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2013 Canada - Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts

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Last updated: 8 May 2013 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 77

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Canada’s telecommunications 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:

SaskTel launches LTE service; Bell enhances mobile TV service; Wind Mobile sold to Russia’s Vimpelcom; TELUS’s LTE network reaches 70% population coverage by early 2013; Rogers launches LTE international roaming service; regulator prepares for 700MHz November 2013 auction; VimpelCom seeks to sell Wind Mobile; Mobilicity seeks to restructure finances and raise funds for spectrum bid; Government proposes relaxation of foreign company ownership rules in telecom sector; regulator’s policy to migrate telcos to IP networks; Bell acquires Quebec’s Astral Media for C$3.38 billion; SaskTel invests in Northern Fibre Expansion project, migrates customers to VoIP; Shaw Communications extends its WiFi network; Eastlink launches 200Mb/s service; Rogers Communications discontinues WiMAX service; regulator’s 2012 market data update; telcos’ operating and financial data to Q1 2013; market developments to May 2013.

Companies covered in this report include:

Shaw Communications, Rogers Communications, Vidéotron Ltée, Cogeco Cable, Bell Canada, TELUS Corporation, MTS Allstream, SaskTel, Bell Aliant, BOLDstreet Wireless, Tadaa Wireless, DoDo Wireless, Hotspotzz, Wayport, Boingo, FatPort, Craig Wireless System, Barrett Xplore, I-NetLink, Virgin Mobile Canada, Wind Mobile, Mobilicity, Public Mobile.

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- May 2013 (11th Edition)

Executive Summary

Forthcoming spectrum auctions to bolster LTE services and takeup

BuddeComm’s annual publication, Canada- Telecoms, IP Networks, Digital Media and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media sectors of one of this key North American market. The report includes the regulator’s 2012 market data update, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q1 2013 and market developments to May 2013.

Telecom market overview

Canada’s fully privatised telecom market is dominated by a small number of major incumbents, including Bell Canada, TELUS, Bell-Aliant, MTS, Rogers and SaskTel. Five main operators together account for about 85% of all telecom revenue. There is nevertheless room for a large number of small players, regional cablecos and service resellers. Telecoms service revenue has grown steadily in recent years, bucking the trend for stagnant or negative growth seen in many other developed markets. Growth has largely been supported by broadcasting sector revenue, as also by wireless revenue while fixed-voice revenue continues to slide.

Mobile market

The number of wireless (cellular/mobile) subscribers is growing steadily, and the relatively low penetration will provide room for continued growth in coming years. Operators will aim to develop revenue through mobile data services, capitalising on their investment in HSPA+ and LTE technologies which have become widely available. Further investment in 2013 and 2014 will secure additional spectrum when frequencies in the 700MHz and 2500MHz bands are auctioned. The regulator will enforce roaming conditions and is reserving spectrum for a fourth players (in competition with the Big Three) while also reserving some 700MHz spectrum for public safety services.

Fibre networks

Telcos will continue to fast-track FttH deployments in response to cablcos’ provision of 200Mb’s services. The migration to FttH is fundamental for telcos retaining customers, preventing churn and keeping up with increasing bandwidth demand among customers.

Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013



2013 (e)

Subscribers by sector (million):

Fixed broadband subscribers



Mobile phone



Fixed-line telephony



Penetration by sector:

Fixed broadband









(Source: BuddeComm)

Market Highlights

  • The government’s review of foreign investment restrictions should open up access to capital and foreign investment, in turn enabling telcos to expedite investment and adoption of new technologies.
  • The regulator’s Three-Year Plan has been adopted to guide its measures and activities through to mid-2015.
  • SaskTel has collaborated with SaskPower and Cameco to provide fibre networks and power facilities to north-eastern Saskatchewan. The Northern Fibre Expansion project, costing $29.6 million, will deliver telecoms services based on FttH.
  • The government’s auction of spectrum in the 700MHz band, scheduled for late 2013, will include governing roaming requirements and is aimed at having at least four competitors in each region Rules would also encourage cellphone tower sharing to increase wireless coverage and reduce the numbers of towers required.
  • The auction of 2.5GHz spectrum in 2014 will allocate more than two thirds of the 750MHz of spectrum targeted by the end of 2017.
  • Bell Canada in early 2013 secured approval from the Competition Bureau to acquire Astral Media. The deal will increase Bell Media's share of viewers in both anglophone and francophone areas.
  • In early 2013 three operators (Wind Mobile, Public Mobile and Mobilicity) left the industry body Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), claiming that the association was biased towards the country’s three main MNOs Rogers, Bell and Telus on a variety of issues.

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Canada. It provides further information on:

  • Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
  • The impact of the global economic crisis;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile data market developments in coming years in light of spectrum auctions and new license awards;
  • 3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA and LTE;
  • Broadband migration to an FttH architecture;
  • Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
  • ARPU statistics and forecasts.

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

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