The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. There continues to be signs that Canada's mobile wireless operators are offering deep discounts for airtime packages including handsets, a trend that should raise red flags that price is still the primary marketing tool in the market. Just last week, a Rogers AT&T Wireless representative was on The Shopping Channel peddling a handset, car kit, hands-free device and airtime for about $135. Not to single Rogers out, Telus Mobility was offering half-price airtime packages at a retail outlet in downtown Ottawa last week. Analysts are saying that Microcell has returned to its roots and is once again offering large minute bundles for a low price, a practice it used to substantially grow its subscriber base in the early days, but also a model that ultimately forced it to restructure. It's unclear why the operators are employing these marketing tactics while they're telling analysts and shareholders that they are concentrating on price discipline and attracting higher-revenue subscribers. Part of the explanation could be that the pre-paid market remains largely untapped in Canada. According to the Yankee Group, there was a 25/75 pre-paid/post-paid split at the end of 2002 and it expects the pre-paid segment of the overall wireless subscriber base to grow considerably by the end of 2007 (see article on pages 4 and 5 for more information on Yankee Group's assessment of the Canadian wireless market). But it could also be the plain fact that there is waning interest among "non-wireless" Canadians for wireless communications services. Nationwide surveys continue to show a substantial number of Canadians uninterested in obtaining wireless communications devices. Carriers seem to be conflicted at this point in time. They reap the revenue benefits of attracting higher-revenue subscribers, but roll out marketing campaigns aimed at attracting subscribers with deeply discounted handsets and airtime packages. Or maybe the wireless operators simply realize that price will always be the primary attraction and churn factor, whether that be for voice or data services. While wireless data represented an opportunity for differentiation, price has already become a factor as some carriers charge differently for SMS.