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 $25.2 billion in GDP to the Canadian economy in 2016. (Nordicity, August 2017)
  • Canada’s wireless carriers invested more than $44.8 billion in communications infrastructure between the years of 1985 and 2016 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.
  • More than 138,100 people were employed in Canada as a result of the wireless industry in 2016. (Nordicity, August 2017)
  • 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. (Nordicity, August 2016)

The Canadian Market

  • Canada’s wireless carriers offer coverage to more than 99% of Canadians. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2016)
  • Long term evolution (LTE) networks, which deliver even higher speeds than previous generation networks, are available to approximately 97% of Canadians. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2016)
  • Canadian wireless phone subscribers number over 30 million. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2016)
  • 73% of Canadians have a smartphone. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2016)
  • In 2015 there were also over 3 million machine-to-machine (M2M) connections on Canadian networks, an increase of 1.9% from 2014. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2016)
  • Canada has the 2nd greatest number of 4G/LTE networks in the world. (GSA Evolution to LTE, Jan 2017)
  • Canadian wireless subscribers enjoy the 2nd fastest average mobile connection speeds in the world. (Cisco, VNI Mobile Forecast Highlights, 2016-2021)
  • There are currently more than three dozen wireless service providers in Canada, including national carriers and their subsidiaries, regional carriers, urban-centric providers, and numerous high-profile resellers. (CRTC, List of Registered Telecommunications Providers.)
  • In 2015, 27.5% of households reported using a cell phone exclusively, up from 23.7% in 2014. (Statistics Canada, Survey of Household Spending)
  • In 2015, ownership of at least one cell phone was reported by 86.1% of households. (Statistics Canada, Survey of Household Spending)
  • Wireless revenues in Canada totaled $22.5 billion in 2015. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2016)
  • Wireless market sector revenues are the largest component (51%) of total telecommunications revenues. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2016)
  • In Canada, mobile data traffic will grow fivefold from 2016 to 2021, a compound annual growth rate of 36%. (Cisco, VNI Mobile Forecast Highlights, 2016-2021)
  • Data consumption increased by 44% in 2014-2015. 70% of wireless subscribers have plans that provide for a least 1 GB of data usage per month. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2016)
  • Growth in digital media consumption has been driven by mobile. Almost two-thirds of digital time is now spent on mobile apps and web. (comScore, 2017)