Canadians continue to pay way, WAY too much for cell phone data when compared to the rest of the world.

It’s infuriating to look at a Canadian cell phone bill. Why are we paying so much for data?

“Well,” apologists will say, “Prices are coming down. But you have to remember that Canada is a big country with a lot of open space. It costs a lot of money to build out and maintain the necessary infrastructure.”

Hah. Right. We pay on average $7.36 per gigabyte. Australians, another big place with huge empty bits, pay $0.60 per gig. That is not a typo.

  • India: $0.22 per gig
  • France: $0.28
  • Russian: $0.35
  • China: $0.51
  • Brazil: $0.55
  • Spain: $0.66
  • UK: $0.86

What about the US? I was surprised to see that Americans pay $8.22 per gig. Switzerland is the worst at $9.99. New Zealand isn’t great, either, with an average cost of $8.07.

Canada’s data costs are tenth in the world, so it could be worse.

  • Zimbabwe: $59.97
  • Yemen: $21.48
  • Turkmenistan: $15.65
  • Central African Republic: $14,94
  • Zambia: $10,97
  • Seychelles: $7.45

If you live in Saskatchewan, you get the best deal on 1GB of data with the average plan costing $20 compared to $28-29 in the rest of the country. Why? Because SaskTel still exists and offers competition to Rogers, Telus, and Bell.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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One thought on “Canadians continue to pay way, WAY too much for cell phone data when compared to the rest of the world.

  • I have a sweet Freedom plan and pay about 40 cents a gig. 74.5 GB good across Canada for $30/mth with a loyalty plan and bonuses. If I somehow consume all that data, it’s not even cut off, just throttled.

    People keep claiming Freedom isn’t as good as the major carriers but I haven’t had an issue for years. I hope Quebcor ownership of it doesn’t ruin it.

    My new phone supports eSims which I’ve already used for cheap data across the border. Looking forward to the feature when I visit Europe this summer.


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