Telecommunications: Connecting Canadians

Telecommunications 
connecting Canadians

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Browse Statistics Canada's published data and analysis on the telecommunications industry.

Connecting Canadians: Telecommunications in Canada

Economic measures

This section provides estimates of the economic impact of the mobile telecommunications industry using the input-output model for output, jobs and value added to gross domestic product (GDP).

Output

In 2020, the total output generated by the mobile telecommunications industry was 45.2 billion dollars. This includes revenue from the industry itself, its supply chain and impacts on spending from wages generated by the production (directly and indirectly) of the industry. More information on Output

Gross value added

Gross value added is a measure of the contribution to gross domestic product (GDP). The contribution to GDP by the mobile telecommunication industry was 25.5 billion dollars in 2020. This includes value added from the industry itself, its supply chain and impacts on spending from wages generated by the production (directly and indirectly) of the industry. More information on Gross Value Added

Share of gross domestic product

In 2019, the gross value added of the mobile telecommunication industry represented 1.2% of Canada's gross domestic product at basic prices. This includes value added from the industry itself, its supply chain and impacts on spending from wages generated by the production (directly and indirectly) of the industry. More information on Share of gross domestic product

Jobs

In 2020, the number of jobs created by the mobile telecommunications industry is estimated to be 145,700. This includes jobs created by the industry itself, its supply chain and impacts on spending from wages generated by the production (directly and indirectly) of the industry. More information on Jobs

Smartphone use

Increased functionality of smartphones has changed the way Canadians interact with one another. This section provides data on the use, activities and habits of smartphone users in Canada.

Percentage of Canadians who own a smartphone

In 2020, 84.4% of Canadians owned a smartphone, an increase of 4.1 percentage points since 2018.  More information on Percentage of Canadians who own a smartphone

Smartphone habits

51.2% of Canadians check their smartphone as the last thing that they do before going to sleep. More information on Smartphone habits

Cord cutting

In 2019, 45.1% of households in Canada reported they had a cellphone and no landline, up from 10.0% in 2010. Close to 85% of households with a respondent less than 30 years old reported they had a cellphone and no landline. More information on Cord Cutting

Labour

This section provides information on earnings, employment, and trends in education levels and labour productivity in the telecommunications sector.

Employment level

In 2020, the wired and wireless telecommunications industry employed 101,842 people. More information on Employment level

Average weekly earnings

In 2021, the average weekly earnings for the wired and wireless telecommunications industry was $1,437, or $74,735 on an annual basis. This is higher than the service industry average weekly earnings of $1,081, or $56,208 on an annual basis. More information on Average weekly earnings

Education level

In 2021, the percentage of employees in the telecommunication industry with a bachelor’s degree or above was 41.8%, up from 26.3% in 2001. More information on Education level

Labour productivity level

In 2021, labour productivity in the telecommunications industry was $154.10 per hour, while it was $61.50 per hour for all industries. More information on Labour productivity level

Labour productivity growth

Over the last decade (2011 to 2021), labour productivity in the telecommunications industry grew by 20.7% (+1.9% per year on average), while it increased by 10.4% (+1.0% per year on average) in all industries. More information on Labour productivity growth

Prices and household spending

The cellular price index and expenditures on cellular services measure the changes in prices experienced by consumers and the amount spent on these services by households.

Monthly change in the cellular services price index

Consumer prices for cellular services decreased by 6.3% in October 2022 compared to October 2021.More information on Monthly change in the cellular services price index

Annual average change in the cellular services price index

On an annual average basis, consumer prices for cellular services declined 16.9% from 2020 to 2021, while the all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 3.4% over the same period. More information on Annual average change in the cellular services price index

Monthly spending on cell phone services

In 2019, households across all income quintiles spent approximately $112 per month on cell phone and pager services or 1.8% of total monthly expenditures after tax. More information on Monthly spending on cell phone services

Infrastructure and coverage

Wireless networks are used to make phone calls and access the internet throughout Canada. This section provides information on data usage, access to and availability of wireless networks in Canada.

LTE coverage map

This map shows Long Term Evolution (LTE) coverage in Canada. The shaded areas show where LTE networks are in operation, and the non-shaded areas show where there are no LTE networks currently in operation. More information on LTE Coverage Map

Access to LTE

In 2019, 99.5% of Canadians had access to LTE compared to 81.4% in 2013. More information on Access to LTE

Mobile subscriptions

The number of subscriptions to mobile services in Canada was 34.4 million in 2019, up from 33.2 million in 2018. More information on Mobile subscriptions

Data usage

Canadians used an average of 2.9 GB of mobile data per month in 2019, up from 2.5 GB reported in 2018. This was below the OECD average of 4.7 GB of mobile data usage that was reported in 2018. More information on Data usage

Wi-Fi hotspots

There were 50,251 free Wi-Fi hotspots throughout Canada in 2019, an increase of roughly 10% from 2018. More information on Wi-Fi hotspots

Download and upload speeds

For the period of January 1 to April 1, 2022, the national average mobile network download and upload speeds, were 63.6 Mbps and 11.5 Mbps respectively, as experienced by all users across the mobile networks of all operators. For reference, it is recommended that a minimum download speed of 5.0 Mbps is used to stream HD quality video, or 25 Mbps for UHD (4K) video. More information on Download and upload speeds

Investment

This section includes information on investment commitments as well as the prime rate and exchange rate applicable to these investments.

Research and development

Total in-house research and development (R&D) spending in the mobile telecommunications industry was roughly $610 million in 2018. Capital intensity, as measured by total in-house R&D spending as a percentage of gross value added, was 3.9% over the same period. More information on Research and development

Capital expenditures

Capital expenditure in the wired and wireless telecommunications industry was 10.6 billion dollars in 2019, or $280 per Canadian. More information on Capital expenditures

Spectrum

In 2021, 1495 spectrum licences were auctioned in the 3500 MHz band for a total value of $8.8 billion dollars or $2.26 per MHz per person ($/MHz-Pop). More information on Spectrum

Prime rate

The current prime interest rate is 5.95. More information on Prime rate

Exchange rate (USD/CAD)

The current exchange rate is 1.3449 Canadian Dollars for one US Dollar. More information on Exchange rate

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunication Commission Communications Market Reports

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Communications Market Reports (CMR) provide financial and performance information on Canada's communications market sectors. The CMR are intended to support an open and informed public discussion of broadcasting and telecommunications regulatory policies and issues.

Additional resources

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