Canada - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 30 Jan 2019 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 63


Canada’s mobile penetration remains comparatively low by international standards, and so the market offers further room for growth. The government is concerned that the market does not lag the progress being made in other developed countries, particularly in the USA and across Europe, and as such it is ensuring that enough spectrum is being released for network operators to launch services based on 5G. Although the operators had hoped for 5G spectrum auctions to be made in 2019, a raft of spectrum in different bands will not be made available until between 2020 and 2022.

Nevertheless, Canadians are well provided for LTE and LTE-A infrastructure, despite the topographical challenges faced by operators. The major players effectively offer 99% population coverage with LTE. Telus and Bell Wireless were early to trial 5G technologies, and in May 2018 Shaw Communications also launched trials.

The government has endeavoured to encourage market competition by ensuring that blocks of spectrum have been reserved for new entrants, while preventing deals among operators which would have concentrated spectrum either regionally or nationally. An auction of 70MHz within the 600MHz band is anticipated in 2019, with 30MHz to be reserved for smaller operators.

This report assesses the market voice and data market, including recent developments in technologies and operator strategies.

Key developments:

  • Shaw completes 5G trials;
  • Government sets up $400 million public-private partnership to exploit benefits of 5G;
  • Auction for residual 2500MHz licenses completed;
  • Bell Wireless launches quad band LTE-A services offering peak data rates of up to 950Mb/s, develops an LTE-M network to support IoT devices
  • Government opens consultation on 600MHz auction, expected in 2019;
  • Report includes the regulator's market data updates, Communications Monitoring Report for 2017, telcos' operating and financial data to Q4 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Rogers Wireless, Bell Mobility, Virgin Mobile Canada, Telus Mobility, SaskTel Mobility, MTS Allstream, Freedom Mobile, Mobilicity, Public Mobile, Vidéotron Wireless, Shaw Communications.

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