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Basic cellphone service price up 16%, full-feature packages down 15%: report

By: The Canadian Press

 | Jul 14, 2014 - 1:50 PM |
A text message is sent on a mobile phone, November 9, 2010 in Montreal.The price of basic wireless phone service has gone up 16 per cent since last year but other packages with more features have held steady or gone down, according to an annual study commissioned by Industry Canada and the CRTC. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

A text message is sent on a mobile phone, November 9, 2010 in Montreal.The price of basic wireless phone service has gone up 16 per cent since last year but other packages with more features have held steady or gone down, according to an annual study commissioned by Industry Canada and the CRTC. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Efforts to spur price competition meets with mixed results

 OTTAWA - The price of basic wireless phone service has gone up 16 per cent since last year but other packages with more features have held steady or gone down, according to an annual study commissioned by Industry Canada and the CRTC.

The 2014 study by Ottawa-based Wall Communications says the average price for the most basic cellphone service with low usage was $35.70 per month.

Prices for mid-level packages with average call volumes and more features than the basic packages were unchanged, at about $45.26 per month.

Meanwhile, a third level of service with high call volumes, a full set of features and up to one gigabyte of data usage declined in price by 15 per cent, to about $80 per month from about $94 a month last year.

The pricing of Canadian wireless communications has become a political issue, with the Harper government bringing in a number of policies that it says will increase competition and reduce costs for consumers.

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