Cost Of Canadian Phone Services Just Dropped By The Most On Record

Statistics Canada on Friday offered up a little more evidence that competition in the wireless business can be a good thing for consumers.

The agency’s consumer price index showed the cost of telephone services dropped by a whopping 7.6 per cent in a month in December — the largest monthly drop in records going back to 1949.

That’s “likely a reflection of discounted wireless service plans offered in the month,” TD Bank senior economist Brian DePratto wrote in a client note.

Canada’s Big Three wireless providers — Bell, Rogers and Telus — all came out last month with special deals on their wireless services, offering 10 GB of data for $60 a month.

Some analysts said the Big Three’s move was a reaction to the arrival of a potential fourth major player in the market — Shaw Communications’ Freedom Mobile, which last fall started offering what it called “game changer” wireless plans featuring 10 GB of data for $50 a month.

But analysts aren’t entirely sold on the notion that Freedom Mobile is a serious threat to the Big Three, at least so far. They say Shaw will have to step up its investments in infrastructure if it really wants to take market share away from the dominant players.

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