Ben Klass on wireless carriers’ high prices

As cell phone customers reel from yet another Big Telecom price hike, it seems like our wireless market is moving backwards not forwards. Telecom expert and OpenMedia community member Ben Klass asks what will it take for Canadians to get the greater choice and lower prices we deserve. Article from Ben Klass' blog Last week, Mobile Syrup reported that the big 3′s flanker brands, Virgin, Fido, and Koodo (including zombified competitor Public Mobile) would be raising prices on their wireless plans at the same time.

Then, the news broke today that Bell, Rogers, and Telus, moving in lockstep, have quietly raised their prices for wireless services as well. Prices for plans (including the new changes) at each carrier appear to be identical.

These rate hikes come on the heels of the 700MHz auction results, which are shaping up to look like a continuation of the status quo – free range for the Canadian wireless oligopoly. Telus has purchased Public Mobile, Mobilicity is in creditor protection and is likely to be bought up shortly, while Wind’s financial backer seems to have had enough of its foray into Canada. Brace yourselves, consumers, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Wind is by no means out of the game – it has over 600,000 subscribers, and there is some speculation that part owner Tony Lacavera may make a disruptive play. But without additional capital or new spectrum, it seems as if its fate as a niche provider may be sealed. Vidéotron has some analysts holding out hope for a new competitive champion in Ontario and westward, although representatives for the company have been decidedly ambiguous about its prospects for expansion. For the time being, it seems like the incumbents are taking advantage of their privileged position by putting the squeeze on customers who face few prospects for finding a fair deal elsewhere.

Read more at Ben Klass' blog

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