Is Mobile Service in Canada Expensive? Ask a New Canadian.

81% of New Canadians agree...

Last night Mobile Syrup re-blogged the results of a Yahoo Canada study on the digital habits of new Canadians; this morning I’m re-re-blogging it. 😉

One obvious insight is that a whopping 81% of participants found mobile service in this country more expensive than wherever they were coming from. Where things got interesting for me was the comparison to other Canadians. At the very least the report is a window into how people in other parts of the world are used to interacting with their mobile devices. Might it also be true that Canadians who grew up with the Big Three have been so beaten down by them that we spend less time on our phones as a result?

Here are some of the report’s key findings, along with my two cents:

Time Spent Online

New Canadians spend an average of 4 hours per day on their mobile phone.
Canadians spend an average of 2. 6 hours per day on their mobile phone.

New Canadians spend an average of 3.8 hours per day on a desktop computer.
Canadians spend an average of 4.4 hours per day on a desktop computer.

These numbers could be attributable to cheap home broadband in Canada or cheap mobile data abroad. Maybe both? I’ve read that one of the reasons why the i-mode mobile Internet service came to be so popular in Japan was because desktop computers and broadband service were prohibitively expensive at the time. I suspect this is true for other countries as well.

Telecom Service

New Canadians are most interested in mobile data and international minutes.
Canadians are most interested in bundles, low prices and a familiar brand.

Language may be an issue here; it makes sense that a new Canadian who’s first language is something other than English would be less interested in English TV programming than a native English speaker. In regards to pricing, I’ll never forget a conversation I overheard between mobile users, whose voice and data plans were so meagre that they basically couldn’t use their phones at work. How do these people even live? And the “familiar brand” bit… could this be why WIND Mobile isn’t as popular as it could be, even in urban centres? These same two people I eavesdropped on were entirely unaware that they could use their iPhones on WIND.

If you want the whole story you can see Yahoo’s slick infographic of the report right here. Feel free to add your thoughts below!