Canada’s Wireless Industry Details Increased Usage Numbers During COVID-19

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), which represents telecoms in Canada, has released some insights into usage numbers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CWTA says it has collected network data from Bell, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw/Freedom, Tbaytel, TELUS, and Videotron, in a report titled, ‘Managing Networks in Unprecedented Times,’ sharing some stats from wireline and wireless traffic, along with broadband and voice usage, measured against its baseline prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

“COVID-19 has disrupted the lives of Canadians. In the face of such disruptions, staying connected has become more important than ever,” said Eric Smith, Senior Vice President of CWTA, in a statement.

The numbers show wireline home internet traffic went up by 49% for download and as high as 69% for upload.

For mobile data traffic, the CWTA says it “varied widely across carriers showing both increases and decreases in mobile traffic volumes.” The report says “mobile data traffic did not decrease for all carriers,” adding download and upload saw increases of 28.9% and 26.6% in their survey. This stat is surprising considering many Canadians were staying at home using Wi-Fi and not going out as per the federal government’s instructions.

The CWTA say mobile voice call minutes surged as much as 60%.

“Our telecommunications networks are the backbone of our digital economy and society. Canadian’s reliance on telecommunications will only continue to grow, as more and more businesses and government services move online”, added Robert Ghiz, CWTA’s President & CEO.