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. (Nordicity, August 2016)
  • 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. (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 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, Freedom Mobile, Ice Wireless, Koodo Mobile, Lynx Mobility, Bell MTS, NorthernTel, PC Mobile, Petro Canada Mobility, Primus, Public Mobile, Rogers Wireless, SaskTel, Sears Connect, 7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless, Sogetel, TBayTel, TELUS, Videotron, Virgin Mobile, and Wightman Telecom
  • 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)
  • 55 % of Canadians stream music on YouTube. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2016)


Sophie Paluck
613-233-4888 ext. 207