CWTA President: Canadians Consume A Lot Of Cellular Data



President of the CWTA Bernard Lord told local business men in Charlottetown that Canadians love to use their mobile data. 

“Canadians are heavy adopters of smartphones and new technology.”

Over the next five years Canadian mobile data usage is expected to grow over 900 percent. Lord believes this is due to the extreme growth of top end smartphone users in Canada. Over the past five years Canada’s wireless customer base has grown by over seven million users to reach 28 million wireless customers as of today.

Google told Lord that Canadians are the heaviest users of YouTube in terms of both viewing content and creating/uploading content to their site. He said:

“Prices have dropped by about 20 percent over the last six years and, according to Industry Canada, are actually lower than the fees for comparable service in the United States.”

bernard-lordIn the end, it is up to consumers to decide how much they want to pay for their phone plans. The amount that you pay will directly reflect the amount of features and data you get per month. Lord said:

“CWTA provides advice to the federal government on which rules and regulations they should adopt but adds at the end of the day Ottawa makes the decisions. We’ll adapt to those rules and we’ll try to provide the best networks, fastest service, quality devices, so we can meet that 900 percent growth (in consumption) over the next five years.’’

Do you feel that you are paying to much for your smartphone plan? Let us know in the comments below.  

[via The Guardian]


  • JB

    Wind users can roam to the US with an unlimited plan for what, $40/mo? But can’t roam to the incumbent’s networks for less than $0.20/min and $1/MB Data (!!!). No wonder there’s not real competition in Canada.

    Fix the domestic roaming problem, then watch competition begin. I’d switch to Wind in a heartbeat.

  • JB

    EU costs have dropped 91 percent over the past six years. Canadian mobile prices are still obscene.

  • Chrome262

    where did he get his data? Wait yes they are cheaper but we get a 1/6 of what we use to get. with plans starting at 250meg. Plans in the states don’t even start that low.

  • MleB1

    Say, didn’t he used to be someone?
    Now he shills for corporations that gouge the consumer with substandard services and high prices for a product that has essentially become a commodity.
    And we’re supposed to be thankful he’s there?

  • Hondanazi

    What a dick wad! He is a f$@king lobbyist for Robellus. Last time I checked when you use things in volume you get a discount! But then again he’s got his head up their ass so much trying to make it look like we deserve to pay more than other countries.

  • The problem is: why the incubents should rent their network for a cheap price while the inject millions of dollars in it? That’s the problem.
    I am for competition in Canada. But I think this is not fair for them.

  • *Robell.
    TELUS is mo longer a member of the CWTA.

  • Chrome262

    Cable and phone for internet infrastructure are required by law to rent that infrastructure to other companies, why you have Teksavvy, and 3 web and a pile of others. So, if an area is dominated by the Big3 smaller companies aren’t faced with having to build their own. Don’t forget Bell and others was given most of the backbone of that infrastructure, some of it paid by tax dollars. its only fair.

  • Sure, but unfortunately, their money doesn’t all come from our tax dollars.
    I do understand your point. But the governement did this because there was communities that needed some telecommunication services but nobody wanted to offer service there because it wasn’t profitable. Therefore, companies like Wind should only get free, or cheap roaming in theses areas.

    I have talked for about two hours with an executive at TELUS, (and he gave me numbers) I can tell you, maintain a network in Canada is highly expensive. Yeah, it’ s not the first time you hear about that… But it’s true.
    A single tower in a given area in Canada is way less profitable than a tower in the US. And even thought.
    They need a suffisent cash flow to be able to roll out costly new technologies like LTE.
    Why do you think, for exemple, that in the US, T-Mobile has 3G only in big cities? Because they didn’t have a suffisent cash flow to deploy the 3G everywhere like Verizon and AT&T did.

    But for sure, there’s no competition. But hey, you get what you pay for! If ever Videotron purchase Wind (and one day get a Canada wide coverage), you’ll see that their prices will raise. If it doesn’t, you’ll see that when it comes to new technologies, It’ll take more time before customers get it.

    But yes, that’s not what we want to hear.

  • kkritsilas

    Why is anybody listening to anything the CWTA has to say? Especially the gov’t.


  • kkritsilas

    Over and above everything else, please keep in mind that the majority of cell towers and base station equipment was paid for, and more than paid for, by 20+ years of “network access fees” and “network improverment fees”, as well as having spectrum licenses granted to the Big 3 at zero cost. So it didn’t come from tax dollars directly, but it did, indirectly, and to subscribers in the earlier years, it may not have been tax money, but they did pay for those networks to be put up. As for cellular services in rural communities, that is a joke. Outside of Southern Ontario, find me a place in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, or for that matter Rogers subscribers in Alberta, the Atlantic provinces, rural Quebec, and the Yukon and NWT outside of the bigger cities (=populations of 50K or more) that have good coverage. I live in the east side of Calgary, and Rogers can only provide 2 bars of signal strength, and I am IN Calgary.

    Also note that all of the LTE equipment is more than likely amortized over a number of years, and is being depreciated in the same way that all company equipment is. So again, the taxpayers end up paying for this as well, not directly, but definitely indirectly.

    It is expensive to maintain and grow a network in Canada. But on the other hand, how much revenue do the big 3 get, monthly? if the average Big 3 carrier has 8.5 million subscribers, and they average $59 ARPU, I am calculating it out to be just over $500M per month; $6B a year. As expensive as it is to maintain a network in Canada, it is a very, very small fraction of the revenue that each of the Big 3 are receiving.

    What I would like to hear is an explanation by the Big 3 as to why data went from $30/6GB to what it is today. What I want to hear is how Wind, at $31/month ARPU is still slightly profitable, while the Big 3 are getting $59/month ARPU, yet they want to increase phone plan prices.. What I want to hear is how Wind is still able to add towers to their network and turn a slight profit, when the Big 3 are still saying that Wind’s pricing is unsustainable. What I want to hear is how WInd can provide 10GB of data on a $39/month plan, when your $60-70 plan only provides 2GB or less. That is what I want to hear answers to.

  • T_T ?

    So are we still to believe robelus that the average is 500 MB a month?

  • JB

    Another part of the problem is (lack of) competition and the aggregation of services.

    Telus mobility is actually a pretty impressive broadband provider now with its 4g technologies. But it’s not going to aggressively compete with its own broadband service.

  • Sorry for the delay answering your comment by the way,

    Why Wind can provide 10GB of data on a $39/month plan? I don’t really think I can explain that. But look, I think Wind is kind of lucky, I mean, look at the other carriers that came in Canada in 2008-2009. They’re all dead.
    Maybe there’ll be a little hope if Videotron buy Wind. But even Vimpelcom (the owner of Wind) wants to sell Wind because it’s not (enough) profitable…

  • kkritsilas

    Vimpelcom is in a pissing contest with the Feds over the loopholes in the 2007 AWS tower sharing rules.

    Forgetting Wind for a moment, let me ask why data used to be $30/6GB, and has now gone through the roof. LTE is capable of delivering data at far lower cost than HSDPA/3G ever could, yet data prices have gone up. In a competitive environment, somebody would have been willing to accept a lower profit margin (by lowering data pricing to the consumer) in order to attract more customers. But that doesn’t happen in Canada.

    I fully expect that Wind/Videotron would be able to deliver the same sort of plans to the rest of Canada that are now available in Quebec. And I will further take any bet that the Big 3 will respond to that by lowering their pricing. However, with the current situation, Wind by itself cannot compete in most of the marketplace due to the lack of coverage (again, due to the loopholes built into the 2007 tower sharing rules). I don’t see the $39 dollar plan as being feasible long term, but I do see the same plan at $50-55, allowing for a decent profit, and also allowing enough cash flow to roll out a full network.


  • Yeah I know, and this is annoying me, I mean, the fact that the federal government doesn’t want carriers to be funded by foreign money/investment… Whether I don’t understand well, or it is as stupid as it sounds…

  • It’s like they want competition but at the same time they don’t really want it. Everything the CRTC tries to do makes our monthly bill higher and higher instead of lowering it…