Cell Phone Freedom Act
five numbers or unlimited incoming and 1,000 outgoing text messages or double anytimeminutes – unlimited nights (9 PM) and weekends, and a full 500 MB of data”.
Only $50.These prices are
expensive and the amount of daytime minutes the averageCanadian gets with a cheap cell phone plan is laughable. Canada also ranks in the top of the average for
minutes of use per subscriber account
. This is very meaningfulinformation for the market because it means maybe Canadians use their phones too much.Of course, this is fantastic news for The Big Three.According to the 2007 OECD Communication Outlook Report, Canada ranks ninthin cost of service for medium intensity users of the 30 OECD countries. Meanwhile, in2008, wireless telecomm revenue was 40.3 billion dollars and remained the largestrevenue component of Canadian telecommunications revenues with 40% of the market.CanadianBusiness.com’s
Rich 100 List
ranks the ‘Rogers Family’, (RogersCommunications, Inc.) as the #4 richest in Canada with a net worth of 6.02 billiondollars.
2 Public policy in Canada
Canada is the most expensive place in the world to have a cell phone plan, Canadians usetheir cell phones more than consumers in most other countries, and Canadian wirelesstelecom companies have the highest profit margins in
the developed world, at 45.9%
Yet, it is a country with an expected growth rate of 33% in mobile subscriptions over thenext five years.
These are warning signs for regulation
. The Canadian wireless market isin peril of higher prices and poorer service with little motivation from telecom executivesto change their minds about prices and certainly unlocking. It is important to analyseCanadian policy in all its phases to comprehend the reason behind the little to no cell phone regulation and the efforts from the government to provide competition. It is just asimportant to note that not all public policy struggles are solved through legislation andgovernmental regulation as media pressure and consumer-oriented policy pressures canlead to a faster change in the market.
2.1 Canadian regulators: Canadian Radio-television and TelecommunicationsCommission’s wireless service policy
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
regulates and supervises Canada’s telecommunications and broadcasting systems andreports to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage and the Minister of Industry. According to their website, its mandate is to ensure that both thetelecommunications and broadcasting systems serve the Canadian public. The mandatesays: “[I]n telecommunications, the CRTC ensures that Canadians receive reliabletelephone and other telecommunications services, at affordable prices”.According to their own website, the CRTC’s role in telecommunications is‘evolving’. In these cases, The CRTC regulates only where the market does not meet theobjectives of the
This statement seems to mean that they careabout reliable and cheap service for wireless telecommunications, but it means the marketdoes not need to be regulated. In the CRTC’s website, under
Cell Phone or WirelessTelephone Services: Rates, Quality of Service and Business Practices
says they do not