Monday, March 5, 2007

Cellphone fees; if jack can bring awareness to to abm fees; who will take on the cell phone companies?

Sky-high fees curb Canada's cellphone use: study
March 5, 2007 | CBC News

Canadian cellphone users are paying more than people in any other developed country, says a report that warns the high wireless service costs have stalled the widespread use of mobile devices.

The average cellphone bill in Canada is one-third more than it is in the United States and the highest of 30 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, according to the report released Monday from the Seaboard Group, a Canadian technology research and consulting group.

While relative costs have dropped since a 2005 study — which found Canadians paid 60 per cent more than Americans — the group argues the high prices are still an impediment to increased adoption of mobile technology.

"Canada is dead last in the 30-country OECD measurement of wireless penetration. Oddly enough, Canada's wireless prices lead the world — there may well be a correlation," the report said.

Canada has 56 cellphone users for every 100 Canadians, a level of adoption that lags behind every developed country, the study found. The United States has 75 users for every 100 Americans, while Britain and Germany have 102.2 and 86.4 users per 100 people respectively.
Kill long-distance fees, report urges

The study broke down cellphone users into three groups: heavy, average and light users.
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Heavy users were getting the worst deal, the report said, with costs of 50 per cent more than U.S. users were paying.

Light users — people who only used their phone in emergencies, for example — actually paid 27 per cent less per month than Americans.

The authors of the report recommended Canadian wireless carriers kill long-distance fees, reward customers for signing up friends and expand usage ceilings as ways of attracting new customers. They also suggested the government should allow and encourage outside competition in the industry.

Toronto-based Rogers Wireless is Canada's largest wireless carrier, ahead of Vancouver's Telus Corp. and Montreal-based BCE's Bell Mobility.

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association said on Monday the number of wireless phone subscribers at the end of 2006 was 18.5 million, with wireless penetration in major urban centres at over 70 per cent.