Manitobans get exclusively better phone deal than the rest of Canada

A new phone plan that has Manitobans celebrating is also splitting the opinions of other Canadians. While some are angry to be left out of the deal, others are hopeful that changes for Manitoba mean that everyone else will see such opportunities soon.

Manitoba, along with Saskatchewan and Quebec, has always been among the provinces with the cheapest mobile phone plans. This trend continued when, last week, Rogers Communications launched a Manitoba-wide “double-data phone deal” in which Rogers offered to quite literally double the data on its regular and family-share phone plans for no extra cost. According to CBC, Manitobans had until June 3rd to “get a plan with unlimited Canadawide calling and 20 GB of data for $70 a month, or 30 GB for $80 a month.”

Not wanting to be left out, Bell and Telus quickly followed suit. Meaning, people living in the province had plenty of options to double their service for no cost. Understandably, other Canadians are wondering why they cannot benefit the same way.

“It kind of ticked me off. The rest of the country gets shafted and we’re paying all these exorbitant prices,” Pete Jansen, from Richmond, British Columbia, told CBC. Jansen isn’t alone. Many Canadians took to Twitter, asking why this deal was not available in other parts of the country, especially those regions where service is the most expensive. Jansen, and others, have been reaching out to telecoms directly to ask why they are missing out.

In response to Jansen, who is a Rogers customer, the company said on Facebook that “the population, the demand and the market value all play a part in the type of plans offered in your area.”

What does this mean exactly? Well, a 2017 investigation done by the country’s Competition Bureau found that the three provinces where prices are “substantially lower” – Manitoba, Quebec, and Saskatchewan – are cheaper “due to the presence of a strong regional competitor. So essentially, big provincial names like Videotron in Quebec, Sasktel in Saskatchewan and Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) in Manitoba have kept competition strong in these regions, whereas a province like Ontario might be lacking this variable.

But all hope is not lost for non-Manitoban Canadians. Telecom consultant Lawrence Surtees, from IDC Canada, says he believes deals like what we saw in Manitoba “may actually spread, as competition heats up across the country, and Canadians demand more data at an affordable price.”

“Maybe they’re testing the waters here first,” Surtees explained to CBC. “Why only do it in Manitoba if you’re going to do it?”

Source: cbc.ca – Amazing’ Manitoba double-data offers spark questions over why only some provinces get the best phone deals
Published: May 31, 2018