Comparison between Canadian and US wireless rates
Here in Canada people take great care of saying that our rates are much higher than in the US, that we get screwed by the big companies that organize in an oligopoly to keep prices high, but most of the time, when comparing both countries, the rates seem quite similar. To make sure to standardize the rates, I picked the 2 biggest carriers in the US (Verizon and AT&T) and the 2 biggest carriers in Canada (Rogers and Bell) and for them, tried to see the outright price for a Samsung Galaxy S4 on a 1 GB data plan. The plans are all on 2 year contracts. This is pretty standard, nothing fancy here.
We see that prices are pretty much the same at all carriers. Now this is for a subsidized plan, where the carrier includes in the monthly price the cost of the smartphone. To me, it's quite surprising that the US customers don't profit from economies of scale and the purchasing power of their carriers, being that they must pay a Galaxy S4 quite cheaper than say the Canadian carriers, because of their bigger customer base.
Now I know that in Canada almost everyone is on a subsidized plan. When computing the cost of getting a prepaid plan and adding up the outright price of the device and the SIM card, you quickly see that unless you get a Nexus 5, you pay close to $600-$700 for the device, and dividing that in 24 months (as most people keep their phones for this period of time), you simply end up paying more than if you were on contract anyways.
On my side of the border, we see people always complaining about the prices, and the government is really responding to those comments, trying to push carriers to decrease the price and be more competitive against one another, instead of simply collaborating for price-fixing.
I was wondering what the situation was on that matter on the south side of the border, and what consumers think about what they are currently getting. Is there a perception that you guys are paying more than you should, or are people generally fine with the fees imposed on them?