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.
That is stupid. All the service providers will do is increase the price of all new device by $50.00 to make up for the lost of revenue.
Worst yet, many people don't require their devices to be unlocked during the contract. With this change, everyone, whether you want an unlocked phone or not, will be forced to pay "extra" for a device that could have cost less from carrier subsidity. To terminate a contract mid way, the customer still has to pay the outstanding fees. If a customer wants to switch company when the contract is up, usually the customer will opt for a new phone with another plan. Having to pay $50 to unlock a phone will most likely not be sufficient to stop an unsatisified customer from switching company.
Keep in mind that the average lifespan of cell phones are 2 -2.5 years before it is replaced due to aging software, dead batteries, broken screens,...etc. In other words, customers will have to pay $50.00 (or more) every 2 years for a feature that most of us probably don't need. For those of us who wants to unlcok phones, it can be done much cheaper somewhere else.
I don't think it will necessarily increase the price of phones. Now the big 3 will need to compete with each other on phone prices as well as plans. Nothing would stop me from buying my phone from Telus if better price.
Next CRTC needs to mandate that fm radio chip is enabled. North America is probably only place in world that cannot listen to radio ota.
Will be nice soon to use American address to use American wireless plan that gives 6 gb and unlimited calling and texting with ability to roam free of charge in Canada and Mexico. Go figure that an American plan can use more data cheaper then a Canadian can use it.
It about time the CRTC actually make a decision with out the big 3 having a say in it. I like the the new decision.
With Shaw buying $430 million worth of spectrum licences hopefully we will see better deals out there soon.
Ha!? Big 3 (or Big 4 compete) with each other on phone prices as well as plans? There is NO competition when it comes to cell phone companies in Canada. If there is competition, we will be paying the same price as US or other parts of the world.
First of all, CRTC makes it almost impossible for companies outside of Canada to compete with Canadian carriers. CRTC also makes it almost impossible for new companies to enter the Canadian cellular market. If the above is not true, then we should have > 10 individual cell phone companies to choose from and not just 3.
The 3 cell phone companies get together and raise prices at the same time. Last time when CRTC abolish the 3 year contract, the 3 cell phone companies quietly "adjusted" their pricing model to compensate for the loss of revenue from 3 year contracts. To an accountant, it is "competition". To the customer, it is an increase in price for new subscribers and customers who want to renew plans. Fido was nice that the increase was not so dramatic and the price range is still affordable (Thumbs up to FIdo) but if you do all the math, Fido's most expensive plans are on par with the big 3 competitors.
The CRTC is also under the control of the Big 3. I think the CRTC spends more time and effort in protecting Canadian companies than to allow for real competition. By the above actions it allows the Canadian companies to inflate the prices as much as possible without causing an uproar. For example: Cell phone locked to the carrier has been around since I purchased my first Nokia 5190 back in 1998. Why did it take CRTC 19 years to abolish the cost to unlock a phone? The phone unlocking policy should have been in place many years ago.
Will be nice soon to use American address to use American wireless plan that gives 6 gb and unlimited calling and texting with ability to roam free of charge in Canada and Mexico...
Before you ditch Canadian providers for an American provider, you might want to verify how long you can roam in Canada or Mexico. Roaming is a courtesy between networks, generally available on a temporary basis and is not meant for long-term use. I wouldn't be surprised if there are limits as to the amount of roaming allowed by the destination network(s).
Take extended coverage as an example. When connected to Fido-EXT, you're connected to the other networks (roaming). If you regularly exceed 50% of your usage on the extended network, the service may be blocked. It's not Fido who does not want you to use the service, it's likely the other networks are limiting the usage. If you regularly use their services more than Fido's services, they would rather you pay them instead of Fido.
I suspect the situation is similar with regards to SIMs from a different country. I don't think any mobile provider would allow indefinite roaming on their networks.
Hope this helps
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.