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iPhones and Wireless Data in Canada

AppleInsider has a story on how the cost of wireless data in Canada may be holding up the introduction of the iPhone there:

In the U.S., AT&T's combined iPhone service and data plans start at just $59.99 for 450 anytime minutes, 5000 additional night and weekend minutes, and unlimited data. But in Canada... a comparable plan for Rogers Wireless -- the only carrier with an iPhone-compatible GSM network -- would currently run about $295 per month.

Rogers charges $60 for 500 anytime minutes, $25 for an additional $500 anytime minutes and a whopping $210 for 500MB data plan. Unlike AT&T, the Canadian carrier does not offer an unlimited data plan and its monthly minutes do not rollover to the next month if they go unused.

Last year, considering the possibility of spending a good deal of time in Canada, I stopped at a Rogers Wireless store to ask them about their data plans:

Me: How much do you charge for unlimited wireless data?

Salesperson: We don't offer that here.

Me: It's fine if it's more expensive than in the States, but how much is it?

Salesperson: We don't offer an unlimited data plan.

Me: You're kidding.

Salesperson: No. We just don't have that here.

Me: At all?

Salesperson: No.

Me: Okay, if you don't, who does?

Salesperson: No one.

I have a mobile wireless broadband card from Sprint (evil though they may be, they do have a great wireless data network). It costs $60 per month for unlimited data, and it's one of the better purchases I've made recently. I no longer hunt for Wi-Fi hot spots on the road, paying T-Mobile and others $10 a day for the privilege of using their networks. I haven't yet found a place where I've wanted to open my laptop that Sprint wasn't available, and I don't have to worry about how much I'm using the service.

So where are the competitive pressures that would lower prices for wireless service in Canada?


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