Communications Monitoring Report 2014: International perspective

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6.0 International perspective

This section places Canada in the context of the international communications landscape, beginning with a global view of telecom revenues. The data shows revenues broken down by international region and distributed across different service segments. To provide some perspective, Canada has a 2.5% share of worldwide telecom revenues and a 10.4% share of the North American market.

The following pages present data comparing Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, and Japan (collectively, the comparison countries). These comparison countries were chosen because their level of development, market structures, and regulatory frameworks are similar to those of Canada. This section also presents data on broadband, wireless, and broadcasting services, beginning with pricing data for individual services and bundles.

It should be noted when reviewing this data:

  1. International comparative analysis is challenged by the availability and timeliness of data, by differences in definitions, in currency rates, and in the method and time of data collection, and by variation in data sources.
  2. All dollar amounts, unless otherwise indicated, have been converted into Canadian dollars using 2012 International Monetary Fund yearly average exchange rates.
  3. As the data provided in this section comes from external sources. As a result, some comparisons will not be consistent with other sections in this report. Factors such as timing, terminology, and methodology contribute to the production of results that may differ from CRTC data.
  4. The external sources are noted and are available in the public domain.

a) Revenues

Figure 6.0.1 Percentage of telecommunications revenues by service segment (2013)

These two pie charts show, for Canada and globally, the split of telecommunications revenues by market sectors. Canada: Fixed 24%, Mobile 51%, Internet and data 25%; Global: Fixed 18%, Mobile 59%, Internet and data 23%.

Source: IDATE World Telecom Services Market, November 2013

Mobile services account for 59% of telecommunications revenues globally, compared to 51% in Canada. Fixed telephony services account for 24% of revenues in Canada, but only 18% worldwide.

The pie charts above provide a comparison of the distribution of telecommunications revenues between Canada and the world across the following three main service segments:

Figure 6.0.2 Global telecommunications retail revenues by international region (2013)

This stacked column chart depicts, by global region and major countries/areas within each region, the amount of telecommunications revenues (in $millions) for 2013: North America: 395,399 (United States, Canada and Mexico); Europe: 377,045 (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, rest of Europe); Asia/Pacific: 482,569 (Japan, China, rest of Asia/Pacific); Other regions: 271,252 (Latin America, Africa/Middle East).

Source: IDATE World Telecom Services Market, November 2013

The United States has nearly 85% of the North American telecommunications retail market and has the largest overall market compared with other countries, generating revenues of $334 billion in 2013. Asia/Pacific has the highest revenues of the four international regions, at $483 billion, exceeding both North America and Europe.

This chart provides a view of global revenues from retail telecommunications services in 2013. It shows the largest contributors by country to the global retail telecommunications services market.

The tables below provide a detailed breakdown of the chart above, with each country’s telecommunications retail revenues split by service segment.

Table 6.0.1
Telecommunications retail revenues by international region, country, and service segment ($ millions)

North America
Service segment Mexico Canada United States
Fixed telephony services 5,281 9,371 68,948
Mobile services 13,673 19,514 183,909
Fixed data transmission and Internet services 4,257 9,761 80,686
Telecom services 23,211 38,645 333,543

Europe
Service segment Italy United Kingdom France Germany Rest of Europe
Fixed telephony services 9,148 14,280 6,834 12,637 33,201
Mobile services 16,507 27,915 21,888 29,832 104,661
Fixed data transmission and Internet services 6,766 11,471 18,225 17,316 46,364
Telecom services 32,421 53,666 46,947 59,786 184,226

Asia/Pacific
Service segment China Japan Rest of Asia/Pacific
Fixed telephony services 11,923 25,469 21,132
Mobile services 107,933 88,776 106,394
Fixed data transmission and Internet services 23,681 49,995 47,266
Telecom services 143,537 164,241 174,791

Other regions
Service segment Latin America Africa/Middle East
Fixed telephony services 36,419 15,761
Mobile services 86,045 93,833
Fixed data transmission and Internet services 26,577 12,618
Telecom services 149,041 122,211

Source: IDATE World Telecom Services Markets, November 2013
Note: See Figure 7.1.1 for an explanation of the telecom market service segments.

Figure 6.0.3 Global telecommunications retail revenues by service segment (2009-2013)

The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is the year-over-year growth rate applied to an investment or another part of a companyʼs activities over a multiple-year period.

This clustered column chart depicts revenues (in $billions), by market sector, for each of the years 2009 to 2013: Fixed: 353, 328, 306, 284, 265; Mobile: 742, 778, 817, 855, 887; Internet and data: 282, 297, 315, 333, 351.

Source: IDATE World Telecom Services Markets, November 2013

This chart shows global trends in different retail telecommunications service segments (i.e. fixed telephony, mobile, and Internet and data services), and provides a comparison of annual revenues for these segments from 2009 to 2013. See Figure 6.0.1 for an explanation of the service segments.

b) Prices

Individual services and bundled rates

The following tables compare pricing data for communications services between Canada and the comparison countries. This pricing data was gathered between January and March of 2014. The tables show monthly prices for wireline, wireless, and broadband services based on service baskets that represent typical low-, average-, and high-volume usage levels.

Fixed broadband and wireless services also include a fourth service basket representing very high usage. For fixed broadband services, each service basket reflects pricing that includes a speed range (based on average advertised speeds) and a monthly download limit or data cap.

A report prepared by Wall Communications Inc. for the CRTC and Industry Canada titled “Price Comparisons of Wireline, Wireless and Internet Services in Canada and with Foreign Jurisdictions (2014 Update)”(referred to hereafter as “the Price Comparison Study”)contains a morecomplete analysis with a detailed summary of the usage levels, and explanations of the assumptions and methodology used to perform the calculations. All reported prices are expressed in purchasing-power-parity-adjusted Canadian dollars.

Purchasing power parity (PPP) is the rate of currency conversion that eliminates the differences in price levels between countries.

Table 6.0.2
Wireline and wireless telephony pricing by usage level and country
Usage level Price ($ monthly)
Canada United States United Kingdom France Germany Italy Japan Australia
Wireline Low 38.99 43.13 33.28 35.10 36.55 41.04 31.61 46.80
Average 54.37 66.61 42.81 49.72 57.46 51.02 65.36 67.13
High 60.29 71.88 56.48 52.39 60.89 67.85 101.90 74.54
Wireless Low 35.70 30.34 26.46 20.75 16.68 10.85 28.88 25.28
Average 45.26 55.91 41.17 37.55 36.48 33.61 50.98 38.69
High 79.69 91.52 72.14 63.68 71.15 67.06 139.90 72.10
Very high 92.99 109.28 58.37 50.14 80.63 61.52 N/A 84.85

Price Comparisons of Wireline, Wireless and Internet Services in Canada and with Foreign Jurisdictions, prepared by Wall Communications Inc.

Wireline service baskets are defined as follows in the Price Comparison Study:

Wireless service baskets are defined as follows in the Price Comparison Study:

Table 6.0.3
Broadband pricing by usage level and country
Usage level Price ($ monthly)
Canada United States United Kingdom France Germany Italy Japan Australia
Fixed Low (≤3 Mbps,
7.5 GB/month)
50.00 62.53 N/A N/A N/A N/A 56.55 N/A
Average (4-15 Mbps,
30 GB/month)
55.10 72.91 30.22 N/A 26.09 52.26 60.65 50.67
High (16-40 Mbps,
75 GB/month)
68.60 79.76 46.89 51.15 38.30 52.92 63.88 67.44
Very high (≥40 Mbps,
120 GB/month)
86.46 103.17 47.76 55.98 58.52 61.79 67.73 70.33
Mobile Low (2 GB/month) 43.30 63.74 21.90 18.47 34.37 17.56 50.05 25.67
Average (5 GB/month) 63.90 69.05 45.93 43.04 49.70 25.86 62.04 36.80

Price Comparisons of Wireline, Wireless and Internet Services in Canada and with Foreign Jurisdictions, prepared by Wall Communications Inc.

Table 6.0.4
Service bundle pricing by country
Price ($ monthly)
Canada United States United Kingdom France Germany Italy Japan Australia
Service bundle Wireline-wireless-broadband 143.95 163.11 105.40 70.56 111.52 107.94 161.38 150.32
Wireline-broadband-digital television (DTV) 137.51 172.07 70.32 69.91 110.38 93.79 149.72 142.49
Wireline-wireless-broadband-DTV 181.70 214.39 101.52 93.21 157.98 124.94 202.99 182.43

Source: Price Comparisons of Wireline, Wireless and Internet Services in Canada and with Foreign Jurisdictions, prepared by Wall Communications Inc.

c) Broadband

Fixed broadband penetration includes the following:

 Wireless broadband penetration includes the following:

Figure 6.0.4 Fixed and wireless broadband penetration (2013)

This clustered bar chart depicts percentage penetration of fixed broadband subscriptions (per 100 inhabitants): Canada: 32.8, United States: 29.3, United Kingdom: 34.9, France: 37.0, Germany: 34.5, Italy: 22.4, Japan: 27.8, Australia: 25.6; Mobile broadband subscriptions (per 100 inhabitants): Canada: 50.2, United States: 96.0, United Kingdom: 80.4, France: 52.8, Germany: 43.1, Italy: 56.8, Japan: 105.3, Australia: 114.0.

Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Broadband Portal. Data published in June 2013.

The chart above shows fixed and mobile broadband penetration in the comparison countries. Penetration measures the extent to which a country’s population subscribes to a given service. In this case, penetration is the average number of inhabitants per hundred inhabitants who subscribe to fixed or wireless broadband service.


The OECD is an association of 34 member countries, whose mission is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.

The OECD Broadband Portal provides access to a range of broadband-related statistics gathered by the OECD. The OECD has identified five main categories that it deems important for assessing broadband markets: penetration, usage, coverage and geography, prices, and services and speeds.

Figure 6.0.5 Fixed broadband service subscriptions by technology (2013)

This clustered bar chart depicts, by country, the percentage of fixed broadband subscriptions for each technology platform: Fibre, Cable and DSL. Australia: 2.0, 16.0, 82.0; Japan: 68.4, 17.0, 14.5; Italy: 2.2, 0, 97.7; Germany: 0.8, 16.6, 82.3; France: 1.7, 6.4, 91.9; United Kingdom: 7.2, 19.6, 73.2; United States: 7.7, 57.4, 33.9, Canada: 2.0, 55.0, 43.0.

Source: OECD Broadband Portal. Data published in June 2013.
Note: The percentage shares for each category above might not, in some cases, total to 100 percent. This is a result of not including the “other technology” category as it is minimal or zero.

This chart provides the distribution of fixed broadband service subscriptions through different technologies (DSL, cable, and fibre) in the comparison countries.

Figure 6.0.6 Fixed broadband average measured speeds by country (2012 and 2013)

This clustered column chart depicts, by country, the average measured fixed broadband speeds (in Mbps) in December 2012 and December 2013: Canada: 16.3, 19.1; United States: 15.4, 20.62; United Kingdom: 19.24, 23.44; France: 14.79, 25.42; Germany: 17.49, 23.76; Italy: 5.65, 7.03; Japan: 38.4, 41.75; Australia: 14.29, 14.61.

Source: Ookla’s Net Index Explorer

The bar graph above is a year-over-year comparison of the average measured fixed Internet download speeds in the comparison countries. All of these speed exceed the CRTC’s broadband download target of 5 Mbps.


The data was collected using Ookla’s net index historical data, which aggregates broadband speed and quality test data.

Ookla, a U.S.-based company, specializes in broadband testing and Web-based network diagnostic applications. Its Web service measures the bandwidth (speed) and latency of Internet connections against one of its 2,600 servers that are geographically dispersed around the world. Each test measures the download data from the server to the end-user’s computer. This data can be accessed from Ookla’s website.

Figure 6.0.7 Mobile broadband average measured speeds by country (2012 and 2013)

This clustered column chart depicts, by country, the average measured mobile broadband speeds (in Mbps) in December 2012 and December 2013: Canada: 10.61, 13.85; United States: 7.06, 10.16; United Kingdom: 4.38, 8.56; France: 3.88, 12.91; Germany: 4.33, 9.71; Italy: 3.71, 6.67; Japan: 5.63, 11.21; Australia: 7.35, 18.96.

Source: Ookla’s Net Index Explorer

This bar graph provides a year-over-year comparison of the average measured mobile broadband download speeds in the comparison countries.

d) Wireless services

Figure 6.0.8 Wireless industry performance (2013)

This clustered column chart depicts the key market performance indicators for wireless services by country with service revenue ($billions), number of subscribers (millions) and mobile penetration rate (percentage) shown on a secondary axis. Canada: $18.6 billion, 28 billion and 80%; United States: $189.3 billion, 336 million, 106%; United Kingdom: $25.6 billion, 78 million, 123%; France: $24.5 billion, 70 million, 110%; Germany: $25.2 billion, 115 million, 140%; Italy: $19.3 billion, 92 million, 150%; Japan: $69.8 billion, 142 million, 111%; Australia: $15.0 billion, 31 million, 133%.

Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Wireless Matrix 1Q2014, dated 21 April 2014

This bar graph compares key market performance indicators for wireless services by country, including service revenue, number of subscribers, and mobile penetration rate.


Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the corporate and investment banking division of the Bank of America. Service revenues are generally defined by the Bank of America as total revenues (which include revenues from services, equipment, and accessories, but exclude taxes), less revenues from equipment sales.

The Bank of America relies on operating metrics from public and private mobile operators from 48 countries globally. Some estimates are made depending on data availability from various companies.

Figure 6.0.9 Wireless average revenue per user by country (fourth quarter of 2013)

This clustered column chart depicts the average monthly mobile revenues per user (ARPU), the related ARPU data revenues along and the ARPU percentage year-over-year growth on a secondary axis for each of: Canada: $56.3, $25.3, -0.7%; United States: $50.0, $18.5, 1.0%; United Kingdom: $27.2, $12.0, -3.7%: France: $29.2, $7.9, -4.7%; Germany: $18.3, $8.2, -5.4%; Italy: $17.5, 5.9, -13.8%; Japan: $42.9, $28.7, -5.0%; Australia: $41.1, $23.0, 2.7%.

Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Wireless Matrix 1Q2014, dated 21 April 2014

This bar graph shows the monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) in the fourth quarter of 2013, including the data share of ARPU (i.e., data revenues per user), and the year-over-year ARPU growth in each country.

Data share of ARPU includes messaging revenues, as reported by carriers.

The monthly ARPU is calculated by dividing service revenues by the average subscriber base during the quarter.

e) Broadcasting

Table 6.0.5
Radio revenues ($ millions) by country (2009-2013)
Country 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013 (%)
Canada 1,661 1,721 1,815 1,846 1,909 3.54
United States 19,243 18,953 19,425 19,976 20,545 1.65
France 1,656 1,718 1,742 1,726 1,755 1.46
Germany 4,709 4,707 4,716 4,682 4,682 -0.14
Italy 730 781 723 664 654 -2.71
United Kingdom 1,573 1,590 1,564 1,615 1,640 1.05
Japan 1,488 1,415 1,361 1,357 1,295 -3.41
Australia 987 1,055 1,063 1,067 1,104 2.84

Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2014-2018
Note: 2013 data is a year-end estimate.

This table shows radio industry revenue data from 2009 to 2013, as well as the CAGR over the same period. Total revenues include consumer spending on radio licence fees (where applicable) and all advertisement spending on radio stations and radio networks.

Public radio licence fees are included for Japan, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. Where there are mandatory fees that include both TV and radio, the radio share of that total has been estimated.

Revenue from advertising on radio stations and networks is tracked net of agency commissions, production costs, and discounts. In the United States and Canada, revenue from advertising on terrestrial broadcast radio is considered separately from online advertising revenue.

In the US and Canada, revenues from subscriptions to satellite radio services (such as Sirius XM) are also considered, as is advertising spend on satellite radio.


PwC is a network of firms in 157 countries that provide tax and advisory services.

PwC’s annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook provides a single source of comparable five-year forecast and five-year historic consumer and advertiser spending data for 13 entertainment and media service segments, including radio, across 54 countries.

Table 6.0.6
Television revenues by country (2013)
Linear television revenues ($ millions) Linear television revenues per TV household ($ per year) Pay television revenues ($ millions) Television advertising revenues ($ millions) Video on demand revenues ($ millions)
Canada 7,085 557 2,623 3,469 1,180
United States 163,544 1,416 100,961 62,078 10,645
United Kingdom 18,493 720 8,552 5,575 764
France 15,202 546 7,772 4,284 437
Germany 17,399 460 5,995 5,205 207
Italy 10,503 433 3,295 5,029 91
Japan 51,600 1,003 19,396 23,374 1,419
Australia 8,510 1,038 3,116 4,102 N/A

Source: IDATE World Television Markets, December 2013

This table lists television industry revenue data from 2013, including revenues from linear television, pay television, television advertising, and video on demand (VOD). Revenues were derived from three main sources: public funding, advertising, and pay television.

Advertising revenue includes revenue earned by television broadcasters from commercials on live television and on their catch-up services on managed networks The data includes revenues from public and commercial broadcasters free-to-air channels, and pay television channels.

Linear television is defined as a service where the viewer watches a scheduled television program at the particular time it is offered.

Pay television revenue includes revenue from subscriptions and pay-as-you-go services.

VOD includes four types of services: VOD, subscription VOD, VOD advertising, and mobile video services.

Figure 6.0.10 Television households and pay-television subscriptions by country (2013)

This clustered column chart depicts the number of households with a television set (in millions), and the number of households that subscribe to some form of pay television (in millions) in 2013: Canada: 12.8, 11.9; United States: 116, 100.9; United Kingdom: 25.7, 13.9; France: 28.0, 18.2; Germany: 38.0, 24.2; Italy: 24.3, 7.9; Japan: 51.4, 33.6; Australia: 8.3, 2.4.

Source: IDATE World Television Markets, December 2013

This bar graph shows the number of households with a television set, and the number of households that subscribe to some form of pay television. Pay television includes cable, satellite, or IPTV services, as well as premium services sold by subscription.

Figure 6.0.11 Television households by platform and country (2013)

This stacked column chart depicts by country, for 2013, the percentage and number (in millions) of TV households for each of these TV technology platforms: free-to-air households, satellite households, cable households and IPTV households. Canada: 0.52, 3.19, 8.04, 1.0; United States: 15.4, 34.14, 57.48, 9.26; United Kingdom: 9.20, 12.19, 3.80, 0.08; France: 6.66, 7.25, 3.54, 8.88; Germany: 2.33, 15.46, 18.14, 2.02; Italy: 12.48, 8.72, 0.0, 0.13; Japan: 9.64, 11.84, 26.46, 3.47; Australia: 5.73, 1.62, 0.79, 0.12.

Source: IDATE World Television Market, December 2013

This bar graph shows the distribution of TV households by platform and country. The numbers on each bar indicate how many million households receive television content on their main television set via the given platform. The sum of free-to-air, satellite, cable, and IPTV households is equal to the total number of TV households (there was no double counting). Free-to-air households receive only free television channels.

Figure 6.0.12 Television platform growth rates by country (2012-2013)

This stacked bar chart depicts by country, for 2013, the percentage growth rates for each of these TV technology platforms: cable, free-to-air, satellite, and IPTV households. Canada: -2, -8, -2, 36; United States: -2, 5, 1, 18; United Kingdom: -1, 0, -4, -15; France: 1, -8, 1, 13; Germany: -4, 0, 7, 11; Italy: 0, 2, 2, -47; Japan: 1, -6, -1, 20; Australia: -3, 2, 4, 23.

Source: IDATE World Television Markets, December 2013

This bar graph shows the 2012-2013 growth rates for different television platforms in the comparison countries. Growth rates are based on the number of households receiving television content on their main television set via the given platform.

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