Your cell phone data plan could cost 80 per cent more depending on the competition among companies where you live in Canada, according to the Competition Bureau. (iStock)

Lack of competition blamed for high cost of cell phone plans

Canada’s Competition Bureau has found that wireless plans are more expensive in parts of Canada where the three major telecom companies have no strong competitor. Canadians have long complained they pay some of the highest prices for cell phone plans in the world.

After investigating the problem, the Competition Bureau found that a 10GB plan can cost $60 to $75 per month in the provinces of Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The same plan in other provinces and territories could cost as much as $105 to $110.

The Competition Bureau said factors like network quality or geographic characteristics did not account for big price differences for cell phone data plans. Competition did. (iStock)

Strong regional competitors found to have made the difference

It found that factors such as network quality, coverage, demographics and geographic characteristics did not account for the differences in prices and the only way to explain them was the presence of a strong regional competitor.

The Competition Bureau concludes that Canadians could benefit from more competition in the wireless marketplace.

The report was presented to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the public regulatory agency for broadcasting and telecommunications.

The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency mandated by government to ensure markets operate in a competitive manner.

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