date plans canada

Data plans in Canada are still among the most expensive in the world

Data plans in Canada are a lot like stocking up on booze: horribly expensive, technically unnecessary, but often obligatory when it comes to meeting up with friends.

Every Canadian that owns a cellphone knows from experience that a gigabyte (GB) of mobile data costs a small fortune, but it may be even worse than we could have imagined.

According to a U.K. broadband website, Canada ranks at number 20 for the most expensive place in the world to buy cell phone data.

Out of 228 countries, Canada came in at 209 for the cheapest available GB of cell phone data; the company measured 60 mobile data plans across the country for an average cost of US$12.55 per GB.

The cheapest available GB of data in Canada was $1.78, but prices could skyrocket to $99.68 per GB on the other end of the spectrum.

India, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Italy and Ukraine had the cheapest data in the world, while island nations like Falkland Islands and Bermuda had some of the most expensive.

So why is Canada's cell phone data so expensive? Our country isn't an island, and our fibre broadband infrastructure is pretty decent, so you would expect data to be relatively cheap.

The answer lies in Canada's high market concentration.

In 2018, Bell, Rogers and Telus collectively had about 91 per cent of all telecommunications sector revenues — and since they have no incentive to undercut one another, the average phone bill remains high.

In fact, Canadian wireless carriers generated more revenue with less data usage than any other country in the world in 2016.

date plans canada

Tefficient compares the total mobile service revenue per GB against the average mobile data usage per country

Canadian law also prohibits foreign ownership of a major telecom company, which prevents foreign cell phone companies from challenging the monopoly with cut-rate offerings.

Sorry, Canada; it looks like we'll be forking out some serious cash for cell phone data for the foreseeable future.

date plans canada

Lead photo by

Henry Cunningham. Charts by Visual Capitalist


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