Facts & Figures

Wireless phone subscribers in Canada

Industry Studies

Investment and Job Creation in Canada

  • Taking into account direct, indirect and induced impacts, the Canadian wireless industry generated a total economic contribution of $24.7 billion in GDP to the Canadian economy in 2015.
  • Canada’s wireless carriers invested more than $42.3 billion in communications infrastructure between the years of 1985 and 2015 not including $13.8 billion in auction expenditures during that time.
  • Canada’s wireless service providers pay licence fees in excess of $185 million each year – nearly two-thirds of the total fees collected by Industry Canada from all spectrum users.
  • Over 138,800 people are employed in Canada as a result of the wireless industry.
  • The demand for highly skilled wireless communications specialists is so great that Canadian post-secondary institutions have created programs specifically geared to the wireless industry.

The Canadian Market

  • Canada’s wireless carriers offer coverage to more than 99% of Canadians. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2015)
  • Long term evolution (LTE) networks, which deliver even higher speeds than previous generation networks, are available to approximately 92.8% of Canadians. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2015)
  • Canadian wireless phone subscribers number over 28.8 million. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2015)
  • In 2014 there were also over 2.6 million machine-to-machine (M2M) connections on Canadian networks. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2015)
  • Canada has the 2nd most 4G/LTE networks in the world. (GSA Evolution to LTE 2015)
  • Canada has the 4th heaviest mobile data users in the world. (Cisco, VNI Mobile Forecast Highlights, 2015-2020)
  • Canadian wireless subscribers enjoy the 2nd fastest average 4G speeds in the world. (Cisco, VNI Mobile Forecast Highlights, 2015-2020)
  • According to Open Signal’s State of LTE Report Feb 2016, Canada has the fastest LTE download speeds in the G7.
  • There are currently more than two dozen wireless service providers in Canada, including national carriers and their subsidiaries, regional carriers, urban-centric providers, and numerous high-profile resellers: Bell, Bell Aliant, Chatr Wireless, Cityfone, CityWest, EastLink, Fido, Ice Wireless, KMTS Mobility, Koodo Mobile, Lynx Mobility, MTS, Mobilicity, NorthernTel, PC Mobile, Petro Canada Mobility, Primus, Public Mobile, Rogers Wireless, SaskTel, Sears Connect, 7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless, Sogetel, TBayTel, Telebec, TELUS, Videotron, Virgin Mobile, Wightman Telecom and Wind Mobile
  • More than one in five households in Canada have cell phones as their only form of telephone service. In 2013, 20.4% of households reported using a cell phone exclusively, up from 15.7% in 2012. (Statistics Canada, Residential Telephone Service Survey 2014)
  • In 2013, ownership of at least one cell phone was reported by 84.9% of households. (Statistics Canada, Survey of Household Spending, Jan 2015)
  • Some major urban centres report that more than half of all calls to 9-1-1 come from mobile phones.
  • Wireless revenues in Canada totalled $20.9 billion in 2014. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2015)
  • Wireless market sector revenues are the largest component (50%) of total telecommunications revenues. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2015)
  • In Canada, mobile data traffic will grow 600% from 2015 to 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 42%. (Cisco, VNI Mobile Forecast Highlights, 2015-2020)


Marc Choma
Director of Communications
Tel: (613) 233-4888 ext. 207
E-mail: mchoma@cwta.ca