Communications Monitoring Report 2014

Last month, the CRTC issued the annual “Communications Monitoring Report” (the “Report”). This Report primarily contains statistics on the relationship Canadians have with communications products and services. This includes, TV, Radio and Telephone (both mobile and land line).

The Report outlines many points we believe may be of interest to our customers:

  • The vast majority of mobile users are on post-paid services. At Walco we sell pre-paid cards and administer postpaid contracts (where customers are billed monthly). Moreover, pre-paid services continue to decline in popularity, while post-paid services grow.[1]
  • Roaming charges are chiefly accrued in the USA. Specifically, 54% of data usage, and 73% of voice roaming.[2]
  • 54% of postpaid consumers have contracts of over 2 years. This of course will change as old contracts expire and renewals are completed under the Wireless code.[3]
  • Canadians sent 531 million text messages each day, for a total of 194 billion text messages last year.[4]
  • Market share of service providers was divided as follows: Rogers 34%, Telus 28%, Bell 28%, Other 5%, and New Entrants 5%. [5]
  • At present only 11% of handheld devices in use by British Colombians are considered Advanced Devices (i.e. a device which supports text, internet, email and video.) BC, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec have the highest number of Advanced Devices.
  • Pricing for Canadian wireless services ranged greatly and did not fall much outside the norm for international standards. Pricing for ‘average use’ cellular contracts is roughly 4$ more per month than the next country. However, pricing for ‘low use’ cellular contracts is 5$ less than the highest priced country.[6]

As can be seen, the mobile world is changing very quickly. More people are moving to ‘advanced devices’ and as a result using more data features. More people are committing to contracts instead of  using ‘pay as you go’ devices. Text messaging is becoming more and more prevalent as a preferred form of communication.

On a global scale, Canadians are quite similar to other countries in terms of their appetites for mobile communications. Furthermore, Canadians are primarily served by the ‘big three’ and obtain pricing within reasonable range to other nations.

At Walco, we are excited to be a part of a growing and changing industry!

The report can be found at: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/PolicyMonitoring/2014/cmr.htm.

[1] Report, page 210.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Report, page 211.

[4] Report, page 212.

[5] Report, page 213.

[6] Report, page 285.

A+ for Telus on the Wireless Code ‘Report Card’

As a Telus dealer, we know all about the Wireless Code, and the many changes it implemented in cellular contracts. However, as a consumer, you may not be aware of the Code and how it impacts your cellular service.  As the Code has once again become a news item, it seems a good time to discuss it and what it means for you.

The CRTC created the Wireless Code in an effort to better regulate the relationship between cellular users and providers.  It was introduced in December of 2013 to new contracts.  Further, it will apply to all contracts, regardless of signing date, as of June 3, 2015. Consumers likely will have noticed some of the following key changes:[1]

  • Cancellation fees prohibited after two years;
  • Roaming notifications, including rates;
  • Limit of $100 for data roaming per month, unless customer consents to more charges;
  • Devices must be available to unlock.

While these are some of the more obvious amendments, there are many other changes to how cellular providers interact with their customers. The primary focus of these changes being the protection of consumers from contractual unfairness and high fees or penalties.

Recently, the CRTC implemented a ‘report card’ to assess the progress of implementation for the Wireless Code.[2]  This report contains an outline of the requirements, and those who have failed to meet them.

This report is valuable to consumers in terms of understanding what providers have made the Wireless Code a priority.  For example, presently Telus is the only major service provider who is fully compliant with the Wireless Code.[3] Further, it grants an easy to read checklist of the primary points of the Wireless Code, which is rather long and may be somewhat confusing for those unfamiliar with cellular contracts.

As mentioned above, the Code will require full compliance for all contracts as of next summer. It will be interesting to see if compliance is achieved for all providers before then. Further, it is important to spread the word on these changes to those who will be affected by the Code within the next year.

For more information on the code, visit the CRTC website.

Questions? We are happy to answer any questions you may have!

 

[1] http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/info_sht/t14.htm

[2] http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/rp140918.pdf

[3] http://www.techvibes.com/blog/crtc-issues-first-wireless-code-report-card-2014-09-19