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Canada's cellphone rates rank among highest in 8-country study, report says

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Canadians continue to pay some of the highest rates for wireless service in the G7 and Australia, according to a study commissioned by the CRTC and released Thursday. 

The study, which was carried out by Nordicity Group for the telecom regulator, found that Canadians looking for 150 minutes of monthly mobile service paid more than consumers in every other G7 country and Australia.

That entry-level wireless package costs an average of $41.08 a month in Canada. By way of comparison, the cheapest price for that level of service cost just $17.15 in Germany. 

cellphone wireless user customer

A CRTC-commissioned study found that Canadians looking for 150 minutes of monthly wireless service paid more than consumers in every other G7 country and Australia. (Aaron Harris/Bloomberg News)

When Canadians needed more service — 450 minutes of wireless service and 300 text messages — they fared a bit better in the international comparison. Canadians paid an average of $48.77 a month for that level of service, while Americans paid an average of $51.64 and Japanese consumers paid one cent more than Canadians. French wireless customers paid the least — $24.17.

At each of four other levels of higher-service options, topping out at unlimited talk and text and 10 GB of data, Canadians were paying the second-highest price among the eight countries the study looked at. The U.K. was the cheapest.

Land-lines cheapest

The only time Canadian phone users scored a relative break was if they used landlines. Canadians paid an average of $39.52 a month for a basic package that included a modest amount of long-distance usage. Five other countries were more expensive than Canada.

The survey also found that Canadians tended to pay higher monthly bills for fixed and mobile broadband internet service than some other countries in the study. But Canada was not in the most expensive spot in any internet usage category, and at every service level, Canadians paid less than American internet users for similar amounts of data.

The Nordicity study surveyed service providers in six cities in Canada, four cities in the U.S., and one city in each of Australia, the U.K., France, Italy, Germany and Japan.

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