SeaBoard researchers have been closely following wireless/mobile data prices over the past year – there have been breathtaking changes to wireless/mobile data plans over that time. The options available in November 2007 bear little resemblance to the options available in May of the same year. And the trends are favourable to users – Canadians are getting more for much less — we can only hope that the trend persists.
This paper looks at mobile data plans, we compare and contrast data plans that include unlimited data (in the U.S. and select Euro markets) with Canadian plans where the ‘unlimited’ option does not exist. As an analogue for unlimited data we have used a 1 gigabyte monthly transmission profile — which represents 1024 megabytes of send and/or receive throughput. This is not “unlimited”, but it does represent a great leap forward from the 5MB and 10 MB plans that were the Canadian standard just five months ago
Our findings? Data rates in Canada have plummeted in recent months. It is now far more affordable to be a data user in Canada than it was as recently as this past June. Are there other places where you can get even better deals? Yes. The U.S. offers better plans for better rates, and some of the Euro plans, especially in the wake of repricing due to the introduction of the iPhone, are far more attractive than data options available to Canadians. But if it is any consolation, Canadian rates are closer to the U.S. and Euro plans now, than they were earlier this year, by a factor of up to 25x!