Canadian cell phone rates are higher than Mexico

Alec Saunders reposted a chart and some data from Seaboard Group's report on Canadian cell phone pricing -- Lament for a Wireless Nation. The summary is

  • Canada has lower cell phone usage than small African nations like Botswana
  • Pricing, bundles, and market growth were much better when there was competition (before Clearnet and Microcell aka Fido got bought)
  • First hand experience in buying a pay as you go SIM card in Mexico has lower rates for local and long distance than Rogers regular pricing back in Canada 

Of course, this is at the same time that we now have wireless number portability -- as of yesterday, March 14th to be exact. But since there is no competition, it will really only let highly pissed off consumers switch from their current bad provider to one of the other bad choices. Maybe at least we'll see a flood to Rogers/Fido where GSM phones and SIM cards rule...but it's not like I'm overly happy with the service either.

There is a growing list of stories in Canada as well about the ridiculous level of cell phone pricing in Canada -- Roland recently posted about a Globe and Mail story, and there was a CBC piece on it as well.

So what can we do? Not much. Hope that someone brings real competition to Canada (a big, costly proposition) or perhaps just focus on rolling out free wifi to cover all the major cities. 

And yes, for those following along at home, I am disputing some US roaming charges so currently my cell phone is out of order.