The prices Canadians pay for many telecom services are coming down, but remain among the highest in the world's major economies, according to a new report from the federal government.
The latest edition of the annual price comparison study from Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada found prices falling in most categories of telecom services.
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Most levels of wireless service saw price declines between four and 16 per cent over the past year, except for one level of service (1,200 voice minutes, 1 Gb of data) where prices remained the same.
Nonetheless, in all categories Canadian wireless prices are highest or second-highest, with only the U.S. and Japan showing similarly high rates. The study looked at the G7 countries and Australia.
The study, carried out for ISED by Wall Communications, also made an interesting observation about wireless prices: "Freedom Mobile in most cases offers the lowest price for each basket in regions where they offer service (i.e. B.C. and Ontario)."
Home broadband internet prices dropped between 3 per cent and 12 per cent over the last year, for lower-speed services, but rose by 5 to 8 per cent for higher-speed services, the ISED study found.
Earlier on HuffPost Canada:
Canada has the second-highest prices behind the U.S. in higher-bandwidth categories, but the lowest prices in lower-bandwidth levels, some of which are no longer available in other countries.
The study stressed that competition makes a difference in the wireless market: Those areas of the country with more options for wireless service (Quebec, Manitoba and Saskatchewan for example) pay as much as 32 per cent less.
"New low-cost plans are expected to enter the market and will create more choice for Canadians," ISED said in a statement.