2012 Canada - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Canada’s telecoms market. The report analyses the mobile, internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Internet, VoIP, IPTV;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, cable TV, wireless);
  • Convergence and Digital Media;
  • 3G subscriber and mobile ARPU forecasts to 2015;
  • Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2020.

Key developments:

Bell acquires Quebec’s Astral Media for C$3.38 billion; Shaw Communications begins extending its WiFi network; Eastlink launches 200Mb/s service; Rogers Communications discontinues WiMAX service; Bell enhances mobile TV service; government proposes relaxation of foreign company ownership rules in telecom sector; regulator’s policy to migrate telcos to IP networks; TELUS’s LTE network to cover 25 million by end-2012; regulator’s mid-2011 market data update; company operating and financial data to Q1 2012; market developments into 2012.

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- May 2012 (10th Edition)

Executive Summary

FttH offers expanding in the wake of market challenge from cablecos

BuddeComm’s latest annual publication, Canada – Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecoms and digital media sectors in one of the world’s more progressive markets. The report includes the regulator’s mid-2011 market data update, company operating and financial data to Q1 2012, and market developments into 2012.

Telecom sector background

Canada’s fully privatised telecom market is dominated by the incumbents Bell Canada, TELUS, Bell-Aliant, MTS and SaskTel. Smaller operators including cablecos and utility telcos serve a range of municipal areas. Despite competition, the five largest companies control the large majority of telecom sector revenue. Service revenue has grown steadily in recent years, bucking the trend for stagnant or negative growth seen in many other developed markets. Although growth has slowed since 2007, it continues to be supported by the broadband sector and data services (both broadband and wireless), which are compensating for falling fixed-voice revenue Wireless revenue now comprises almost half of total telecom revenue, compared to a third in 2006.

Broadband sector

Canada’s slide in OECD broadband rankings in recent years has enervated the government and regulator to step up policies to widen the availability of broadband and improve accessible data rates. The market remains dominated by the major incumbents which has resulted in limited effective competition in the DSL sector. Nevertheless since 2009 there has been a notable increase in fibre deployments and DOCSIS upgrades, and the next two to three years will see telcos expedite their FttH network roll outs in response to cablcos’ expanding the reach of their 100Mb/s and 200Mb/s offerings.

Wireless broadband has become a realistic alternative to fixed-line broadband, with the deployment of WiMAX networks supplemented by the expanding reach of HSPA and LTE. Shaw Communications has stepped up its WiMAX efforts, since deciding using its spectrum allocation to develop a more expensive cellular network, though Rogers Communications in early 2012 ended its WiMAX offering, choosing instead to use its spectrum allocation for LTE.

Mobile sector

The mobile sector received a boost since the market entry of four new players which had obtained AWS spectrum in 2008. Despite these new entrants, the market is expected to remain relatively concentrated for at least the next three to five years. On a national level three carriers alone together account for more than 90% of the market by subscribers. However, on a provincial level the provision of wireless services is dominated by the local fixed-line incumbent. Revenue is expected to climb steadily during the next few years as operators capitalise on mobile data services made more practicable for consumers by the proliferation of available devices and more capable networks.

Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013

Sector

2010

2013 (e)

Subscribers by sector (million):

Fixed broadband subscribers

10.3

12.2

Mobile phone

25.8

28.2

Fixed-line telephony

18.0

17.5

Penetration by sector:

Broadband

31.0%

35.1%

Mobile

72%

85%

Fixed-line

52%

49%

(Source: BuddeComm)

Market Highlights

  • Rogers Communications recently discontinued its ‘Portable Internet’ WiMAX service, instead focussing on its 3G and 4G mobile broadband networks. The move followed the accession by the regulator that Rogers and Bell could convert their use of 2.5GHz spectrum from fixed (including WiMAX) to mobile use.
  • Given market constraints and the cost of deploying broadband to thinly populated regional areas, the regulator in mid-2011 upgraded the target for basic broadband access across Canada, aiming for a minimum 5Mb/s service by 2015.
  • The cableco Shaw Communications withdrew from the wireless market in favour of developing a WiFi alternative, citing the high cost of deploying the former and the uncertain returns on investment expected from a competitive market.
  • In early 2012 the regulator introduced a policy to encourage telcos to migrate to IP throughout their networks, aiming to phase out voice circuit-switched technology and so end the need for operators to convert IP voice traffic to the older TDM standard where necessary.
  • The fibre sector has developed strongly in recent years as telcos respond to cablecos’ offerings based on DOCSIS3.0 technology. SaskTel is investing around $670 million in an FttH network to 2019, while Bell Canada has launched an FttH services across Quebec City offering downloads of up to 175Mb/s.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Key Statistics
  • 2. Telecommunications Market
    • 2.1 Overview
  • 3. Regulatory Environment
    • 3.1 Overview
  • 4. Fixed Network Market
    • 4.1 Overview
  • 5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
    • 5.1 National telecom network
    • 5.2 International infrastructure
    • 5.3 FttH and FttN
    • 5.4 Cable HFC networks
  • 6. Internet and the E-Commerce Market
    • 6.1 Internet revenues
  • 7. Broadband Market
    • 7.1 Industry overview and analysis
      • 7.1.1 Broadband policy initiatives
      • 7.1.2 Broadband statistics
    • 7.2 Cable modems
      • 7.2.1 Overview and statistics
      • 7.2.2 Major cable broadband providers
    • 7.3 Digital subscriber line (DSL)
      • 7.3.1 Overview
      • 7.3.2 Major DSL providers
    • 7.4 Fibre-to-the-Home/Node (FttH/FttN)
    • 7.5 Wireless broadband
      • 7.5.1 WiFi
      • 7.5.2 WiMAX
      • 7.5.3 Satellite
      • 7.5.4 HSPA and LTE
      • 7.5.5 WiFi
  • 8. Digital Media and Digital Economy
    • 8.1 Digital Media
      • 8.1.1 Overview
      • 8.1.2 Digital television (DTV)
      • 8.1.3 Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV)
      • 8.1.4 TV-over-IP (IPTV)
      • 8.1.5 Cable telephony and VoIP
    • 8.2 Digital Economy
      • 8.2.1 Smart grid developments
      • 8.2.2 E-health developments
      • 8.2.3 E-commerce
      • 8.2.4 Smart grid developments
  • 9. Wireless Communications
    • 9.1 Market analysis
    • 9.2 Overview of Canada’s Wireless market
      • 9.2.1 Wireless statistics
    • 9.3 Regulatory overview
      • 9.3.1 CRTC and Industry Canada
      • 9.3.2 Spectrum licensing
    • 9.4 Wireless technologies
      • 9.4.1 Personal communications services (PCS)
      • 9.4.2 GSM
      • 9.4.3 Long-term evolution (LTE) wireless
      • 9.4.4 WiMAX
    • 9.5 Major wireless operators
      • 9.5.1 Rogers Wireless
      • 9.5.2 Bell Mobility
      • 9.5.3 TELUS Mobility
      • 9.5.4 SaskTel Mobility
      • 9.5.5 MTS Allstream
      • 9.5.6 New entrants
    • 9.6 Wireless services
      • 9.6.1 Prepaid and postpaid services
      • 9.6.2 Wireless data services
      • 9.6.3 Text messaging (SMS)
      • 9.6.4 Multimedia messaging service (MMS)
      • 9.6.5 Mobile TV
  • 10. Forecasts
    • 10.1 Broadband subscriber forecasts to 2015
    • 10.2 Wireless penetration and revenue – 2011-2016
    • 10.3 Notes on scenario forecasts
  • 11. Glossary of Abbreviations
  • Table 1 – Country statistics – 2011 (e)
  • Table 2 – Telecom revenue and investment statistics – 2012 (e)
  • Table 3 – Telecom revenue distribution by market sector – 2011 (e)
  • Table 4 – Fixed-line statistics – 2012 (e)
  • Table 5 – Major ISPs – 2012
  • Table 6 – Internet user statistics – 2012 (e)
  • Table 7 – Broadband statistics – 2012 (e)
  • Table 8 – Wireless statistics – 2012 (e)
  • Table 9 – National telecommunications authorities
  • Table 10 – Telecom, broadcasting revenue– 2007 - 2012
  • Table 11 – Telecoms revenue by type – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 12 – Telecoms revenue by type of provider – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 13 – Telecoms investment by type – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 14 – Fixed-line voice revenue – 2002 - 2012
  • Table 15 – Fixed-line retail and wholesale revenue – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 16 – Cableco revenue – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 17 – Internet revenue – 2001 - 2013
  • Table 18 – Internet revenue – 2001 - 2013
  • Table 19 – Broadband availability through Economic Action Plan – 2010 - 2012
  • Table 20 – Residential DSL and cable broadband subscribers – 2001 - 2012
  • Table 21 – Broadband penetration in leading OECD countries – 2001; 2006; 2011
  • Table 22 – Broadband penetration – 2004 - 2012
  • Table 23 – Proportion of broadband subscribers by data rate – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 24 – Proportion of broadband subscribers by platform (cable, dial-up, DSL) – 2006; 2010
  • Table 25 – Cable modem subscribers by major operator – 2003 - 2011
  • Table 26 – Broadband data speeds; proportion of subscribers – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 27 – Cable broadband subscribers – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 28 – Shaw Communications subscribers – 2010 - 2012
  • Table 29 – Shaw Communications revenue – 2009 - 2012
  • Table 30 – Rogers Cable financial data – 2010 - 2012
  • Table 31 – Rogers Cable subscriber data – 2010 - 2012
  • Table 32 – Videotron subscriber data – 2008 - 2011
  • Table 33 – Cogeco financial data – 2010 - 2012
  • Table 34 – Cogeco subscribers by sector – 2009 - 2012
  • Table 35 – DSL subscribers by major operator – 2004 - 2011
  • Table 36 – Bell Canada (BCE) financial data – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 37 – Bell Canada revenue by division – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 38 – Bell Canada subscribers by sector – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 39 – Bell Aliant subscribers by sector – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 40 – Bell Aliant financial data – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 41 – TELUS financial data – 2006 - 2011
  • Table 42 – TELUS subscribers by sector– 2007 - 2011
  • Table 43 – MTS financial data – 2007 - 2011
  • Table 44 – MTS revenue by sector – 2007 - 2011
  • Table 45 – MTS subscribers by sector – 2007 - 2011
  • Table 46 – SaskTel financial data – 2007 - 2011
  • Table 47 – SaskTel subscriber by sector – 2007 - 2011
  • Table 48 – DTH sector revenue – 2007 - 2012
  • Table 49 – Mobile broadband subscribers by type – 2010 - 2012
  • Table 50 – Broadcasting revenue by type – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 51 – Bundled services penetration by operator (Anglophone market) – 2010
  • Table 52 – Bundled services penetration by operator (Francophone market) – 2010
  • Table 53 – Subscribers to broadcasting services by type – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 54 – Digital TV (cable, satellite, telco) and total TV households – 2002 - 2010
  • Table 55 – Cablecos’ revenue and annual change – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 56 – Wireless subscribers and annual change – 2000 - 2014
  • Table 57 – Wireless subscribers by major provider – 2004 - 2011
  • Table 58 – Wireless operator market share – 2006 - 2010
  • Table 59 – Wireless provider market share by province – 2010
  • Table 60 – Wireless industry revenue by service type – 2002 - 2012
  • Table 61 – Rogers Wireless pre and postpaid revenue, operating income – 2002 - 2012
  • Table 62 – Rogers Wireless pre and postpaid subscribers – 2009 - 2012
  • Table 63 – Rogers Wireless churn – 2009 - 2012
  • Table 64 – Rogers Wireless ARPU – 2009 - 2012
  • Table 65 – Bell Wireless operating data – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 66 – Bell Wireless financial data – 2008 - 2012
  • Table 67 – TELUS Mobility revenue, EBITDA – 2003 - 2011
  • Table 68 – TELUS Mobility penetration and coverage – 2003 - 2011
  • Table 69 – TELUS Mobility prepaid and postpaid subscribers – 2009 - 2011
  • Table 70 – TELUS Mobility ARPU and monthly churn rate – 2002 - 2011
  • Table 71 – SaskTel Mobility revenue – 2009 - 2011
  • Table 72 – SaskTel Mobility subscribers – 2007 - 2011
  • Table 73 – MTS Allstream wireless revenue, ARPU – 2007 - 2011
  • Table 74 – MTS Allstream subscribers – 2007 - 2011
  • Table 75 – Videotron cellular subscriber data – 2008 - 2011
  • Table 76 – Prepaid subscribers by major operator – 2004 - 2011
  • Table 77 – Prepaid and post-paid sector revenue – 2006 - 2012
  • Table 78 – Total SMS and MMS sent – 2009 - 2012
  • Table 79 – Text messages sent per month – 2002 - 2012
  • Table 80 – Forecast residential DSL, cable, FttH and 4G wireless broadband subscribers – lower market growth scenario – 2011 - 2015
  • Table 81 – Forecast residential DSL, cable, FttH and 4G wireless broadband subscribers – higher market growth scenario – 2011 - 2015
  • Table 82 – Forecast wireless subscriber, penetration and revenue – lower growth scenario – 2011 - 2016
  • Table 83 – Forecast wireless subscriber, penetration and revenue – higher growth scenario – 2011 - 2016
  • Chart 1 – Telecoms revenue by type – 2006 – 2012
  • Chart 2 – Residential DSL and cable broadband subscribers – 2001 – 2012
  • Chart 3 – Cable modem subscribers by major operator – 2003 – 2011
  • Chart 4 – Shaw Communications subscribers – 2010 – 2012
  • Chart 5 – Rogers Cable subscriber data – 2010 – 2012
  • Chart 6 – Videotron subscriber data – 2008 – 2011
  • Chart 7 – Cogeco subscribers by sector – 2009 – 2012
  • Chart 8 – DSL subscribers by major operator – 2004 - 2011
  • Chart 9 – Bell Canada (BCE) financial data – 2008 – 2012
  • Chart 10 – Bell Canada revenue by division – 2008 – 2012
  • Chart 11 – Bell Canada subscribers by sector – 2008 – 2012
  • Chart 12 – Bell Aliant subscribers by sector – 2008 – 2012
  • Chart 13 – Bell Aliant financial data – 2008 – 2012
  • Chart 14 – TELUS subscribers by sector– 2007 – 2011
  • Chart 15 – MTS revenue by sector – 2007 – 2011
  • Chart 16 – MTS subscribers by sector – 2007 – 2011
  • Chart 17 – SaskTel financial data – 2007 – 2011
  • Chart 18 – SaskTel subscriber by sector – 2007 – 2011
  • Chart 19 – Wireless subscribers and annual change – 2000 - 2014
  • Chart 20 – Wireless subscribers by major provider – 2004 – 2011
  • Chart 21 – Rogers Wireless pre and postpaid subscribers – 2009 – 2012
  • Chart 22 – Bell Wireless financial data – 2008 – 2012
  • Chart 23 – TELUS Mobility revenue, EBITDA – 2003 – 2011
  • Chart 24 – TELUS Mobility prepaid and postpaid subscribers – 2009 – 2011
  • Chart 25 – SaskTel Mobility subscribers – 2007 – 2011
  • Exhibit 1 – Major submarine cables landing in Canada
  • Exhibit 2 – Example of major fibre project – the Alberta SuperNet
  • Exhibit 3 – Example of WiMAX developments – Barrett Xplore
  • Exhibit 4 – Toronto Hydro, Google and smart metering
  • Exhibit 5 – Toronto Hydro, Google and smart metering

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