Canada - Mobile Infrastructure, Broadband, Operators - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

Canada’s mobile penetration remains comparatively low by international standards, and so the market offers further room for growth. The government is concerned that the market does not lag the progress being made in other developed countries, particularly in the USA and across Europe, and as such it is ensuring that enough spectrum is being released for network operators to launch services based on 5G. Although the operators had hoped for 5G spectrum auctions to be made in 2019, a raft of spectrum in different bands will not be made available until between 2020 and 2022.

Nevertheless, Canadians are well provided for LTE and LTE-A infrastructure, despite the topographical challenges faced by operators. The major players effectively offer 99% population coverage with LTE. Telus and Bell Wireless were early to trial 5G technologies, and in May 2018 Shaw Communications also launched trials.

The government has endeavoured to encourage market competition by ensuring that blocks of spectrum have been reserved for new entrants, while preventing deals among operators which would have concentrated spectrum either regionally or nationally. An auction of 70MHz within the 600MHz band is anticipated in 2019, with 30MHz to be reserved for smaller operators.

This report assesses the market voice and data market, including recent developments in technologies and operator strategies.

Key developments:

  • Shaw completes 5G trials;
  • Government sets up $400 million public-private partnership to exploit benefits of 5G;
  • Auction for residual 2500MHz licenses completed;
  • Bell Wireless launches quad band LTE-A services offering peak data rates of up to 950Mb/s, develops an LTE-M network to support IoT devices
  • Government opens consultation on 600MHz auction, expected in 2019;
  • Report includes the regulator’s market data updates, Communications Monitoring Report for 2017, telcos’ operating and financial data to Q2 2018, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Rogers Wireless, Bell Mobility, Virgin Mobile Canada, Telus Mobility, SaskTel Mobility, MTS Allstream, Freedom Mobile, Mobilicity, Public Mobile, Vidéotron Wireless, Shaw Communications.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Market analysis
  • 3. Mobile statistics
    • 3.1 General statistics
    • 3.2 Mobile voice
    • 3.3 Mobile data
      • 3.3.1 SMS/MMS
    • 3.4 Mobile broadband
  • 4. Forecasts – Wireless subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • 5. Regulatory issues
    • 5.1 CRTC and Industry Canada
    • 5.2 Licenses
      • 5.2.1 Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) auction - 2008
      • 5.2.2 AWS auction - 2015
      • 5.2.3 700MHz
      • 5.2.4 2300MHz
      • 5.2.5 2500MHz - 2011
      • 5.2.6 2500MHz – 2018
      • 5.2.7 2100MHz
      • 5.2.8 600MHz
      • 5.2.9 Multi spectrum – 2022
    • 5.3 Roaming
    • 5.4 Wireless Code
  • 6. Mobile infrastructure
    • 6.1 5G
    • 6.2 4G (LTE)
    • 6.3 3G
    • 6.4 Other infrastructure developments
      • 6.4.1 IoT
  • 7. Major mobile operators
    • 7.1 Rogers Wireless
    • 7.2 Bell Wireless (Bell Mobility)
      • 7.2.1 Virgin Mobile Canada
      • 7.2.2 Bell MTS
    • 7.3 Telus Mobility
    • 7.4 SaskTel Mobility
    • 7.5 New entrants
      • 7.5.1 Mobilicity
      • 7.5.2 Public Mobile
      • 7.5.3 Vidéotron Wireless
      • 7.5.4 Shaw Communications
      • 7.5.5 Ice Wireless
  • 8. Mobile content and applications
    • 8.1 M-payments
    • 8.2 Machine-to-Machine (M2M)
    • 8.3 LTE-M
  • 9. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Wireless subscribers and penetration – 2000 - 2019
  • Table 2 – Mobile revenue by service type – 2002 - 2016
  • Table 3 – Multiple SIM card use as proportion of subscribers – 2011 - 2015
  • Table 4 – Prepaid and post-paid sector revenue – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 5 – Market share of subscribers by operator – 2015 - 2016
  • Table 6 – Retail wireless revenue – 2008 - 2018
  • Table 7 – Mobile ARPU – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 8 – Average mobile data user per subscribers – 2014 - 2016
  • Table 9 – Mobile device penetration by type – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 10 – Mobile broadband availability by technology – 2011 – 2016
  • Table 11 – Total SMS and MMS sent – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 12 – Text messages sent per month – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 13 – Text messages sent per month per subscriber – 2014 - 2016
  • Table 14 – Active mobile broadband subscribers – 2005 - 2018
  • Table 15 – Forecasts - mobile subscribers - 2019; 2021; 2023
  • Table 16 – Proportion of mobile contract plans by term length– 2013 - 2016
  • Table 17 – Rogers Wireless revenue, operating profit – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 18 – Rogers Wireless pre and postpaid subscribers – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 19 – Rogers Wireless churn – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 20 – Rogers Wireless ABPU – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 21 – Bell Wireless operating data – 2006 - 2018
  • Table 22 – Bell Wireless financial data – 2006 - 2018
  • Table 23 – Historic - MTS wireless revenue, ARPU – 2007 - 2014
  • Table 24 – Historic - MTS subscribers – 2007 - 2014
  • Table 25 – Telus Mobility revenue, EBITDA – 2003 - 2018
  • Table 26 – Telus Mobility prepaid and postpaid subscribers – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 27 – Telus Mobility ARPU and monthly churn rate – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 28 – SaskTel Mobility revenue – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 29 – Historic - SaskTel Mobility subscribers – 2007 - 2013
  • Table 30 – Vidéotron mobile subscribers – 2008 - 2018
  • Chart 1 – Wireless subscribers and penetration – 2000 - 2019
  • Chart 2 – Proportion of mobile contract plans by term length– 2013 – 2016
  • Chart 3 – Rogers Wireless pre and postpaid subscribers – 2009 – 2018
  • Chart 4 – Bell Wireless financial data – 2006 – 2018
  • Chart 5 – Telus Mobility revenue, EBITDA – 2003 – 2018
  • Chart 6 – Telus Mobility prepaid and postpaid subscribers – 2009 – 2018
  • Exhibit 1 – AWS-3 auction results – March 2015
  • Exhibit 2 – 700MHz auction results – February 2014
  • Exhibit 3 – 700MHz auction licensees by province – February 2014
  • Exhibit 4 – 2.5GHz spectrum auction results – April 2015

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Licence Information

Focus Report Profile

Technologies

Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media
Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure)

Number of pages 36

Status Current

Last updated 2 Aug 2018
Update History

Analyst: Henry Lancaster

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