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Cost of cell phone plans plummet in November

In a welcomed change for Canadian consumers, the cost of cell phone plans took a substantial dip in November, with Statistics Canada reporting a remarkable 22 percent decrease compared to the same period last year. The driving force behind this cost relief was the wave of Black Friday deals that swept across the nation, offering Canadians not only reduced prices for cellular phone plans but also enticing bonus data.

Statistics Canada attributed this unprecedented drop in cell phone prices to a range of promotions initiated by industry players gearing up for Black Friday. The month saw a flurry of activity as service providers vied for customers' attention, resulting in more affordable options for consumers looking to sign up or renew their cell phone plans.

This positive trend in lower cell service prices came at an opportune time, helping to offset inflationary pressures stemming from increased travel costs. In addition to the reduction in cell phone expenses, Canadians also benefited from lower prices for fuel oil, contributing to a balanced inflation rate for the month.

Notably, this shift in the cost landscape occurred concurrently with the emergence of Freedom Mobile as a fourth national player in the Canadian cell phone market. This development followed Rogers' decision to sell its business to Quebecor, ushering in a new era of competition among major players in the telecommunications sector.

While the drop in cell phone prices is certainly a positive development for consumers, it sheds light on the broader issue of Canada's comparatively expensive cell phone rates. Recent studies have consistently highlighted that Canadians face higher median rates for cell phone data compared to many other countries.

According to a September report from, Canadians rank 22nd globally in terms of median rates for cell phone data, paying around US$5.37 per gigabyte. The report considered data from 237 countries, underscoring the room for improvement in Canada's cell phone pricing landscape.

A March 2023 report by research firm Rewheel characterized Canada's 4G and 5G networks as a "de-facto network duopoly," with prices for 100 gigabytes second only to South Africa. While mobile wireless prices in Canada were found to be generally lower than those in the United States and Japan, they still ranked higher than those in Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Germany, depending on the specific plan.

As Canadians celebrate the recent reprieve in cell phone costs, these findings underscore the ongoing need for continued efforts to enhance competition and affordability in the country's telecommunications sector. The positive impact of Black Friday promotions serves as a reminder that consumer-friendly initiatives can bring about tangible benefits for Canadians in their day-to-day lives.



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