Ahead of the public debate over wholesale wireless roaming rates scheduled for next week, the CRTC has published a report that gives us a cross-section view of the Canadian telecommunications industry.
Besides documenting the rapid adoption rate of smartphones and tablets — currently over 62% of Canadians — it also highlights an obvious fact: The majority of wireless subscribers — 90% — are customers of the Big Three.
While the percentage of households subscribing to Internet services changed only 1% upwards, to 80%, in 2013, the number of subscribers with download speeds of 5 Mbps or more was up 5%, to 67%, in 2013.
What’s noteworthy is that the market share of small wireless carriers grew 1%, from 9% to 10%, in 2013. In terms of wireless network speeds, the report says access to 4G LTE networks reached 81% last year, up from 72% in 2012.
Canadians in urban centres generally had a choice between 3 and 6 WSPs, while Canadians in rural communities had a choice between 2 and 5 WSPs. On average, Canadians paid $59.97 per month for their wireless services.
The incumbents have the largest market share across all provinces and territories except Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The incumbent telephone companies that offer wireless services have the largest share of subscribers to wireless services within their respective incumbent operating territory, except in Ontario, the report says
As the report highlights, more and more Canadians are turning to wireless services, and abandoning landlines. The telecommunications industry as a whole recorded a 2% increase compared to the prior year, reaching $44.8 billion in 2013.
You can read the full report here.