A new survey conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights, exploring Canadians’ sentiments on the current state of the national telecommunications industry, has found that over 80 per cent (81%) of Canadians believe that true wireless competition among cell phone providers would lead to lower prices for Canadians.
According to the survey commissioned by Globalive Capital (“Globalive”), over half of Canadians (52%) are reported as being more stressed than usual about their cell phone bill because of inflation. When asked about the biggest issues that they have with the telecommunications market, Canadians continued to cite high prices compared to other countries (87%) and the lack of competition in the market (73%).
“Canadians have spoken time and time again about their frustrations with the current state of the wireless industry in Canada,” says Anthony Lacavera, Founder and Chairman of Globalive Capital. “There is an inextricable tie between high prices and a lack of adequate competition amongst today’s top national wireless carriers. Something needs to change, especially given the financial hardship that many Canadians are facing today.”
In addition to lower prices, stalled 5G innovation is also a perceived casualty of minimal wireless competition in Canada. Nearly half (49%) of Canadians believe that Canada is falling behind other countries on 5G innovations because of a lack of national competition. Both pricing and 5G innovation remained top considerations when survey respondents were asked about their thoughts on the merger of Rogers Communications (“Rogers”) and Shaw Communications (“Shaw”).
When asked about the pending sale of Freedom Mobile as part of merger contingencies, over two-thirds of Canadians (67%) stated that it is important that Freedom Mobile be sold to an independent carrier to promote increased competition. Of the most important factors that must accompany the sale of the company, a commitment to low prices by the potential buyer was the top priority for a staggering 87% of Canadians, with the use of 5G technology remaining an important commitment for 62%.
“The merger of Rogers and Shaw, and the subsequent sale of Freedom Mobile is an opportunity for Canadians to get a better wireless experience and fairer pricing through a true independent fourth carrier,” Mr. Lacavera says. “It’s crucial that we continue to demand a transparent sale process on behalf of Rogers, and that the appropriate discretion is used at the federal level when choosing a final buyer. We are counting on Minister Champagne to make the decision that is in the best interests of Canadians.”
Of other top priorities that Canadians have for the buyer of Freedom Mobile, reliable coverage (86%), good customer service (85%), and expanding coverage areas (82%) are all commitments the majority of Canadians expect to be made. As many as 37% of Canadians opposed the Rogers and Shaw merger altogether.
As long as our politicians and CRTC Executives continue to receive massive contributions from the Big Providers, we’ll all continue to be screwed.