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Canadians adopt mobile as main telecom source

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has released information from the 2015 Communications Monitoring Report on the state of Canada's communications system.


The information in this section shows that the way in which Canadians use communications services continues to evolve.

For the first time, more Canadians subscribe exclusively to mobile wireless services (20%) than to wired (i.e., landline) telephone services (14%). The transition to the widespread use of mobile wireless services is borne out by the fact that more Canadian households have mobile phones (85%) than landlines (79%).

Over the past five years, the percentage of Canadians who have access to 5 megabits per second (Mbps) download speed (including via satellite) has risen from 86% to 96%. Seventy-seven percent of Canadian households subscribe to these services, up 6% from 2013.

More and more Canadians are turning to online video services. Netflix subscription rates among the 18-34 years old age group rose from 29% in 2013 to 58% in 2014 among Anglophones, and from 7% to 24% during the same period for Francophones.

Overall viewing of traditional television has remained more or less unchanged. The average number of weekly viewing hours for Canadians aged 18 and over slipped only slightly, from 29.8 in 2011 to 29 in 2014. However, Canadians aged 18 to 34 spent less than half the number of hours (20 hours per week) watching conventional television compared with Canadians aged 65 and over (42 hours per week).

In 2014, Canadian households spent an average of $203 per month on their communication services, up approximately $12 per month or 6.2% year-over-year. This increase was driven in large part by spending on wireless and Internet services, which rose by 14% and 10%, respectively.

The decisions Canadians are making as consumers, including choosing the packages that best suit their needs, are contributing to how much they spend on their communication services. In many cases, they are opting for faster and larger Internet packages, as well as using more data on their wireless devices.

Overall revenue generated by the communications industry grew from $61.9 billion in 2013 to $63.2 billion in 2014, a year-over-year increase of 2.1%.

As it did last year, the CRTC is releasing the Communications Monitoring Report in three parts. In the coming weeks, the Commission will publish data pertaining to the telecommunications sector, followed by information about the broadcasting sector.

The 2015 report provides a comprehensive overview of the Canadian communications industry for the year ending on August 31, 2014 for the broadcasting sector and December 31, 2014 for the telecommunications sector, as well as industry data and information, including emerging trends and issues.