StatsCAN Plus

Record mobile revenues dial telecom numbers up to new heights in 2022

December 5, 2023, 11:00 a.m. (EST)

The Canadian telecommunications subsector reported total operating revenues of $66.8 billion in 2022, up from $65.7 billion in 2021 and an all-time high since we began tracking its operating and financial detail in 2011.

Excluding corporate income tax, the operating profit margin (23.9%) also hit a record in 2022, reflecting lower total operating expenses than in 2021.

Given that most of us have a mobile device, it’s probably no surprise to most that the $30.9 billion in mobile and paging revenues (including sales of cellular phones and terminal equipment) accounted for close to half (46.2%) of the subsector's revenues in 2022.

That proportion has risen by more than 10 percentage points from 2011, when the $19.4 billion in mobile and paging revenues made up over one-third (35.0%) of the subsector’s $55.3 billion in total operating revenues.

In a sign of the times, long distance revenues fell by over two-thirds from $3.6 billion in 2011 to $1.1 billion in 2022—the largest percentage decline (-67.7%) among the subsector’s revenue categories. Also seeing declines over the same period were local and access revenues, as well as those for data and private lines, and broadcasting distribution.

Conversely, Internet revenues more than doubled from $7.1 billion to $15.4 billion over the same period, going from the fourth-largest share to the second largest among revenue categories.

Canadians paying relatively less for phone and internet plans

While telecom companies reported record revenues, the cost to Canadians of staying connected, as measured in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), declined in 2022.

Prices for cellular services have generally trended downwards. On an annual average basis, prices for cellular services fell 5.2% from 2021 to 2022, the sixth consecutive annual decline since these price changes were published.

While some of the downward trend is related to lower sticker prices for cellular plans, it’s also related to more value being offered to consumers (for example, more data allowances at the same sticker price), which contributes to lower prices in the CPI.

In contrast, prices for Internet access services (non-mobile) had experienced mostly upward pressure until 2022. However, prices began weakening in 2022, with the cost of internet access services falling 1.1% on an annual average basis compared with 2021.

The latest

Visit our Telecommunications: Connecting Canadians dashboard for the latest data and analysis.

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