In addition to rising wireless bills, consumers can expect to pay more for their smartphones soon thanks to the sharp slide in the value of Canada’s currency, according to the head of the country’s biggest telecom conglomerate.
“It does probably foreshadow some price increases from our [device] manufacturers at some point,” George Cope, chief executive of Bell, said on a conference call Thursday.
Higher exchange rate-related costs for products like Apple and Samsung phones and other connected devices will “obviously in the end get passed through to the consumer,” Cope said.
The loonie rose above 73 cents US for the first time this year on Thursday morning after closing at 72.61 cents US Wednesday.
While rising device costs appear to be on the way, what’s already here are higher wireless bills.
The country’s big three mobile providers — Bell, Telus and Rogers — have each hiked prices on monthly contracts by $5 for new customers.
Each carrier has blamed the loonie’s decline for the hike, suggesting their operating costs are rising because of the slide. Cope said Thursday the hike will help pay for upgrades and the expansion of its wireless and wireline networks that support mobile, Internet and TV services.
Bell shareholders will also benefit from the hike in wireless costs being imposed on consumers.
BCE announced Thursday it will be raising its dividend to shareholders by five per cent, starting with the next payment on April 15. The annualized dividend will rise to $2.73.Click here to view data »
— With files from The Canadian Press