracked this year (as was the case in part for the 2018 Study);
  3. There is a spotlight section on recently introduced Canadian large (and unlimited) data mobile wireless plans (with no data overage charges) from the national MNO providers;
  4. The former Level 1 service category for Mobile Wireless is not tracked;Footnote 20
  5. Flanker brands providing broadband services in Canada are examined this year and are discussed in a spotlight section; and
  6. As in previous years' studies, updated market share information has been used to determine current year Canadian and international weighted average prices.Footnote 21

Since it was first conducted in 2008, each successive price comparison study update has incorporated a number of methodological and measurement changes (such as those just mentioned). Some adjustments can significantly affect comparisons of measured prices over the historical period. In general, given the ongoing methodological and measurement modifications to the study on a year-to-year basis, caution should be exercised when considering price trends over time.

3.0 Mobile Wireless Service

3.1 Mobile Wireless Service Baskets

As in previous studies, the following mobile wireless service element charges, where applicable, are considered for price comparison purposes:

  1. network access/airtime charges (taking into account defined amounts of daytime, evening and weekend minute volumes);
  2. optional feature charges (e.g., voice mail, call display and others);
  3. long distance charges for both domestic and international calls;
  4. short message service (SMS) or text message charges;
  5. data service charges; and
  6. any other applicable monthly service charges such as emergency, universal service and/or other regulatory fees.

As a general point, we note that several service elements have diminished in importance as service differentiators over the past ten years. These include distinctions in time of day or week minutes, optional features and long distance versus local minutes. On the other hand, data allotment has grown in prominence – in some cases being the key service characteristic that is marketed.

There are several notable charges or costs that are excluded from the calculation of mobile service prices in this study, including: one-time charges (such as activation fees), upfront handset or device costs and roaming charges. However, a separate comparative analysis of Canadian and U.S. roaming charges is provided in Section 3.4 below.

Five mobile wireless service baskets are included in the study. Each basket consists of the following main elements (note: Level 1 from previous studies has been eliminated):

Table A1.1 in Attachment 1 provides a more detailed summary of each of the service elements and usage assumptions included in all five mobile wireless service baskets.

Prices are measured for each of the mobile wireless service baskets based on a TSP's standard mobile service plan rates. Where applicable, both "pre-paid" and "post-paid" service options are considered. The less expensive of the two options is used to determine the service basket price.

Post-paid plans can be offered on a no-contract or term-contract basis (the most common term being 24 months in the latter case).Footnote 23 Term-contract service plans typically provide a means for subscribers to purchase a new handset or device at a discounted price. Such plans generally include an implicit or explicit handset cost recovery component in the service plan price. No-contract term, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) or SIM card only, service plans are also often available at lower price points given they do not include a handset cost recovery component. An implicit handset cost is added to the BYOD plans, where appropriate, for comparability. Where a particular handset is common to all carriers within a country, then that handset has generally been used for pricing purposes. Entry-level handsets (amortized over 24 months) are typically used for implicit cost component pricing. Consistent with previous years' studies, as applicable, the post-paid service plan prices collected for this study are based on term-contract service plans.Footnote 24

3.2 Canadian Mobile Wireless Prices

Figure 3 provides a summary of 2019 Canadian prices for all five mobile wireless service baskets. Weighted average prices range from $37.62 per month for a Level 1 plan (Note: in previous years, this was the Level 2 plan with 450 minutes of talk and 300 texts) to $205.78 per month for a Level 5 Canada-wide unlimited talk and text family plan with up to 50 GB of data.

Figure 3: 2019 Average Canadian Mobile Wireless Prices by Service Basket

Bar chart illustrating the 2019 Average Canadian Mobile Wireless Prices by Service Basket (the long description is located below the image)
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Description of Figure 3
Figure 3: 2019 Average Canadian Mobile Wireless Prices by Service Basket
Level 1  $31.62
Level 2  $64.80
Level 3 $74.42
Level 4 $87.57
Level 5 $205.78

Figure 4 below provides a summary of Canadian weighted average mobile wireless prices for each service basket Levels 1 through 5 for the four-year period 2016 to 2019. More detailed historical mobile wireless price information by service basket and city is provided in Table A2.1 in Attachment 2.

Figure 4: Average Canadian Mobile Wireless Prices by Service Basket (2016-2019)

Bar chart illustrating the Average Canadian Mobile Wireless Prices by Service Basket (2016-2019) (the long description is located below the image)
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Description of Figure 4
Average Canadian Mobile Wireless Prices by Service Basket (2016-2019)
  2016 2017 2018 2019
Level 1  $48.77 $40.95 $39.43 $37.62
Level 2  $74.67 $70.70 $70.99 $64.80
Level 3 $81.05 $81.61 $75.44 $74.42
Level 4 $96.55 $104.49 $87.32 $87.57
Level 5 $231.99 $264.65 $227.87 $205.78

The lowest average mobile wireless prices were generally found in Winnipeg, Regina and Montreal for most mobile wireless service baskets – consistent with the past several years.

Since 2008, when the first Telecom Pricing Study was undertaken, mobile wireless prices in Canada have generally trended downwards with CAGRs over the relevant period between roughly 4% and 6%.

Comparison of Incumbent and Regional Providers Prices

A comparison of average mobile wireless rates for the incumbent carriers and the regional carriers is provided in Table 3 below. The comparison is provided for six cities: Vancouver and Toronto (where Freedom operates), Montreal (where Videotron operates), Winnipeg (MTS), Regina (SaskTel) and Halifax (where Eastlink operates).Footnote 25 For each of the cities, the incumbent carriers include Rogers, Bell and TELUS.

Table 3
2019 Canadian Mobile Wireless Service Rates
NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
Level 1
Incumbents $42.10 $40.46 $41.67 $41.67 $39.27 $41.67 $41.14
Regionals $30.55 $34.46 $19.00 $40.00 $20.94 $19.00 $27.33
Difference −27.43% −14.83% −54.40% −4.00% −46.68% −54.40% -33.58%
Level 2
Incumbents $85.43 $50.79 $87.50 N/A N/A $87.50 $77.81
Regionals $59.55 $42.63 $28.17 N/A $53.65 $28.17 $42.43
Difference −30.29% −16.07% −67.81% N/A N/A −67.81% -45.46%
Level 3
Incumbents $94.73 $54.90 $96.11 $57.78 $57.05 $96.11 $76.11
Regionals $64.55 $53.63 $44.17 $57.92 N/A $44.17 $52.89
Difference −31.86% −2.32% −54.04% 0.25% N/A −54.04% -30.51%
Level 4
Incumbents $106.54 $68.90 $107.78 $67.78 $67.05 $107.78 $87.64
Regionals $79.55 $59.63 $54.17 $77.92 $53.65 $54.17 $63.18
Difference −25.33% −13.46% −49.74% 14.97% −19.99% −49.74% -27.91%
Level 5
Incumbents $235.43 $158.79 $235.00 $136.67 $137.61 $235.00 $189.75
Regionals $190.55 $155.46 $140.00 $200.00 $175.94 $140.00 $166.99
Difference −19.06% −2.10% −40.43% 46.34% 27.86% −40.43% -11.99%

Unweighted averages used for incumbents and regionals. Unweighted prices can vary significantly from the weighted prices used in calculating national averages but can be suitable for comparing incumbents and regionals.

Wall Communications Inc. 2019

As shown in Table 3, for the Level 1 mobile wireless service basket, the prices offered by regional carriers are roughly 34% lower on average for the six cities combined. The relative price discounts (on average) available from the regionals in the case of the Level 2 service basket through Level 5 (for all cities combined) are 45%, 31%, 28% and 12% respectively.

Compared to last year's study, the differentials between the incumbents' and Regionals' mobile wireless prices have increased for the lower three baskets and decreased for the upper two baskets.

Incumbent Flanker Brand Prices

Incumbent flanker brand services Bell Virgin, Rogers Fido, and TELUS Koodo are available across the country.

Table 4 below provides a summary of incumbent primary brand, incumbent flanker brand and regional mobile wireless service prices for 2019 in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina and Vancouver for each of the mobile wireless service baskets. It also provides percentage rate differentials between the incumbents' primary and flanker brands as well as the incumbents' flanker brands and the regionals. Except for Level 5, flanker prices are consistently lower than incumbent prices. Flanker prices are 22% to 34% lower than incumbent prices in all Levels except for Level 5. For Level 5, incumbent prices tend to be relatively similar to flanker prices in all regions.

Flanker and incumbent prices tend to be lower in Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan than in other provinces, similar to past years.

Table 4
2019 Canadian Mobile Wireless Service Rates
Incumbents, Incumbent Flanker Brands and Regionals
NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
Level 1
Incumbents $42.10 $40.46 $41.67 $41.67 $39.27 $41.67 $41.14
Regionals $30.55 $34.46 $19.00 $40.00 $20.94 $19.00 $27.33
Flankers $33.76 $30.46 $33.33 $30.00 $30.94 $33.33 $31.97
Diff F/I −19.80% −24.72% −20.00% −28.00% −21.22% −20.00% -22.28%
Diff F/RG 10.52% −11.61% 75.44% −25.00% 47.76% 75.44% 17.01%
Level 2
Incumbents $85.43 $50.79 $87.50 N/A N/A $87.50 $77.81
Regionals $59.55 $42.63 $28.17 N/A $53.65 $28.17 $42.43
Flankers $55.14 $40.46 $55.00 N/A N/A $55.00 $51.40
Diff F/I −35.45% −20.34% −37.14% N/A N/A −37.14% -33.94%
Diff F/RG −7.40% −5.09% 95.24% N/A N/A 95.24% 21.13%
Level 3
Incumbents $94.73 $54.90 $96.11 $57.78 $57.05 $96.11 $76.11
Regionals $64.55 $53.63 $44.17 $57.92 N/A $44.17 $52.89
Flankers $60.00 $49.46 $60.00 N/A N/A $60.00 $57.37
Diff F/I −36.66% −9.91% −37.57% N/A N/A −37.57% -24.63%
Diff F/RG −7.05% −7.78% 35.84% N/A N/A 35.84% 8.47%
Level 4
Incumbents $106.54 $68.90 $107.78 $67.78 $67.05 $107.78 $87.64
Regionals $79.55 $59.63 $54.17 $77.92 $53.65 $54.17 $63.18
Flankers $85.00 $54.13 $85.00 $48.00 $47.94 $85.00 $67.51
Diff F/I −20.22% −21.45% −21.13% −29.18% −28.50% −21.13% −22.97%
Diff F/RG 6.85% −9.23% 56.91% −38.40% −10.64% 56.91% 6.85%
Level 5
Incumbents $235.43 $158.79 $235.00 $136.67 $137.61 $235.00 $189.75
Regionals $190.55 $155.46 $140.00 $200.00 $175.94 $140.00 $166.99
Flankers $235.43 $167.79 $235.00 $149.00 $149.94 $235.00 $195.36
Diff F/I 0.00% 5.67% 0.00% 9.02% 8.96% 0.00% 2.96%
Diff F/RG 23.55% 7.93% 67.86% −25.50% −14.78% 67.86% 16.99%
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Table 4 also includes the regionals' average prices for the same cities and provides percentage-based price differentials between the regionals' and incumbents' flanker brand prices. The regionals' prices are consistently lower than the incumbents' flanker brand prices nationally, but can be higher in specific regions and baskets. In particular, flanker prices tend to be lower than regional prices in Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

As has been the case over the last few years, the price differentials between regionals and incumbent flanker brand prices have generally widened. In other words, average prices offered by incumbent flanker brands rose and are now closer to those of the incumbents' primary brands. Price differentials between incumbents and their flanker brands have narrowed in Levels 3 to 5 while they have widened in the lower Levels.

Reseller or MVNO Prices

Mobile wireless service prices offered by two resellers or mobile virtual network operators (MNVO) – i.e., Primus and PC Mobile – were also collected. Table 5 provides a summary of the national-level price differentials between the incumbents' primary brands and MVNOs for each of the mobile service baskets. Note that no reseller services were available for Level 5 baskets.

Table 5
2019 Canadian Mobile Wireless Service Rates
Incumbents versus Resellers/MVNOs
NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
Level 1
Incumbents $42.10 $40.46 $41.67 $41.67 $39.27 $41.67 $41.14
Resellers $45.84 $40.72 $40.42 $45.63 $41.04 $40.42 $42.34
Difference 8.89% 0.65% −3.00% 9.50% 4.51% −3.00% 2.93%
Level 2
Incumbents $85.43 $50.79 $87.50 N/A N/A $87.50 $77.81
Resellers $49.14 $54.82 $54.36 $48.71 $55.30 $54.36 $52.78
Difference −42.48% 7.92% −37.88% N/A N/A −37.88% -32.17%
Level 3
Incumbents $94.73 $54.90 $96.11 $57.78 $57.05 $96.11 $76.11
Resellers $69.14 $74.82 $70.36 $68.71 $75.30 $74.36 $72.11
Difference −27.01% 36.27% −26.80% 18.92% 31.98% −22.64% -5.26%
Level 4
Incumbents $106.54 $68.90 $107.78 $67.78 $67.05 $107.78 $87.64
Resellers $79.14 $87.32 $86.86 $78.71 $87.80 $86.86 $84.45
Difference −25.72% 26.72% −19.41% 16.13% 30.94% −19.41% -3.64%
Level 5
Incumbents $235.43 $158.79 $235.00 $136.67 $137.61 $235.00 $189.75
Resellers N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Difference N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Unweighted averages

Resellers/MVNOs include Primus and PC Mobile. Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Reseller prices tend to be modestly lower for most Levels, with the exception of Level 2 where prices are more than 30% lower. Regional variation are significant, with reseller prices often higher than incumbent prices in Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Discussion of the Canadian Market: Observations Relevant to High and Low Cost Service Provision

Discussion of the Canadian Market: Observations Relevant to High and Low Cost Service Provision

Table 6 below provides the highest and lowest available prices (by region) by specific provider.  We would note that Freedom Mobile in most cases offers the lowest price in regions where they offer service (i.e. BC and Ontario).  It should be noted that often the prices from other vendors are only a few dollars more or less than the recorded highest or lowest price.

Table 6: Canadian Wireless Plans 2019
Lowest and Highest Offered Prices by Province and by Wireless Service Provider
Level - BC BC SK SK MB MB ON ON QC QC NS NS Canada
- - low high low high low high low high low high low high average
1) 450/300 Talk/Text Price 19.00 56.25 20.94 56.25 30.00 56.25 19.00 56.25 30.46 56.25 30.43 56.25 37.62
WSP Freedom Petro-Can Sasktel Petro-Can Fido, Virgin Petro-Can Freedom Petro-Can Virgin, Fido, Koodo Petro-Can Fido, Eastlink Petro-Can
2) 1 GB Price 28.17 96.25 45.94 64.65 NA 48.71 28.17 96.25 40.46 60.46 49.14 91.68 64.80
WSP Freedom Rogers Rogers Primus NA PC Mobile Freedom Rogers Virgin, Fido, Koodo Primus PC Mobile Rogers
3) 2 GB Price 44.17 101.25 54.27 80.94 56.25 68.71 44.17 101.25 49.46 80.46 60.00 96.68 74.42
WSP Freedom Rogers Bell Primus Rogers PC Mobile Freedom Rogers Virgin, Koodo Primus Virgin, Fido, Koodo Rogers
4) 5 GB Price 54.17 116.25 45.94 95.94 48.00 78.71 54.17 116.25 49.46 95.46 79.14 111.68 87.57
WSP Freedom Rogers Virgin Primus Virgin, Fido, Koodo PC Mobile Freedom Rogers Koodo Primus PC Mobile, Eastlink Rogers
5) 10-49 GB Price 140.00 235.00 130.94 175.94 130.00 200.00 140.00 235.00 154.46 174.46 190.55 235.43 205.78
WSP Freedom Virgin, Fido, Koodo, Bell, Rogers, Telus Rogers Sasktel Rogers MTS Freedom Virgin, Fido, Koodo, Bell, Rogers, Telus Koodo Virgin, Fido Eastlink Virgin, Fido, Koodo, Bell, Rogers, Telus
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

For Canada, the highest and lowest prices (offered by specific providers) are provided in Table 7 below. We would note that Freedom Mobile has the lowest (or equal to lowest) price offering in three of the five baskets.

Table 7: Canada Wireless Plans 2019
Lowest and Highest Canadian Prices
Level - Canada Canada Canada
- - low high average
1) Talk and Text Price 19.00 56.25 $37.62
WSP Freedom (ON, BC) Petro-Can
2) 1 GB Price 28.17 96.25 $64.80
WSP Freedom (ON, BC) Rogers (BC,ON)
3) 2 GB Price 44.17 101.25 $74.42
WSP Freedom (ON, BC) Rogers (BC, ON)
4) 5 GB Price $45.94 116.25 $87.57
WSP Virgin (SK) Rogers (BC, ON)
5) 10-49 GB Price 130.00 235.43 $205.78
WSP Rogers (MB, SK) Bell, Rogers, Telus, Fido, Virgin, Koodo (NS, ON, BC)
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

We would note that an individual vendor price that is considerably lower than the national average can be found in all baskets – as is also the case in each region.

3.3 International Mobile Wireless Service Prices

As noted in previous studies, there are a number of important pricing differences that should be borne in mind when comparing Canadian and foreign mobile wireless prices.Footnote 26

Figure 5 below provides a comparison of current mobile wireless prices for Canada and the surveyed foreign jurisdictions for each of the five wireless service baskets.  All prices are expressed in PPP-adjusted Canadian dollars and exclude retail sales taxes.  Table A3.2 and Figures A3.2 a, b and c in Attachment 3 provide more detailed historical international mobile wireless price information for the period 2014 to 2019, as applicable, for each country and basket.

Figure 5: 2019 International Mobile Wireless Price Comparison ($CDN - Purchasing Power Parity Adjusted)

Bar chart illustrating 2019 International Mobile Wireless Price Comparison ($CDN - Purchasing Power Parity Adjusted) (the long description is located below the image)
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Description of Figure 5: 2019 International Mobile Wireless Price Comparison ($CDN - Purchasing Power Parity Adjusted)
2019 International Mobile Wireless Price Comparison ($CDN - Purchasing Power Parity Adjusted)
  Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
Canada $37.62 $64.80 $74.42 $87.57 $205.78
U.S. $42.89 $50.17 $59.50 $63.04 $171.41
Australia n/a n/a $22.35 - $67.80
Japan $35.31 $57.82 $78.42 $95.63 $179.31
France $10.76  n/a  $33.09 $27.28 $49.55
Germany $14.92 $22.89 $41.08 $54.67 $91.01
Italy $12.25  n/a  $26.80 - $58.30
U.K. $16.32 $35.56 $24.72 $28.48 $64.36

It is worth noting that surveyed average prices for European countries included in the study have consistently fallen below the prices in Canada for all defined mobile wireless service baskets – generally considerably lower than in Canada.

In sum, average Canadian mobile wireless prices are the highest in 2 of the 5 baskets and are the second highest in the other 3 baskets.

3.4 Canada-U.S. Roaming Prices

As a separate price comparison exercise, rate information on voice, text and data roaming services available to Canadian and American mobile wireless service consumers when traveling to the U.S. and Canada, respectively, has been collected as part of this study.

The wireless service providers surveyed for this study generally offer two types of international roaming services.  The first is a "pay-as-you-go" roaming service option under which users pay per-use rates for any voice, text or data usage they incur while traveling abroad.  The second is a travel or roaming add-on package option under which users can choose to pay a fixed fee for defined amounts of call minutes, texts, and/or data.  Typically, roaming add-on packages remain in effect for a 30 day period of time (although some providers do offer shorter terms).  With an add-on package, per unit usage rates are typically discounted significantly relative to base pay-as-you-go rates.  When the usage allowance under an add-on plan is consumed, then either specific overage rates or base rates apply for any additional usage, or the service charge is capped (equal to a specified number of days). 

Roaming from Canadian Providers

Canadian incumbent and, to a somewhat lesser degree, incumbent flanker brand wireless service providers offer a wide range of stand-alone U.S.-specific voice, text or data roaming add-on packages as well as bundled talk & text and talk, text & data roaming add-on packages.  The Regionals now offer daily/periodic plans that directly compete with the incumbents, as well as Pay as You Go options. 

The three Canadian national mobile wireless carriers generally have similar roaming plans, charging $7 (Rogers) or $8 (Bell and TELUS) per day for US/Canada roaming.  The national providers allow unlimited Canada/US calling and texting.  All three also allow the use of the monthly data allotment in your domestic plan.  All three national providers cap the monthly roaming expenditure in their plans ($120, $105 and $160 respectively for TELUS, Rogers and Bell). 

The Regionals also offer daily plans ranging from $5 to $8 per day.  The Freedom roaming plans are based on terms of 2, 5, 10 or 20 days while Eastlink has no term.  Videotron caps its monthly maximum roaming plan charge at $70, considerably lower than any of the national carrier plans.  Neither Freedom nor Eastlink offer a monthly maximum.

The Flanker (Fido, Koodo and Virgin) plans are virtually the same as those provided by their associated primary brand national carrier plans, with the exception of Koodo’s maximum monthly charge of $100 (versus TELUS at $120).

Primus offers a variety of talk, text and data allowance plans, from $20 for 25 minutes of US/Canada calling and 100 texts to $80 for 100 minutes of US/Canada calling, unlimited texts and 200 MB of data.

Table 8: Canadian Roaming Plan Comparison ($Can)
  Plan Price (cap if available) Term/Max Data Calling/Text
Rogers Roam Like Home $7 day Cap at $105 per month Use data from your Canadian plan Consistent with domestic plan
Bell Roam Better $8 day Cap at $160 per month Use data from your Canadian plan Unlimited
TELUS Easy Roam $8 day Cap at $120 per month Use data from your Canadian plan Consistent with domestic plan
Freedom Big Gig Roam $5/day No maximum Data available 2, 5, 10 and 20 day plans ($10 to $100) Unlimited US/Canada talk and text
Videotron US Daily Traveller Pass $7 day Cap at $70 per month Use data from your Canadian plan Unlimited
Eastlink easyTravel $8 day No term; no max Use data from your Canadian plan Unlimited
Koodo Easy Roam $8 day Cap at $100 per month Use data from your Canadian plan Consistent with domestic plan
Fido Fido Roam $7 day Cap at $105 per month Use data from your Canadian plan Consistent with domestic plan
Virgin Roam Sweet Roam $8 day Cap at $160 per month Use data from your Canadian plan Unlimited
Primus Travel Pack $40 30 days 0 Mb ($1 per Mb) 100 minutes/unlimited texts
Petro Canada NA NA NA NA NA
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

The national mobile wireless providers, two Regionals and two Flankers also offer Pay as You Go roaming.  Prices are once again very similar across the nationals, ranging from $1.45 to $1.50.   Bell and Rogers charge $0.75 per text while TELUS charges $0.60 per text.  Bell and TELUS charge $6.00 and $5.00 per MB of data respectively while Rogers has a package of 50 MB for $7.99.

Freedom and Videotron have much lower per minute rates than the nationals, at $0.50 and $0.30 respectively.  Similarly text and data charges are also much lower at $0.20 per text or MB for Freedom and $0.15 per text or MB for Videotron.

The Flanker (Virgin and Fido) rates match those of their owners’ primary brand service.

Table 9: Canadian Roaming Pay as You Go ($Can)
  Price per minute Price per MB Price per Text
Rogers $1.45 $7.99 50 MB $0.75
Bell $1.45 $6.00 per MB $0.75
TELUS $1.50 $5.00 per MB $0.60
Freedom $0.50 $0.20 MB $0.20
Videotron $0.30 $0.15 MB $0.15
Eastlink NA NA NA
Fido $1.45 $7.99 50 MB $0.75
Virgin $1.45 $6.00 per MB $0.75
Koodo NA NA NA
Wall Communications Inc. 2018

Roaming From US Providers

In the US, the national carriers all offer no charge roaming to Canada in their unlimited Smartphone plans.  These unlimited data Smartphone plans are priced at US $60 (Sprint) to US $70 (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon).  They provide a full Smartphone telephone, text and unlimited data service with US/Canada (as well as Mexico) roaming included in the regular monthly price.

For customers that are not on an unlimited plan from one of the four US national carriers, daily (or periodic) roaming plans are available from three of the carriers.  Verizon offers an unlimited calling plan for $5.00 per month, AT&T offers a $10 a day planFootnote 28 and Sprint offers a $2.00 per day plan. 

Two regional carriers offer roaming plans.  US Cellular offers a $5.00 a month unlimited Talk plan as well as a $10.00 per month unlimited talk and text plan.  C-Spire offers a $5.00 month unlimited talk and text plan that is limited to 10 telephone numbers.

Table 10: US Roaming Plan Comparison ($US)
  Plan Price (cap if available) Term/Max Data Calling/Text
Verizon Go Unlimited Smartphone plan ($70) Included in Smartphone Plan ($0) Monthly No charge for roaming in Canada (500 MB per day allowance) Unlimited
Verizon Travel Pass $5 day Daily Use data from your domestic plan Consistent with domestic plan
Verizon Unlimited Together $5.00 per month Monthly   Unlimited calling
Verizon Mexico and Canada $15.00 per month Monthly 100 MB 100 min/ 100 Text
AT&T Unlimited and More Smartphone plan ($70) Included in Smartphone Plan ($0) Monthly Use data from your domestic plan Consistent with domestic plan
AT&T International Day Pass $10 day Daily Use data from your domestic plan Unlimited
AT&T AT&T Passport $60 month Monthly 1 GB $0.35 per minute and unlimited texts
Sprint Sprint Unlimited Basic ($60) Included in Smartphone Plan ($0) Monthly 10 GB Unlimited
Sprint Global Roaming $2 day or $5 per week Daily/Weekly Basic data included $0.20 minute and Unlimited Texts
T-Mobile T-Mobile ONE Smartphone Plan ($70) Included in Smartphone Plan ($0) Monthly 2 GB $0.25 minute and Unlimited Texts
T-Mobile Unlimited Talk and Text ($20) Included in Plan ($0) Monthly No data (can’t be added) Unlimited Talk and Text
U. S. Cellular Unlimited Calling Canada Plan $5.00 month Monthly   Unlimited Talk
U. S. Cellular Unlimited Talk and Text to Mexico and Canada Plan $10.00 month Monthly   Unlimited Talk and Text
C-Spire Unlimited Calling Global Family $5.00 month
(Calling is limited to 10 telephone numbers)
Monthly   Unlimited Talk and Text
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Pay as You Go roaming (post paid) is only available form two US carriers: Verizon and AT&T.  Both providers charge the same rate of $1 per minute, with data at $2.05 MB and texts at $0.50 each.

Table 11: US Roaming Pay as You Go ($US)
  Price per minute Price per MB Price per Text
Verizon $0.99 $2.05 MB $0.50
AT&T $1.00 $2.05 MB $0.50
Sprint NA NA NA
T-Mobile NA NA NA
U.S. Cellular $0.44    
C-Spire $0.08    
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

A striking feature differentiating Canadian and US services is the “no charge” roaming provided by the national US providers in their unlimited Smartphone plans.  These plans provide a full mobile phone service (voice, texts and unlimited data) plus (generally) unlimited roaming to Canada.  There is no counterpart service in Canada.

The periodic roaming plans (including voice, texts and data) offered by Canadian national carriers, if used to their maximum allowances, have an average price of $115 CDN per month.  In the US you can purchase a similar roaming service PLUS receive an unlimited voice, text and data service for the price of $60 to $70 US.

3.5 Spotlight on Newly Introduced “Unlimited” Canadian MNO Mobile Wireless Plans

3.5.1 Background

The bulk of the Canadian mobile wireless data collection for this Study occurred in May of 2019.  After the data collection for mobile wireless plans had taken place, the Canadian national providers began to offer substantially modified plans.  In particular, they introduced “unlimited data” plans for mobile wireless that did not require “overage” charges when a customer went past the plan data cap.  In most cases the national MNOs also revised the pricing and service feature terms of their other plans – for the most part also dropping Level 2, 3 and 4 plans.Footnote 29

In essence, two significant market shifts occurred between May and September 2019: 1) large (and “unlimited” in particular) data plans at relatively low prices were introduced by the national MNOs; and 2) the offering of lower level service plans was largely left to flanker and regional providers.Footnote 30

While the new “unlimited” plans were described at the time of introduction as time-limited promotions, it became clear (by September) that the plans were more permanent in nature.  Similarly, the decision by national MNOs to vacate the lower level product space was longer term in nature.

In light of the significant Canadian market shifts that occurred during 2019, this Spotlight section will examine four pricing/product developments:

  1. Relative price changes by each of the incumbents, the flankers and the regionals between May and September in each of the five service levels;
  2. The emergence of lower-cost data-only plans by flankers;
  3. The change in Level 5 plans when only considering single line plans (i.e. the primary analysis and data collection entailed Level 5 plans with three lines); and
  4. The emergence of plans with higher data allowances (e.g. up to 50 GB max speed then unlimited at slower speeds).

It should be noted that the examination of new national MNO mobile wireless prices in this Spotlight section may not maintain exact comparability with earlier Canadian price plans as certain features within a plan may have changed.

3.5.2 Relative Price Changes Between May and September 2019

As noted, the national MNO incumbent providers dramatically changed their service plans over the period.  The Tables below display how incumbent pricing has changed in each region (for each service level) between May and September of 2019.  All price changes are decreases unless marked with upwards arrow (↑).

3.5.2.1 Incumbent Price Changes
Level 1 (May vs. September 2019 Pricing) by Incumbents
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
May-19 $42.10 $40.46 $41.67 $41.67 $39.27 $41.67 $41.14
Sep-19 $38.76 $37.13 $38.33 $38.33 $35.94 $38.33 $37.81
% Change 7.9% 8.2% 8.0% 8.0% 8.5% 8.0% 8.1%
Level 2 (May vs. September 2019 Pricing) by Incumbents
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
May-19 $85.43 $50.79 $87.50 N/A N/A $87.50 $77.81
Sep-19 N/A $47.79 N/A N/A N/A N/A $47.79
% Change N/A 5.9% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Level 3 (May vs. September 2019 Pricing) by Incumbents
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
May-19 $94.73 $54.90 $96.11 $57.78 $57.05 $96.11 $76.11
Sep-19 $53.76 $53.79 $53.33 $53.33 $53.33 $53.33 $53.48
% Change 43.2% 2.0% 44.5% 7.7% 6.5% 44.5% 29.7%
Level 4 (May vs. September 2019 Pricing) by Incumbents
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
May-19 $106.54 $68.90 $107.78 $67.78 $67.05 $107.78 $87.64
Sep-19 $73.76 $61.29 $73.33 $58.33 $59.27 $73.33 $66.55
% Change 30.8% 11.0% 32.0% 13.9% 11.6% 32.0% 24.1%
Level 5 (May vs. September 2019 Pricing) by Incumbents
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
May-19 $235.43 $158.79 $235.00 $136.67 $137.61 $235.00 $189.75
Sep-19 $195.43 $158.79 $190.00 $195.00 $195.94 $195.00 $188.36
% Change 17.0% 0% 19.1% ↑ 42.7% ↑ 42.4% 17.0% 0.7%

Wall Communications Inc. 2019 (% price change not calculated when N/A is in a region)

Points Worth Noting - Incumbents

3.5.2.2 Flanker Price Changes
Level 1 (May vs. September 2019 Pricing) by Flankers
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
May-19 $33.76 $30.46 $33.33 $30.00 $30.94 $33.33 $31.97
Sep-19 $35.43 $30.46 $35.00 $31.67 $32.61 $35.00 $33.36
% Change 4.9% 0% 5.0% 5.6% 5.4% 5.0% 4.3%
Level 2 (May vs. September 2019 Pricing) by Flankers
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
May-19 $55.14 $40.46 $55.00 N/A N/A $55.00 $51.40
Sep-19 N/A $40.46 N/A N/A N/A N/A $40.46
% Change N/A 0% N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 
Level 3 (May vs. September 2019 Pricing) by Flankers
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
May-19 $60.00 $49.46 $60.00 $N/A N/A $60.00 $57.37
Sep-19 $55.43 $45.46 $55.00 $53.33 $54.27 $55.00 $53.08
% Change 7.6% 8.1% 8.3% N/A N/A 8.3% N/A
Level 4 (May vs. September 2019 Pricing) by Flankers
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
May-19 $85.00 $54.13 $85.00 $48.00 $47.94 $85.00 $67.51
Sep-19 $65.43 $55.46 $65.00 $63.33 $64.27 $65.00 $63.08
% Change 23.0% ↑ 2.5% 23.5% ↑ 31.9% ↑ 34.1% 23.5% 6.6%
Level 5 (May vs. September 2019 Pricing) by Flankers
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
May-19 $235.43 $167.79 $235.00 $149.00 $149.94 $235.00 $195.36
Sep-19 $185.43 $155.46 $185.00 $180.00 $180.94 $185.00 $178.64
% Change 21.2% 7.3% 21.3% ↑ 20.8% ↑ 20.7% 21.3% 8.6%

Wall Communications Inc. 2019 (Note: % price change not calculated when N/A is in a region)

Points Worth Noting – Flankers

3.5.2.3 Regionals Price Changes
Level 1 (May vs. September 2019 Pricing) by Regionals
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
May-19 $30.55 $34.46 $19.00 $40.00 $20.94 $19.00 $27.33
Sep-19 $30.55 $34.46 $19.00 N/A $20.94 $19.00 $24.79
% Change 0% 0% 0% N/A 0% 0% N/A 
Level 2 (May vs. September 2019 Pricing) by Regionals
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
May-19 $59.55 $42.63 $28.17 N/A $53.65 $28.17 $42.43
Sep-19 N/A $42.63 $28.17 N/A $53.65 $28.17 $38.16
% Change N/A 0% 0% N/A 0% 0% N/A 
Level 3 (May vs. September 2019 Pricing) by Regionals
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
May-19 $64.55 $53.63 $44.17 $57.92 N/A $44.17 $52.89
Sep-19 $59.55 $53.63 $44.17 N/A N/A $44.17 $50.38
% Change 7.70% 0% 0% N/A N/A 0% N/A
Level 4 (May vs. September 2019 Pricing) by Regionals
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
May-19 $79.55 $59.63 $54.17 $77.92 $53.65 $54.17 $63.18
Sep-19 $64.55 $59.63 $49.17 N/A $53.65 $49.17 $55.23
% Change 18.90% 0% 9.20% N/A 0% 9.20% N/A
Level 5 (May vs. September 2019 Pricing) by Regionals
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
May-19 $190.55 $155.46 $140.00 $200.00 $175.94 $140.00 $166.99
Sep-19 $130.55 $138.46 $140.00 N/A $175.94 $140.00 $144.99
% Change 31.50% 10.90% 0% N/A 0% 0% N/A

Points Worth Noting – Regionals

3.5.2.4 National and Regional Overall Price Level Changes May to September 2019 (Incorporating Incumbents, Flankers, Regionals and Resellers)

As can be seen in the Table below, overall average prices for each basket have fallen nationally, dramatically so for some service baskets.  Regional prices have stayed the same or fallen in each region in all baskets except for Level 5 (where prices are now higher in Manitoba and Saskatchewan).  For Levels 2, 3 and 4 the overall average prices have been reduced most prominently in Ontario and BC. 

The magnitude of price decreases varies across regions and baskets.  However, caution should be used in interpreting these decreases since in some cases a decrease occurs primarily because some vendors (e.g. incumbents) have dropped “higher price plans” within a basket leaving only the same “lower price” plans” from other vendors in the calculation of the average price.Footnote 31

Average Regional and National Prices for All Baskets (May vs. Sept. 2019)
Level 1
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
Before May-19 $39.77 $37.23 $37.79 $38.90 $27.72 $39.28 $37.62
After Sept. 2019 $37.12 $35.09 $36.12 $36.51 $26.67 $37.54 $35.77
Level 2
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
Before May-19 $69.63 $44.87 $74.67 $48.71 $53.66 $75.70 $64.80
After Sept. 2019 $44.78 $43.74 $32.77 $44.57 $53.62 $33.06 $37.41
Level 3
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
Before May-19 $83.94 $53.92 $84.71 $57.63 $56.72 $85.83 $74.42
After Sept. 2019 $54.77 $50.73 $53.43 $53.49 $53.77 $54.05 $52.86
Level 4
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
Before May-19 $98.62 $64.28 $100.21 $65.35 $56.66 $101.13 $87.57
After Sept. 2019 $70.96 $59.56 $68.40 $59.90 $56.26 $69.76 $65.51
Level 5
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
Before May-19 $233.49 $160.31 $229.98 $143.14 $164.22 $233.28 $205.78
After Sept. 2019 $190.04 $154.93 $186.35 $192.45 $181.98 $191.36 $178.95

Wall Communications Inc. 2019

3.5.3 The Emergence of Lower-cost Data-only Plans by Flankers

Subsequent to a CRTC proceeding to address the lack of low-cost data-only plans available to Canadian consumersFootnote 32, the national MNOs introduced several plans via their flanker brands.  These plans were primarily introduced in March 2019.  As they constitute a new type of service plan, such plans were previously not tracked in previous ISED Telecom Pricing studiesFootnote 33.  However, they are described in this Spotlight section.

The following Tables describe the data-only plans currently available from the Flanker brands.  Some plans include texting (e.g. FIDO unlimited on-net incoming and outgoing texts; Koodo and Chatr incoming texts).  Some plans (e.g. Lucky) do not allow any texting (or calling).

Most plans allow calling on a pay-per-use basis although Chatr allows free incoming calls but charges for outgoing calls.   Lucky does not allow the customer to make or receive any calls on its data-only plans.  Talk is available on most plans on a per-use basis (e.g. Virgin at $0.60 per minute; FIDO at $0.50 per minute).

FIDO (from Rogers)
Price Data Text Talk Data Overage Other
$15 250 MB Unlimited Canada PPU at $0.50 per min. in Canada $10/100 MB FIDO network only
$25 500 MB Unlimited Canada PPU at $0.50 per min. in Canada $10/100 MB FIDO network only
$30 1 GB Unlimited Canada PPU at $0.50 per min. in Canada $10/100 MB FIDO network only
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Virgin (from Bell)
Price Data Text Talk Data Overage Other
$28 1 GB $0.30 per text (in and out) PPU $0.60 per min. $10/100 MB BYOD
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Koodo (from TELUS)
Price Data Text Talk Data Overage Other
$30 1 GB Free incoming; $0.60 per text (outgoing) PPU $0.60 per min. $10/100 MB BYOD; post-paid
$15 250 MB Unlimited international Texting “Booster” service at various – e.g. $10 for 100 min Canada wide “Booster” service at various – e.g. $10 for 100 MB Canada wide Pre-paid
$25 500 MB Unlimited international Texting “Booster” service at various – e.g. $10 for 100 min Canada wide “Booster” service at various – e.g. $10 for 100 MB Canada wide Pre-paid
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Public Mobile (from TELUS)
Price Data Text Talk Data Overage Other
$30 1 GB No PPU listed No PPU listed; $5 for 500 Canada minutes $10/200 MB Add-on BYOD; 4G LTE; pre-paid
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Chatr (from Rogers)
Price Data Text Talk Data Overage Other
$25 500 MB Free incoming Canada and Int.; $0.40 outgoing $0.40 per outgoing Canada call $10/100 MB; possible to get Data Plus at $5 for 500 MB BYOD; Bonus of 500 MB no longer listed; 3G; pre-paid
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Lucky (from Bell)
Price Data Text Talk Data Overage Other
$15 500 MB Not available Not available Unlimited at 128 Kbps; no Data Add-ons available BYOD; 3G; 250 MB bonus with Auto Top Up
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Points Worth Noting – Data Only Plans

3.5.4 Single Line Level 5 Plans by Incumbents

The Level 5 plansFootnote 34 tracked in the main Telecom Pricing Study are based on the cost for 3 lines.  However, escalating data requirements from single users and the introduction of larger (including unlimited) data plans has introduced a new element into the market.  Consequently, in this section of the Spotlight, we examine the prices for Level 5 plans from incumbents (i.e. national MNOs) when only a single user takes the plan.Footnote 35

The data collection format allows us to compare Level 5 plans by removing the charges for second and third lines.  We compare Level 5 regional and national prices for a single line user below.  We note that most previous (i.e. May 2019) Level 5 national MNO plans were generally offered with a 10 GB cap (although bonus GBs might be included under certain conditions).

Level 5 (May vs. September 2019 Pricing) for Single Line by Incumbents
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
May-19 $132.10 $88.79 $131.67 $73.33 $74.27 $131.67 $105.31
Sep-2019 $75.00 $65.00 $73.33 $75.00 $75.00 $75.00 $73.06
% Change 43.2% 26.8% 44.3%  ↑ 2.3% ↑ 1.0% 43.0 % 30.6%
Wall Communications Inc. 2019 Note: unweighted averages.

We note that prices for a single line user Level 5 plan have decreased substantially in each region (and nationally) except for Manitoba and Saskatchewan where there have been modest price increases. In addition to the price decreases there has also been an important "quantity" change between May 2019 and September 2019: the national MNOs have stopped charging for data overages. Instead, usage when the cap is exceeded will be subject to slower speeds – but no extra charge.

The September 2019 Level 5 plans have generally continued with similar "listed" data allotments (i.e. between 10 GB and 15 GB as noted on national MNO websites). However, several new plans have also been introduced such that the Level 5 plans with 10 GB are the lowest "unlimited" data allotment plans now offered. These plans are described in the next section.

Points Worth Noting – Single Line Level 5 Plans by Incumbents

3.5.5 Higher Data Allotment Plans Introduced

Until the introduction of “unlimited” plans in Spring 2019 by the national MNOs, the largest offerings were 10 GB, with one exception: Rogers and TELUS each offered 80 GB plans in Nova Scotia, Ontario and BC.  Newer plans now offer up to 50 GB but with unlimited data use (at lower speeds) above the cap in all regions.

- Data Price (per month) Notes
Rogers 10 GB $75 Speed up to 512 Kbps after cap; BYOD; Unlimited Canada calling and text
20 GB $95 Speed up to 512 Kbps after cap; BYOD; Unlimited Canada calling and text
50 GB $125 Speed up to 512 Kbps after cap; BYOD; Unlimited Canada calling and text
Bell 10 GB $75 Speed up to 512 Kbps after cap; BYOD; Unlimited Canada calling and text
20 GB $90 Speed up to 512 Kbps after cap; BYOD; Unlimited Canada calling and text
50 GB $115 Speed up to 512 Kbps after cap; BYOD; Unlimited Canada calling and text
TELUS 10 GB $75 Speed up to 512 Kbps after cap; BYOD; Unlimited Canada calling and text
20 GB $90 Speed up to 512 Kbps after cap; BYOD; Unlimited Canada calling and text
Wall Communications Inc. 2019 Note: unweighted averages.

Prices from incumbents on larger (e.g. 50 GB or greater) plans May vs. Sept. 2019 are displayed below.Footnote 36

- May 2019 Price September 2019 Price
50 GB (only in Saskatchewan from SaskTel) $170.94 $170.94
50 GB from incumbents (Rogers and Bell) Not Offered $120
80 GB (in NS, Ont. and BC) from Rogers and TELUS $412.50 Not Offered
Wall Communications Inc. 2019 Note: unweighted averages.

Points Worth Noting – Introduction of 50 GB and Other Unlimited Plans

4.0 Broadband Internet Service

4.1 Broadband Internet Service Baskets

The six broadband service baskets included in the study are defined in terms of broadband service speed and monthly data usage:

It should be noted that broadband speeds have increased dramatically over the past decade and the baskets used in the Telecom Pricing Reports have accordingly been adjusted.

Changes to Broadband Baskets Criteria 2010 to 2019
Basket 2010 2011 2012 - 2015 2016-2017 2018-2019
Level 1 < 1.5 Mbps < 1.5 Mbps < 3 Mbps 3 - 9 Mbps 3 - 9 Mbps
Level 2 2 – 9 Mbps 2 – 9 Mbps 4 – 15 Mbps 10 – 15 Mbps 10 – 15 Mbps
Level 3 10 – 19 Mbps 10 – 19 Mbps 16 – 40 Mbps 16 – 40 Mbps 16 – 40 Mbps
Level 4 > 20 Mbps > 40 Mbps 41–100 Mbps 41–100 Mbps
Level 5 > 100 Mbps 101–250 Mbps
Level 6         251–500 Mbps
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Modem rental fees are taken into account since they are mandatory in some instances.  In other cases, where the modem is not included but must be purchased by the customer, the cost of the required equipment is amortized over 24 months.  One-time installation or activation fees are generally not included.

Some Internet service providers (ISPs) apply monthly data usage caps to their broadband service plans.  Where they are applied, they are typically set on the basis of a monthly data allowance (GB/month), with overage fees applied when the data allowance is exceeded.  Overage or additional data fees are included in the study if assumed usage levels exceed any applicable data caps. In virtually all cases, the applicable data caps were high enough that no overage fees are likely incurred given the data usage assumptions adopted for the defined broadband service baskets.

Table 12: Broadband Download/Upload Mbps Speeds
(Cap if not unlimited) Canada 2019
- B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6
Halifax
Bell 100/100 1,000/940
Eastlink 100/10 150/10 (1TB) 300/10 (1TB)
TekSavvy 7/.6
Montreal
Bell 15/10 (50G) 25/10
(300G)
50/10 500/500
Videotron 15/10 (50G) 30/10
(250G)
100/30 400/50
Primus 7/1 15/1 25/10 50/10
TekSavvy 5/1 (200G) 15/10 (200G) 30/10
(200G)
100/30 400/50
Distributel 15/10 25/10 75/10 250/20
Virgin 5/1 (50G) 15/10 (200G) 25/10 (200G) 50/10
Toronto
Bell 10/1 (100G) 50/10 150/150 500/500
Rogers 10/na (100G) 75/na 150/15 300/20
Primus 7/1 25/10 75/10 150/20
TekSavvy 5/1 (200G) 15/10 (200G) 30/5 (200G) 75/10 (200G) 250/20 (200G)
Distributel 6/1 15/10 25/10 75/10 250/20
Virgin 5/1 (50G) 15/10 (200G) 25/10 (200G) 50/10
Fido 5/na (50G) 30/na 75/na (200G)
Winnipeg
Bell MTS 10/3 25/3 50/5 300/300
Shaw 15/1.5 (150G) 100/7.5 (500G) 300/na
TekSavvy 5/.5 (400G) 25/2.5 (400G) 75/7.5 (400G) 150/15
Regina
SaskTel 10/2 40/10 80/15 175/25 300/40
Access 10/2 25/3 100/7
Vancouver
TELUS 15/1 (200G) 25/5 (300G) 75/15 (550G) 150/30 (1,000G)
Shaw 15/1.5 (150G) 100/7.5 (500G) 300/na
Primus 5/.5 25/2.5 75/7.5 150/15
TekSavvy 5/.5 (400G) 25/2.5 (400G) 75/7.5 (400G) 150/15 300/20
Can. Av. 5.6/.8 13.6/5.5 26.9/7.3 75.2/14.5 177.1/29.6 408/243
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

4.2 Canadian Broadband Service Prices

Figure 6 below provides a summary of Canadian weighted average broadband Internet access service prices for the Levels 1 to 6 service baskets for the period 2016 to 2019.  More detailed historical broadband price information by city is provided in Table A2.2 in Attachment 2. Table 13 displays average regional broadband prices.

Figure 6: Average Canadian Broadband Rates 2016–2019

Bar chart illustrating the Average Canadian Broadband Rates 2016–2019 (the long description is located below the image)

Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Description of Figure 6
Average Canadian Broadband Rates 2016–2019
  2016 2017 2018 2019
NOTE: Broadband service basket definitions have been periodically revised to reflect the general availability of faster broadband service speeds; consequently, inter-temporal price comparisons should be made with caution.
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Level 1 $42 $42 $41 $36
Level 2  $59 $66 $57 $53
Level 3 $63 $66 $71 $55
Level 4 $79 $83 $87 $72
Level 5 $115 $95 $103 $83
Level 6     $124 $93

Vancouver had the lowest average prices in 3 of the 6 baskets while Regina had the highest prices in three baskets.

.
Table 13: Canadian Regional Broadband Prices 2019
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
Level 1 $57.95 $37.64 $35.09 $28.61 n/a $33.51 $35.98
Level 2 n/a $55.38 $50.95 $68.58 $49.95 $52.61 $53.20
Level 3 n/a $65.24 $51.54 $77.90 $66.19 $40.39 $55.20
Level 4 $86.27 $73.63 $70.42 $83.71 $96.65 $62.34 $72.01
Level 5 $103.95 $87.00 $87.11 $74.53 $104.95 $59.31 $83.25
Level 6 $112.13 $78.30 $96.74 $98.19 $144.95 $89.94 $93.03
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Price variations in the case of broadband services can be affected by differences in service speeds offered by ISPs.  Although we target a specific speed for those baskets with ranges in order to achieve better comparability, the actual speeds for surveyed services can vary – sometimes significantly.  In such cases, price comparisons need to be interpreted with caution.

Canadian broadband service plans also span a range of data caps.Footnote 38 For Level 1, the lowest posted data cap was 50 GB (with a high of 400 GB).  For Level 2, data caps ranged from 50 GB to unlimited GB.  For Level 3 caps varied from 200 GB to unlimited.  For Level 4, the lowest data cap was 400 GB but higher caps and unlimited are typical.  Level 5 and Level 6 data caps are generally, as expected, much higher (with most unlimited).  Over time, data cap upper limits have been increasing steadily.

We would note that speeds of 100 Mbps or higher are common across the country – in contrast to even three years ago.  We would also note that 1 Gbps service is now offered in several regions.

Reseller ISP Prices

Broadband service prices offered by two resellers ISPs (Primus and Teksavvy) were once again surveyed this year (along with Distributel where warranted).  These ISPs rely on wholesale broadband access services (acquired from the incumbent telephone and cable companies) to provide retail broadband services.

Table 14 provides a summary of the national-level differentials between the incumbents' and reseller ISPs' prices for each of the broadband service baskets.  As shown in the table, reseller ISP broadband service prices are consistently lower than those of the incumbents across all service baskets.  Only resellers offer a Level 1 service and this year for the first time resellers are offering a Level 6 service in some regions.

Table 14: 2019 Canadian Broadband Internet Service Rates
Incumbent versus Reseller ISPs
Baskets Incumbents Resellers Differential
Level 1 n/a $38.84 n/a
Level 2 $55.42 $40.21 −27.45%
Level 3 $64.00 $47.52 −25.74%
Level 4 $78.95 $63.02 −20.17%
Level 5 $87.69 $83.88 −4.34%
Level 6 $103.49 $84.32 −18.52%
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Unweighted averages. Resellers include Primus, TekSavvy and Distributel. Data caps and speeds may not match exactly between resellers and incumbents.
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

SPOTLIGHT SECTION on Broadband Flankers

While flanker brands have been a fixture in the mobile wireless market for more than a decade, they are new to the broadband market. Currently flankers operate in two provinces, Quebec and Ontario.

In Quebec, Bell Virgin offers a broadband service. Virgin prices are similar to those of the resellers (Primus, Teksavvy and Distributel) but generally lower than those of Bell or Videotron. Neither Virgin nor Fido offer a service with a speed greater than 100 Mbps.

In Ontario, Virgin pricing is the same as their Quebec pricing and again similar to the resellers. Rogers' Fido prices are similar to those of Virgin. Fido and Rogers tend to not offer the same baskets (e.g. Fido offers Level 1 and Level 3 baskets but Rogers does not; Rogers offers a Level 2 basket, but Fido does not). Fido pricing is lower than Rogers pricing for Level 4 (although the Fido plan is capped at 200 GB while the Rogers plan has no cap). Virgin and Bell both offer Level 2 and Level 4 baskets with the Virgin pricing being lower.

4.3 International Fixed Broadband Service Prices

As with the other service categories, there are a number of notable differences in the way in which broadband services are provisioned in some of the surveyed countries compared to Canada:

Table 15 below provides a summary of the unweighted average "advertised" download and upload service speeds of the surveyed broadband services included in each of the six specified broadband service baskets for Canada and the surveyed foreign jurisdictions.Footnote 39 Data caps are typically no longer listed in most countries (with the exception of Canada and Australia) – either because the vendor has chosen not to state the cap or (more likely) because the plans do not have data caps.

Table 15
2019 International Broadband Internet Services
Average Advertised Speeds Mbps
  L1 L2 L3 L4 L5 L6
Can. Av. 5.6/.8 13.6/5.5 26.9/7.3 75.2/14.5 177.1/29.6 408/243
US Av. 2.2/1 12/1 32/3 76/9 232/NA 380/NA
UK Av. 9/1 10.5/na 36/na 65/na 127/NA NA
AU Av NA NA  22.5/na 75/NA  NA NA
FR Av NA NA NA NA 200/100 350/350
JA Av NA 12/2 NA 75/na 160/na 660/na
GM Av NA NA 16/1.7 100/28 225/60 400/NA
IT Av NA NA 20/1 100/20 200/20 1000/na
International average (exc. Canada) 5.6/1 11.5/1.5 25.3/1.9 81.8/19 190/60 558/NA
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Figure 7 below provides a comparison of current weighted average broadband service prices for Canada and the seven surveyed foreign jurisdictions for each of the four broadband service level baskets.  Table A3.2 in Attachment 3 provides more detailed historical broadband Internet service price results for the period 2008 to 2019, as applicable, for each of the six broadband service baskets.

Figure 7: 2019 Canada vs. Foreign Broadband Rates

Canadian vs Selected Foreign Internet Service Rates ($CDN - Purchasing Power Parity Adjusted)
Bar chart illustrating Canadian vs Selected Foreign Internet Service Rates ($CDN - Purchasing Power Parity Adjusted) (the long description is located below the image)
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Description de la figure 7
Bar chart illustrating Canadian vs Selected Foreign Internet Service Rates ($CDN - Purchasing Power Parity Adjusted)
  Canada U.S. Australia U.K. France Italy Germany Japan
Level 1 36 63   38        
Level 2 53 69   40       48
Level 3 55 69 62 46   49 49  
Level 4 72 75 75 55   42 54 64
Level 5 83 93   76 34 49 66 78
Level 6 93 121   79 41 42 48 76

Canada's broadband service price ranking has remained relatively consistent since the study was first conducted in 2008.  The measured prices for the European countries included in the study (U.K., France, Italy and Germany) have consistently been lower than those in Canada – in some cases, by a wide margin.

Relative to last year, all countries (including Canada) have lower prices in most baskets. 

In sum, Canadian broadband Internet service prices compare reasonably favourably with the other surveyed countries in the case of the Levels 1 and 2 – although most countries no longer provide these lower level service baskets.  However, Canadian Level 3 and higher basket prices tend to be higher than the prices measured in the surveyed countries, with the exception of the U.S. and Australia.

5.0 Mobile Internet Service

5.1 Mobile Internet Service Baskets

There are three mobile Internet service levels included in the study, categorized by the data allowance of the service.  They consist of the following usage-based service elements and characteristics:

One-time charges (such as activation fees) are generally excluded.

5.2 Canadian Mobile Internet Service Prices

Figure 8 below provides a summary of Canadian Level 1 through 3 mobile Internet service basket prices for the periods 2016 to 2019.  More detailed price information by city is provided in Table A2.5 of Attachment 2.

Figure 8: Average Canadian Mobile Internet Prices by Service Basket (2014–2019)

Bar chart illustrating Average Canadian Mobile Internet Prices by Service Basket (2014–2019) (the long description is located below the image)
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Description of Figure 8
Average Canadian Mobile Internet Prices by Service Basket (2014–2019)
  Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
2014 43 64 -
2015 44 64 -
2016 46 63 81
2017 43 61 82
2018 38 62 83
2019 41 64 83

The advertised download speed of the mobile Internet services included in this year's study is typically 150 Mbps.

A comparison of the mobile Internet service rates offered by the incumbents (Rogers, Bell and TELUS) and Regionals (SaskTel, MTS, Freedom, Videotron and Eastlink), as applicable, in the cities of Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Regina and Halifax is provided in Table 17.  The Incumbents offer the same price in each province/city and therefore the average price is consistent across the country.

For the Level 1 mobile Internet service basket, the Regionals’ prices are roughly 31% lower than the incumbents on average.  For the Level 2 and Level 3 service baskets, the differential is 19%.  No comparison with resellers was conducted due to the very few number of reseller offerings (i.e. only a few instances in Level 1).

Table 16
Incumbents versus Regionals Broadband Pricing 2019
- NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada
Level 1
Incumbents $41.53 $41.53 $41.53 $41.53 $41.53 $41.53 $41.53
Regionals n/a $39.16 $15.00 $45.00 N/A $15.00 $28.54
Differential n/a −5.69% −63.88% 8.36% n/a −63.88% −31.27%
Level 2
Incumbents $64.86 $64.86 $64.86 $64.86 $64.86 $64.86 $64.86
Regionals n/a $59.16 n/a $60.00 $39.17 n/a $52.78
Differential n/a −8.78% n/a −7.49% −39.62% n/a −18.63%
Level 3
Incumbents $83.19 $83.19 $83.19 $83.19 $83.19 $83.19 $83.19
Regionals n/a $79.16 n/a $75.00 $49.17 n/a $67.78
Differential n/a −4.84% n/a −9.85% −40.90% n/a −18.53%
Unweighted averages
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Mobile Internet prices have remained relatively steady for the last several years. Regionals continue to offer lower prices than the incumbents. Depending on the region the price difference between regional providers and incumbents can be significant (e.g. Ontario and BC).

5.3 International Mobile Internet Service Prices

Table 18 provides a summary of the average Level 1 to Level 3 advertised download speeds and data caps for Canada and each of the seven surveyed foreign jurisdictions. Upload speeds are often not advertised by wireless service providers and, therefore, are not included in the table.

Table 17
2018 International Mobile Internet Services
Average Advertised Speeds and Data Caps
  B1 B2 B3
Canada Average 150 mbps  (2.3 G) 150 mbps (5.3 G) 150 mbps (10 G)
US Av. 150 mbps (2.5 G) 150 mbps (7 G) 150mbps (30 G)
UK Av. 15 mbps (2.5 G) 20 mbps (8 G) 20 mbps (8 G)
AUS Av NA 150 mbps (10 G) 150 mbps (18 G)
FR Av NA 100 mbps (10 G) 125 mbps (20 G)
JP Av 220 mbps (2.5 G) 185 mbps (5.5 G) 220 mbps (25 G)
GR Av 291 mbps (2.6G) 261 mbps (9 G) 500 mbps (16 G)
IT Av NA 70 mbps (10 G) 98 mbps (22 G)
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Canada is similar to the US and Australia in average download speed in each basket but tends to have lower data allowances.  Canada generally compares favorably against most other countries (with the exception of Germany and Japan). 

Figure 9 below provides a comparison of Level 1 to Level 3 mobile Internet service basket prices for Canada and the surveyed foreign jurisdictions.  Table A3.4 and Figures A3.4 (a and b) in Attachment 3 provide detailed historical mobile Internet price results.

Figure 9: 2019 International Mobile Internet Price Comparison (PPP-adjusted CDN$)

Bar chart illustrating 2019 International Mobile Internet Price Comparison (PPP-adjusted CDN$) (the long description is located below the image)
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Description of Figure 9
2019 International Mobile Internet Price Comparison (PPP-adjusted CDN$)
Country Level 1 (2–5 GB) Level 2 (5–10 GB) Level 3 (10+ GB)
Canada $40.60 $64.04 $82.99
U.S. $39.72 $62.05 $85.97
U.K. $0.00 $15.03 $23.66
France $66.43 $69.41 $98.68
Germany $0.00 $20.73 $30.05
Italy $20.45 $32.81 $40.50
Australia $0.00 $10.56 $15.06
Japan $15.88 $22.18 $27.85

Relative to previous years' studies, Canada's mobile Internet service basket rankings have largely remained stable.  Canada has ranked on the high side of the group, generally close to or slightly below the U.S. and Japan.  On the other hand, Australia and the European countries included in the study have consistently had lower prices for all baskets compared to Canada – by a substantial margin in many cases.

As a point of interest, the major US mobile wireless providers have begun offering widely available “hotspot” service across their wireless networks.  The “hotspot” services essentially are a substitute for a mobile wireless Internet service for laptops and related devices.  These added services are typically free when a customer purchases an “unlimited data” plan from the operator.  Separate mobile data services are also available for lower level plans for a cost.

Table 18: 2019 International Mobile Internet Prices
  Canada U.S.A. Australia U.K. France Italy Germany Japan
L1 (2–5 GB) $40.60 $39.72 n/a $15.88 n/a n/a $20.45 $66.43
L2 (5-10 GB) $64.04 $62.05 $15.03 $22.18 $20.73 $10.56 $32.81 $69.41
L3 (10+ GB) $82.99 $85.97 $23.66 $27.85 $30.05 $15.06 $40.50 $98.68
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

In sum, Canada's average mobile Internet service prices fall on the high side (along with the US and Japan) of the group of surveyed countries.

Attachment 1 - Service Baskets

Table A1.1
Mobile Wireless Service Baskets
Minutes of Use/Month Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
Outgoing (60%) 270 720 Unlimited Nationwide (to fixed and mobile) Unlimited Nationwide (to fixed and mobile) Shared Family Plan (3 phones) 10 to 49 GB
Incoming (40%) 180 480
Total 450 1,200
Time of Day/Week
Peak (40%) 180 480 NA NA NA
Off-Peak (60%) 270 720
Outgoing LD 10% of total 15% of total NA
(zero International calling)
NA
(zero International calling)
NA
(zero International calling)
National 21 90
US 6 18
Other    
Total 27 108
Outgoing to Mobile 50% of total 50% of total NA NA NA
On-net (2/3) 90 240
Outgoing to Mobile 45 120
Total 135 360
Average Call Length 3 min. 3 min. NA NA NA
Features
Voice Mail Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Caller ID Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Other   Yes     Yes
SMS 300 300 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Data   1 GB target 2 GB target 5 to 9 GB 10 to 49 GB
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Table A1.2
Broadband internet service baskets
Elements Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6
Transmission Speed Basic Services
3 to 9 Mbps
10 – 15 Mbps
(highest available)
16 – 40 Mbps (highest available)  41 to 100 Mbps (highest available in target range of 41 to 100 Mbps) 101 to 250 Mbps 251 to 500 Mbps
Monthly Usage 10 GB 50 GB 100 GB 150 GB 500 GB 500 GB to Unlimited
Modem rental cost or 24 month amortization
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Table A1.3
Mobile Internet Service Baskets
Elements Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
Monthly Usage 2 to 5 GB 5 to 10 GB > 10 GB
Transmission Speed (3G technology or higher) (3G technology or higher)  
USB Modem No cost with contract or rental / 24 month amortization  
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Attachment 2 – Canadian Price Comparisons

Table A2.1 - Canadian Mobile Wireless Prices
Based on Incumbent Primary Brand, Flanker, Regional and Reseller Prices

Mobile Wireless Level 1
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada YoY%
2008 $53.14 $62.62 $63.37 $51.91 $61.20 $58.34 $60.81  
2009 $48.73 $59.17 $59.20 $50.49 $44.44 $59.30 $57.78 −5.00%
2010 $48.05 $54.34 $53.56 n/a $44.77 $53.74 $53.49 −7.40%
2011 $47.39 $51.50 $49.99 n/a $48.19 $50.86 $50.51 −5.60%
2012 $47.22 $51.04 $51.97 n/a $42.54 $51.61 $51.31 1.60%
2013 $43.44 $44.78 $45.40 n/a $44.86 $43.93 $44.86 −12.60%
2014 $45.40 $45.59 $44.29 n/a $54.29 $46.20 $45.26 0.90%
2015 $48.45 $49.04 $48.15 $46.65 $56.70 $49.28 $48.68 7.60%
2016 $49.56 $44.39 $50.96 $46.98 $49.38 $50.89 $48.77 0.20%
2017 $41.03 $38.62 $41.85 $36.40 $35.91 $44.40 $40.95 −16.00%
2018 $42.39 $36.69 $40.42 $39.25 $36.71 $41.28 $39.43 −3.72%
2019 $39.77 $37.23 $37.79 $38.90 $27.72 $39.28 $37.62 −4.59%
CAGR −2.60% −4.62% −4.59% −2.59% −6.95% −3.53% −4.27%  
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Mobile Wireless Level 2
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada YoY%
2008 $121.04 $113.21 $111.51 $111.51 $113.67 $109.68 $112.34  
2009 $105.61 $104.38 $102.20 $112.82 $94.64 $101.24 $103.24 −8.10%
2010 $101.44 $108.37 $112.63 n/a $94.97 $107.27 $109.59 6.20%
2011 $96.73 $98.73 $100.76 n/a $96.69 $99.61 $99.69 −9.00%
2012 $96.44 $98.92 $98.26 n/a $96.42 $98.22 $98.37 −1.30%
2013 $94.40 $93.78 $93.89 n/a $77.07 $93.96 $93.59 −4.90%
2014 $86.91 $73.59 $81.00 n/a $65.33 $86.46 $79.69 −14.90%
2015 $86.76 $82.96 $87.36 $73.54 $72.56 $88.32 $85.22 6.90%
2016 $79.29 $62.98 $80.48 $69.86 $71.59 $80.48 $74.67 −6.30%
2017 $80.73 $59.05 $75.63 $58.18 $62.88 $80.43 $70.70 −5.30%
2018 $83.13 $45.91 $84.76 $50.42 $61.35 $83.67 $70.99 0.41%
2019 $69.63 $44.87 $74.67 $48.71 $53.66 $75.70 $64.80 −8.72%
CAGR −4.90% −8.07% −3.58% −7.25% −6.60% −3.31% −4.88%  
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Mobile Wireless Level 3
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada YoY%
2014 $89.23 $92.29 $92.81 n/a $65.62 $97.69 $92.99  
2015 $91.23 $76.22 $87.83 $61.82 $64.43 $89.78 $83.08 −10.70%
2016 $88.73 $69.98 $87.69 $63.69 $68.15 $88.24 $81.05 −2.40%
2017 $93.98 $68.26 $87.45 $67.04 $56.43 $93.74 $81.61 0.70%
2018 $86.48 $57.95 $85.23 $52.77 $78.48 $85.09 $75.44 −7.56%
2019 $83.94 $53.92 $84.71 $57.63 $56.72 $85.83 $74.42 −1.36%
CAGR −1.22% −10.19% −1.81% −1.74% −2.87% −2.56% −4.36%  
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Mobile Wireless Level 4
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada YoY%
2015 $122.21 $94.67 $117.93 $65.76 $65.62 $117.65 $107.50  
2016 $109.64 $79.44 $105.81 $70.38 $82.15 $109.11 $96.55 −10.20%
2017 $105.89 $87.09 $113.95 $74.71 $74.06 $121.49 $104.49 8.20%
2018 $101.67 $65.27 $99.69 $61.56 $66.68 $100.76 $87.32 −16.43%
2019 $98.62 $64.28 $100.21 $65.35 $56.66 $101.13 $87.57 0.29%
CAGR −5.22% −9.23% −3.99% −0.16% −3.61% −3.71% −5.00%  
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Mobile Wireless Level 5
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada YoY%
2016 $250.18 $190.40 $257.18 $180.00 $182.44 $256.00 $231.99  
2017 $265.33 $216.56 $288.55 $257.38 $194.98 $292.34 $264.65 14.10%
2018 $280.81 $164.28 $265.86 $123.60 $177.52 $267.69 $227.87 −13.90%
2019 $233.49 $160.31 $229.98 $143.14 $164.22 $233.28 $205.78 −9.69%
CAGR −2.27% −5.57% −3.66% −7.35% −3.45% −3.05% −3.92%  
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Table A2.2 - Canadian Fixed Broadband Internet Service Prices

Fixed Broadband Level 1 (3-9 Mbps)
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada YoY
2008 $34.95 $32.45 $38.95 $29.95 $30.45 $23.45 $32.88  
2009 $35.95 $28.43 $35.45 $30.95 $30.45 $24.95 $30.98 −5.79%
2010 $36.95 $29.43 $33.45 n/a $30.95 $29.00 $31.44 1.49%
2011 $36.15 $36.90 $34.15 n/a $32.52 $33.00 $34.85 10.86%
2012 $39.15 $33.35 $45.37 n/a $31.95 $35.40 $39.37 12.98%
2013 $42.15 n/a n/a n/a $31.95 $39.00 $38.91 −1.19%
2014 $40.15 n/a $50.95 n/a $42.95 n/a $50.00 28.50%
2015 $55.13 n/a n/a n/a $34.10 n/a $47.51 −4.96%
2016 $88.73 $41.07 $33.63 $55.80 $46.95 $51.00 $41.94 −11.74%
2017 $50.27 $41.47 $32.52 $59.00 $49.75 $57.58 $41.83 −0.25%
2018 $39.40 $45.19 $39.11 $30.61 $46.17 $40.01 $40.67 −2.78%
2019 $57.95 $37.64 $35.09 $28.61 n/a $33.51 $35.98 −11.54%
CAGR 4.70% 1.36% −0.94% −0.42% n/a 3.30% 0.82%  
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
BB Level 2 (10–15 Mbps)
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada YoY
2008 $47.45 $48.95 $48.95 $41.95 $45.45 $40.95 $46.58  
2009 $48.45 $50.43 $50.95 $42.95 $45.45 $38.45 $47.26 1.47%
2010 $49.45 $51.43 $47.95 n/a $45.95 $40.00 $47.60 0.71%
2011 $50.75 $52.83 $49.33 n/a $48.52 $45.65 $49.79 4.61%
2012 $57.75 $60.92 $52.79 n/a $54.95 $46.40 $54.31 9.07%
2013 $51.15 $55.60 $47.18 n/a $54.95 $53.51 $51.20 −5.72%
2014 $54.95 $53.91 $55.25 n/a $54.95 $56.68 $55.10 7.61%
2015 $74.45 $54.83 $55.17 $59.17 $52.88 $59.90 $56.66 2.84%
2016 n/a $51.75 $61.92 $62.60 $56.95 $62.00 $58.88 3.91%
2017 n/a $53.26 $72.14 $66.70 $59.75 $69.29 $65.54 11.31%
2018 n/a $56.61 $48.33 $76.52 $55.34 $74.77 $57.36 −12.48%
2019 n/a $55.38 $50.95 $68.58 $49.95 $52.61 $53.20 −7.26%
CAGR n/a 1.13% 0.36% 4.57% 0.86% 2.30% 1.21%  
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
BB Level 3 (16–40 Mbps)
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada YoY
2008 $57.45 $83.45 $73.95 $52.95 $55.95 $50.95 $68.74  
2009 $58.45 $64.40 $62.45 $52.95 $55.95 $53.45 $60.08 −12.60%
2010 $59.45 $65.40 $62.45 n/a $56.45 $55.48 $61.88 3.00%
2011 $60.75 $66.33 $65.35 n/a $56.75 $55.00 $63.44 2.52%
2012 $88.95 $66.95 $72.17 n/a $79.95 $54.60 $67.94 7.09%
2013 $77.95 $67.05 $64.35 n/a $79.95 $60.69 $65.18 −4.07%
2014 $87.95 $67.15 $70.87 n/a $70.95 $62.00 $68.60 5.25%
2015 $92.95 $59.93 $71.39 $67.93 $62.88 $68.17 $67.81 −1.15%
2016 n/a $56.09 $65.20 $70.60 $62.95 $69.06 $63.48 −6.39%
2017 n/a $50.80 $70.89 $73.35 $73.95 $73.09 $65.59 3.32%
2018 $82.50 $55.62 $79.15 $76.82 $66.19 $71.16 $70.70 7.78%
2019 n/a $65.24 $51.54 $77.90 $66.19 $40.39 $55.20 −21.91%
CAGR n/a −2.21% −3.23% 3.57% 1.54% −2.09% −1.97%  
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
BB Level 4 (41–100 Mbps)
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada YoY
2011 $84.75 $73.30 $73.75 n/a $99.95 $91.40 $77.71  
2012 $138.95 $82.95 $106.98 n/a n/a $74.90 $94.39 21.47%
2013 $102.75 $82.95 $80.57 n/a $99.95 $85.00 $82.88 −12.19%
2014 $99.55 $84.75 $86.87 n/a $105.95 $86.00 $86.46 4.31%
2015 $99.26 $74.51 $79.68 $87.10 $105.80 $89.79 $80.63 −6.74%
2016 $84.17 $72.21 $76.80 $89.80 $85.95 $89.16 $78.77 −2.30%
2017 $87.22 $78.06 $85.51 $90.00 $83.95 $79.18 $82.54 4.79%
2018 $95.69 $71.14 $95.84 $94.14 $96.65 $86.67 $87.00 5.41%
2019 $86.27 $73.63 $70.42 $83.71 $96.65 $62.34 $72.01 −17.23%
CAGR 0.22% 0.06% −0.58% −0.99% −0.42% −4.67% −0.95%  
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
BB Level 5 (101 – 250 Mbps)
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada YoY
2016 $133.10 $138.80 $92.91 $123.00 n/a $123.00 $114.65  
2017 $113.55 $79.15 $100.08 $122.01 $139.95 $92.50 $95.10 −17.06%
2018 $108.62 $87.22 $108.90 $116.44 $104.95 $107.61 $102.76 8.06%
2019 $103.95 $87.00 $87.11 $74.53 $104.95 $59.31 $83.25 −18.99%
CAGR -7.91% -14.42% -2.12% -15.38% -13.40% -21.59% -10.12%  
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
BB Level 6 (251 – 400 Mbps)
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada YoY
2018 $125.69 $105.45 $135.23 n/a $144.95 n/a $123.87  
2019 $112.13 $78.30 $96.74 $98.19 $144.95 $89.94 $93.03 −24.90%
CAGR −10.8% −25.7% −28.5% n/a 0% n/a −24.90%  
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Table A2.3 - Canadian Mobile Internet Prices

Level 1 (2–5 GB)
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada YoY%
2010 $54.15 $54.15 $54.15 n/a $56.23 $54.16 $54.19  
2011 $52.32 $52.76 $52.17 n/a $53.98 $52.22 $52.41 −3.29%
2012 $53.05 $52.56 $52.51 n/a $53.05 $52.51 $52.55 0.27%
2013 $45.12 $44.52 $44.37 n/a $48.99 $44.52 $44.55 −15.22%
2014 $43.75 $43.22 $43.19 n/a $47.08 $43.30 $43.30 −2.80%
2015 $43.06 $43.63 $43.19 $44.88 $50.38 $43.30 $43.55 0.56%
2016 $46.07 $45.72 $46.53 $48.00 $52.56 $46.53 $46.47 6.71%
2017 $42.93 $42.32 $43.92 $44.65 $27.68 $42.86 $43.01 −7.44%
2018 $41.96 $39.43 $37.38 $39.10 $41.77 $37.36 $38.28 −11.01%
2019 $42.99 $41.10 $40.06 $41.95 $42.85 $40.01 $40.60 6.08%
CAGR −2.53% −3.02% −3.29% −1.67% −2.98% −3.31% −3.16%  
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Level 2 (5-10 GB)
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada YoY%
2012 $66.38 $60.94 $65.59 n/a $69.55 $70.22 $65.11  
2013 $66.79 $59.22 $65.21 n/a $70.11 $71.28 $64.67 −0.67%
2014 $67.08 $59.49 $65.60 n/a $68.75 $65.90 $63.90 −1.19%
2015 $65.73 $60.57 $65.60 $68.63 $71.88 $65.90 $64.48 0.91%
2016 $62.47 $62.62 $63.19 $66.00 $71.31 $63.19 $63.30 −1.82%
2017 $61.01 $60.71 $61.08 $62.78 $33.99 $62.14 $60.79 −3.98%
2018 $62.39 $61.98 $62.38 $62.80 $37.63 $62.52 $61.90 1.83%
2019 $63.41 $63.65 $65.21 $63.35 $47.75 $65.37 $64.04 3.45%
CAGR −0.65% 0.62% −0.08% −1.98% −5.23% −1.02% −0.24%  
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Level 3 (10+ GB)
  NS QC ON MB SK BC Canada YoY%
2016 $78.89 $81.07 $80.70 $84.50 $81.41 $80.70 $80.98  
2017 $83.85 $80.86 $85.00 $81.36 $47.83 $81.25 $82.28 1.60%
2018 $85.02 $83.77 $83.94 $83.25 $51.98 $83.94 $83.35 1.30%
2019 $80.78 $82.42 $84.85 $80.60 $60.40 $84.85 $82.99 −0.43%
CAGR 0.79% 0.55% 1.68% −1.56% −9.47% 1.68% 0.82%  
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Attachment 3 – International Price Comparisons

Table A3.1 – International Mobile Wireless Service Prices

Level 1
  Canada U.S.A. Australia U.K. France Italy Germany Japan
2008 $60.81 $64.54 $32.90 $53.98 $56.30 n/a n/a n/a
2009 $57.78 $66.38 $36.67 $44.73 $61.51 n/a n/a n/a
2010 $53.49 $60.60 $35.65 $37.27 $68.70 n/a n/a $44.34
2011 $50.51 $68.69 $36.97 $32.75 $74.86 n/a n/a $49.14
2012 $51.31 $72.94 $34.56 $38.43 $61.13 n/a n/a $49.28
2013 $44.86 $76.14 $35.04 $38.85 $44.08 n/a n/a $44.36
2014 $45.26 $55.91 $38.69 $41.17 $37.55 $33.61 $36.48 $50.98
2015 $48.68 $57.59 $38.98 $33.62 $40.87 $22.48 $35.35 $54.81
2016 $48.77 $51.64 n/a $25.79 $24.17 $24.41 $28.28 $48.78
2017 $40.95 $49.48 $27.36 $22.58 $23.88 n/a n/a $45.38
2018 $39.43 $44.29 n/a $16.68 n/a $11.86 $15.06 n/a
2019 $37.62 $42.89 n/a $16.32 $10.76 $12.25 $14.92 $35.31
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Level 2
  Canada U.S.A. Australia U.K. France Italy Germany Japan
2008 $112.34 $135.72 $96.75 $90.23 $110.46 n/a n/a n/a
2009 $103.24 $132.58 $93.13 $76.36 $109.08 n/a n/a n/a
2010 $109.59 $124.01 $91.93 $69.49 $109.37 n/a n/a $117.19
2011 $99.69 $139.03 $73.87 $64.27 $100.75 n/a n/a $120.21
2012 $98.37 $141.80 $52.35 $69.30 $84.77 n/a n/a $118.51
2013 $93.59 $145.79 $49.54 $63.52 $58.90 n/a n/a $125.24
2014 $79.69 $91.52 $72.10 $72.14 $63.68 $67.06 $71.15 $139.90
2015 $85.22 $85.65 $69.97 $68.03 $61.50 $53.94 $71.91 $88.96
2016 $74.67 $73.00 $30.91 $30.13 $38.08 $34.79 $56.20 $89.72
2017 $70.70 $54.17 $39.08 $28.65 $30.24 $20.51 $64.03 n/a
2018 $70.99 $62.48 $19.40 $32.40 n/a n/a $30.10 n/a
2019 $64.80 $50.17 n/a $35.56 n/a n/a $22.89 $57.82
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Level 3
  Canada U.S.A. Australia U.K. France Italy Germany Japan
2014 $92.99 $109.28 $84.85 $58.37 $50.14 $61.52 $80.63 n/a
2015 $83.08 $92.23 $77.80 $62.03 $48.24 $63.47 $71.56 n/a
2016 $81.05 $89.50 $44.78 $35.55 $61.60 $49.42 $68.12 n/a
2017 $81.61 $67.20 $54.29 $34.26 $31.86 $41.22 $72.41 $60.11
2018 $75.44 $61.26 $24.70 $26.56 $30.91 $21.11 $45.80 $81.52
2019 $74.42 $59.50 $22.35 $24.72 $33.09 $26.80 $41.08 $78.42
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Level 4
  Canada U.S.A. Australia U.K. France Italy Germany Japan
2015 $107.50 $131.12 $97.43 $68.93 $60.96 $77.44 $102.74 n/a
2016 $96.55 $117.33 $66.67 $42.22 $70.12 $61.02 $88.23 n/a
2017 $104.49 $75.06 $67.04 $39.20 $46.45 $53.22 $82.21 $74.12
2018 $87.32 $97.88 $27.27 $31.26 $34.31 $29.55 $64.89 $103.07
2019 $87.57 $63.04 NA $28.48 $27.28 NA $54.67 $95.63
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Level 5
  Canada U.S.A. Australia U.K. France Italy Germany Japan
2016 $231.99 $206.19 $198.50 $99.31 n/a n/a $284.12 n/a
2017 $264.65 $244.64 n/a $91.42 $157.80 n/a $291.53 n/a
2018 $227.87 $206.57 $98.96 $84.77 $66.32 $75.39 $120.88 $222.66
2019 $205.78 $171.41 $67.80 $64.36 $49.55 $58.30 $91.01 $179.31
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Table A3.2 - International Fixed Broadband Internet Service Prices

Level 1
  Canada U.S.A. Australia U.K. France Italy Germany Japan
2008 $32.88 $33.77 $42.79 $29.93 $42.23 n/a n/a n/a
2009 $30.98 $40.19 $41.31 n/a $44.87 n/a n/a n/a
2010 $31.44 $39.61 $34.91 n/a n/a n/a n/a $39.73
2011 $34.85 $51.06 $29.84 n/a $28.33 n/a n/a $43.13
2012 $39.37 $57.24 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a $50.48
2013 $38.91 $52.38 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a $45.55
2014 $50.00 $62.53 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a $56.55
2015 $47.51 $54.54 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a $57.83
2016 $41.94 $79.64 $58.38 n/a n/a n/a $28.28 n/a
2017 $41.83 $63.92 $54.72 n/a n/a $41.18 n/a $59.49
2018 $40.67 $63.32 n/a n/a n/a $60.53 n/a $40.56
2019 $35.98 $62.50 n/a $37.52 n/a n/a n/a n/a
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Level 2
  Canada U.S.A. Australia U.K. France Italy Germany Japan
2008 $46.58 $55.97 $62.56 $44.05 $45.82 n/a n/a n/a
2009 $47.26 $57.92 $63.76 $30.22 $48.69 n/a n/a n/a
2010 $47.60 $58.97 $52.01 $40.57 $44.03 n/a n/a $49.55
2011 $49.79 $65.14 $56.74 $40.72 $47.41 n/a n/a $53.79
2012 $54.31 $78.84 $59.81 $30.50 $46.97 n/a n/a $55.70
2013 $51.20 $81.42 $58.15 $32.85 n/a n/a n/a $52.53
2014 $55.10 $72.91 $50.67 $30.22 n/a $52.26 $26.09 $60.65
2015 $56.66 $67.66 $53.75 n/a $67.78 $54.31 $29.08 $61.03
2016 $58.88 $83.85 $54.49 n/a $73.83 $64.29 n/a $51.75
2017 $65.54 $82.43 $46.90 n/a $39.81 n/a $27.77 $54.39
2018 $57.36 $75.56 n/a $54.13 $48.83 n/a n/a $61.14
2019 $53.20 $69.35 n/a $40.36 n/a n/a n/a $47.76
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Level 3
  Canada U.S.A. Australia U.K. France Italy Germany Japan
2008 $68.74 $67.40 $76.47 $52.72 $49.41 n/a n/a n/a
2009 $60.08 $70.41 $77.98 $35.93 $47.73 n/a n/a n/a
2010 $61.88 $75.26 $74.32 $46.24 $57.45 n/a n/a $72.15
2011 $63.44 $79.60 $59.72 $40.09 $66.37 n/a n/a $54.52
2012 $67.94 $97.00 $61.69 $40.88 $46.07 n/a n/a $59.37
2013 $65.18 $99.10 $57.10 $43.01 $49.34 n/a n/a $61.52
2014 $68.60 $79.76 $67.44 $46.89 $51.15 $52.92 $38.30 $63.88
2015 $67.81 $91.55 $69.64 $41.25 $51.68 $52.28 $47.08 $64.50
2016 $63.48 $97.53 $57.41 $40.43 n/a $41.77 $49.75 $71.52
2017 $65.59 $99.64 $70.35 $55.67 $50.43 n/a $46.80 $68.32
2018 $70.70 $84.33 $66.74 $49.42 $38.15 $45.45 $50.18 $71.77
2019 $55.20 $69.02 $62.36 $46.11 n/a $49.26 $49.15 n/a
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Level 4
  Canada U.S.A. Australia U.K. France Italy Germany Japan
2011 $77.71 $95.07 $67.19 $50.07 $49.79 n/a n/a $59.76
2012 $94.39 $160.97 $82.25 $58.66 $62.36 n/a n/a $62.65
2013 $82.88 $123.27 $72.69 $53.31 $54.58 n/a n/a $64.89
2014 $86.46 $103.17 $70.33 $47.76 $55.98 $61.79 $58.52 $67.73
2015 $80.63 $105.90 $72.66 $50.75 $57.95 $60.45 $59.32 $65.32
2016 $78.77 $112.30 $71.03 $54.20 $63.80 $53.02 $61.78 $49.78
2017 $82.54 $114.81 $89.98 $59.38 $42.47 n/a $54.45 $69.58
2018 $87.00 $105.34 $88.74 $67.69 $53.14 $65.20 $64.84 $84.43
2019 $72.01 $75.48 $75.06 $55.20 n/a $42.27 $53.80 $63.69
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Level 5
  Canada U.S.A. Australia U.K. France Italy Germany Japan
2016 $114.65 $127.69 n/a $57.56 $70.54 n/a $56.57 $71.36
2017 $95.10 $145.15 n/a $70.67 $50.19 $60.39 $58.33 $65.64
2018 $102.76 $131.06 n/a $64.86 $60.86 n/a $72.45 $79.90
2019 $83.25 $93.01 n/a $75.87 $33.79 $49.26 $65.87 $77.69
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Level 6
  Canada U.S.A. Australia U.K. France Italy Germany Japan
2018 $123.87 $160.08 n/a $78.96 $70.18 $46.33 $94.33 $72.23
2019 $93.03 $120.62 n/a $78.62 $41.20 $42.27 $47.64 $76.31
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Table A3.3 Canadian Mobile Internet Prices

Level 1 (2-5 GB)
  Canada U.S.A. Australia U.K. France Italy Germany Japan
2010 $54.19 $73.26 $33.89 $24.86 $46.29 n/a n/a $76.00
2011 $52.41 $71.50 $27.18 $23.51 $43.30 n/a n/a $69.38
2012 $52.55 $52.29 $31.38 $27.42 $39.36 n/a n/a $54.89
2013 $44.55 $54.61 $28.80 $23.71 $34.98 n/a n/a $57.54
2014 $43.30 $63.74 $25.67 $21.90 $18.47 $17.56 $34.37 $50.05
2015 $43.55 $63.02 $28.15 $21.44 $17.60 $15.87 $25.96 $55.49
2016 $46.47 $50.68 $15.57 $17.61 $14.98 $14.35 $23.56 $51.81
2017 $43.01 $38.73 $11.73 $15.33 $12.11 $14.81 $20.40 $37.22
2018 $38.28 $43.49 $15.56 $15.45 $15.74 $12.71 $22.52 $70.31
2019 $40.60 $39.72 n/a $15.88 n/a n/a $20.45 $66.43
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Level 2 (5-10 GB)
  Canada U.S.A. Australia U.K. France Italy Germany Japan

2012

$65.11 $69.51 $44.85 $39.11 $100.15 n/a n/a $56.77

2013

$64.67 $59.82 $35.13 $62.01 $44.65 n/a n/a $58.24

2014

$63.90 $69.05 $36.80 $45.93 $43.04 $25.86 $49.70 $62.04

2015

$64.48 $77.72 $41.69 $30.60 $29.18 $27.05 $37.17 $63.82

2016

$63.30 $76.93 $29.67 $21.07 $28.11 $21.71 $37.31 $73.74

2017

$60.79 $72.44 $30.84 $20.54 $18.59 $20.87 $29.67 $54.81

2018

$61.90 $64.59 $26.24 $19.78 n/a $17.22 $35.56 $75.49

2019

$64.04 $62.05 $15.03 $22.18 $20.73 $10.56 $32.81 $69.41
Wall Communications Inc. 2019
Level 3 (10+ GB)
  Canada U.S.A. Australia U.K. France Italy Germany Japan

2016

$80.98 $110.38 $48.17 $24.47 $63.45 $31.58 n/a $87.09

2017

$82.28 $92.46 $36.62 $28.48 $39.09 $28.80 $35.98 $64.28

2018

$83.35 $87.30 $39.35 $28.19 $33.53 $38.73 $38.38 $105.94

2019

$82.99 $85.97 $23.66 $27.85 $30.05 $15.06 $40.50 $98.68
Wall Communications Inc. 2019

Attachment 4 – Canadian Roaming Rates
(Data collected August 2019)

Rogers (Roam Like Home)

Postpaid
  Price Talk Text Data Other
Roam Like Home $7 per day US and Canada Canada and US From your monthly plan 15 day max. ($105)
Prepaid
Price Talk Text Data Other
$7.99 per day
(Data only)
    US and Canada Up to 50 MB per day
$1.45 per minute US and Canada      
$0.75 per message   US and Canada    

Bell (Roam Better)

Postpaid
  Price Talk Text Data Other
Roam Better $8 per day Unlimited US and Canada Unlimited Canada and US From your monthly plan 15 day max. ($120)
Pay-as-you-go/Prepaid
Price Talk Text Data Other
$40 per 30 days 200 minutes US and Canada Unlimited US and Canada 200 MB US and Canada  
$80 per 30 days 1,000 minutes US and Canada   1 GB US and Canada  
$20 per 30 days     200 MB US and Canada Data only
$50 per 30 days     1 GB US and Canada Data only

TELUS (Easy Roam)

Postpaid
  Price Talk Text Data Other
Easy Roam $8 per day Unlimited US and Canada Unlimited Canada and US From your monthly plan 15 day max.($120)
Pay-as-you-go/Prepaid
Price Talk Text Data Other
$5.00 per MB
(Data only)
    US and Canada  
$1.50 per minute US and Canada      
$0.60 per message   US and Canada    

Freedom (Big Gig Roam Extra)

Postpaid
  Price Talk Text Data Other
Big Gig $5 per day Unlimited US and Canada Unlimited Canada and US   No max.
Big Gig $10 for 2 days     150 MB Data only
Big Gig $25 for 5 days     1 GB Data only
Big Gig $50 for 10 days     3 GB Data only
Big Gig $100 for 20 days     10 GB Data only
Pay-as-you-go/Prepaid
Price Talk Text Data Other
$0.20 per MB     US and Canada  
$0.50 per minute US and Canada      
$0.20 per message   US and Canada    

Videotron (Traveller Pass/Without Borders)

Postpaid
  Price Talk Text Data Other
Traveller Pass $7 per day Unlimited US and Canada Unlimited Canada and US From your monthly plan 10 day max. ($70)
Without Borders $80 per month Unlimited US and Canada Unlimited Canada and US 8 GB  
Without Borders $90 per month Unlimited US and Canada Unlimited Canada and US 9 GB  
Without Borders $100 per month Unlimited US and Canada Unlimited Canada and US 10 GB  
Pay-as-you-go/Prepaid
Price Talk Text Data Other
$0.15 per MB     US and Canada  
$.30 per minute (local) US and Canada      
$0.15 per message (outgoing)   US and Canada    

EastLink (easyTravel)

Postpaid
  Price Talk Text Data Other
EasyTravel $8 per day Unlimited US and Canada Unlimited Canada and US From your monthly plan No max.
Combo Pack $15 per 3 days Unlimited US and Canada Unlimited Canada and US 300 MB  
Combo Pack $35 per 7 days Unlimited US and Canada Unlimited Canada and US 750 MB  
Combo Pack $35 per month Unlimited US and Canada Unlimited Canada and US None  
Combo Pack $50 per 10 days Unlimited US and Canada Unlimited Canada and US 1 GB  
Combo Pack $80 per month Unlimited US and Canada Unlimited Canada and US 1 GB  
Pay-as-you-go/Prepaid
Price Talk Text Data Other
$1.00 per MB     US and Canada  
$.50 per minute (local) US and Canada      
$0.50 per message (outgoing)   US and Canada    

Fido (Fido Roam)

Postpaid
  Price Talk Text Data Other
Roam Like Home $7 per day From your monthly plan From your monthly plan From your monthly plan 15 day max. ($105)
Pay-as-you-go/Prepaid
  Price Talk Text Data Other
  $7.99 per day
(Data only)
    US and Canada Up to 50 MB per day
Postpaid Pay-as-you-go $1.45 per minute US and Canada      
Postpaid Pay-as-you-go $0.75 per message   US and Canada    
Postpaid Pay-as-you-go $7.99 for 50 MB        
Postpaid Pay-as-you-go $2.00 per minute US and Canada      
Postpaid Pay-as-you-go $0.75 per message   US and Canada    
          No data plan available for PAYG prepaid

Virgin (Roam Sweet Roam)

Postpaid
  Price Talk Text Data Other
Roam Sweet Roam with Home Data $8 per day Unlimited US and Canada Unlimited Canada and US From your monthly plan 20 day max. ($160)
Roam Sweet Roam with100 MB $7 per day Unlimited US and Canada Unlimited Canada and US 100 MB  
50 MB Travel Pass $10 per 30 days     50 MB Data only
100 MB Travel Pass $20 per 30 days     100 MB Data only
Pay-as-you-go/Prepaid
  Price Talk Text Data Other
Travel Pass $40 per 30 days 200 minutes US and Canada Unlimited US and Canada 200 MB US and Canada  
Travel Pass $80 per 30 days 1,000 minutes US and Canada   1 GB US and Canada  
Travel Pass $20 per 30 days     200 MB US and Canada Data only
Travel Pass $50 per 30 days     1 GB US and Canada Data only
  $1.45 Per minute      
  $0.75   Per text    

Koodo (Easy Roam)

Postpaid
  Price Talk Text Data Other
Easy Roam $8 per day Unlimited US and Canada Unlimited Canada and US From your monthly plan $100 max.

 

Pay-as-you-go/Prepaid
Price Talk Text Data Other
$10.00 for 50 MB data     US and Canada  
$1.50 per minute US to Canada      
$0.60 per minute Canada to US      
$10 for 100 sent texts   US and Canada    

Primus

Postpaid
Price Talk Text Data Other
$20 per month 25 minutes US and Canada 100 texts    
$40 per month 100 minutes US and Canada Unlimited texts    
$40 per month 50 minutes US and Canada Unlimited texts 200 MB  
$80 per month 100 minutes US and Canada Unlimited texts 500 MB  
$40 per month 150 total minutes (in either US or Canada) Unlimited Canada and US None  
$60 per month 200 total minutes (in either US or Canada) Unlimited Canada and US 500 MB  
$80 per month 500 total minutes (in either US or Canada) Unlimited Canada and US 1 GB Data only
      100 MB Data only
Pay-as-you-go/Prepaid
Price Talk Text Data Other
$1.45 Per minute      
$0.75   Per text    
$1.00     Per MB  

Petro-Canada Mobility

Pay-as-you-go/Prepaid
Price Talk Text Data Other
$0.55 Per minute to US      
$0.15 per text   Per text sent to the US    

Wall Communications Inc. 2019

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