The CRTC has decided (finally!!) to put an end to locked devices and unlocking fees! As of December 1, 2017, all individual and small business wireless service customers will have the right to have their cellphones and other mobile devices unlocked free of charge upon request. In addition, all newly purchased devices must be provided unlocked from that day forward. ~ taken from here.
***Edited to add Labels***
Still details to work out like how to deal with an unlocked phone that locks to the provider when you first install the sim and turn it on.
@qw4 come after December 1st all new phones will have to be made without the network lock when you first insert a SIM.
For all existing inventory after that date you just need to call your provider and they will have to unlock it for free.
For those of you who are interested in taking a look at the price gap of how much Canadians have to pay for cell phone/data service compared to the rest of the world, feel free to take a read below.
Hopefully the NAFTA will help lowering the cell phone usage costs in Canada. May be if CRTC will loosen the grip so new competors can enter the cellular market.
The mobile companies are also smart!!! If they know that the unlocking of the phone would be free, they would increase 50$ on all phones to cover up the cost. Since the unlocking fee is removed,it would be difficult for fido to convince people to use fido roam. They might have to come up with something which would make people use the Fido roam. I am saying this because people are going to take the advantage of using unlocked phones in other countries by using cheap simcards from that specific country.
Actually it will not affect Fido Roam at all.
Currently there are 2 major types of subscribers. Current plan subscribers and Grandfathered plan subscribers.
Current plan travellers will be able to take advantage of Fido Roam. Keep in mind that the fido roam prices, althrough more affordable, is still significantly higher than buying a sim card locally and use local pay as you go plans.
Grandfathered plan travellers will not have access to Fido roam and will have to pay the extremely high prices to use FIdo abroad. To work around this solution, one can unlock the phone through aftermarket channels and use a local sim card when travelling and use the Fido sim card upon return.
Either way, a seasoned traveller, provided there is cost savings, will choose to unlock the phone and use a local sim card when travelling abroad. To add salt to injury, cellular networks will no longer be needed as calls can be made using public or hotel wifi. Some airports offer mobile hot spot rental and some of the prices are very competitive. I have travelled abroad and can still communicate back home without the use if cellular network.
If you take a look at some of the plans Fido is offering right now, the plans are very expensive and there is little subsidy if you want a late model phone. Yes, the prices are slowly rising whether you want it or not. As you said, service providers will always look for ways to raise prices and CRTC is always on their side.
I am waiting for the big price hike in Jan 2018.