Canada - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Canada’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the fixed-line, mobile and broadband sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Mobile subscribers and ARPU;
  • Broadband market forecasts;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE, 5G).

Researcher:- Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- August 2018 (14th Edition)

Executive Summary

Canada consults on a range of spectrum assets for 5G use

The Canadian telecom market continues to show steady development as operators invest in network upgrades. Much of this work is being supported by regulatory efforts to ensure that operators have spectrum available to develop 5G services, for which a several auctions are planned between 2019 and 2024. Assigning and releasing spectrum for 5G will allay existing fears that the country could lag developments in the US and Europe. In addition, the regulator has set aside a portion of certain spectrum for new entrants to encourage competition in the wireless segment. Much of the investment among telcos has been channelled into LTE infrastructure to capitalise of consumer demand for mobile data services, while there has also been further investment in 5G.

There has also been a concentration of investment in fixed-line infrastructure, focussed on FttP and, among cable broadband providers, upgrades to the DOCSIS3.1 standard. This is having the effect that the DSL segment is beginning to lose market share as customers are migrated to fibre.

At the same time, fixed-line telephony services are dwindling as customers make greater use of mobile networks and VoIP options. Revenue from the broadband and mobile sectors is underpinning overall telecom sector revenue while the fixed-voice sector continues to decline.

Canada’s broadband penetration rate is several percentage points above the OECD average. Government policy has encouraged the extension of broadband to rural and regional areas, with the result that services are almost universally available and the emphasis now is on improving service speeds to enable the entire population to benefit from the digital economy and society. Cable broadband is the principal access platform, followed by DSL. The main cablecos are upgrading their networks to the DOCSIS3.1 standard, which can deliver data at 1Gb/s and above. Fibre deployments are also gaining momentum, with a growing number of Gigabit towns now connected.

The mobile penetration rate remains comparatively low by international standards, and so the market offers further room for growth. Canadians are well provided for LTE and LTE-A infrastructure. Despite topographical challenges and the remoteness of many areas, the major players effectively offer 99% population coverage with LTE. In the 5G segment, Telus and Bell Wireless were early triallists, followed by Shaw Communications in May 2018.

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. About 43% of spectrum to be auctioned in the 600MHz band has been reserved for smaller operators in a bid to encourage competition.

This report provides a broad range of key statistical data on the major telecoms segments, as well as developments in e-commerce and e-health and policies which support the adoption of smart meters and the progress of smart grids. It provides an overview of each major sector, an analysis of market developments and an assessment of operator strategies. The report also covers the mobile voice and data markets, as well as the fixed-line and fixed-wireless broadband sectors

Key developments:

  • SaskPower and SaskEnergy install smart meters and upgraded gas meters;
  • Shaw doubles broadband data rate to 300Mb/s via DOCSIS3.1;
  • SaskTel opens its first Tier 3 data centre, invests in Northern Fibre Expansion project;
  • Regulator opens consultation on managing a planned $750 million broadband fund for rural and underserved areas;
  • Vidéotron extends DOCSIS3.1 service;
  • Bell Canada to invest $854 million to deliver Gigabit fibre to Montreal;
  • Ontario Broadband Project developments;
  • Eastlink launches 200Mb/s broadband service;
  • OneGigabit launches in Vancouver;
  • 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 updates include the regulator's market data report for 2017, telcos' operating data to Q2 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, Bell Canada, Bell Aliant, BOLDstreet Wireless, Tadaa Wireless, DoDo Wireless, Hotspotzz, Wayport, Boingo, FatPort, Rogers Communications, Craig Wireless System, Barrett Xplore, I-NetLink, SaskTel, Vidéotron, Shaw Cablesystems, Rogers Cable Communications, Cogeco Cable.

Henry Lancaster
August 2018

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

  • Telecommunications market

    • Overview
    • Regulatory authorities
  • Fixed network operators

  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • Overview of the national telecom network
    • International infrastructure
    • Smart grid developments
      • Ontario
      • Alberta
      • Québec
      • British Columbia
      • New Brunswick
      • Saskatchewan
  • Broadband market

    • Introduction and statistical overview
      • Market analysis
      • Broadband statistics
    • Forecasts – broadband subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
      • Introduction
      • Shaw Cablesystems
      • Rogers Cable Communications
      • Vidéotron
      • Cogeco Cable
    • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • Introduction
      • Bell Canada
      • Telus Corporation
      • SaskTel
    • Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
      • SaskTel
      • Bell Canada
      • Rogers
      • Telus
      • Ontario Broadband Project
    • Other fixed broadband services
      • Fixed wireless (Wi-Fi and WiMAX)
      • Satellite
  • Digital economy

    • E-health
    • E-commerce
  • Digital media

    • Videostreaming
    • Cable telephony and VoIP
  • Mobile communications

    • Market analysis
    • Mobile statistics
      • General statistics
      • Mobile voice
      • Mobile data
      • Mobile broadband
    • Forecasts – Wireless subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
    • Regulatory issues
      • CRTC and Industry Canada
      • Licenses
      • Roaming
      • Wireless Code
    • Mobile infrastructure
      • 5G
      • 4G (LTE)
      • 3G
      • Other infrastructure developments
    • Major mobile operators
      • Rogers Wireless
      • Bell Wireless (Bell Mobility)
      • Telus Mobility
      • SaskTel Mobility
      • New entrants
    • Mobile content and applications
      • M-payments
      • Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
      • LTE-M

List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities- Canada – 2018 (e)
  • Table 2 – Telecom, broadcasting revenue– 2007 – 2016
  • Table 3 – Telecoms revenue by type – 2006 – 2016
  • Table 4 – Telecoms revenue by type of provider – 2008 – 2016
  • Table 5 – Telecoms investment by type – 2006 – 2016
  • Table 6 – Telecoms investment in spectrum – 2012 – 2016
  • Table 7 – Take-up of services by type – 2011 – 2015
  • Table 8 – Average household spend on telecom services by type ($ per month) – 2012 – 2015
  • Table 9 – Proportion of fixed-only and wireless-only household – 2004 – 2015
  • Table 10 – Fixed-lines in service and penetration – 2007 – 2019
  • Table 11 – Fixed-line retail voice revenue – 2002 – 2016
  • Table 12 – Fixed-line retail and wholesale revenue – 2006 – 2016
  • Table 13 – International internet bandwidth – 2009 – 2016
  • Table 14 – Retail broadband market revenue – 2001 – 2018
  • Table 15 – Broadband availability through Economic Action Plan – 2010 – 2012
  • Table 16 –DSL and cable broadband subscribers – 2001 – 2018
  • Table 17 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration – 2004 – 2018
  • Table 18 – Proportion of fixed broadband subscribers by data rate – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 19 – Household broadband availability by platform – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 20 – Household broadband availability by data rate – 2011 – 2018
  • Table 21 – Market share of internet subscribers by platform – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 22 – Fixed broadband traffic by subscriber – 2011 – 2017
  • Table 23 – Broadband ARPU – 2012 – 2018
  • Table 24 – Forecast - broadband subscribers –– 2019; 2021; 2023
  • Table 25 – Cable broadband revenue – 2011 – 2015
  • Table 26 – Shaw Communications subscribers – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 28 – Rogers Cable financial data – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 29 – Rogers Cable subscriber data – 2010 – 2018
  • Table 30 – Vidéotron subscriber data – 2008 - 2017
  • Table 31 – Cogeco subscribers by sector – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 32 – Residential DSL broadband subscribers – 2011 – 2015
  • Table 33 – Bell Canada (BCE) financial data – 2008 - 2018
  • Table 34 – Bell Canada revenue by division – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 35 – Bell Canada subscribers by sector – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 36 – Historic - Bell Aliant subscribers by sector – 2008 – 2014
  • Table 37 – Historic - Bell Aliant financial data – 2008 – 2014
  • Table 38 – Historic - MTS financial data – 2007 – 2014
  • Table 39 – Historic - MTS revenue by sector – 2007 – 2014
  • Table 40 – MTS subscribers by sector – 2007 – 2013
  • Table 41 – Telus financial data – 2006 – 2018
  • Table 42 – Telus subscribers by sector– 2007 – 2018
  • Table 43 – SaskTel financial data – 2007 – 2018
  • Table 44 – Historic - SaskTel subscribers by sector – 2007 – 2013
  • Table 45 – Proportion of homes connected by fibre (incumbent telcos) – 2014 – 2018
  • Table 46 – Fibre broadband subscribers – 2006 – 2018
  • Table 47 – Retail e-commerce sales – Canada – 2003 – 2018
  • Table 48 – TV service revenue – 2012 – 2016
  • Table 49 – Proportion of TV revenue by platform– 2012 – 2016
  • Table 50 – IPTV revenue – 2007 – 2016
  • Table 51 – IPTV subscribers – 2007 – 2016
  • Table 52 – IPTV ARPU – 2012 – 2016
  • Table 53 – VoIP subscribers – 2009 – 2016
  • Table 54 – Wireless subscribers and penetration – 2000 – 2019
  • Table 55 – Mobile revenue by service type – 2002 – 2016
  • Table 56 – Multiple SIM card use as proportion of subscribers – 2011 – 2015
  • Table 57 – Prepaid and post-paid sector revenue – 2010 – 2016
  • Table 58 – Market share of subscribers by operator – 2015 – 2016
  • Table 59 – Retail wireless revenue – 2008 – 2018
  • Table 60 – Mobile ARPU – 2012 – 2016
  • Table 61 – Average mobile data user per subscribers – 2014 – 2016
  • Table 62 – Mobile device penetration by type – 2012 – 2016
  • Table 63 – Mobile broadband availability by technology – 2011 – 2016
  • Table 64 – Total SMS and MMS sent – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 65 – Text messages sent per month – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 66 – Text messages sent per month per subscriber – 2014 – 2016
  • Table 67 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 68 – Forecasts - mobile subscribers - 2019; 2021; 2023
  • Table 69 – Proportion of mobile contract plans by term length– 2013 – 2016
  • Table 70 – Rogers Wireless revenue, operating profit – 2002 – 2018
  • Table 71 – Rogers Wireless pre and postpaid subscribers – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 72 – Rogers Wireless churn – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 73 – Rogers Wireless ABPU – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 74 – Bell Wireless operating data – 2006 – 2018
  • Table 75 – Bell Wireless financial data – 2006 – 2018
  • Table 76 – Historic - MTS wireless revenue, ARPU – 2007 – 2014
  • Table 77 – Historic - MTS subscribers – 2007 – 2014
  • Table 78 – Telus Mobility revenue, EBITDA – 2003 – 2018
  • Table 79 – Telus Mobility prepaid and postpaid subscribers – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 80 – Telus Mobility ARPU and monthly churn rate – 2002 – 2018
  • Table 81 – SaskTel Mobility revenue – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 82 – Historic - SaskTel Mobility subscribers – 2007 – 2013
  • Table 83 – Vidéotron mobile subscribers – 2008 – 2018

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Telecom, broadcasting revenue– 2007 – 2016
  • Chart 2 – Telecoms revenue by type – 2006 – 2016
  • Chart 3 – Proportion of fixed-only and wireless-only household – 2004 – 2015
  • Chart 4 – Fixed-lines in service and penetration – 2007 – 2019
  • Chart 5 – DSL and cable broadband subscribers – 2001 – 2018
  • Chart 6 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration – 2004 – 2018
  • Chart 7 – Fixed broadband traffic by subscriber – 2011 – 2017
  • Chart 8 – Shaw Communications subscribers – 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 9 – Rogers Cable financial data – 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 10 – Rogers Cable subscriber data – 2010 – 2018
  • Chart 11 – Vidéotron subscriber data – 2008 – 2017
  • Chart 12 – Bell Canada (BCE) financial data – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 13 – Bell Canada revenue by division – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 14 – Bell Canada subscribers by sector – 2008 – 2018
  • Chart 15 – Telus financial data – 2006 – 2018
  • Chart 16 – Telus subscribers by sector– 2007 – 2018
  • Chart 17 – SaskTel financial data – 2007 – 2018
  • Chart 18 – Wireless subscribers and penetration – 2000 – 2019
  • Chart 19 – Proportion of mobile contract plans by term length– 2013 – 2016
  • Chart 20 – Rogers Wireless pre and postpaid subscribers – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 21 – Bell Wireless financial data – 2006 – 2018
  • Chart 22 – Telus Mobility revenue, EBITDA – 2003 – 2018
  • Chart 23 – Telus Mobility prepaid and postpaid subscribers – 2009 – 2018

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Major submarine cables landing in Canada
  • Exhibit 2 – AWS-3 auction results – March 2015
  • Exhibit 3 – 700MHz auction results – February 2014
  • Exhibit 4 – 700MHz auction licensees by province – February 2014
  • Exhibit 5 – 2.5GHz spectrum auction results – April 2015

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