That did not take long – all of the Big Three in Canada have raised their prices at least by $5 per month across the board for Share Plans. We already read about Rogers and Bell the other day and now Mobile Syrup has obtained an internal document from Telus that cites “economic and market conditions” as their reason for the price increases. The price raise of $5 for Telus Your Choice Plans is due to take effect on Thursday, January 21. MobileSyrup has also learned that Telus’ flanker brand, Koodo, will also entertain the price raise across the board except for those that fall under the Tab Plus category – already more expensive plans because of the larger device subsidiary. They will also see January 21 as the effective date. These prices will only affect new customers or those that upgrade their existing plan.
It is interesting to note that even though they cite “economic and market conditions” as their reason for raising prices, are the “market conditions” referring to Rogers’ and Bell’s price increases? Just like the other carriers, Telus did not raise prices in the provinces of Quebec, Saskatchewan and Manitoba because of the competition there from regional carriers Videotron, SaskTel and MTS, where prices are considerably lower. This scenario screams out as a good reason that Canada needs more competition to keep the Big Three in line. In a recent finding, the CRTC’s 2015 Communications Monitoring Report, showed that in 2014, Rogers, Bell and Telus had an 89-percent market share, which was down from 90-percent the year before. With that kind of control, competition is almost none existent except in several provinces.
By increasing prices, Telus is virtually eliminating any incentive to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) as they will also raise the base service price $10. The example cited is, say you purchase an unlocked Nexus 5X from Google and sign up on Telus for an unlimited nationwide calling plan, it will now cost $50 rather than $40. Telus also plans to eliminate its popular $20/500MB shared data option, but their plans of $25/1GB or $35/2.5GB of data do offer more value. The year is starting off with price increases across all major carriers and we hope there will be no more increases during 2016.