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, 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 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, Koodo Mobile, Lynx Mobility, 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, Wightman Telecom and Wind Mobile
  • In 2014, 23.7% of households reported using a cell phone exclusively, up from 20.4% in 2013. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2016)
  • In 2014, ownership of at least one cell phone was reported by 85.6% of households. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2016)
  • 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 600% from 2015 to 2020, a compound annual growth rate of 42%. (Cisco, VNI Mobile Forecast Highlights, 2015-2020)
  • 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