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Canadians Pay Extra For Their Wireless Hardware

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the y'know-value-added-and-all dept.

Wireless Networking 352

Todd Alivoy writes "Looks like Canadian wireless subscribers have been getting hosed when looking to get new hardware. This isn't the first time Canadian carriers have managed to charge far more than thier US conterparts for the same services. Anyone up there know why? It sure isn't the exchange rates." The linked article shows the price disparity for 14 phones available in both markets.

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GNAA confirms: Canadians are dying (yes its true) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959644)

GNAA / Google confirms: Linux is dying.
By GNAA Staff

Here you have it: it's official; Google confirms: Desktop Linux is dying.

Now, you might be thinking this is just another cut & paste troll based on the typical *BSD is dying bullshit.
It isn't.
As you might have know, your favorite search engine, Google [google.com] , has been running a little statistics service, called "Zeitgeist [google.com] ".
Since about a year ago, they started providing statistics of the operating systems used to access their search engine worldwide.
I will let the numbers speak for themselves:

Operating Systems Accessing Google in January 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in March 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in April 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in May 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in June 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in July 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in August 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in September 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in November 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in December 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in January 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in February 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in April 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in May 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in June 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in July 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in August 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in September 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in November 2003 [google.com]

If you've looked at even a few of these links, you don't need to be a Kreskin [amdest.com] to predict Desktop Linux's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Desktop Linux faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Linux on Desktop because Linux is dying. Things are looking very bad for Linux on Desktop. As many of us are already aware, Linux on Desktop continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

According to Google Zeitgeist [google.com] , there are about 80% of Internet Explorer 6 [microsoft.com] users. The only platform supporting Internet Explorer 6 is, of course, Microsoft Windows. These statistics are consistent with the earlier presented graphs of the operating systems used to access Google, with the Windows family consistently taking the top 3 ranks. Out of remaining 20%, the split is even between MSIE 5.5, MSIE 5.0, both Windows-only browsers. Netscape 5.x (including Mozilla) counts for only a measly 5% of browsers used to access Google. As you can see from the graph, this sample was calculated starting from March 2001 until September 2003.

Linux "leaders" will have you believe that Linux is gaining market share. However, according to Google [google.com] , "Linux" was never a top 10 search word at *any time* since Google began tracking search statistics. This can only mean one thing: Linux is dying.

All major surveys show that Linux on Desktop is something never meant to happen. Repeatedly, reputable organizations review Desktop Linux offerings, and consistently [osnews.com] give [com.com] it [com.com] unacceptable [yahoo.com] scores, compared to even Apple [apple.com] 's MacOS X [apple.com] , which is actually based on the "claimed to by dying long time ago" *BSD. If you paid attention to the operating systems used to access Google graphs earlier, you will notice that MacOS has consistently scored higher percentages than Linux. Infact, the obscure "other" category, which we assume is embedded systems, PDA's, cellular phones, etc, has at times ranked Higher [google.com] than even Mac OS - and of course, Linux.

In almost 2 years worth of statistics, Linux [linux.com] has NEVER outranked even such a truly "dying" OS as Mac OS, and infact, never raised above the 1% mark. When Windows XP [microsoft.com] was released, Google searches for Linux drastically decreased [google.com] . This clearly demonstrates that Linux on Desktop is, for all practical purposes, dead.

Fact: Desktop Linux is dead.

This commentary brought to you by a proud GNAA member.

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(C) GNAA 2004

GNNA Stupid?? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959727)

Yes GNNA is stupid. GNNA uses windows to post there stupid posts. Fuck GNAA. all they say is crap and all lies and racist fucks and stupid windows users.

Learning about Sex with GNAA Lysol (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959647)

GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the first organization which
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28104

IMPORTANT message from GNAA president (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959720)

As president of the GNAA, I must inform you that your membership application is REJECTED as your post was NOT first, it was second.

Due to this irregularity, you will be required to bend over to all full GNAA members for a period of 2 (two) weeks. I will meet you in the GNAA showers as soon as I finish updating the member list. If you cry out, you will be expelled as a pansy.

50lu710n (-1, Flamebait)

Deraj DeZine (726641) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959649)

Solution: Buy phones in the US.

Re:50lu710n (0, Flamebait)

Deraj DeZine (726641) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959663)

And that's how you get an easy first post--don't even RTFSummary. It's clear that they're talking about service, not hardware. I blame whoever came up with the title. Leave me alone.

Re:50lu710n (1)

jest3r (458429) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959871)

No they ARE talking about hardware. RTFA.

It looks like you definately could buy the phone in the US to save some cash ... maybe the surging Canadian dollar hasn't worked its way to the phone prices yet .. or maybe the Canadian companies can't negotiate the high volume deals the big US companies can.

1 n0 (0, Troll)

Deraj DeZine (726641) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959903)

... yeah. That's what I meant... No trolling going on here. Move right along.

Re:50lu710n (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959666)

According to my belief, there is one essential thing lacking to our happiness. It is the pleasure of comparison, a pleasure which can only be born of the sight of wretched persons, and here one sees none at all.

It is from the sight of him who does not in the least enjoy what I enjoy, and who suffers, that comes the charm of being able to say to oneself: 'I am therefore happier than he.' Wherever men may be found equal, and where these differences do not exist, happiness shall never exist either: it is the story of the man who only knows full well what health is worth after he has been ill.

Re:50lu710n (-1, Offtopic)

MemoryAid (675811) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959949)

There is a lot of insight to go around in this world, but most of it is Off Topic. Just a hint.

Wow, Censorship! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959709)

How did this post manage to be called flamebait?

Oh well, another example of how moderation here is being used to squelch valid opinion

Re:50lu710n (4, Informative)

Mitreya (579078) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959723)

Solution: Buy phones in the US.

I am not familiar with the way cell phones work in Canada, but I would guess your suggestion would not work. If I purchase a phone in US, I cannot transfer it to another US company because of the so called provider optimization (a.k.a. cell phone lockdown). I had two absolutely exactly same cell phones, one AT&T, another non-AT&T from a friend. Once my AT&T phone died, they would not switch my service to the other phone, claiming that it has been optimized for another provider. So I would not be surprised if cell phone companies found a way to block US-to-Canada phone transfer.

Re:50lu710n (4, Informative)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 10 years ago | (#7960001)

Subsidy lockout exists because cell phones don't actually cost $50-$100, they are alot more and the provider pays most of that price counting on customers using their service long enough to make up their investment, if you buy a phone at it's actual cost you will be able to use it on any compatable network, but with the mess that is the current cell network in the US i'll stick to subsidy locked cheap phones for now.

Re:50lu710n (1)

Wild Wizard (309461) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959750)

Even the US is getting hosed for prices

Come to the land down under just about every phone is available for $0 upfront

here [telstra.com.au] is some from the big bad telco as well

Re:50lu710n (2, Funny)

Deraj DeZine (726641) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959782)

Ok, so just a quick drive down south to Australia and I'll get a free phone? What a deal! I'll be there shortly.

Except my car's broken. Is Australia within walking distance? I'm in Vancouver. Please respond (I was banned from MapQuest).

Re:50lu710n (4, Interesting)

InadequateCamel (515839) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959885)

IIRC you can't use phones purchased in OZ in North America unless you buy a ghastly expensive tri-band phone. I had to sell my mobile when I left the UK for that reason. And it is the service that is the major problem, as they are selling the phones.

Ah, how I miss my Virgin Mobile service...buying top-up cards when I needed them rather than paying a monthly fee for minutes I may or not use, and not getting charged for the calls that you receive?! I re-emphasise "service"; what a concept :-)

Re:50lu710n (-1, Offtopic)

Deraj DeZine (726641) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959866)

A hint to the moderators:

When I wrote that post, I was out fishing moving at about 5mph with fishing lines out the back of my boat in the water trying to catch fish.

I was also closely related to a gnome, though slightly larger and more green. I could be found under bridges. I was killed in LOTR.

Now think twice before you mod this post insightful =)

Re:50lu710n (2, Insightful)

jangell (633044) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959991)

You don't think that this disparity is because of the ability of these companies to differentiate the cost legitimately? There is large fixed cost to be amortized in providing wireless infrastucture over such a large country, with such low population density.

Here in Vermont we have the same problem with electricity - it costs a lot when you have few customers per mile of wire (or even wireless miles). For the national utilities (like Verizon Wireless and the wired long distance carriers) they lose money on rural areas in order to provide the same bundle to all customers within the country. In rural Alaska all your long-distance calls come over satellite to ground stations that might serve 1000 people who are paying 6.2 cents a minute for long-distance!!!

Always look for a rational reason before you complain too much about conspiracies.

Balance of trade? (-1, Troll)

Humba (112745) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959652)

Maybe it's retaliation for their drug prices [globeandmail.com]

--H

Re:Balance of trade? (1)

Metallic Matty (579124) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959676)

Maybe it's retaliation for their drug prices

Nah, the new perscription plan is going to take care of that.

Relax, eh (-1, Redundant)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959653)

The extra cost must be to cover the pharmaceuticals.

Getting high... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959655)

If the people can get high, why not other things? Seems only fair.

$699 for a phone? A SCO fee? (1, Funny)

SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959657)

Does that $699 charge have anything to do with SCO?

$699 American (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959674)

That's $699 American, but in Canadian money that's $9,479 loonies, give or take a couple of dimes with polar-bear-heads on them.

Re:$699 American (1)

smacktits (737334) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959817)

US$699 is still only about 7.40. Behold the mighty Pound!

Re:$699 for a phone? A SCO fee? (5, Funny)

Pakaran2 (138209) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959697)

No, no... Finland is Lunix... Canada is OpenBSD, idiot.

I wonder if you can run OpenBSD on a cellphone. the antenna would probably be off by default though...

Re:$699 for a phone? A SCO fee? (-1)

sycotic (26352) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959706)

no, sorry.

Re:$699 for a phone? A SCO fee? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959803)


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*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*

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Canadians have been getting hosed? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959669)

That must be familiar to Timothy... taco hoses him with his BIG hose whenever tacos wife is away

Canadians are a kind and gentle people (-1, Troll)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959670)

It's more a factor of their Socialist government system 'breeding' the hot temperament out of the populace. Introduce a capitalist into the picture and you'll see those sheep sheared for all they're worth.

Re:Canadians are a kind and gentle people (1)

Nexus Seven (112882) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959696)

Which is why Europeans pay so much less for their wireless tech than Americans, I suppose.

Simonigger Fan Club! (-1, Flamebait)

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Basic economics... (4, Insightful)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959685)

More competition = lower prices. Less competition = higher prices. (Duh.)

Also:

More customers = lower prices. Fewer customers = higher prices. (Less overhead per customer.)

Re:Basic economics... (1)

Aaron England (681534) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959741)

No....

More customers = higher prices.
Fewer customers = lower prices.

Re:Basic economics... (1)

Cosmik (730707) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959849)

Oh yes? Then please explain how ISP fees have decreased as more people have been obtaining access to the Internet.

I hope you aren't looking at some example (eg newspaper prices going up as they become more popular) and mistankingly factoring in inflation.

More people = lower prices in marketplace.

Re:Basic economics... (1)

Cosmik (730707) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959859)

Mistakingly? I need a break...

Re:Basic economics... (1)

Aaron England (681534) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959922)

Because of the competing force of the law of supply which happens to outpower the law of demand in this case with a saturated market of ISP companies.

More companies = lower prices.
Less companies = higher prices.

Re:Basic economics... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959743)

1. Less Competition + More Customers
2. ???
3. Profit!

Re:Basic economics... (3, Interesting)

Fred IV (587429) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959755)

Exactly. Also, just because a US consumer pays $99.00 for a phone doesn't mean that the phone costs $99.00. Usually the cell phone company pays a substaintial amount of the handset and tries to make their money back during the life of a contract.

Heavy competition in the US following Number Portability has set the stage for a messy little price war between carriers trying to win business from each other...great for consumers, bad for the carriers

Re:Basic economics... (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959831)

More customers = lower prices. Fewer customers = higher prices.

Errr...he's comparing the same models of phones. Rogers didn't do R&D to make a Nokia 6800 -- Nokia did, and that cost is shared worldwide.

In other words for general, worldwide accessible products that reasoning is a deadend.

Re:Basic economics... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959869)

I can choose between four different carrier. What about you? Higher prices have nothing to do with competition but with what people are willing (and able) to pay.

A Boot? What about a boot? Oh.... (0, Troll)

illuminata (668963) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959686)

Looks like Canadian wireless subscribers have been getting hosed when looking to get new hardware.

I don't know what you mean by subscribers, but ham equipment is still a little bit expensive no matter where you're at.

Re:A Boot? What about a boot? Oh.... (1)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959888)

That's not a troll! It's supposed to be funny.
Not very, but still, give him a point for trying! :)

Re:A Boot? What about a boot? Oh.... (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959945)

.. wasn't funny.

Routers at a premium but Zoloft on the cheap! (3, Funny)

tenzig_112 (213387) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959688)

Perhaps they will set up store-front re-import shops where Canadians can buy cheap wireless gear from the US.

Some will argue that the US should not be able to get the stuff so inexpensively, that the reduced cost raises prices elsewhere. Others will argue that Canadian research firms put a lot of money into the wireless industry, and price controls would kill the industry.

The Solution (2, Funny)

Newspimp (723202) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959827)

"Routers For Meds" Program. Each wireless router is good for one name-brand prescription or three generics.

Re:The Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959944)

Including this one [canoe.ca] for overactive bladders?

Simple (3, Insightful)

dolo666 (195584) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959689)

Canada is much bigger than the states, but with far less people. The cost of having towers running is a nobrainer.

Re:Simple (1)

Mitreya (579078) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959768)

Canada is much bigger than the states, but with far less people. The cost of having towers running is a nobrainer.

That is a good point, but what does making a phone have to do with maintaing the service towers? Plus it is always wiser to increase the monthly cost, reducing the shock (maaan, if cell phones here were $500+, I would definately not have one!).

Maybe the cell phone purchase and plan purchase should be decoupled (as I believe it is in Europe) and then many customer problems would disappear.

Re:Simple (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959935)

That is a good point, but what does making a phone have to do with maintaing the service towers?

Everything. A cellphone being sold with a service package has much of the cost of the phone bundled in the term of the contract. For example, a $50 US phone does not *cost* $49 (or less) - it probably costs much more than $49, but a portion of the cost of the phone is amortized across the term of the contract. Let's say that amount is $10 per month (nice round numbers) for a two-year contract.

We did that because the phone actually cost us $180. We're going to make $240 over 24 months on the $10 amount, plus the initial $50. While it sounds like we did fine making $290 for a $180 phone, there's a good amount of self-insurance cost (people that break phones and want another without paying the real $180), there's financing costs, and other costs that factor in here.

Our service rate is $50/month gross, so after phone costs of $10, there's $40/month left for the basic service.

Here's where the Canada problem enters. In the US, there are many more subscribers per cell - greater density that we can distribute fixed costs (towers, facilities, backoffice, etc.) over a much larger base. Assuming our $50 per month price, the fixed costs in Canada eat up much more of that $50 than they do in the US. This leaves much less room for things like phone internal financing. So we have to charge a up-front price that more closely reflects the cost of the equipment - Canadian customers (we hope) should just be happy to have service.

I'd personally argue that if they're looking for greater densities, charging a higher nonrecurring fee is a bad way to approach this. High initial costs only prevent people from becoming your customer. But perhaps there are competitive issues in Canada per what the market expects from a monthly rate that don't let them push the Canadian costs into that category.

Re:Simple (1)

nmos (25822) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959791)

Canada is much bigger than the states, but with far less people. The cost of having towers running is a nobrainer.

On the other hand, Canada's population is more concentrated in cities so they may not need towers at all in many rural areas.

Re:Simple (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959923)

Coverage is really good in Canada, far better than what it is in the US. I was once 100 km away from the nearest city (100,000 people) and I still had a signal. The nearest town (1000 people) was about 10 km away.

Re:Simple (2, Informative)

futuramarama (687115) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959861)

Australia has a similar size/population ratio to Canada (and something like 99% coverage for mobiles), and yet it seems our prices are somewhere closer to the US than Canadian ones.

(I haven't been able to do a proper comparision, since it seems the model numbers differ, but we do get most phones free with plans).

Besides, the government could easily subsidize the rural towers (rural sector is fairly heavily subsidized anyway)

Re:Simple (1)

thogard (43403) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959898)

If you get the population data for Australia and the US and remove all areas that have less than 1 person per sq km, it ends up that Australia is much more densly populated than the US in places where its popluated at all. Do the same for Canada and you will find its also more densly if you exclude the areas where no sane busines would ever considering putting a cell tower.

Re:Simple (5, Insightful)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959910)

Canada is much bigger than the states...

Only barely, and this comes up in the next point... ...but with far less people

It's a common misconception of Canada that we're vastly spread out evenly across 10 million square kilometers. In reality the vast majority of us are clustered in a couple of relatively (I mean relative to Canada, although still quite huge compared to most nations) small areas. Outside of this it's sparsely distributed settlements, often related to natural resources, throughout the rest.

For instance Rogers claims "Our digital TDMA and Analog cellular phone network covers up to 93% of the Canadian population with over 85% digital coverage.". I suspect that 93% of Canadians live in (far) less than 10% of the land mass.

Simple (1)

agent dero (680753) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959691)

Because they will, until they stop allowing companies to ream them on price, companies will go for the higher returns.

It's that simple canada, don't take it.

Certainly seems that way... (5, Funny)

RobinH (124750) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959698)

I had a blackberry through Rogers/AT&T, and once I got the U.S. roaming package on there, it cost me $57 (CDN) per month. That's more than my 3000 kb/s cable modem internet connection (under $40 per month). I loved the blackberry, but decided to cancel the subscription.

Then, the day after I decided to cancel it, we were broken into and they stole it off the table. Reporting it stolen actually saved me the cancellation charge (~$50), and I figure whoever ended up with the hot item is getting payback by paying the high fees.

That's what I tell myself anyway. Maybe it was that Michael Moore guy... I heard he was snooping around Windsor opening people's doors.

Re:Certainly seems that way... (1)

MC_Cancer_Pants (728724) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959886)

we were broken into
And: snooping around Windsor opening people's doors

I don't understand the "broken into" part. If you don't like the door, what exactly gets "broken", seems like they just came and took stuff, unless they broke a tube, or somthing.

Re:Certainly seems that way... (1)

MC_Cancer_Pants (728724) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959901)

that should have been "lock" instead of "like", I'm sorry, my mind is already in bed.

Carrier subsidies (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959710)

It has a lot more to do with carrier subsidies for the phones. Most countries in the world don't have the same system that we do in the US, where your phone will only work on the network of the carrier that sold it to you.

When a carrier gives you a discount on a phone, it makes a bet that writing off part of the cost of the phone will pay off with the contract you have to sign to use the phone on their network.

Since GSM is now fairly prevelant in the US, I've taken to buying my phones and using whatever carrier I want (ok - there are only 3 choice right now) and allows me to use my unlocked phone with any carrier around the world, as long as my phone uses a frequency that is used in that country. Hence, I have 3 very high tech phones that I can choose between, depending on what I'm doing and where I am.

That's what mobility is all about.

Basic economics (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959713)

"This isn't the first time Canadian carriers have managed to charge far more than thier US conterparts for the same services. Anyone up there know why? It sure isn't the exchange rates."

Supply and demand.

w4llm4r7 (1)

Deraj DeZine (726641) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959730)

I'm not sure what the reason is, but I would venture a guess that cheaper hardware/service in the US is WalMart's doing.

Exploiting cheap Canadian labor... it's disgusting.

My guess (1, Insightful)

jasonditz (597385) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959735)

The higher corporate tax rate and heavy regulation of Canada is encouraging these companies to pass the added expenses on to the customer.

That or there is some form of protectionist tariff designed to protect domestic telecom hardware.

It can't be a question of the companies just overcharging, if they were someone could undercut everyone else and drive them out of business.

just maybe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959737)

canada needs to learn how to spell the word "their"

Think Economics 1 Folks! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959738)

You don't think that this disparity is because of the ability of these companies to differentiate the cost legitimately? There is large fixed cost to be amortized in providing wireless infrastucture over such a large country, with such low population density.

Here in Vermont we have the same problem with electricity - it costs a lot when you have few customers per mile of wire (or even wireless miles). For the national utilities (like Verizon Wireless and the wired long distance carriers) they lose money on rural areas in order to provide the same bundle to all customers within the country. In rural Alaska all your long-distance calls come over satellite to ground stations that might serve 1000 people who are paying 6.2 cents a minute for long-distance!!!

Always look for a rational reason before you complain too much about conspiracies.

Re:Think Economics 1 Folks! (2, Interesting)

raceface (715858) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959908)

Actualy its not as bad as you make it out to be. Understand that as you increase the cell usage around a cell site you hit a saturation point. Once that poit is reached you need to turn on second, third ... frequency bands. Most of Calgary is nearly saturating F1, with the exception of down town. So say you have a city like Huston (which uses five bands). If the last band is only used marginaly, the cost is much more than using the full capacity of all five bands.
teh population density in most Canadian cities is almost perfect as to get away with using only one band. If the density were to increse slightly, F2 would have to be installed in more places and costs would go up alot.

Re:7h1nk 3c0n0m1c5 w0n f0002!!!!!111 (1)

Deraj DeZine (726641) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959921)

Always look for a rational reason before you complain too much about conspiracies.

I see you're falling right into their trap. That's exactly what they WANT you to do!

Government regulation? (1, Offtopic)

mhesseltine (541806) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959746)

Don't Canadians have to pay a surcharge on recordable media to offset the effects of piracy? If so, couldn't this be the same type of thing? The government implementing a tax to offset some perceived injustice made available by wide-spread WiFI?

Although, more than likely, as others have pointed out, it's simply supply and demand.

ehh (0, Flamebait)

tytyty (72465) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959747)

ehh

+5 1nc173f00l (1)

Deraj DeZine (726641) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959846)

Thank you for that. +5, Insightful

Sincerely,
Guy Who Was Banned from Moderationdom

hmm ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959751)

so they've been hoser'ed eh?

Huh? (1)

leoxx (992) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959757)

I just paid $14.99 Canadian (after rebates) for an SMC 4 port wireless-b router. Oh sorry, I thought we were talking about wireless computer hardware.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959857)

If you think that rebate cheque will ever arrive, I have a 386-based computer to sell you.

Re:Huh? (1)

leoxx (992) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959926)

I don't know, Future Shop is usually pretty good about these things. If it doesn't, I'll just take all my documentation back to the store and make a loud fuss. :)


So how much do you want for that 386?

Phones too expensive? (1)

salmonz (697297) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959764)

I just switched my Rogers plan to Family Plan which pools minutes together.

When I signed up, I got the following for free:

- A free Motorola C350

- A free DVD Player

- Free airtime for 4 months.

I am also switching my Bell landline to a Primus Broadband VoIP line. Check it out: www.primus.ca [primus.ca]

We pay less for faster cable services. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959766)

$34.95 CAD for 65KBytes upload and 650KBytes download.

Question: (2)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959779)

When you sign up for service in Canada, do you have to pay a year long contract? If so, then never mind, I step down. If not, then I'd suggest that the money is still being spent, just in a different order.

Personally, I think it's just that competition's not so hot up there.

Re:Question: (2, Insightful)

Txiasaeia (581598) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959950)

How long is a piece of string? You can get "pay as you go" phones that cost a lot upfront (upwards $200) with no monthly fees, or sign up for a free phone and get a plan for $20-30/mo (plus taxes, surcharges --> $45/mo) for 1-2 years. It all depends.

Intense competition in the US, and economic forces (4, Insightful)

ComputerSlicer23 (516509) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959802)

Well, in the US, most of the people who get cell phone plans, couldn't afford the hardware. Thus, some of the price is rolled into the 2 year contract that you have to pay an additional 150-300 dollars to get out of early.

Most of the people I know who have Cell phones, couldn't afford $500 CDN, and pay more for minutes. Cell phone companies are trying to bring in new users, so they sell the phones cheap, figuring they'll make it up over time while they make a profit on the service.

Second, the US market probably has more cell phones in the top 20-40 markets then Canada has people period. So a lot of fixed costs have to be amortized over fewer people in Canada.

Finally, everything the in US wireless market appears to be about taking it in the shorts to gain market share, and to gain volume, to drive prices down. So they are investing (read losing their shirts) tons, and tons of money, trying to steal customers away from the other carriers, and make money on slim margins. Where as the Canadian market appears to be trying to sustain profitability at a much smaller volume. This means that Canadian service is probably a much better investment (from a business perspective). 5-10 years ago, cell service was a lot more expensive down here then it is now. Pricing for service is probably about the same. Not sure about the phone pricing.

Kirby

Simple explanation (3, Funny)

chunkwhite86 (593696) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959812)

This isn't the first time Canadian carriers have managed to charge far more than thier US conterparts for the same services. Anyone up there know why?

Well, I'm not entirely sure, but I get the distinct feeling it has something to do with Soviet Russia.

Economies of Scale (2, Interesting)

Quirk (36086) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959816)

I'm sure there are economies of scale that could account for the price differential.

Hmm (1)

Tuffnut (618438) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959824)

I don't see why everyone is out buying $500 phones.

I still have my "Zach Morris" phone which requires a backpack just to lug it around. Sure it doesn't have internet access and such, but it's does what its suppose to do, let me make telephone calls.

Rogers Wireless (5, Informative)

va3atc (715659) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959835)

I have a Rogers AT&T (Canada) phone (Pay as you go) and I get charged airtime when someone calls to leave me a message on the voicemail.

So I called up Rogers and asked them to deactive the voicemail, so they did. Now whenever someone calls they get "This costumer needs to setup there voicemail etc etc" and I still get charged airtime! (even when the phone is powered down)

I've called around to all the other cellphone carriers and none of them are this freakin' crazy.

Basically my plan of attack is sell the phone (brand new which seems like a waste) and go with someone like Bell or Telus.

Anyone want a phone ;-)

Re:Rogers Wireless (1)

A5un (586681) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959981)

Sure, what's the model and price. Is it a GSM phone? Unlocked? :)

this is nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959839)

don't canadians pay extra for everything but drugs, anyway?

Re:this is nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959948)

No, actually most non-electronic things are about the same price or cheaper. Food for example is cheaper than in the states. I travel on business a lot in the states and I am always amazed at the prices you guys pay for stuff like vegetables and meat after exchange.

We get hosed ... (4, Informative)

serialdj (593159) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959843)

Because unlike the U.S. we here in Canada have only four cellular carriers, and if you want to 1X, or GSM then there are only two carriers.

No Competition means higher rates, no reason to lower them, who else are you going to go to.

econ 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959863)

supply and demand. products are priced according to their markets.

in the states we pay more for cars than our canadian counterparts. frankly i'd rather pay a few bucks more for wireless hardware than a few thousand more for cars.

Interesting Stats for Canada (4, Informative)

JumperCable (673155) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959874)

I don't know the answer but here are some interesting stats on Canadian wireless:

http://www.cwta.ca/industry_guide/facts.php3 [www.cwta.ca]

...maybe it's because the Canadian phones need to include both French & English?

You know you could really save a lot of money if your country went ahead and consolidated to using just French.

Phone costs (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959883)

I didn't RTFA, but, I'd like take a leap wonder what the hell they're talking about. If it's the cost of the hardware, well, the cost is very negligable. You can get a free phone, albeit a not very good one if you sign a contract. A good phone can be had for $50. If you want to buy one without a contract you'll get hosed. Because although you won't get a contract, you'll pay more for the phone, and won't get a better deal on your rates anyway. Oh, and the phone is locked down, and we don't have number portability yet, so you might as well have a contract.

The monthly rates are very good. Comparable to the US, even not taking into account the exchange rate. I don't know what this article is talking aboot (ha ha). I think cell phones have very good prices north of the border.

Toilets (5, Funny)

raider_red (156642) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959887)

Anyone want to arrange a deal where we trade cheap cel-phones for high-flow toilets? I think we could work something out.

huh? how is it expensive here? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959889)

bell 2 yr contract. $35. free unlimited evenings and weekends (6 pm to 8 am. yes, 14 hours FREE). upgraded to a samsung phone from the crap motorola i had with the free tech upgrade. customer service is unbelievable. mind you, i have a low daytime minutes per month, but hey, why would i answer my personal phone when i am at work?

so how is $35 a month for a free phone and unlimited evenings and weekends expensive?

Take off, eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7959890)

You hoser.

Nonsense! (5, Interesting)

Schlopper (413780) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959892)

I don't know what the author is rambling on about.. I just bought a Fido phone (Siemens A56) with 3 months of service for $75 CDN.

The monthly plan is $25/month = 100 weekday minutes plus 1000 weekend/evening minutes AND all Fido-to-Fido calls and SMS are free. That's $19 USD per month.. AND a free phone.

And to top it all off, Fido subsidizes all their handsets AND you're never locked into any contract - it's all on a monthly basis. No complaints here when it comes to cell phone prices or cell phone plans in Canada..

- One Happy Fido Customer.

Simple Economics (1)

kilocomp (234607) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959916)

Assuming the price is at equilibrium with supply and demand for both markets that means Canadians are willing to bear a higher price.

Of course the fact is that Canada's economy is more socialistic than than the US also plays into it too (the reason for the drug prices being different).

Wow.. (2, Insightful)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959954)

You mean, the same things in different countries have different prices?

What a stunning observation.

Canada is not the US. You will find a great many things where prices are not the same, some higher, some lower, sometimes by a lot either way.

Think that is expensive? (1)

Aeolusz (734781) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959957)

Telus Mobility is offering the Samsung SPH I700 for $1049.00 Can Verizon offers the same phone for $699.00 US which is not that different. From what I understand, cellular phone companies actually lose quite a lot of money every time they sell you a phone. I think that the Canadian companies, competing for a smaller market, have gotten fed up with the losses. Microcell and Telus have yet to make any profit on their cellular division. I do not know about Rogers and Bell. So, the higher prices may simply reflect a refusal on their part to be burned for a client.

Be thankful for what you receive (1)

nighty5 (615965) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959989)

Compared to other countries, the US / Canada prices for IT products and bandwidth is way cheaper than anywhere else in the World. Australia for instance (where I am from) are playing forever catch up. Where mobile phone calls, ISP charges, IT books are still overlypriced, even with our dollar at a reasonable 80 cents to the US greenback.

Two words (0, Troll)

Grieveq (589084) | more than 10 years ago | (#7959997)

America owns!

Why do cdn pay more for everything. (0)

Swai (678004) | more than 10 years ago | (#7960005)

Canada population is only 8.5% of US's, to that reduce the number of people that live in poverty adn those who can affort it pay for it.

The number of carriers in Canada is very low compared to US's.

There is a BIG alliance between cdn carriers, some kind of psuedo monopoly, like the goverment itself.

Most politics in Canada lobby for private sectors over anything else.

Maybe the Canadian gov taxes the phones without canadians knowing about it.

And in the light side, Canadians are to drunk to see when they are getting ripped paying for wireless services.

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