Low-cost and occasional-use plans introduced in Canada
As of July 14 2021, four mobile companies are expected to offer its users with cheaper wireless service plans, known as low-cost or occasional-use plans. The plans are aimed at customers who only use their phones rarely, and don’t want to spend money on more traditional, all-inclusive mobile plans. The decree comes from the Canadaian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and targets four providers: Telus, Rogers, Bell and SaskTel. The CRTC announced that Canada’s low-cost and occasional-use plans would provide universal access to affordable wireless services. According to the CRTC, the four companies must provide three kinds of deals to customers: Low-cost plans, postpaid occasional-use plans and prepaid occasional-use plans.
The CRTC’s low-cost plans are quite generous given the price. For a maximum of $35 a month, the plan grants unlimited text messages, unlimited Canada-wide calling and the ability to send and receive photos and other media over text. Low-cost plans must also provide at least 3 GB of data a month. For all the newly introduced plans, you must bring your own mobile device. Low-cost plans are ideal for those who need only the basics from their mobile plan. If you barely use data, and mostly use your cellphone to talk and text people across Canada, you may want to consider investing in a low-cost plan. You could end up saving a lot of money, especially if your current plan involves tons of data and other perks that end up unused. Be sure to check out PlanHub to compare Canada’s low-cost plans if you’re interested!
Postpaid occasional-use plans
The occasional-use plans are considerably cheaper than the low-cost plans, and targets users that need even less from their mobile plans. For a maximum of $15 a month, the postpaid occasional-use plans allow unlimited incoming Canada-wide calling, but only 100 minutes for outgoing calls. Like the low-cost plans, these plans also ensure unlimited incoming and outgoing texting. Finally, it also includes 250MB of data. These plans clearly do not include much, but may be perfect for some customers. Users who primarily use their phone for texting and occasionally calling may benefit off a postpaid occasional-use plan. For only $15 a month, it includes all the necessities of a monthly plan, with a small amount of data in case of emergencies or special occasions.
Prepaid occasional-use plans
The third and final deal of Canada’s low-cost and occasional-use plans is a yearly contract. For a maximum of $100 a year, the prepaid occasional-use plan will cost users less than $10 a month. That being said, the plan targets customers who barely use their mobile phones for texting, calling, or mobile data. The yearly plan includes at least 400 minutes of calling and at least 400 incoming/outgoing text messages. These plans do not include data. Such a plan is very minimal, but the prepaid occasional-use plan could be a perfect fit for many consumers. Consider someone that almost always has a WiFi connection at their home or workplace. Further, if they exclusively use an app like Whatsapp or Telegram, they can always communicate with their family and loved ones.
The CRTC has faced considerable backlash after outlining their plans for low-cost and occasional-use plans. One main criticism is the fact that the low-cost plans are restricted by 3GB download speeds. Further, the fact that the three larger companies only offer the plan through their smaller “flanker” brands sparked criticism. Rogers introduced the plans through Fido, while Telus and Bell introduced their plans through Koodo and Lucky Mobile respectively. These facts encouraged the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) to publish a letter directed at the CRTC. The letter states that the failure to provide these services through their “premium” bands shows that they truly don’t care about providing affordable mobile plans to Canadians.
Despite the controversy, all four service providers have introduced their low-cost and occasional-use plans. The CRTC requires them to prominently promote these plans online and in stores and kiosks across the country. We’re certain that Canada’s low-cost and occasional-use plans will be a topic of debate throughout 2021. Are they a good idea for those who rarely use their phones? Are the plans lacking? Is the fact that they’re only provided through lesser brands a bad thing? As always, we’d love to know what you think!