The Issues with Canada’s Telecoms Industry: Opinion

While US competitors are vying for the bragging rights of hitting the 5G market first, the big three Canadian telecoms are sitting mum. This comes as no surprise, Canadian cell providers have long been playing second fiddle to their American counterparts.

I’ve been a Rogers customer for over two years now, and would have never thought that two years down the line, I’d be left wanting more. Three times now, I’ve exceeded my monthly data limit, and ended up paying exorbitant data charges. And I only ever use my data for essential tasks. After being charged an extra fifty dollars in my last billing cycle, I decided that I had had enough.

I started looking for plans that offered unlimited data, only to find out no such plan exists in Canada. My sister lives in the US and often loves to gloat about how life is better across the border, but the fact that Canada can’t provide a service that its neighbours have been doing for several years is baffling. The thing about technology is that nothing is ever enough and the big three need to evolve along with their customer’s needs. Canadians pay some of the highest rates for wireless services among the G7 nations and for far too long Canadians have been crying out for unlimited plans.

Cell providers argue that such a venture would prove to be too expensive and cite a lack of demand as the chief deterrent. But, if Canada plans to become a global power, it really needs to up its cellular game. Maybe the answer lies in breaking up the monopoly held by the big three, but the upcoming technological changes hold the key to the problem. Both Rodgers and Bell have issued statements that they will pursue 5G roll outs in 2020 and not before. However,  attaining better and affordable plans is necessary before implementing 5G technology and in return a quicker wireless connectivity will enable individual plans to become more affordable.

In truth, Canadian telecom industry is lagging far behind the rest, but is one that should be watched closely as major changes are impending.

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