Nordicity Study Highlights the Importance of Continuing Investment by Facilities-based Wireless Operators

Canada’s wireless industry contributes $48.2 billion to Canada’s economy and generates 327,000 high-paying jobs according to new report
Study highlights the importance of continuing investment by facilities-based wireless operators

OTTAWA, Ontario; January 21, 2020 – Canada’s wireless telecommunications industry continues to be a driving force in the Canadian economy according to a new independent report commissioned by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA).

The report, developed by Nordicity, shows that Canada’s wireless industry is a major contributor to Canada’s economy; generating jobs, making significant contributions to GDP, and increasing productivity through the use of advanced wireless technology. 

“The wireless industry is a catalyst for the Canadian economy, generating jobs and economic gains across key sectors of the economy”, said Robert Ghiz, President and CEO of CWTA.  “This report highlights why it is important to maintain a stable regulatory environment that encourages ongoing investment by facilities-based carriers. These investments are crucial to the expansion of wireless services into rural areas of Canada and the introduction of 5G, the next generation of wireless technologies. Increased coverage and new 5G wireless services will further boost Canada’s economy, create more well-paying jobs, and improve the quality of life for Canadians.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • Canada’s wireless industry contributed $48.2 billion to the Canadian economy in 2018, representing 2.5% of the total Canadian GDP.  GDP contribution has grown at an annual compound rate of 7.1% since 2013 ($34.3 billion in 2013).
  • The wireless industry generated 327,000 full-time equivalent, well-paying, jobs in 2018. Job creation has increased at an annual compound growth rate of 5.3% since 2013 (252,000 in 2013).
  • GDP contribution includes $12.6 billion from productivity improvements enabled by the use of wireless services in other industry sectors, and $4.7 billion as a result of an increase in wireless penetration.
  • Facilities-based wireless network operators made $3.1 billion in capital investments in 2018 to expand and upgrade Canada’s wireless infrastructure.

“Canada’s wireless industry plays an instrumental role in Canada’s economic prosperity and is a critical enabler of Canada’s transformation to the digital economy,” said Stuart Jack of Nordicity. “Its importance will continue to grow as Canada transitions to 5G wireless technologies, which will drive further adoption of wireless services and enable business models that are built upon 5G wireless capabilities. While this technical transformation has already begun, the launch of commercial 5G services will require substantial investments on the part of facilities-based wireless operators.”

For a copy of the report, or more information, please see

About the Report
The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) commissioned this annual study to estimate The Benefits (GDP and employment) of the Wireless Telecommunications Industry to the Canadian Economy. Starting from the year 2008, the current report is the 11th iteration of this publication, covering the 2018 calendar year. This report, prepared by Nordicity Group Ltd., provides an independent assessment of the contribution of the wireless telecommunications industry to the Canadian economy as a whole. Accordingly, the economic contributions of the Canadian wireless industry were estimated in terms of GDP, employment impacts (direct, indirect, and induced) and productivity gains.

About CWTA
CWTA is the authority on wireless issues, developments and trends in Canada. It represents companies that provide services and products across the wireless sector. Representing the industry before all levels of government and various regulatory agencies, CWTA actively promotes the industry with the goal of ensuring continued growth of the wireless sector in Canada. CWTA administers a number of initiatives on behalf of its members, including corporate social responsibility programs and the national common short codes program.

About Nordicity
Nordicity is a leading international consulting firm providing private and public-sector clients with solutions for Economic Analysis, Strategy and Business, and Policy and Regulation across four priority sectors: information and communication technologies (ICTs) and innovation; telecommunications and spectrum; digital and creative media; and arts, culture and heritage. .


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