Canadians Using Mobile Data at “Rapid Rate”, 25% Jump Year Over Year: CRTC

The CRTC has released their 2017 Communications Monitoring Report, which details usage stats by Canadians when it comes to wireless devices and home Internet.

The report says Canadians continue to use mobile wireless data “at a rapid rate”, as 2016 saw 3 million more mobile data subscriptions compared to 2015, a 13.3 percent increase.

On average, Canadians used 1.2GB of data per month on wireless devices, a 25 percent jump compared to 2015, with over a quarter of those subscribed on monthly plans having 5GB of data.

Wireless devices continue to dominate media consumption for young people, as 41 percent of those in the 18-34 age group used smartphones to watch TV online, versus just 11 percent of Canadians aged 50-64 years old, and only 4 percent by those 65 and older.

Ian Scott, Chairperson and CEO of the CRTC, said in a statement “As the Communications Monitoring Report shows, Canadians are embracing changing technology. They are increasingly using their mobile devices and home Internet connections to watch content, access health care services, further their education or run their businesses.”

When it comes to home Internet, monthly data usage and speed demands continue to rise. 2016 saw monthly data usage (download and uploads) surge 23.4 percent to hit 128.3 GB, while over the past five years, monthly Internet data consumption has grown on average 40 percent annually.

The report also says 26 percent of subscribers have an Internet plan with download speeds of at least 50 Mbps, whereas five years ago, only 3.6 percent of Canadians had this speed tier.

At the end of 2016, 84 percent of Canadians had access to Internet download speeds of at least 50 Mbps and upload speeds of at least 10 Mbps for fixed broadband Internet.

“As the industry continues to invest in their networks to meet current and future demands, the CRTC is establishing a fund to improve broadband access in remote and rural communities,” added Scott.

The CRTC says the wireless retail market remained the biggest communications sector, seeing revenues of $23.2 billion in 2016.