Canada Worse than 3rd World Countries when it comes to Mobile Data Access

Travesty of Canadian Mobile Carriers

The motto of the CRTC, Canada’s telcom regulator is “Communications in the Public Interest”. Right.

If you live in Canada, write to your MP. The CRTC, as an institution, needs to be taken out and shot.*

This chart charts the best rates available from all carriers. And all levels of government say that “ICT” competitiveness is key factor in Canada’s future economic
prosperity. Ya. Right. I would like to say that Canada is a 3rd world country when it comes to Mobile ICT, except you can clearly see from this chart that even *Rwanda* has orders of magnitude better Mobile Data service than Canada.

As I’ve noted in the chart, 500MB is about 100 minutes of usage at a Canadian Carrier’s maximum (advertised) download speed of 700kB/s (your mileage will vary, International carriers are typically twice or four times faster). 500MB is not a lot of data in the grand scheme of things, a few GB could make a better example but in that case the red bars would be completely off the charts.

If you don’t live in Canada but you or your small business depends on mobile connectivity or net neutrality in general, don’t come here.

If see these numbers makes you mad, then Digg this article and spread the word on your site.

(and leave a comment, what is mobile service like where you live? why do you think mobile data is important?)

Here is the complete data table including data speed and Caps for each of the services listed. You’ll notice Canadian carriers lag substantially in every category.

see also on this blog: Bell to charge you $3600 per hour for Wireless Internet access. (the situation has not changed in a while)

supporting links:
www.vodafone.co.nz/pricing_plans/broadband.jsp?st=ourserv…
www.t-mobile.com/shop/plans/default.aspx
powervision.sprint.com/mobilebroadband/plans/index.html
www.terracom.rw/services/internet/evdo/pricing.php
www.telstra.com.au/business/products/internetanddata/mobi…
www.telusmobility.com/on/business_solutions/connect_megab…
www.bell.ca/shop/en_CA_AB/Sme.Sol.Wireless.Internet.Plans…
www.fido.ca/portal/en/domore/options.shtml
www.shoprogers.com/business/wireless/plans_services/busin…

*not literally of course, we are Canadian after all. (the CRTC is the Canadian regulator for radio, television, and telecomumnications). Here’s the Canadian Telecommunications Act that governs the CRTC. I like parts 7 a, b and c.

UPDATE May 2010: While the situation (and competition) has improved significantly in Canada since this post was first published, according to OECD data Canadians still pay among the highest cell phone bills in the world.

UPDATE December2007: For ongoing and more up to date coverage of the Canadian wireless industry, data rates, carriers, spectrum auctions, and mobile startups, I recommend WirelessNorth.ca