Canadians from coast-to-coast will be very pleased to learn that, as of December 1, 2017, it will no longer be possible for cellphone providers to sell mobile phones and other mobile devices locked on a specific carrier. Not only that, but if you’ve gotten your hands on a locked cellphone, they’ll have to unlock it for you for absolutely no charge at all thanks to the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission).
According to the CRTC, Bell, Rogers and Telus made over $37 million from cellphone unlocking fees last year alone, which is just absurd. Last year’s cash ins for these same telecom companies through unlocking fees – which are usually around $50 a piece – were 75 percent higher than the year prior.
With unlocking fees and locked phones coming from retailers out of the way, this gives Canadians much more flexibility when buying and selling phones online. Its always been a bit of a struggle selling cellphones in Canada due to the devices themselves being locked to a specific carrier.
All three of the major wireless providers in Canada – Bell, Rogers and Telus – want unlocking fees to stick. Luckily for Canadians, the CRTC has the last word in cases such as this one.
This is a great start, and I’ll admit I’m quite pleased to be writing about this, but I’ll also admit that I won’t be completely satisfied with wireless plans in Canada until our data plan prices drop in price, or our monthly limits get raised. What about a true “unlimited” plan for a decent price? It’s 2017. Let’s get with the program and stop robbing Canadians of their hard earned money.
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Fact of the matter is, wireless companies wouldn’t be making as much profit as they were even a decade ago, if they weren’t charging as much for data because Canadians are using the phone call feature on their smartphones much less than they were a decade ago, however data has risen exponentially during that same time period.
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It’s a step in the right direction. Let’s just hope that telecom companies don’t try and find other ways to make up that $37 million a year loss.
In conclusion, here’s a little tidbit of information: After converting to Canadian dollars, Canadians pay twice as much for cellphone services as those residing in Australia and the United Kingdom do every month. So, although this story is mostly good news, we do have a bit of a ways yet before we’re paying fair prices for our wireless plans in Canada.
So Rogers, Telus, Bell. Which of you will be the first to impress Canadians with an actual unlimited (as in no usage cap, but also no speed limiter) data plan, for less than $100 a month?
This article was written by Jody Mitoma.