Sweden-based mobile analytics firm, Tefficient, released its latest report on mobile data usage from 44 countries around the world today, sharing insights on data usage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Overall, the firm says mobile data usage accelerated in 2020, with some countries seeing a slower growth rate.
When it comes to mobile data, Tefficient says “using mobile data has never been cheaper but the erosion in the revenue per gigabyte varies a lot between markets.”
One chart shared by Tefficient, showing the total mobile service revenue per gigabyte (Euro) of countries worldwide, shows just how much of an outlier Canada is, when it comes to wireless data pricing.
One gigabyte of mobile data has never been cheaper. And we have never consumed as many GBs as we did in 2020.
Cheap mobile data markets to the left, expensive markets to the right. Small dots: older data (as no new data yet available). https://t.co/CiepPwqCCB pic.twitter.com/0FquztxSMA
— tefficient 🚥 (@tefficient) July 12, 2021
The chart shows Canada to the far right on its own at 14 Euros in mobile service revenue per gigabyte, or about $20 CAD. Meanwhile, most other countries are in the range of 0 to 7 Euros when it comes to mobile service revenue per gigabyte.
“There are a few countries where operators enjoy very high total revenue per consumed gigabyte: Canada foremost, but also the cluster of Belgium, New Zealand, Luxembourg and Germany,” writes Tefficient, which notes the data for Canada is from 2019.
While Canada has the highest total revenue per gigabyte in the world, the lowest is in India.
Another chart shows Canada has the highest average revenue per user (ARPU), yet the lowest usage, says Tefficient. Switzerland and the USA also joins Canada where ARPUs are “much higher than elsewhere”. This data is from 2019, as 2020 data has not been made available yet from regulators, says the firm.
Wow, they extended the x-axis for Canada. It’s wild how much we pay for mobile data (and home internet/tv). Accessing communication in this country is a barrier for many, why is this still an issue?!? https://t.co/NByxVPjcqD
— Rackeb Tesfaye (@RackebT) July 12, 2021
— Scooter (@SMRPhoto) July 12, 2021
— Jesse✨ (@elsom25) July 12, 2021
Seeing Canada all on its own triggered emotions for many Canadians online, with many claiming Canada’s wireless industry is run by an oligopoly and the government not doing enough to control cellphone pricing in the country.
Last month, the CRTC started promoting low-cost plans for Bell, Rogers, Telus and SaskTel, citing how on July 14, 2021, new plans would be coming for those on a “tight budget” and in need of a “low-cost mobile plan.”
Update July 12: A spokesperson for the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association emailed iPhone in Canada to push back against the Tefficient study and graphs. The CWTA is the telecom industry’s lobby group.
According to the CWTA spokesperson, Tefficient “outlines that Canada is notable for the “highest ARPU yet lowest usage” but fails to point out that the chart being used shows that the U.S. and Switzerland are higher. So it doesn’t reflect reality nor is it accurate to simply repeat that.”
The CWTA continued to say, “Most importantly, they are comparing 2019 data for Canada vs 2020 for others. We know from ISED and StatCan that recent reports show prices continue to decline in Canada and usage going up. So making those comparisons in those two different time periods is not valid,” added the spokesperson.
“Finally, Tefficient claims that countries like India has the best value yet look at Ookla speed numbers for India vs Canada and calculate how many times Canada is faster,” claims the CWTA spokesperson, concluding with the following claim, “what we know is that vigorous competition among facilities-based operators in Canada is resulting in decline in prices while fueling crucial investment in expansion of networks and in the roll out of 5G.”