Communications Monitoring Report 2014: Telecommunications Sector

Previous Table of Contents Next

5.0 Telecommunications market sector overview

This pie chart shows the  split between retail and wholesale telecommunications revenues. Retail: 92%; Wholesale: 8%.

This section provides an overview of the telecommunications service industry and market sectors, and examines some of their characteristics such as revenues, ownership requirements, number, size and type of companies, and profitability and annual investment in plant and equipment.

In 2013, providers of telecommunications service provided retail services to over 12 million households and over one million businesses. Services are provided on a wholesale basis to over 800 providers of telecommunications service.

Table 5.0.0
Telecommunications service industry at a glance
2012 2013 Annual growth (%)
Telecommunications revenues ($ billions) 43.9 44.8 2.0
Percentage of telecommunications revenues Top 5 incumbent TSPs 66# 62 -6.1
Top 5 cable-based carriers 30 33 9.0
Top 5 resellers 2 2 1.9
Annual investment in plant and equipment ($ billions) Wireline 7.1 6.9 -2.8
Wireless 2.5 2.3 -11.4
EBITDA margin (%) Wireline 41 40 -2.6
Wireless 41 43 6.3

Source: CRTC data collection

Canada’s telecommunications services industry is dominated by a few large players. This table shows the percentage of service revenues captured by the five incumbent telecommunications service providers (incumbent TSPs), five largest cable-based carriers and five largest resellers. Combined, these companies captured 97 percent of the total industry revenues in 2012 and 2013. The table also shows the level of annual investment in plant and equipment made on wireless and wireline services, the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for wireless and wireline services, and the monthly wireless retail revenues per subscriber per month.

Telecommunications service revenues exclude revenues from the sale and rental of wireline telephone sets. Annual investment in plant and equipment only includes investments made by companies with annual revenues greater than $100 million. The # symbol denotes a change in the data from what was published in the previous Communications Monitoring Report (refer to Appendix 1 for details).

a) Revenues

In 2013, the Canadian telecommunications revenues were $44.8 billion of which 92% were from the retail services to residential and business consumers and 8% were from wholesale services to other telecommunications service providers.

Table 5.0.1
Telecommunications revenues (retail and wholesale) ($ billions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013
Wireline Retail 21.0 20.6 20.6 20.7 20.9 0.0%
Annual growth -0.5 -1.9 0.3 0.2 1.2
Wholesale 3.1 3.1 3.0 2.9 2.8 -2.7%
Annual growth -1.3 -0.3 -1.4 -3.6 -5.1
Wireline total 24.0 23.6 23.6 23.6 23.7 -0.4%
Annual growth -0.6 -1.7 0.0 -0.3 0.4
Wireless Retail 16.3 17.5 18.4 19.5 20.2 5.4%
Annual growth 5.9 7.2 5.0 6.1 3.4
Wholesale 0.5 0.5 0.7 0.8 1.0 15.0%
Annual growth 19.3 -12.9 50.6 17.6 13.5
Wireless total 16.9 18.0 19.1 20.4 21.2 5.8%
Annual growth 5.3 6.6 6.2 6.5 3.8
Retail total 37.3 38.1 39.0 40.2 41.1 2.5%
Annual growth 2.2 2.1 2.5 3.0 2.3
Wholesale total 3.6 3.5 3.7 3.7 3.7 0.7%
Annual growth 1.3 -2.2 5.5 0.5 -1.0
Total 40.9 41.6 42.8 43.9 44.8 2.3%
Annual growth 2.2 1.7 2.7 2.8 2.0

Source: CRTC data collection

Revenues from telecommunications services are derived from sales to residential and business consumers (retail revenues) and to other carriers (wholesale revenues). The table displays retail and wholesale revenues for wireline and wireless services for the years 2009 to 2013.

Estimates were made to capture revenues of service providers that did not provide data. In 2013, these estimates were less than 1% of total telecommunications revenues. Revenues derived from the sale and rental of local and access terminal equipment and other non-telecommunications revenues were excluded from wireline retail service revenues.

b) Forbearance

In 2013, approximately 94% of telecommunications revenues were from services that the Commission has determined are sufficiently competitive that tariff filings are no longer required.

Forbearance

The Commission refrains from regulation when it finds that a service is subject to sufficient competition or where refraining is consistent with the Canadian telecommunications policy objectives. This is referred to as forbearance. Where a service is forborne it is generally relieved of the obligation pursuant to the terms of a Commission-approved tariff. The service may still be regulated with respect to other aspects of the service.

Table 5.0.2
Percentage of telecommunications revenues generated by forborne services
(Percentage) 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Local and access 71 73 76 77 78
Long distance 96 96 95 99 99
Internet 99 98 98 98 97
Data and private line 82 81 83 84 84
Wireless 100 100 100 100 100
Overall 91 92 93 93 94

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the percentage of telecommunications revenues by market sector that are not regulated by the CRTC from 2009 to 2013. With respect to the local and access market sector, ‘access’ refers to wireline services that provide providers of telecommunications services access to the subscriber or the telecommunications network.

What does section 16 of the Telecommunications Act require?

Subject to certain exceptions, section 16 requires that telecommunications companies that own or operate telecommunication transmission equipment and have Canadian telecommunications revenues greater than $4.5 billion (i.e., 10% of total Canadian telecommunications revenues) be Canadian owned and controlled.

c) Canadian Ownership

Section 16 of the Telecommunications Act addresses the eligibility of Canadian carriers to operate as telecommunications common carriers. For the purposes of applying the provisions of section 16, the Commission has determined that, for the period between the date of release of the 2014 Communications Monitoring Report and the date of release of the 2015 Communications Monitoring Report, the total annual revenues from the provision of telecommunications services in Canada is $44.8 billion.

d) Number, size, and type of companies

In 2013, the telecommunications industry consisted of over 800 service providers. Of these, less than 1% were large incumbent TSPs; however they captured over 62% of industry revenues. The next largest group in terms of revenues is the cable-based carriers which accounted for 31% of revenues and 8% of service providers.

The largest group of providers of telecommunications service are resellers which account for 68% of the service providers. Resellers generally acquire wholesale services from other providers of telecommunications services to provide telecommunications services to their own customers. Most resellers are in the long distance and Internet market sectors, capturing 3.4% of telecommunications revenues.

Figure 5.0.1 Percentage of telecommunications revenues, by type of provider of telecommunications service (2013)

This is a bar chart that shows the various types of telecommunications service providers’ revenue share and the total number of providers as a percent of total number of industry providers of telecommunication services in 2013. There are five types of service providers in this bar chart. Large incumbent TSPs (including out-of-territory): 62%, 0.8%; Small incumbent TSPs: 1%, 4.0%; Resellers: 3%, 68.5%; Other facilities-based service providers: 3%, 18.8%; Cable-based carriers: 31%, 7.9%.

Source: CRTC data collection

This graph displays the percentage of total revenues captured by type of provider of telecommunications services and the percentage of providers offering service

The incumbent TSP data displayed above includes revenues from all of their Canadian telecommunications operations, both inside and outside of their traditional operating territory.

Providers of telecommunications services provide diverse information and communications technology (ICT) services, ranging from voice and data telecommunications services to data storage, and cloud computing services, and other services encompassing both Canadian and non-Canadian activities. In 2013, 61% of the revenues from providers of telecommunications service were from telecommunications services to Canadians. The remaining 39% were from other ICT services, broadcasting distribution services and non telecommunications services such as floor space rental services and fleet operations.

The industry is dominated by 10 large companies that collectively, with their affiliates, accounted for 95% of Canadian telecommunications revenues in 2013. The remaining companies accounted for less than $2.5 billion of these revenues.

Figure 5.0.2 Percent of total combined telecommunications revenues by ownership groups and remaining groups/entities

This bar chart shows telecommunications revenues for the top 5 group of companies, the next top 5 group of companies and the remaining companies for 2011, 2012 and 2013. Top 5 companies: 85%, 85% and 86%; Next 5 companies: 8%, 9% and 9%; Remaining companies: 6%, 7% and 5%.

Source: CRTC data collection

Bell Canada, MTS Inc./Allstream Inc., Rogers, Shaw, and TELUS are Canada’s five largest providers of telecommunications services. Combined, including their affiliates, they accounted for more than 85% of total market revenues. The next five largest groups/entities—Bragg, Cogeco, Quebecor, Saskatchewan Telecommunications and Telesat Canada—accounted for less than 10 % of total market revenues. The remaining groups/entities captured the rest of the market revenues.

The top 10 groups/entities are facilities-based service providers, meaning that they own and operate the transmission equipment required to provide telecommunications services. Of the remaining groups/entities, the vast majority are resellers.

Providers of telecommunication service are classified as incumbent TSPs and alternative service providers of telecommunications service. The alternative providers consist of resellers and other facilities-based service providers, which include cable-based carriers.

Incumbent TSPs are the traditional telephone companies. To monitor the telecommunications market sectors, this group of TSPs is further subdivided to identify their activities outside of their tradition or incumbent territory as follows: Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory) and Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory). Additional details on the classifications of providers of telecommunications services can be found in Appendix 2.

The incumbent TSPs’ revenues, excluding their out-of-territory revenues, have increased 1% annually over the 2009 to 2013 period. Over the same period, revenues for alternative providers of telecommunications service grew 4.6% annually. Overall the cable-based carriers have experienced the strongest growth in telecommunications revenues, which increased 4.8%, from $11.4 billion in 2009 to $13.8 billion in 2013.

Table 5.0.3
Total telecommunications revenues, by type of service provider ($ millions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013
Incumbent TSPs Large incumbent TSPs 26,803.1 26,755.2 27,205.0 27,478.5 27,818.4 0.9%
Small incumbent TSPs 401.8 417.5 469.9 474.4 450.4 2.9%
Subtotal 27,204.9 27,172.7 27,674.9 27,953.0 28,268.8 1.0%
Less: out-of-territory 4,281.1 4,326.1 4,463.5 4,934.6 5,023.3 4.1%
Incumbents (excl. out-of-territory) 22,923.8 22,846.6 23,211.3 23,018.4 23,245.4 0.3%
Percent of total 56% 55% 54% 52% 52%
Alternative service providers Facilities-based carriers Incumbents (out-of-territory) 4,281.1 4,326.1 4,463.5 4,934.6 5,023.3 4.1%
Cable-based carriers 11,425.9 12,233.7 12,722.1 13,260.2 13,785.5 4.8%
Other carriers 726.1 716.3 866.8 1,161.5 1,226.0 14.0%
Subtotal alternative carriers 16,433.1 17,276.1 18,052.5 19,356.2 20,034.9 5.1%
Resellers 1,559.3 1,504.7 1,493.4 1,527.7 1,542.0 -0.3%
Total alternative providers 17,992.5 18,780.8 19,545.9 20,883.9 21,576.8 4.6%
Percent of total 44% 45% 46% 48% 48%
Total 40,916.3 41,627.3 42,757.2 43,902.3 44,822.3 2.3%

Source: CRTC data collection

This table displays telecommunications revenues by type of telecommunications service provider for the years 2009 to 2013. It provides subtotals for the incumbent TSPs, excluding their out-of-territory revenues. The out-of-territory revenues are moved to the alternative providers of telecommunications services portion of the table. This adjustment acknowledges that incumbent TSPs are considered alternative TSPs for their out-of-territory operations.

e) Financial performance

There are a number of elements to consider in assessing a company’s financial performance or profitability. One of these is EBITDA as a percentage of total revenue (EBITDA margins).

Figure 5.0.3 Telecommunications revenues and EBITDA margins

This line clustered column chart on two axes shows the wireline, wireless and total telecom revenues in billions of dollars and wireline and wireless EBITDA margins for each year between 2009 and 2013. Note that wireline EBITDA margins represent only Incumbent TSPs which includes their out of territory operations. Wireline: 24.0, 23.6, 23.6, 23.6, 23.7; Wireless: 16.9, 18.0, 19.1, 20.4, 21.2; Wireline: 34.9%, 41.1%, 40.2%, 41.1%, 40.0%; Wireless: 42.0%, 41.5%, 42.9%, 40.7%, 43.2%.

An EBITDA margin is a measure of profitability. It represents earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, expressed as a percentage of total revenues.

Affiliates were excluded from their parent company in the calculation of EBITDA margins.

Source: CRTC data collection

The revenues and EBITDA margins are calculated for telecommunications service providers that had telecommunications revenues greater than 80% of their total revenues. These companies’ revenues represented 91% of total Canadian telecommunications revenues.

This table shows the total growth in telecommunications revenues from wireless and wireline services between 2009 and 2013. It also shows the EBITDA margins for wireless and wireline providers of telecommunications services.

Non facilities-based providers (i.e., Resellers) generally had lower EBITDA margins. On average, their EBITDA margins were approximately one seventh that of facilities-based service providers.

Large providers of telecommunications service with Canadian telecommunications revenues in excess of $100 million were generally more profitable than smaller providers of telecommunications service.

Figure 5.0.4 Percentage of revenues and EBITDA margins by size of entity, 2013

This bar chart shows the EBITDA margins of Canadian telecommunications entities whose telecommunications revenues were greater than 80% of their Canadian operating revenues and had revenues in one of the three revenue ranges in 2013. Percent of revenues and EBITDA margins by entities with revenues greather than $100: 96%, 39%; between $10 and $100 millions: 3%, 15%; between $1 and $10 million: 1%, 19%.

Source: CRTC data collection 

The percentage of revenues and profitability are calculated for telecommunications service providers telecommunications services that have Canadian telecommunications revenues greater than 80% of their total revenues.

These companies were subdivided into three telecommunications revenue ranges: $1-$10 million, $10-$100 million, and greater than $100 million.

The EBITDA margin by companies with Canadian telecommunications revenues greater than 80% of their total revenues was 37.8%. As displayed above, companies with revenues in excess of $100 million displayed the highest EBITDA margin, 38.7%. Companies with telecommunications revenues between $10 million and $100 million collectively had a 14.8% EBITDA margin and those between $1 and $10 million had an 18.7% margin.

f)  Annual investment in plant and equipment

What are ‘access services’ and ‘network related capital expenditures’?

‘Access services’ refer to the facilities required to connect the subscriber to the network. Examples include local telephone lines and broadband access facilities.

‘Network related capital expenditures’ refer to expenditures on facilities that connect the access services facilities.

‘Annual investment in plant and equipment’ refers to the capital expenditures made to ‘replenish’ or upgrade the network of a provider of telecommunications services. In 2013, these providers spent $9.2 billion on capital expenditures of which 44% were for access services and 30% were network related. The remaining 27% related to non-network activities such as billing and fleet operations.

Table 5.0.4
Telecommunications investments made in plant and equipment, by type of provider of telecommunications service($ billions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013
Wireline Incumbent TSPs 4.2 4.4 4.6 4.7# 4.9 4.2%
Annual growth (%) -1.4 5.1 5.4 2.0 4.2
Alternative service providers Other facilities-based service providers (including cable-based carriers) 1.5 2.1 2.4# 2.3# 1.9 6.0%
Annual growth (%) -10.7 40.2 13.7 -4.6 -17.0
Resellers 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 6.8%
Annual growth (%) -59.0 -35.5 33.6 48.8 1.4
Subtotal 1.6 2.2 2.5 2.4 2.0 6.0%
Annual growth (%) -12.8 38.7 13.9 -4.0 -16.7
Wireline total 5.7 6.6 7.1 7.1 6.9 4.7%
Annual growth (%) -2.9 14.2 8.2 0.0 -2.8
Wireless 2.2 1.8 2.5# 2.6# 2.3 0.5%
Annual growth (%) -63.0 -18.9 35.2 4.9 -11.4
Wireline and wireless total 8.0 8.4 9.6 9.7 9.2 3.5%
Annual growth (%) -33.4 4.9 14.1 1.2 -5.1

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the investments made by type of providers of telecommunications services for the period between 2009 and 2013.

The data for the incumbent TSPs includes their out-of-territory operations, while the data for the alternative service providers excludes incumbent out-of-territory operations. Providers of telecommunications services with revenues less than $100 million were not required to provide this data.

The # symbol denotes a change in the data from what was published in the previous Communications Monitoring Report (refer to Appendix 1 for details).

Since 2009 incumbent TSPs have accounted for approximately 50% of the capital expenditures in the sector. Resellers had the least amount of capital expenditures since they use the transmission facilities of others with facilities.

A useful measure to compare annual capital expenditures is “capital intensity”. Under this measure, cable-based carriers and other facilities-based service providers spent on average 30 cents from every revenue dollar over the past two years on wireline facilities compared to 35 cents by the incumbent TSPs.

During the 2009 to 2013 period, wireless service providers had the lowest capital intensity. Over this period, their capital intensity was relatively constant at 11 cents or approximately one quarter that of what the cable-based carriers and other facilities-based service provides spent on wireline facilities.

Figure 5.0.5 Telecommunications capital expenditures as a percentage of revenues, by type of telecommunications service provider

Capital intensity is a measure of the degree or level a company spends on its plant and equipment. It is derived by dividing annual capital expenditures by annual revenues, expressed as a percentage.

This line chart shows the capital expenditures as a percentage of revenues by type of TSP for each year between 2010 and 2013. There are three types of TSPs in this line chart. Wireless providers: 10%, 13%, 13%, 11%; Incumbent TSPs: 26%, 28%, 30%, 33%; Cable-based carriers and other facilities-based service providers: 38%, 41%, 37%, 27%.

Source: CRTC data collection

This figure shows the capital intensity of provider of telecommunications service for the period between 2009 and 2013.

The data for incumbent TSPs includes their out-of-territory operations, while that of alternative telecommunications service providers excludes the incumbent out-of-territory operations. Provider of telecommunications services with revenues less than $100 million are not included as these companies were not required to provide capital expenditure data.

5.1  Telecommunications retail market sectors

This pie chart shows the percentage split between wireless, wireline data and wireline voice telecommunications revenues in 2013. wireless: 49%; Wireline data: 28%; Wireline voice: 23%.

This section provides an overview of the Canadian retail telecommunications service industry and market sectors. It examines some of its characteristics such as revenues and technology deployed to provide service to residential and business consumers.

The retail market sectors include wireline voice, Internet, data and private line, and wireless market sectors.

Table 5.1.0
Telecommunications retail service industry at a glance
2012 2013 Annual growth (%)
Retail telecommunications revenues ($ billions) 40.2 41.1 2.3
Percentage of retail telecommunications revenues Top 5 incumbent TSPs 61 62 1.2
Top 5 cable-based carriers 32 33 3.7
Top 5 resellers 2 2 -2.5
Percentage of retail revenues captured by companies operating in all market sectors 83 85 -
Number companies operating in all market sectors 9 9 -

Source: CRTC data collection

Canada’s retail telecommunications service industry is dominated by a few large players. This table shows the percentage of service revenues captured by the five largest incumbent telecommunications service providers (incumbent TSPs), five largest cable-based carriers and five largest resellers. Combined these companies captured 97 percent of the telecommunications retail revenues 2013. Finally, the table provides data on the number of companies and extent to which they operate in all market sectors.

Telecommunications service revenues exclude revenues from the sale and rental of wireline telephone sets. Annual investment in plant and equipment only includes investments made by companies with annual revenues greater than $100 million.

a) Revenues

Retail telecommunications revenues increased from $37.4 billion in 2009 to $41.1 billion in 2013. This growth was driven by the increase in expenditures by Canadians subscribing to mobile wireless services.

In 2009, revenues from wireless services were $16.3 billion or 44% of total retail revenues. By 2013, mobile wireless service revenues increased to $20.2 billion or 49%.

In 2013, $20.9 billion in wireline revenues was generated by approximately 800 wireline service providers; whereas, the $20.2 billion in wireless revenues was generated by 20 wireless service providers. There were approximately 40 wireline service providers for every provider of wireless services.

Table 5.1.1
Telecommunications retail revenues, by market sector ($ billions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013
Wireline Wireline voice Local 8.5 8.3 8.1 7.8 7.7 -2.7%
Annual growth -1.3% -2.6% -2.4% -3.5% -2.0%
Long distance 3.1 2.6 2.4 2.1 1.9 -10.8%
Annual growth -7.5% -14.4% -8.6% -11.4% -8.7%
Subtotal 11.6 10.9 10.5 10.0 9.6 -4.6%
Annual growth -3.1% -5.7% -3.9% -5.3% -3.5%
Non-voice Internet 6.1 6.4 6.8 7.2 7.7 5.9%
Annual growth 5.7% 4.6% 5.7% 6.0% 7.3%
Newer data protocols 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 6.0%
Annual growth 13.1% 5.9% 10.4% 5.6% 2.3%
Legacy data protocols, private line, and other 1.7 1.6 1.6 1.7 1.7 -0.2%
Annual growth -9.8% -5.5% -2.9% 4.3% 3.6%
Data protocols, private line and other subtotal 3.2 3.2 3.3 3.5 3.6 2.8%
Annual growth -0.5% -0.2% 3.6% 5.0% 2.9%
Non-voice subtotal 9.4 9.6 10.1 10.7 11.3 4.9%
Annual growth 0.0% 3.0% 5.0% 5.6% 5.9%
Total wireline 21.0 20.6 20.6 20.6 20.9 0.0%
Annual growth -0.2% -1.9% 0.3% 0.1% 1.4%
Wireless 16.3 17.5 18.4 19.5 20.2 5.4%
Annual growth 5.9% 7.2% 5.0% 6.1% 3.4%
Total 37.3 38.1 39.0 40.2 41.1 2.4%
Annual growth 2.4% 2.1% 2.4% 2.9% 2.4%

Source: CRTC data collection

Telecommunications revenues come from a variety of sources. Revenues from wireline voice services come from local telephone and long-distance services, while revenues from non-voice services come from Internet services, new data protocols services (such as Ethernet and Internet Protocol-Virtual private network) and legacy data protocols services (such as asynchronous transfer mode and X.25). Revenues for mobile wireless come from mobile voice and data services, and from the sale and rental of mobiles devices. This table presents a detailed breakdown of the retail revenues and annual growth rates for wireline and wireless services by market sector for the years 2009 to 2013. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for each market sector for the period of 2009 to 2013 is presented as well.

Figure 5.1.1  Telecommunications annual wireline and wireless revenues

Wireline services are generally a household or a business service; whereas, mobile wireless services are an individual or personal type of service.

This line stacked column chart shows both wireline and wireless revenues in billions of dollars 2009 and 2013. The line on the graph represent retail wireline revenues as a percentage of total retail telecommunications revenues. Wireline: 21.0, 20.6, 20.6, 20.7, 20.9; Wireless: 16.3, 17.5, 18.4, 19.5, 20.2; Wireline revenues as a percentage of total retail telecommunications revenues: 56.2, 54.0, 52.8, 51.4, 50.9.

Source: CRTC data collection

This graph presents the retail wireline and mobile wireless revenues for the years 2009 to 2013. Over this period, aggregate revenues from wireline services steadily decreased, while those from wireless services increased. The line on the graph represents retail wireline revenues as a percentage of total retail telecommunications revenues.

In 2012, the most recent period for which telephone penetration data is available from Statistics Canada’s Survey of Household Spending, 83.5% of households had wireline service, 81.4% had wireless service, 15.7% had only wireline service and 17.8% had only wireless service.

Figure 5.1.2 Distribution of telecommunications revenues, by market sector

These are side by side pie charts that show the telecommunications revenue distribution by market segment for 2009 and 2013. The five market segments displayed in each of pie chart are local and access, long distance, internet, data and private line, and wireless. Local and access: 23%, 19%; Long distance: 8%, 5%; Internet: 16%, 19%; Data and private line: 9%, 9%; Wireless: 44%, 49%.

Source: CRTC data collection

These two figures show the distribution of telecommunications revenues by market sector for two periods, 2009 and 2013. Wireless data services are captured within the wireless market sector. Wireless services are capturing increasingly larger shares of the market, while the market share of long distance and local telephone services has declined.

b) Technology indicators

Technology has been a key driver of growth in the telecommunications industry. It has promoted network efficiencies, and service and product innovation, and facilitated competition. Revenues from legacy services have generally been declining as consumers switch to other services that provide greater functionality and flexibility.

Figure 5.1.3  Impact of newer services and technologies on telecommunications revenues

What are the newer services and technologies?

Newer services and technologies refer to services and technologies that are displacing traditional telephony services or reducing dependency on traditional telephony services.

This clustered column charts shows the revenue growth from newer telecommunication services versus legacy telecommunication services in billions of dollars for each year between 2011, 2012 and 2013. Newer services consists of wireless, internet, and newer data protocols. Legacy services consists of local and access, legacy data and private line, and long distance. Wireless: 0.9, 1.1, 0.7; Internet: 0.4, 0.4, 0.5; Newer data protocols: 0.2, 0.1, 0.0; Local and access: -0.2, -0.3, -0.2; Legacy data and private line: 0.0, 0.1, 0.1; Long distance: -0.2, -0.3 -0.2.

Source: CRTC data collection

Technology is changing the way Canadians access telecommunications services. This graph shows the annual change in revenues for new technologies such as wireless, Internet and other services based on data protocols in each of the past three years. The graph also compares the annual revenue change for newer services and for legacy services such as local, legacy data and private line, and long distance services.

Newer data protocols refer to services using protocols such as Ethernet and IP. Legacy data refers to services using protocols such as X.25 and frame relay.

Figure 5.1.4 Residential Internet Protocol-provisioned service revenues

This bar chart show residential IPTV, Internet Access, Voice via cable and total IP-provisioned service revenues (billions) for 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. IPTV: 0.2, 0.3, 0.6, 0.9; Internet Access: 4.5, 4.9, 5.4, 5.9; Voice via cable: 1.2, 1.3, 1.3, 1.4; Total: 6.0, 6.5, 7.3, 8.3.

Source: CRTC data collection

Internet Protocol (IP)-provisioned services are becoming increasingly prominent in Canadian households. This table shows the revenue growth for Internet Protocol television (IPTV), Internet access and voice-via-cable services in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Figure 5.1.5 Homes passed by fibre-optic cable (2013)

A fiber-optic cable is a cable containing one or more strands that carry light. The light is used as a medium to transmit data. A fibre-optic cable is excellent for transmission over longer distances and at higher bandwidths or capacity than wire cables.

Number of homes passed refers to the number of homes that can have the telecommunications service using this technology.

This graph shows the number homes that were either passed by fibre-based lines to the premise or to the node, by type of provider. The number of line are reported in millions. Incumbents: 2.0, 7.8; Cable-based carriers: 0.0, 12.6; Other facilities-based service providers: 0.0, 0.0.

Source: CRTC data collection

Providers of telecommunications service are adopting fibre-based systems (i.e., fibre to the node (FTTN) and fibre to the premises (FTTP)). This graph shows the number homes that were either passed by fibre-based lines or that were passed by copper lines connected to a node that was served a fibre-optic cable. The node connected by fibre optic cable is the closet node to the premises. A node is a pedestal where connections are made.

Figure 5.1.6 Percentage of residential lines using fibre optic cable (2013)

This pie chart contains the percentage of FTTN, FTTP and Non fibre lines in 2013.  FTTN: 23.5%, FTTH: 2.9% and Non fibre: 73.6%.

Source: CRTC data collection

Providers of telecommunications service are adopting fibre-based systems (fibre to the node (FTTN) and fibre to the premises (FTTP). This table shows the percentage of fibre-based lines as a percentage of total residential lines in the country in 2013.

c) Competitive landscape

Facilities-based providers of telecommunications services accounted for 97% of the retail telecommunication revenues in 2013. Cable-based carriers and other facilities-based alternative providers of telecommunications services are the largest source of competition to the Incumbent TSPs.

Figure 5.1.7 Total telecommunications revenue market share, by type of service provider (2013)

Total retail telecommunications revenues in 2013 were $41.1 billion. This chart shows the percentage share of the revenues captured by separate groups of providers of telecommunications service. For example, incumbent TSPs captured the largest share of the market, excluding their operations outside their traditional operating territory. Cable-based carriers and other facilities-based alternative providers of telecommunications service captured the next largest share, followed by incumbent TSPs, out of territory operations, and finally, resellers.

This is a single pie chart that shows the telecommunications revenue market share by type of service provider in 2013. There are four types of service providers in this pie chart. Incumbent TSPs (excludes out of territory): 51%; Cable BDUs and other facilities based TSPs: 35%; Incumbent TSPs (out of territory): 11%; Resellers: 3%.

Source: CRTC data collection

As displayed in the following table, there were nine providers of telecommunications service that operated in all six market sectors and captured 85% of the retail telecommunications revenues in 2013. These service providers have scale and scope.

Company characteristics

Companies with services in five or more market sectors are generally large facilities-based companies with revenues greater than $100 million. Companies with services in two or fewer market sectors are generally resellers with revenues less than $10 million.

Affiliated companies are included with their parent company.

Table 5.1.2
Percentage of telecommunications revenues generated by companies operating in multiple markets
Number of market sectors Number of reporting companies operating in these markets Percentage of telecom revenues generated in these markets
2011 2012 2013 2011 2012 2013
6 9 9 9 85 83 85
5 13 16 11 9 9 10
4 17 20 16 2 2 3
3 31 42 26 1 1 1
2 22 22 13 2 2 1
1 34 49 22 1 2 1

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the dominance of larger companies in the telecommunications market sectors. For example, although few companies operate in all six telecommunications market sectors (local, long distance, Internet, data and private line, and wireless) these companies captured almost 90% of total market revenues.

In the wireline telecommunications market sectors, competitors made greater gains in the residential market than in the business market. Contributing to this increase are the cable companies that upgraded their cable networks to provide telephony services to their residential television subscribers. 

Wireline market sectors include:

  • Local telephone market sector
  • Long distance market sector
  • Internet market sector
  • Data and private line market sector
Table 5.1.3
Wireline telecommunications revenue market share (%), by type of service provider (2013)
Residential Business Total
Incumbent TSPs (excl. out-of-territory) 49.6 65.0 56.4
Alternative service providers Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory) 0.1 11.7 5.3
Cable-based carriers and other facilities-based service providers 45.0 14.7 31.6
Resellers 5.2 8.6 6.7
Subtotal 50.4 35.0 43.6

Source: CRTC data collection

In this table, revenue market shares for wireline telecommunications services are split into residential and business sources for incumbent TSPs (excl. out-of-territory), as well as, alternative providers of telecommunications services, such as resellers, cable-based carriers and other facilities-based service providers and incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory).

d) Contribution

In 2013, as part of the social and economic objectives of the Telecommunications Act, approximately 10% of residential telephone lines were in high-cost serving areas and were subsidized by TSPs, or groups of related TSPs, with at least $10 million in Canadian telecommunications service revenues. TSPs contributed $118 million towards the achievement of the basic service objectives.

Figure 5.1.8 Subsidy paid to local exchange carriers and the revenue-percent charge

The bars in this graph display the subsidy paid to local residential service providers operating in high-cost serving areas. The line in the graph displays the revenue-percent charge that TSPs are required to contribute.

This bar line chart shows the subsidy received by LECs in millions of dollars from 2009 to 2013:  182, 165, 154, 132 and 118.  Contribution rates for the same period are also provided: 0.81%, 0.73%, 0.66%, 0.63% and 0.53%.

Sources: CRTC data collection and decisions

e) Consumer voices

What is the CCTS?

The CCTS is an independent organization dedicated to working with consumers and TSPs to resolve complaints relating to telecommunications services.

The CCTS is responsible for complaints related to services for which the Commission no longer approves rates.

In 2013, the CRTC and the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) had 44.5 thousand communications with Canadians regarding telecommunications services. Of these, 57% were with the CRTC and 43% were with the CCTS. Wireless service issues were the most common (42%), followed by telemarketing issues (16%), and Internet (11%) issues.

The underlying issues of these complaints were billing errors (37%), contract disputes / terms of service (14%), and service delivery / provision of service (13%).

Table 5.1.4
Number of contacts received by the CRTC, by type of issue and service (2013)
Issue CRTC policies/ decisions Billing /rates Quality of service Provision of service Terms of service Other Total Communications per 10,000 residential NAS, subscribers or payphones
Telemarketing 6,892 - - - - 76 6,968 6.2
Incumbent telephone companies 387 1,823 458 368 242 490 3,768 5.8
Wireless services 1,688 3,187 334 505 992 651 7,359 2.6
Internet services 533 553 378 450 124 602 2,640 2.3
Telecommunication services 1,246 688 78 229 84 423 2,748 1.6
Competitive local exchange carriers 67 327 112 108 69 95 778 1.6
Alternative providers of long distance service 26 100 15 17 22 19 199 0.2
VoIP services 110 161 122 127 28 48 596 0.5
Pay telephone services 39 34 4 4 1 17 99 15.2
Total 10,988 6,873 1,501 1,808 1,562 2,421 25,153

Source: CRTC data collection

This table displays a summary of the issues raised in the communications that the CRTC had with Canadians in 2013. Specifically, the table identifies the number of communications by issue and service.

Table 5.1.5
Summary of issues raised in telecommunications complaints handled by the CCTS (2012-2013)
Issue  Billing error Contract dispute Service delivery Credit management Total
Wireless services 6,318 3,207 1,667 471 11,663
Local exchange and VoIP services 1,366 730 941 135 3,172
Internet access services 1,670 795 1,166 127 2,160
Long distance services 460 84 129 26 699
Directory assistance services - -
White page directories 2 3 5
Operator services
Total 9,814 4,818 3,905 759 19,297

Source: CCTS annual reports

This table displays a summary of the issues raised in complaints to the CCTS. Service delivery includes installation, repair, and maintenance.

5.2  Wireline voice retail market sector

This pie chart shows local and access and long distance revenues as a proportion of all Telecommunications revenues. In 2013, Local and Access revenues accounted for 19% of all Telecommunications revenues; and Long Distance accounted for 5%. Telecommunications revenues were $41.1 billion in 2013.

Canadians were served by a variety of wireline voice service providers, such as:

  • large incumbent telecommunications service providers (TSPs), that primarily provide both local and long distance services over their own managed networks;
  • small incumbent TSPs, that operate in limited areas of Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia, and include municipally owned, public, and private carriers;
  • cable-based carriers, which are cable companies that provide managed network-based local and long distance services;
Table 5.2.0 
Retail wireline voice market sector at a glance
2012 2013 Annual change (%)
Revenues ($ billions) 9.8 9.5 -3.4
Local and access 7.7 7.5 -1.9
Long distance 2.1 1.9 -8.7
Local lines (millions) 16.9# 15.9 -5.8
Monthly retail local and long distance revenues per line
Residence $40.16 $39.25 -2.3
Business $56.46 $58.66 3.9
Monthly retail local revenues per line
Residence $30.37 $30.53 0.5
Business $46.38 $47.96 3.4
Retail long distance revenues per minute
Residence $0.067 $0.066 -1.6
Business $0.040 $0.043 8.6
Incumbent revenue market share (excluding out-of-territory)
Local and access 72% 70%
Long distance 65% 64%

Source: CRTC data collection

The wireline voice market comprises more than 150 companies operating throughout Canada, including large and small incumbent TSPs, cable-based carriers, Internet service providers, and resellers. This table displays the total revenues earned by these companies in 2012 and 2013, as well as the number of local lines they operate, the revenues per line for retail local and long distance services, and the incumbent revenue market share for local and long distance services.

Revenues from telephony services involving computer-to-computer communications; from small, access-independent voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers; and revenues from wireline terminal equipment sales are excluded from local and access revenues.

Revenues and minutes associated with calling cards are included in this section of the report. However, long distance calls originating from mobile phones are included in the wireless section.

The # symbol denotes a change in the data from what was published in the previous Communications Monitoring Report (refer to Appendix 1 for details).

  • independent Internet service providers, which provide local and/or long distance services over the public Internet network; and,
  • resellers, which do not own their own facilities and tend to concentrate on the long distance market by offering dial-around or prepaid card services.

Local telephone service can be provided either over a managed network that is maintained and operated by the service provider, or over the Internet, which the service provider cannot manage. Traffic from local telephone service provided over the Internet is not differentiated from other Internet traffic. For reporting purposes, local telephone service provided over the Internet is referred to as non-managed network service.

Local telephone service provided over a non-managed network using Internet Protocol is referred to as access-independent, local voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, or nomadic VoIP. This service can be accessed over any high-speed Internet connection.

In 2013, over 100 providers of local telephone services and over 150 providers of long distance services were operating throughout Canada. Many of these tended to be concentrated in major urban centres. On average, there were between 3 and 9 local service providers in urban centres, and between 1 and 3 local service providers in rural communities.

This section presents revenue and demand quantities (i.e. the number of local subscriber lines, payphones, and long distance minutes) generally over a five-year period to display the trends in the wireline voice retail market sector. Performance and technology measures, such as average revenues per line and revenues per minute, market share data, and data identifying innovation and technology deployment in the network and in companies’ service offerings are also presented.

a) Revenues

The wireline retail voice market sector, which includes revenues from local telephone and long distance services, yielded $10 billion in 2013. However, since 2009, these revenues have declined by 4.7% annually. This decline can be attributed to changes in the way Canadians communicate. These changes include

  • the migration of households from wireline services to mobile wireless services; and
  • the use of Internet-based services (which generally have a greater negative impact on long distance services), such as
    • social networking (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest);
    • emails and texting;
    • computer-to-computer communications (e.g. Skype); and,
    • access-independent VoIP services.
Table 5.2.1
Local and long distance retail revenues
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009 – 2013
Total retail local revenues ($ millions) 8,531 8,308 8,106 7,821# 7,661  -2.7%
Annual growth (%) -1.3 -2.6 -2.4 -3.5 -2.0
Less: ($ millions)
Contribution revenues 203 165 157 132 118 -12.8%
Annual growth (%) -2.9 -18.7 -4.8 -16.2 -10.6
Net local service revenues ($ millions) 8,328 8,143 7,949 7,690# 7,544  -2.4%
Annual growth (%) -1.3 -2.2 -2.4 -3.3 -1.9
Long distance retail revenues ($ millions) 3,076 2,634 2,408 2,134 1,949 -10.8%
Annual growth (%) -7.5 -14.4 -8.6 -11.4 -8.7
Local and long distance retail revenues ($ millions) 11,403 10,777 10,357 9,824# 9,493 -4.5%
Annual growth (%) -3.1 -5.5 -3.9 -5.1 -3.4

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows revenues from wireline local telephone services (before and after deductions from contribution revenues) and long distance services.

The # symbol denotes a change in the data from what was published in the previous Communications Monitoring Report. (refer to Appendix 1 for details)

Residential voice wireline revenues declined every year between 2009 and 2013. Based on Statistics Canada’s Survey of Household Spending, Canadians reduced their expenditures on wireline telephone services by 7.3% in 2012.

The loss of a wireline local service subscriber to a mobile wireless service results in the loss of both wireline local and wireline long distance revenues.

Table 5.2.2
Residential local telephone and long distance service revenues, by type of TSP ($ millions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory)
Local 3,546 3,349 3,129 2,906 2,672 -6.8%
Annual growth % -7.3 -5.6 -6.6 -7.1 -8.0
Long distance 1,288 1,136 1,051 931 801 -11.2%
Annual growth % -10.6 -11.8 -7.5 -11.4 -14.0
Total 4,834 4,485 4,180 3,837 3,473 -7.9%
Annual growth % -8.2 -7.2 -6.8 -8.2 -9.5
Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory)
Local 9 9 12 16 24 27.5%
Annual growth % -5.9 -1.8 31.7 34.2 52.1
Long distance 2 2 1 1 1 -24.2%
Annual growth % -21.5 -16.4 -21.8 -38.1 -18.3
Total 11 11 13 16 24 21.9%
Annual growth % -9.3 -4.5 23.0 26.7 48.5
Alternative service providers (excluding cable-based carriers)
Local 151 137 174 188 164 2.2%
Annual growth % 10.7 -9.2 27.5 7.8 -12.7
Long distance 475 357 330 281 211 -18.4%
Annual growth % -4.7 -24.7 -7.6 -14.9 -25.1
Total 625 494 505 469 375 -12.0%
Annual growth % -1.4 -21.0 2.1 -7.0 -20.1
Cable-based carriers
Local 1,099 1,252 1,285 1,307 1,388 6.0%
Annual growth % 21.3 13.9 2.6 1.7 6.2
Long distance 235 232 223 210 201 -3.8%
Annual growth % 2.4 -1.0 -3.9 -5.9 -4.3
Total 1,334 1,484 1,508 1,517 1,589 4.5%
Annual growth % 17.5 11.3 1.6 0.6 4.8
Total residential
Local 4,805 4,746 4,600 4,417 4,248 -3.0%
Annual growth % -1.5 -1.2 -3.1 -4.0 -3.8
Long distance 1,999 1,728 1,606 1,424 1,213 -11.7%
Annual growth % -7.9 -13.6 -7.0 -11.4 -14.8
Total 6,804 6,474 6,206 5,840 5,462 -5.3%
Annual growth % -3.5 -4.8 -4.1 -5.9 -6.5

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the level of residential local telephone and long distance revenues by type of TSP for the years 2009 to 2013.

Table 5.2.3
Business telephone and long distance revenues, by type of TSP ($ millions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory)
Local 3,017 2,934 2,813 2,664  2,595 -3.7%
Annual growth % -2.6 -2.7 -4.1 -5.3 -2.6
Long distance 669 565 491 449 454 -9.2%
Annual growth % -2.4 -15.6 -13.1 -8.5 1.2
Total local 3,686 3,499 3,304 3,113 3,050 -4.6%
Annual growth % -2.5 -5.1 -5.6 -5.8 -2.0
Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory)
Local 309 270 259 306 312 0.2%
Annual growth % -0.1 -12.6 -4.0 18.1 1.9
Long distance 161 115 119 89 79 -16.2%
Annual growth % -8.4 -28.2 2.7 -25.0 -10.8
Total 470 385 378 395 391 -4.5%
Annual growth % -3.1 -18.0 -2.0 4.6 -1.0
Alternative service providers (excluding cable-based carriers)
Local 59 49 90 93 141 24.4%
Annual growth % 219.9 -17.0 83.7 3.0 52.7
Long distance 146 138 117 108 142 -0.8%
Annual growth % -18.0 -5.6 -15.1 -8.3 31.8
Total 205 187 207 200 283 8.4%
Annual growth % 4.3 -8.9 10.7 -3.4 41.5
Cable-based carriers
Local 139 144 187 210 247 15.5%
Annual growth % 2.0 3.9 29.9 12.3 17.5
Long distance 100 88 76 66 60 -12.0%
Annual growth % -13.6 -12.2 -14.2 -13.2 -8.2
Total 239 232 263 276 307 6.5%
Annual growth % -5.2 -2.9 13.2 5.0 11.4
Total business
Local 3,523 3,397 3,350 3,273 3,295 -1.7%
Annual growth % -1.0 -3.6 -1.4 -2.3 0.7
Long distance 1,077 907 802 711 736 -9.1%
Annual growth % -6.9 -15.8 -11.5 -11.3 3.5
Total 4,600 4,303 4,151 3,984 4,031 -3.2%
Annual growth % -2.5 -6.4 -3.5 -4.0 1.2

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the level of business local telephone and long distance revenues by type of TSP for the years 2009 to 2013.

b) Subscriber demand data

Canadians continue to reduce their dependency on wireline residential and business telephone services. The number of managed-network wireline telephone lines has decreased from 18.6 million lines in 2009 to 15.9 million lines in 2013. Between 2009 and 2013, this number decreased annually by 3.8%.

The Statistics Canada’s Survey of Household Spending indicates that the percentage of households subscribing to wireline telephone service has declined from 86.5% of households in 2011 to 83.5% in 2012, a reduction of approximately 380,000 households. In addition, the survey indicated that the number of households with two or more lines has been declining.

Table 5.2.4
Number of retail local telephone lines, access dependent vs. access independent (thousands)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013
Managed network lines
Local telephone lines 18,564  18,210  17,869 16,866 15,887 -3.8%
Annual growth % -2.9 -1.9 -1.9 -5.6 -5.8
Non-managed network lines
Access-independent lines 199   255 404 861# 1,033 50.9%
Annual growth % 6.7 28.2 58.4 112.8 20.1
Managed and non-managed network lines
Total   18,764  18,466 18,274  17,726# 16,921 -2.6%
Annual growth % -2.8 -1.6 -1.0 -3.0 -4.6

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the number of local telephone lines operated on managed and non-managed networks between 2009 and 2013. Non-managed network lines are excluded in subsequent tables in this section.

The # symbol denotes a change in the data from what was published in the previous Communications Monitoring Report (refer to Appendix 1 for details).

Table 5.2.5
Residential and business local telephone lines by type of TSP (thousands)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory)
Residential 8,818 8,142 7,543 6,942 6,389 -7.7%
Annual growth % -7.6 -7.7 -7.4 -8.0 -8.0
Business 4,968 4,721  4,598  4,445 4,255 -3.8%
Annual growth % -5.7 -5.0 -2.6 -3.3 -4.3
Total 13,786 12,863 12,141  11,387   10,644 -6.3%
Annual growth % -6.9 -6.7 -5.6 -6.2 -6.5
Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory)
Residential 28 27 34 33 53 16.9%
Annual growth % 4.6 -6.1 26.7 -3.5 62.8
Business 617 638 752 639 635 0.7%
Annual growth % 0.5 3.3 17.9 -15.0 -0.6
Total 646 665 786 672 688 1.6%
Annual growth % 0.7 2.9 18.2 -14.5 2.5
Alternative TSPs (excluding cable-based carriers)
Residential 452 510 646 723 482 1.6%
Annual growth % -15.7 12.9 26.6 11.9 -33.3
Business 176 178 225 264 261 10.3%
Annual growth % 40.8 1.1 26.1 17.4 -1.2
Total 629 689 871 987 743 4.3%
Annual growth % -5.0 9.6 26.5 13.3 -24.7
Cable-based carriers
Residential 3,425 3,947 4,061 4,258 4,314 5.9%
Annual growth % 17.4 15.2 2.9 4.8 1.3
Business 278 303 414 422 531 17.6%
Annual growth % -1.0 8.9 36.9 1.9 25.8
Total 3,703 4,250 4,476 4,681 4,846 7.0%
Annual growth % 15.8 14.8 5.3 4.6 3.5
Total retail
Residential   12,724   12,626   12,284   11,956   11,238 -3.1%
Annual growth % -2.3 -0.8 -2.7 -2.7 -6.0
Business 6,040 5,840 5,989 5,770 5,683 -1.5%
Annual growth % -4.0 -3.3 2.6 -3.7 -1.5
Total   18,764   18,466   18,274   17,726   16,921 -2.6%
Annual growth % -2.8 -1.6 -1.0 -3.0 -4.5

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the number of residential and business local telephone lines by type of TSP for the years 2009 to 2013.

Households have been adapting to VoIP technology. They generally favour local telephone service over a managed network, since the service provider has control over the quality of the service, than over a non-managed network.

The use of VoIP services in the residential and business markets varies significantly. This can be attributed to the cable-based carriers that provide local telephone service over their managed network using access-dependent VoIP technology. Their networks are generally located in residential communities. They already provide cable service to residential consumers via their cable networks, which facilitates the provision of local telephone service to these consumers. Cable-based carriers are the largest competitor to the traditional telephone companies in the residential market. Over 30% of households subscribe to local telephone service from a cable-based carrier, and 55% subscribe to television service from a cable-based carrier.

Figure 5.2.1 Retail VoIP local lines, access-independent and access-dependent, by market (2013)

This bar chart contains lines in millions categorized by Residential Traditional non-VoIP, Residential VoIP Access dependent, Residential VoIP Access independent  and Business Traditional non-VoIP, Business VoIP Access dependent, Business VoIP Access independent.
Residential Traditional non-VoIP: 5.8; Residential VoIP Access dependent: 4.5; Residential VoIP Access independent: 1.0; Business Traditional non-VoIP: 5.0; Business VoIP Access dependent 0.6; and Business VoIP Access independent: 0.1

Source: CRTC data collection

Consumers appear reluctant to subscribe to access-independent VoIP telephone service. In 2013, there were 20.1 million local telephone lines (i.e. local telephone service over a managed network), compared to 0.8 million access-independent VoIP connections (i.e. local telephone service over a non-managed network).

c) Performance indicators

Table 5.2.6
Local and long distance retail monthly revenues ($) per line
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013
Residential 44.05 42.56 41.52 40.16 39.25 -2.8%
Annual growth % -2.7 -3.4 -2.5 -3.3 -2.3
Business 62.17 60.37 58.49 56.46 58.66 -1.4%
Annual growth % -0.6 -2.9 -3.1 -3.5 3.9

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the average per line monthly retail local telephone and long distance revenues for TSPs. Monthly revenues per local telephone line declined consistently between 2009 and 2013 in both the residential and business markets.


Monthly revenues per line

Monthly revenue per line is calculated by (i) dividing the annual service revenues by the average number of local lines in the year, and then (ii) dividing the result by 12. The average number of lines is determined by dividing the sum of the number of lines at the beginning of the year and at the end of the year by two.

Table 5.2.7
Local telephone service monthly revenues ($) per line, by type of TSP
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013
Residential local service
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory) 32.19 32.91 33.25 33.44 33.41 0.9%
Annual growth % 0.4 2.2 1.0 0.6 -0.1
Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory) 27.01 26.75 32.09 39.22 46.20 14.4%
Annual growth % -9.3 -0.9 20.0 22.2 17.8
Alternative TSPs (excluding cable-based carriers) 25.41 23.70 25.14 22.90 22.72 -2.8%
Annual growth % -14.1 -6.7 6.1 -8.9 -0.8
Cable-based carriers 28.88 28.31 26.74 26.18 26.99 -1.7%
Annual growth % 0.0 -2.0 -5.5 -2.1 3.1
Total residential 31.11 31.21 30.78 30.37 30.53 -0.5%
Annual growth % -0.7 0.3 -1.4 -1.3 0.5
Business local service
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory) 49.11 50.47 50.32 49.10 49.72 0.3%
Annual growth % 0.1 2.8 -0.3 -2.4 1.3
Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory) 41.77 35.82 31.06 36.66 40.76 -0.6%
Annual growth % 1.7 -14.3 -13.3 18.0 11.2
Alternative TSPs 32.56 22.97 37.13 31.54 44.86 8.3%
Annual growth % 141.0 -29.4 61.6 -15.1 42.2
Cable-based carriers 41.35 41.33 43.48 41.86 43.16 1.1%
Annual growth % 2.4 0.0 5.2 -3.7 3.1
Total business 47.62 47.65 47.19 46.38 47.96 0.2%
Annual growth % 0.9 0.1 -1.0 -1.7 3.4

Source: CRTC data collection

Overall, the average total monthly revenues derived from either residential or business local lines were relatively constant between 2009 and 2013. However, there were relatively large differences in these revenues among the different types of TSPs.

Table 5.2.8
Long distance retail revenues ($) per minute, by type of TSP
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009- 2013
Residential long distance service
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory) 0.100 0.092 0.089 0.088 0.087 -3.5%
Annual growth % -9.5 -8.4 -2.3 -2.0 -1.5
Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory) 0.071 0.082 0.084 0.072 0.081 3.2%
Annual growth % 3.4 14.1 2.9 -13.8 12.0
Non-incumbent, alternative TSPs 0.059 0.058 0.049 0.051 0.047 -5.6%
Annual growth % 9.9 -2.2 -16.3 4.0 -6.9
Cable-based carriers 0.047 0.044 0.043 0.042 0.043 -2.0%
Annual growth % -0.1 -4.9 -3.1 -2.4 2.4
Total residential 0.077 0.072 0.068 0.067 0.066 -3.8%
Annual growth % -9.0 -5.8 -6.6 -0.8 -1.6
Business long distance service
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory) 0.067 0.059 0.061 0.049 0.050 -7.1%
Annual growth % 0.8 -11.7 2.6 -18.8 1.5
Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory) 0.054 0.043 0.062 0.032 0.026 -16.9%
Annual growth % -4.0 -24.0 12.1 -14.7 -18.7
Non-incumbent, alternative TSPs 0.049 0.051 0.036 0.038 0.062 5.8%
Annual growth % -15.1 -1.7 -20.2 3.6 60.8
Cable-based carriers 0.030 0.028 0.027 0.025 0.024 -5.3%
Annual growth % -15.1 -1.7 -20.2 3.6 -2.5
Total business 0.052 0.046 0.044 0.040 0.043 -4.4%
Annual growth % -4.0 -11.0 -4.7 -10.0 8.6

Source: CRTC data collection

Per-minute retail long distance revenues are a measure of profitability for TSPs that deliver retail long distance services. This table shows the changes in average revenues from these services by TSP in residential and business markets between 2009 and 2013.

d) Price

Basic local telephone service includes unlimited calling within a geographic area, 9-1-1 services, and message relay services, as well as access to long distance services. Approximately 15% of households subscribing to wireline local service subscribe to basic local telephone service. The remaining 85% of households subscribe to additional local features, which may be bundled with other communications services, such as Internet, television, or wireless services. The figures below display the price of basic local telephone service on a stand-alone basis in a number of urban and rural centres.

Urban centres

The bar charts below display the range of monthly prices of basic local service in 24 major urban centres in Canada. The blue bar displays the lowest price, and the red bar displays the difference between the lowest and the highest price. The number at the top of the bar is the highest price. The number in brackets along the horizontal axis after the name of each urban centre represents the number of providers of basic local telephone service.

Figure 5.2.2  Price of basic local telephone service ($/month) and number of companies providing this service in major urban centres

This stacked bar chart shows the highest and lowest prices of basic local telephone service by major centre, as well as the number of service providers in each centre.  Vancouver: 3 providers, low 30, high 38; Victoria: 3 providers, low 30 high 38; Calgary: 3 providers, low 30, high 38; Edmonton: 3 providers, low 30, high 38; Saskatoon: 2 providers, low 22, high 30; Regina: 2 providers, low 22, high 30; Winnipeg: 3 providers, low 29, high 38; Toronto: 3 providers, low 32, high 38; Ottawa-Gatineau: 4 providers, low 24 high 38; Hamilton: 4 providers, low 31, high 38; London: 3 providers, low 31, high 38; Kitchener-Waterloo: 3 providers, low 31, high 38; St. Catharines – Niagara: 4 providers, low 31, high 38; Windsor: 4 providers, low 31, high 38; Oshawa: 3 providers, low 31, high 38; Montréal: 3 providers, low 24, high 38; Québec: 3 providers, low 24, high 38; Fredericton: 2 providers, low 25, high 26; Halifax: 2 providers, low 23, high 31; Charlottetown: 2 providers, low 23, high 25; St. John’s: 2 providers, low 25, high 30; Whitehorse: 1 providers, low 32, high 32; Yellowknife: 1 providers, low 32, high 32; Iqaluit: 1 providers, low 32, high 32;

Source: CRTC data collection

This bar chart displays the range of monthly price of basic local telephone service in 24 major urban centres in Canada. The blue bar displays the lowest price and the red bar displays the difference between the lowest price and the highest price. The number at the top of the bar is the highest price. The number appearing in brackets along the horizontal axis after the name of each urban centre represents the number of basic local telephone service providers.

The price of basic local service varied across the major urban centres from $22 per month in Saskatoon and Regina to $32 in the major northern communities. In some cases, various service providers did not provide basic local telephone service as defined. These companies provided the price for the service that came closest to the definition.

Rural communities

As displayed in the following figure, the price of basic local telephone service was generally higher in rural communities than in urban centres, except in Ontario.

Figure 5.2.3 Price of basic local telephone service ($/month) and number of companies providing this service in rural communities, by province and territory

This stacked bar chart shows the highest and lowest prices of basic local telephone service by rural and urban communities, by province or territory, as well as the number of service providers in the rural and urban communities.  BC Rural: 1 provider, low 35, high 38; BC Urban: 3 providers, low 30 high 31; Alberta Rural: 1 provider, low 36, high 36; Alberta Urban: 3 providers, low 30 high 31; Saskatchewan Rural: 1 provider, low 30, high 30; Saskatchewan Urban: 2 providers, low 22 high 30; Manitoba Rural: 1 provider, low 29, high 30; Manitoba Urban: 2 providers, low 29 high 30; Ontario Rural: 1 to 2 providers, low 21, high 36; Ontario Urban: 2 to 3 providers, low 24 high 35; Quebec Rural: 1 to 3 providers, low 24, high 36; Quebec Urban: 2 providers, low 24 high 32; New Brunswick Rural: 1 provider, low 26, high 26; New Brunswick Urban: 2 providers, low 25 high 26; PEI Rural: 1 provider, low 30, high 30; PEI Urban: 2 providers, low 23 high 25; Nova Scotia Rural: 1 provider, low 30, high 30; Nova Scotia Urban: 2 providers, low 23 high 30; Newfoundland Rural: 1 provider, low 30, high 30; Newfoundland Urban: 2 providers, low 25 high 30; Yukon Rural: 1 provider, low 32, high 32; Yukon Urban: 1 provider, low 32 high 32; Northwest Territories Rural: 1 provider, low 32, high 32; Northwest Territories Urban: 1 provider, low 32 high 32; Northwest Territories Rural: 1 provider, low 32, high 32; Northwest Territories Urban: 1 provider, low 32 high 32;

Source: CRTC data collection

This bar chart displays the range of monthly price of basic local telephone service in 54 rural communities in Canada. The blue bar displays the lowest price and the red bar displays the difference between the low price and the high price. The number at the top of the bar is the high price. The number appearing in parentheses along the horizontal axis after the name of each province and territory indicates the range in the number of basic local telephone service providers in each rural centre or community responding to the survey.

The price of basic local telephone service in rural communities varied, from lows of between $21 to $36 per month to highs of between $26 and $38 per month.

In some cases, service providers did not provide basic local telephone service. These companies provided the price for the service that came closest to the definition of basic local telephone service as defined in the survey.

Which communities were included?

54 rural communities were selected to assess the price of basic local telephone service in rural communities. These communities met the following criteria:

  • The community was not part of one of the census metropolitan areas of the 24 major urban centres;
  • The community had a population density of fewer than 400 people per square kilometre, or its population centre had fewer than 1,000 people;
  • The number of communities in each province was proportional to the population of the province; and
  • The communities were not clustered together.

Appendix 4 lists the rural communities included.

e) Type of local facilities

Figure 5.2. 4 Alternative TSP local retail lines (excluding incumbent out-of-territory), by type of facility

Leased lines are lines acquired from facilities-based carriers.

Resold lines connect directly from the underlying facilities-based carrier’s network, to a customer.

This bar chart shows local retail lines in millions, categorized by owned, leased and resold lines for the years 2009 through 2013. For 2009:  Owned lines 3.5, Leased lines 0.3 and Resold lines 0.1. For 2010: Owned lines 4.1, Leased lines 0.2 and Resold lines 0.2. For 2011: Owned lines 4.3, Leased lines 0.1 and Resold lines 0.2. For 2012: Owned lines 4.5, Leased lines 0.1 and Resold lines 0.2. For 2013: Owned lines 4.6, Leased lines 0.1 and Resold lines 0.1.

Source: CRTC data collection

Alternative TSPs compete with incumbent TSPs. This table shows that alternative TSPs mostly own their own lines. Very few alternative TSPs lease or buy lines from incumbent TSPs.

Figure 5.2.5 Alternative TSP local residential and business retail lines, by type of facility (2013)

This chart contains two pie graphs. The first shows alternative TSP local share by type of facility for residence lines:  Owned lines 98.1%, Leased lines 1.3% and Resold lines 0.6%.  The second pie chart shows alternative TSP local share by type of facility for business lines:  Owned lines 77.5%, Leased lines 14.0%, and Resold lines 8.5%.

Source: CRTC data collection

These pie charts compare retail line ownership percentages for the residential and business markets for alternative TSPs. The higher proportion of owned lines in the residential market than in the business market can be attributed to the cable companies.

f)  Competitive landscape

Table 5.2.9
Incumbent TSP (excluding out-of-territory) provincial retail local market share, by line (%)
Province 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
British Columbia 75.6 67.3 65.2 60.9 61.4
Alberta 71.7 68.2 66.8 64.6 63.6
Saskatchewan 94.3 93.0 92.5 90.9 89.7
Manitoba 87.1 83.7 80.2 77.4 76.1
Ontario 73.4 70.2 67.6 66.4 64.8
Quebec 67.0 62.8 58.0 55.5 53.9
New Brunswick 87.5 85.1 83.1 81.6 72.5
Nova Scotia 70.4 67.8 65.1 65.8 65.6
Prince Edward Island 79.2 74.7 71.7 71.3 71.5
Newfoundland and Labrador 90.6 89.4 90.9 81.2 83.8
Yukon n/a n/a n/a n/a 99.8
Northwest Territories n/a n/a n/a n/a 99.9
Nunavut n/a n/a n/a n/a 100.0
Canada 73.8 69.8 66.9 64.8 63.6

Source: CRTC data collection

Traditionally, Canada’s telecommunications market was dominated by a handful of large incumbent TSPs. Over time, previously closed markets have opened to competition. This table shows the percentage of local retail lines providing service by the incumbent TSPs between 2009 and 2013.

Table 5.2.10
Incumbent TSP (excluding out-of-territory) residential and business local retail line market share (%), by area
Province Major centre or area Residential lines Business lines
2012 2013 2012 2013
British Columbia Vancouver 56.5 56.2 62.3 60.6
Victoria 45.1 44.6 61.6 61.9
Remaining areas 63.3 65.9 73.7 75.3
Alberta Calgary 49.6 48.8 61.0 59.0
Edmonton 56.1 54.6 62.2 63.5
Remaining areas 78.9 77.4 88.0 87.6
Saskatchewan Saskatoon 72.7 71.6 94.2 91.9
Regina 83.0 81.4 97.6 97.0
Remaining areas 95.4 95.6 99.2 98.9
Manitoba Winnipeg 56.1 53.3 82.6 87.4
Remaining areas 95.8 91.9 99.3 92.7
Ontario Toronto 55.4 53.6 75.9 70.5
Ottawa Gatineau 53.4 56.7 88.8 86.8
Hamilton 50.9 54.5 75.1 68.8
London 56.3 53.5 76.9 71.4
Kitchener Waterloo 53.8 50.8 76.7 73.3
St. Catharines Niagara 59.6 57.9 80.8 70.7
Windsor 61.9 59.8 68.1 61.5
Oshawa 52.1 50.8 86.4 82.9
Remaining areas 73.0 73.8 77.4 79.7
Quebec Montréal 44.6 43.1 72.6 68.9
Québec 38.0 36.8 68.2 60.9
Remaining areas 57.2 60.0 74.9 66.6
New Brunswick Fredericton 72.4 67.5 99.6 98.3
Remaining areas 72.1 60.0 99.3 98.5
Nova Scotia Halifax 48.8 50.9 75.6 74.0
Remaining areas 68.2 67.5 82.1 82.4
Prince Edward Island Charlottetown 51.7 54.7 75.2 78.8
Remaining areas 80.6 80.1 83.1 78.0
Newfoundland and Labrador St. John’s 70.3 65.8 99.3 98.2
Remaining areas 77.6 86.7 90.1 94.4
Yukon Whitehorse 100.0 100.0 99.7 99.7
Remaining areas 100.0 100.0 99.5 99.5
Northwest Territories Yellowknife 100.0 100.0 99.9 99.9
Remaining areas 100.0 100.0 99.9 99.9
Nunavut Iqaluit 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Remaining areas 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the percentage of residential and business local retail lines providing service from the incumbent TSPs in Canada’s major urban centres and in the remaining areas of the province or territory in 2012 and 2013. Major urban centre boundaries are defined using Statistics Canada’s census metropolitan area and census agglomeration definitions.

Table 5.2.11
Large incumbent TSPs’ retail long distance revenue market share (%), by region
Region 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
B.C., Alberta 74 68 74 75 74
Saskatchewan 84 83 92 92 92
Manitoba 81 78 84 83 81
Ontario, Quebec 55 61 71 70 69
Atlantic 80 81 83 83 86
The North 97 97 97 97 98

Source: CRTC data collection

Traditionally, large incumbent TSPs were the monopoly providers of long distance services in Canada. With the introduction of competition in 1992, other service providers have entered the market. This table shows the percentage of retail long distance revenues captured by the large incumbent TSPs.

The North includes the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.

g) Pay telephone service

Figure 5.2.6 Large incumbent TSPs’ payphone revenues and quantities

Payphone quantities and retail revenue per payphone

Coin-operated payphones as a percentage of total

This chart contains two bar charts. The chart on the left hand side contains a bar chart depicting the number of payphones (in thousands) for the years 2009 through 2013 and a line chart showing retail revenues per payphone for the same years. Payphones: 2009: 89, 2010: 82, 2011: 75, 2012: 72, 2013: 65. Retail revenue per payphone:  2009: $969, 2010: $860, 2011: $718, 2012: $621, 2013: $561. The chart on the right hand side contains a bar chart depicting the percentage of coin-operated payphones for the years 2009 through 2013. Percentage of coin-operated pay telephones:  2009: 89%, 2010: 91%, 2011: 94%, 2012: 93%, 2013: 92%.

Source: CRTC data collection

The number of payphones owned and operated by the large incumbent TSPs has declined steadily between 2009 and 2013. Per-payphone revenues have also been declining. However, the number of coin-operated payphones as a percentage of the total number of payphones has remained steady. Approximately 10% of payphones are equipped with teletypewriter (TTY) capability.

Figure 5.2.7  Number of payphones per 1,000 households

This bar chart shows the number of payphones per 1000 households for the years 2009 through 2013. For 2009: 6.7. For 2010: 6.0. For 2011: 5.4. For 2012: 5.1. For 2013: 4.6.

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows that the prevalence of payphones in Canada per 1,000 households has declined steadily between 2009 and 2013.

5.3  Internet market sector and broadband availability

This pie chart shows the percentage of retail Internet revenues as a proportion of all retail telecommunications revenues in 2013.  Internet: 19%; remaining market sectors: 81%; Retail telecommunications revenues: $41.1 billion.

In 2013, there were over 500 Internet service providers (ISPs) operating across Canada. These service providers include incumbent telecommunications service providers (TSPs), cable-based carriers, utility telecommunications companies, fixed wireless service providers, and resellers.

Table 5.3.0
Retail Internet market sector and broadband availability at a glance
2012 2013 Annual growth (%)
Revenues ($ billions) 7.2 7.7 7.3
Internet access and transport
Residential 5.4 5.9 10.6
Business 1.2 1.2 3.4
Other 0.6 0.5 -13.0
Residential subscribers (millions) 11.0 11.3 2.3
Residential high-speed access revenues per subscriber per month $41.80 $44.87
Internet access revenue market share
Top five major ISPs (including affiliates) 76% 75% -
Cable-based carriers 52% 51% -
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory) 37% 37% -
Residential penetration: All speeds 79% 80% -
High-speed (256 kbps and higher) 78% 79% -
Broadband (1.5 Mbps and higher) 75% 77% -
Broadband (5 Mbps and higher) 62% 67% -
Average GB downloaded per month per residential subscriber 28.4 44.8 57.7
Average GB uploaded per month per residential subscriber 5.4 6.0 11.0
Average residential high-speed service churn rate 1.83% 1.64%
Average business high-speed service churn rate 2.04%# 1.67%
Residential broadband availability (excluding satellite)
National 97% 97%
Urban 100% 100%
Rural 85% 84%

Source: CRTC data collection

In 2013, there were over 500 Internet service providers operating across Canada. Five in particular—Bell Canada, Quebecor Media Inc., Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications, and TELUS Communications Company—collectively dominated the market for Internet services. This table offers an overview of the Internet market sector. It shows total revenues and revenues by market subsectors, numbers of subscribers, per-subscriber revenues, companies’ market shares, Internet penetration rates, the average monthly download and upload habits of subscribers, and average business and residential churn rates. The table excludes data on mobile Internet services. These are included in the Wireless section of this report. The # symbol denotes a change in the data from what was published in the previous Communications Monitoring Report (refer to Appendix 1 for details).

The table also displays the percentage of Canadian households that can have access to broadband Internet service nationally, in urban centres, and in rural communities. All Canadian households in urban centres can access broadband Internet service, compared to 84% of households in rural communities.


Internet transport refers to the carriage of Internet traffic between networks.

Monthly revenues per subscriber are calculated by dividing the annual residential Internet access revenues by the average number of subscribers in the year. The result is then divided by 12 to obtain the monthly amount. The average number of subscribers is determined by dividing the sum of the number of subscribers at the beginning and at the end of the year by two.

Churn rate is derived by dividing the number of subscribers that have terminated their service in a month by the average number of subscribers in that month.

Internet service is provided using a range of technologies. Incumbent TSPs rely mainly on their copper wire local telephone network using digital subscriber line (DSL), fibre to the home, or fibre to the node (a pedestal in the neighbourhood). In the latter arrangement copper wires complete the connection to the subscriber. Cable-based carriers rely on their coaxial cable network via cable modem and fibre optic facilities to provide Internet service. Other technologies used to provide Internet service include satellite, fixed wireless, and dial-up.

What is “fixed wireless?”

“Fixed wireless” refers to the use of either licensed or unlicensed spectrum to provide communications services to subscribers. The connection to the subscriber is from a tower located in the neighbourhood to the premises of the subscriber. The tower may be connected to the network via satellite, landline (such as fibre optic or copper cable), or other facilities.

Resellers providing Internet service are independent ISPs who rely on facilities-based incumbent TSPs or cable-based carriers to provide them with facilities to reach their customers. ISPs operating in rural or remote areas rely on fixed wireless and satellite facilities.

This section presents residential and business Internet revenues and demand quantities (i.e. the number of Internet subscribers) over a five-year period to display the trends in the retail Internet market sector. Performance and technology indicators, such as average revenues per subscriber and market share data are presented, as well as Internet service plan and pricing data. This section excludes Internet revenues and demand quantities from mobile devices accessing the Internet. These data are included in the Wireless section of this report.

a) Revenues

Table 5.3.1
Retail Internet service revenues ($ millions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR (%)
2009-2013
Residential
Dial-up access 141 96 69 43 32 -30.7
High-speed access 4,144 4,442 4,853 5,325 5,906 9.3
Residential total 4,285 4,538 4,923 5,369 5,938 8.5
Annual growth (%) 9.9 5.9 8.5 9.1 10.6
Business
Access 1,019 1,125 1,142 1,138 1,171 3.5
Transport 67 77 52 65 71 1.8
Business total 1,086 1,202 1,194 1,202 1,243 3.4
Annual growth (%) 1.2 10.7 -0.6 0.7 3.4
Applications, equipment, and other Internet-related services 772 686 674 625 544 -8.4
Annual growth (%) -8.0 -11.0 -1.8 -7.3 -13.0
Total 6,142 6,426 6,791 7,196 7,724 5.9
Annual growth (%) 5.7 4.6 5.7 6.0 7.3

Source: CRTC data collection

Between 2009 and 2013, the types of services offered by ISPs to Canadians varied greatly. Over 90% of residential customers had a choice of ISP on a variety of platforms. This table presents an overview of revenues from residential and business Internet services. Residential Internet service revenues have increased more quickly than business service revenues, 8.5% vs. 3.4% respectively over the 2009 to 2013 period.

Due to changes in company reporting, business transport service revenues in 2009 and 2011 are not comparable to those in other years.


The types of Internet services available vary according to the download speed of the Internet connection. The lowest download speed is dial-up, at 64 kilobits per second (Kbps). High-speed, which refers to any download speed greater than 256 Kbps, is next.

“Business transport” refers to the transfer of Internet traffic between networks. This is generally used by large business customers.

Table 5.3.2
Residential Internet service revenues, by type of service ($ millions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR (%)
2009-2013
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory)
Dial-up 92 64 46 30 20 -31.9
High-speed 1,506 1,588 1,732 1,860 2,136 9.1
Total 1,598 1,652 1,778 1,890 2,155 7.8
Annual growth (%) 5.0 3.4 7.7 6.3 14.0
Cable-based carriers
Dial-up 1 1 1 0 0 -38.0
High-speed 2,419 2,572 2,811 3,065 3,293 8.0
Total 2,420 2,573 2,811 3,065 3,293 8.0
Annual growth (%) 13.6 6.3 9.2 9.1 7.4
Alternative service providers (excluding cable-based carriers)
Dial-up 48 31 23 12 12 -28.8
High-speed 219 282 310 400 477 21.5
Total 267 313 332 413 490 16.4
Annual growth (%) 8.7 17.4 6.3 24.0 18.6
Total of the above
Dial-up 141 96 69 43 32 -30.7
High-speed 4,144 4,442 4,853 5,325 5,906 9.3
Residential total 4,285 4,538 4,923 5,369 5,938 8.5
Annual growth (%) 9.9 5.9 8.5 9.1 10.6

Source: CRTC data collection

This table presents dial-up and high-speed residential Internet service revenues by type of service provider.

Table 5.3.3
Business Internet service revenues, by type of service ($ millions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR (%)
2009-2013
Internet access
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory) 444 478 481 499 501 3.1
Cable-based carriers 227 284 309 273 306 7.7
Total 671 762 790 772 807 4.7
Annual growth (%) 2.1 13.5 3.7 -2.3 4.5
Alternative service providers (excluding cable-based carriers)
Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory) 93 81 81 81 79 -3.9
Remaining alternative service providers 255 282 272 285 285 2.8
Total 348 364 353 366 364 1.1
Annual growth (%) 2.6 4.5 -3.1 3.7 -0.4
Internet access total 1,019 1,125 1,142 1,138 1,171 3.5
Annual growth (%) 2.3 10.4 1.5 -0.4 3.0
Transport 67 77 52 65 71 1.8
Annual growth (%) -12.8 15.2 -32.4 25.0 10.4
Total business Internet service revenues 1,086 1,202 1,194 1,202 1,243 3.4
Annual growth (%) 1.2 10.7 -0.6 0.7 3.4

Source: CRTC data collection

This table presents an overview of business Internet service revenues by type of service provider. Over the 2009 to 2013 period, the business Internet market has increased by 3.4% annually. Of the various providers, cable-based carriers have the highest annual growth rate (7.7%).

b) Subscriber demand data

Table 5.3.4
Residential Internet service subscribers, by type of service provider (thousands)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR (%)
2009-2013
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory)
Dial-up 286 210 137 97 70 -29.6
Annual growth (%) -33.9 -26.6 -34.9 -28.8 -27.9
Share of total dial-up (%) 58.8 57.3 55.5 53.2 57.1
High-speed 3,673 3,762 3,874 4,014 4,172 3.2
Annual growth (%) 2.5 2.4 3.0 3.6 3.9
Share of total high-speed (%) 38.4 37.6 37.2 37.1 37.5
Total 3,959 3,972 4,011 4,111 4,242 1.7
Annual growth (%) -1.4 0.3 1.0 2.5 3.2
Share of total (%) 39.3 38.3 37.6 37.4 37.7
Cable-based carriers
Dial-up 14 10 7 6 2 -38.4
Annual growth (%) -24.4 -23.0 -28.9 -14.6 -69.2
Share of total dial-up (%) 2.8 2.8 3.0 3.5 1.6
High-speed 5,358 5,642 5,839 5,925 5,931 2.6
Annual growth (%) 7.4 5.3 3.5 1.5 0.1
Share of total high-speed (%) 56.0 56.4 56.0 54.8 53.3
Total 5,372 5,653 5,846 5,932 5,933 2.5
Annual growth (%) 7.3 5.2 3.4 1.5 0.0
Share of total (%) 53.4 54.5 54.8 54.0 52.7
Other service providers
Dial-up 187 146 102 79 51 -27.8
Annual growth (%) -33.6 -21.7 -30.1 -22.3 -36.1
Share of total dial-up (%) 38.4 39.9 41.5 43.4 41.3
High-speed 545 604 712 870 1,025 17.1
Annual growth (%) 8.2 10.8 18.0 22.1 17.8
Share of total high-speed (%) 5.7 6.0 6.8 8.1 9.2
Total 731 750 815 950 1,076 10.1
Annual growth (%) 8.2 2.5 8.6 16.6 13.3
Share of total (%) 7.3 7.2 7.6 8.6 9.6
Total
Dial-up 486 366 246 183 123 -29.1
Annual growth (%) -33.6 -24.6 -32.8 -25.7 -32.9
Share of total (%) 4.8 3.5 2.3 1.7 1.1
High-speed 9,576 10,008 10,426 10,809 11,128 3.8
Annual growth (%) 5.5 4.5 4.2 3.7 2.9
Share of total (%) 95.2 96.5 97.7 98.3 98.9
Grand total 10,062 10,375 10,672 10,992 11,251 2.8
Annual growth (%) 2.6 3.1 2.9 3.0 2.3

Source: CRTC data collection

Residential Internet service subscribers receive Internet service from a variety of service providers. This table shows the number of internet subscribers and the annual growth rates by type of provider for the period from 2009 to 2013. Overall, the annual growth in the number of Internet service subscribers remained relatively stable, at approximately 3%. When compared to Statistics Canada’s annual population growth rates, the rate of Internet service subscriber growth was approximately three times that of population growth.

Table 5.3.5
Number of business Internet access  subscriptions, by type of service provider (thousands)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR (%)
2009-2013
Dial-up 113 84 72 61 54 -16.8
Annual growth (%) -18.1 -26.0 -13.5 -15.2 -11.8
High-speed
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory) 431 447 452 444 470 2.2
Annual growth (%) 0.0 3.6 1.3 -1.8 5.8
 Share of total high-speed (%) 55.5 55.2 52.8 50.4 48.6
Cable-based carriers 176 199 232 268 310 15.2
Annual growth (%) 12.0 13.3 16.6 15.1 15.8
 Share of total high-speed (%) 22.6 24.6 27.1 30.4 32.0
Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory) 12 11 19 19 17 9.4
Annual growth (%) -21.3 -8.2 76.5 -3.9 -8.0
 Share of total high-speed (%) 1.5 1.4 2.3 2.1 1.8
Alternative service providers (excluding cable-based carriers and incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory) 158 152 152 150 170 1.8
Annual growth (%) -2.3 -3.8 -0.2 -1.1 13.1
 Share of total high-speed (%) 20.4 18.8 17.7 17.1 17.6
Total high-speed 777 809 856 881 967 5.6
Annual growth (%) 1.5 4.1 5.8 2.8 9.8

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the number of business Internet access service subscriptions by type of service provider, as well as the growth rates in these subscriptions for each type of service provider between 2009 and 2013.

Figure 5.3.1 High-speed residential Internet service subscribers by gigabyte (GB) download capacity

This column chart describes the number of gigabytes per month downloadable by residential subscribers versus the percentage of residential subscribers subscribing to plans with at least these limits for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013. Those with 20 Gigabytes or more in their plan comprise 89% of all subscriptions in 2011, 88% in 2012 and 93% in 2013; 40 gigabytes or more: 72% in 2011, 77% in 2012 and 76% in 2013; 60 gigabytes for more: 61% in 2011, 75% in 2012 and 75% in 2013; 80 gigabytes or more: 47% in 2011, 58% in 2012 and 62% in 2013; 100 gigabytes or more: 44% in 2011, 45% in 2012 and 50% in 2013; 120 gigabytes or more: 42% in 2011, 44% in 2012 and 45% in 2013; 140 gigabytes or more: 27% in 2011, 31% in 2012 and 29% in 2013; 160 gigabytes or more: 21% in 2011, 26% in 2012 and 23% in 2013.  Unlimited: 13% in 2011, 12% in 2012 and 12% in 2013.

Source: CRTC data collection

Canadians are using the Internet for increasingly bandwidth-intensive tasks. This graph shows the monthly download capacity for high-speed Internet service subscribers in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

c) Performance indicators

Table 5.3.6
Residential Internet service one-month average revenue by downstream speed
Downstream speed 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Lite and wideband up to 256 Kbps $19.55 $25.18 $33.86 $35.97 $35.36
Wideband 300 to 1400 Kbps $26.84 $28.87 $33.03 $35.83# $35.49
Broadband
1.5 to 4 Mbps $32.46 $33.57 $32.87 $41.87# $31.45
5 to 9 Mbps $41.14 $42.23 $40.97 $44.05# $46.10
10 to 15 Mbps $44.43 $39.67 $42.11 $40.62# $48.17
16 Mbps and higher $65.08 $53.71 $51.63 $46.83 $59.87
16 to 49 Mbps - $51.66 $50.76 $44.85 $58.69
50 Mbps and higher - $75.80 $78.06 $59.69 $66.05
Total sample $37.80 $38.96 $39.80 $43.80# $49.64

Source: CRTC data collection

The table shows the average revenue per subscriber for a one-month period realized by TSPs for various Internet service speeds. All data excludes revenues from modem rentals. The # symbol denotes a change in the data from what was published in the previous Communications Monitoring Report (refer to Appendix 1 for details).


The one-month average revenue by speed was calculated by dividing the total one-month revenue in each speed tier provided by the service providers by the total number of subscribers to the service in each speed tier in that month. The month used was December or the closest available month.

Table 5.3.7
Weighted average upload/download limits (GB) of residential Internet service plans by downstream speed
Downstream speed 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Lite and wideband up to 256 Kbps 11.75 - - - -
Wideband 300 to 1400 Kbps 3.04 7.20 14.9 17.89# 25.42
Broadband
1.5 to 4 Mbps 32.20 24.69# 69.06 94.93# 68.22
5 to 9 Mbps 42.80 49.07# 80.81 76.78# 48.46
10 to 15 Mbps 69.53 74.55# 74.22 106.74# 99.84
16 Mbps and higher 104.14 116.90# 179.58 160.23 168.94
16 to 49 Mbps - 112.27# 176.98 131.50 142.14
50 Mbps and higher - 165.33# 236.54 364.80 362.86
Total sample 40.32 48.14# 81.11 103.48# 99.24

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the weighted average upload/download limit of residential Internet service plans by downstream speed from 2009 to 2013. The # symbol denotes a change in the data from what was published in the previous Communications Monitoring Report (refer to Appendix 1 for details).


The weighted average upload/download limit was calculated for each downstream speed tier based on the number of subscribers to plans with upload/download limits.

Table 5.3.8
Residential Internet service upload speed (Kbps) by downstream speed
Downstream speed 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Lite and wideband up to 256 Kbps 152 209 178 168 136
Wideband 300 to 1400 Kbps 267 352 314 313# 291
Broadband
1.5 to 4 Mbps 656 584 666 651 768
5 to 9 Mbps 723 870 855 1,118# 809
10 to 15 Mbps 751 797 876 2,519# 2,407
16 Mbps and higher 1,085 1,735 2,693 4,291 6,656
16 to 49 Mbps - 1,661 2,662 2,912 4,133
50 Mbps and higher - 2,529 3,667 13,199 19,890
Total sample 652 769 961 2,009# 3,031
Weighted-average download speed 5,945 7,060 8,238 12,610# 15,465

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the weighted average upload speeds for residential Internet services by various downstream speeds from 2009 to 2013. The # symbol denotes a change in the data from what was published in the previous Communications Monitoring Report (refer to Appendix 1 for details).


The weighted average upload speed was calculated for each downstream speed tier based on the number of subscribers to the plan.

d) Price

Approximately 67% of households subscribed to a 5-megabit-per-second (Mbps) or higher broadband Internet service in 2013. Urban households generally paid lower prices and had a greater number of Internet service providers to choose from than rural households.

Companies were asked to provide the price of the cheapest service they sell that provides a download speed of at least 5 Mbps.  Some service providers only offer options that are greater than 5 Mbps, and these were included in the analysis below.

Urban centres

Figure 5.3.2 Price of residential broadband (5 Mbps) Internet access service and number of companies providing this service in urban centres

This stacked bar chart shows the highest and lowest monthly prices in dollars for 5 Mbps service by major centre, as well as number of providers in each centre.  Vancouver: 6 providers, low 30, high 65, a difference of 35; Victoria: 6 providers, low 30, high 65, a difference of 35; Calgary: 6 providers, low 30, high 65, and difference of 35; Edmonton: 6 providers, low 30, high 65, a difference of 35; Regina: 3 providers, low 45, high 65, a difference of 20; Saskatoon: 3 providers, low 45, high 65, a difference of 20; Winnipeg: 4 providers, low 43, high 65, a difference of 22; Hamilton: 8 providers, low 25, high 65, a difference of 40; Kitchener-Waterloo: 6 providers, low 25 high 65, a difference of 40; London: 6 providers, low 25, high 65, a difference of 40; Oshawa: 6 providers, low 25, high 65, a difference of 40; Ottawa-Gatineau: 7 providers, low 25, high 65, a difference of 40; St Catharines – Niagara: 7 providers, low 25, high 65, a difference of 40; Toronto: 6 providers, low 25, high 54, a difference of 40Windsor: 7 providers, low 25, high 65, a difference of 40; Montréal: 6 providers, low 25, high 65, a difference of 40; Québec: 6 providers, low 35, high 65, a difference of 40; Fredericton: 4 providers, low 42, high 72, a difference of 30; Charlottetown: 4 providers, low 49, high 72, a difference of 23; Halifax: 4 providers, low 42, high 72, a difference of 30; St. John’s: 4 providers, low 42, high 72, a difference of 30; Whitehorse: 1 provider, 63; Yellowknife: 1 provider, 63; Iqaluit: 1 provider, 180.

Source: CRTC data collection

This bar chart displays the range in the monthly price of 5 Mbps Internet service in 24 urban centres in Canada. The blue bar displays the lowest price, and the red bar displays the difference between the lowest and highest prices. The number at the top of each bar is the highest price. The number appearing in parentheses along the horizontal axis after the name of each urban centre represents the number of ISPs in that urban centre.

The price of 5 Mbps Internet service varied from lows between $25 to $63 per month, and highs between $63 and $72 per month, except for services offered in Iqaluit. Subscribers in Iqaluit paid $180 per month for Internet service. Data caps were differentiating features among the service providers and urban centres.

Subscribers living in provincial urban centres generally had a choice of between three and seven service providers, while those living in territorial urban centres were restricted in their choice of service providers.

Data caps were differentiating features among the service providers and urban centres. Low Internet users would generally benefit from these caps, while heavy users would not. Of the 17 service providers,

  • eight offered unlimited service;
  • ten had data caps, which ranged from 15 GB to 300 GB; and
  • one had data caps that varied by urban centre, and in some urban centres no caps were imposed. 

Rural communities

As displayed in the following figure, the price of 5 Mbps Internet service was generally higher in rural communities than in urban centres, except in New Brunswick.

The price of 5-Mbps Internet service in rural communities varied from lows of between $32 and $90 per month, and highs of between $65 and $130 per month, except for Canadians living in rural Nunavut and Northwest Territories. In these communities, Internet service subscribers paid $370, and up to $500 per month respectively.

Internet service subscribers living in rural communities generally had fewer service providers to choose from than subscribers living in urban centres. Rural subscribers usually had a choice of between one and five service providers.

Figure 5.3.3  Price comparison of residential broadband (5 Mbps) Internet access service and number of companies providing this service in urban and rural communities

Which communities were included?

54 rural communities were selected to assess the price of Internet access service in rural communities. These communities met the following criteria:

  • the community was not part of one of the census metropolitan areas of the 24 urban centres;
  • the community had a population density of fewer than 400 people per square kilometre, or its population centre had fewer than 1,000 people;
  • the number of communities selected in each province/territory was proportional to the population of the province/territory; and
  • the communities were not clustered together

Appendix 4 contains the list of rural communities.

This two-series stacked bar chart shows the highest and lowest monthly prices in dollars for 5 Mbps service by urban are rural areas on a per province basis.  BC Rural: 2 to 4 providers, low 37, high 130;  BC Urban: 6 to 6 providers, low 30, high 65; Alberta Rural: 2 to 3 providers, low 55, high 65; Alberta Urban: 6 to 6 providers, low 30, high 65; Sask Rural: 3 to 3 providers, low 50, high 80; Sask Urban: 3 to 3 providers, low 45, high 65; Manitoba Rural: 1 to 2 providers, low 55, high 65; Manitoba Urban: 4 providers, low 43, high 65; Ontario Rural: 1 to 7 providers, low 33, high 65; Ontario Urban: 6 to 8 providers, low 25, high 65; Quebec Rural: 5 to 6 providers, low 32, high 65; Quebec Urban: 6 to 6 providers, low 25, high 65; NB Rural: 4 to 5 providers, low 42, high 72; NB Urban: 4 providers, low 42, high  72; PEI Rural: 4 to 4 providers, low 45 high 72; PEI Urban: 4 providers, low 49, high 72; NS Rural, 4 to 4 providers, low 45, high 72; NS Urban: 4 providers, low 42, high 72; Nfld Rural: 3 to 4 providers, low 45, high 72; Nfld Urban: 4 providers, low 45, high 72; Yukon Rural: 1 to 1 provider, 90; Yukon Urban: 1 provider, 63; NWT Rural: 1 to 2 providers, low 63, high 500; NWT Urban: 1 provider, 63; Nunavut Rural: 1 to 1 provider, 370; Nunavut Urban: 1 provider 180.

Source: CRTC data collection

This bar chart displays the range in the monthly price of broadband (5 Mbps) Internet access service in 54 rural communities in Canada. The blue bar displays the lowest price, and the red bar displays the difference between the lowest and highest prices. The number at the top of each bar is the highest price. The number appearing in parentheses along the horizontal axis after the name of each province and territory represents the range in the number of service providers among the communities or centres. For example, “BC rural (2/4)” means that the number of service providers among the rural communities in British Columbia included in the survey varied between 2 and 4.

e) Consumer trends

In 2009, 46.5% of the ISPs’ Internet access service revenues were from plans with download speeds between 5 and 9 Mbps. Plans with lower speeds yielded 30.1% of their revenues, while plans with higher speeds captured 23.4%. Four years later, the 5 to 9 Mbps plans no longer yield the highest percentage of revenues having declined to 30.5%, while revenues from lower-speed plans declined to 6.9%, and revenues from higher-speed plans increased to 62.6%.

Table 5.3.9
Residential Internet service one-month revenue distribution (%) by downstream speed
Downstream speed 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Lite and wideband up to 256 Kbps 0.6 0.2 0.3 0.3# 0.2
Wideband 300 to 1400 Kbps 8.6 4.3 3.6 2.4# 2.1
Broadband
1.5 to 4 Mbps 20.9 20.9 20.3 17.4# 4.6
5 to 9 Mbps 46.5 49.1 47.0 41.6# 30.5
10 to 15 Mbps 22.4 22.8 16.5 9.3# 24.8
16 Mbps and higher 1.0 2.7 12.3 29.1# 37.8
16 to 49 Mbps - 2.4 11.8 24.1# 31.1
50 Mbps and higher - 0.3 0.6 5.0# 6.7
Total sample 320.7 350.0 375.7 427.6# 494.9

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the monthly distribution of revenues collected by ISPs for residential Internet services at various speeds. All data excludes terminal rental revenues. The # symbol denotes a change in the data from what was published in the previous Communications Monitoring Report (refer to Appendix 1 for details).

In 2013, Canadians were subscribing to higher-speed Internet access services than in 2009. In 2009, the most common plans were those with download speeds of 5 to 9 Mbps, representing 42.6% of all subscriptions. Plans with lower speeds attracted 37.8% of all subscriptions, and plans with higher speeds represented 19.6% of subscriptions. Four years later, the most common plans were still those with download speeds of 5 to 9 Mbps. However, the percentage of subscribers to these plans declined to 32.8%. Interestingly, in 2013, the percentage of subscribers to lower-speed plans less than 5 Mbps declined to 10.3%, while the percentage of subscribers to higher-speed plans greater than 9 Mbps almost tripled to 56.9% since 2009.

Table 5.3.10
Residential Internet service one-month subscriber distribution (%) by downstream speed
Downstream speed 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Lite and wideband up to 256 Kbps 1.1 0.3 0.4 0.3 0.3
Wideband 300 to 1400 Kbps 12.2 5.8 4.3 2.9# 2.7
Broadband
1.5 to 4 Mbps 24.5 24.2 24.6 18.2# 7.3
5 to 9 Mbps 42.6 45.3 45.6 41.3# 32.8
10 to 15 Mbps 19.0 22.4 15.6 10.1# 25.6
16 Mbps and higher 0.6 2.0 9.5 27.2# 31.4
16 to 49 Mbps - 1.8 9.2 23.5# 26.3
50 Mbps and higher - 0.2 0.3 3.6# 5.0
Total sample 8,516.8 8,983.1 9,440.3 9,761.1# 9,970.1

Source: CRTC data collection

This data set shows the percentage distribution of residential subscribers who access the Internet at various speeds. The # symbol denotes a change in the data from what was published in the previous Communications Monitoring Report (refer to Appendix 1 for details).

f)  Competitive landscape

Figure 5.3.4 Broadband subscriptions ‒ Incumbent TSPs vs. cable-based carriers

This two line chart describes, for the years 2009 to 2013, the number of subscriptions (in thousands) of broadband for Incumbent TSPs and for cable-based carriers. For 2009: 3,338, 4,495; For 2010: 3,553, 5,280; For 2011: 3,693, 5,562; For 2012: 3,917, 5,730; For 2013: 4.071, 5,736.

Source: CRTC data collection

This graph shows the number of subscribers who received broadband Internet access service at a minimum download speed of 1.5 Mbps or higher via incumbent TSPs and cable-based carriers over the period of 2009 to 2013.

Figure 5.3.5  Internet access service revenue shares, by market and by type of service provider (2013)

These two pie charts describe the percentage revenue market share of various industry participant groups for residential and business Internet access markets: Residential pie chart: Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory): 36%; Cable-based carriers: 56%; Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory): 0%; Remaining alternative service providers: 8%. Business pie chart: Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory): 43%; Cable-based carriers: 26%; Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory): 7%; Remaining alternative service providers: 24%.

Source: CRTC data collection

These charts show the segments of the residential and business markets occupied by type of ISP in 2013.

Figure 5.3.6 Business Internet access service revenues by access technology, 2009 vs. 2013

What is meant by “satellite?”

Satellites can provide Internet access service. Connections are established between an Earth station on the ground (using equipment such as satellite dishes) and a satellite in space. Satellites can support various frequency bands (C-, Ku-, and Ka-band).

Satellite Internet service delivered using the C-band requires a large satellite dish and is typically used to serve a community. Ka-band, and to a lesser degree Ku-band, satellite Internet access can be offered using a small satellite dish located at the customer premises.

These two pie charts describe the percentage of business access revenue by technology.  For 2009: DSL: 46%; Cable: 15%; Fiber: 25%; Other: 10%; Dial-up: 4%. And for 2013: DSL: 39%; Cable: 23%; Fiber: 28%; Other: 8%; Dial-up: 2%.

Source: CRTC data collection

These charts compare business Internet access service revenues, by access technology, between 2009 and 2013. The “Other” segment in the charts refers to other technologies, such as fixed wireless and satellite technologies.

Figure 5.3.7 Residential Internet access service subscriptions by access technology, 2009 vs. 2013

These two pie charts describe the percentage of residential subscriptions by technology.  For 2009: DSL: 39%; Cable: 54%; Dial-up: 5%; Other: 3%. And for 2013: DSL: 37%; Cable: 56%; Dial-up: 1%; Other: 6%.

Source: CRTC data collection

These charts compare the Internet access service technologies used by residential customers in 2009 with those used in 2013.

Canadians can access broadband using either wireline or wireless facilities. These facilities support evolving services, which make possible new experiences for Canadians, ranging from experiences resembling television and radio, to new and highly interactive services and programs offering greater consumer control and choice. Connected consumers can engage with the digital world with their devices at the time and place of their choice.

The rest of this section examines the availability of broadband Internet access services, the capacity requirements that must be met for participation in the digital environment, as well as the impacts of these requirements on consumer behaviour. It also looks at certain technologies as they relate to Canada’s broadcasting and telecommunications sectors.

Broadband target

Unless otherwise stated in the tables and figures that follow, broadband technology is defined as offering download speeds of at least 1.5 Mbps.

In Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2011-291, the CRTC set a target for broadband Internet access services across Canada. By the end of 2015, the CRTC expects all Canadians to have access to broadband download speeds of at least 5 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of at least 1 Mbps.

g) Capacity requirements

This section examines the extent to which Canadians have access to broadband Internet service and the associated capacity requirements.

Fixed and mobile broadband services [i.e. Evolved High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA+) and Long Term Evolution (LTE)] are available to over 99% of households. Canadians are accessing the growing volumes of content, whether audio, video, or data, that are being made available online. Spurring this development is the adoption by Canadians of multifunction consumer devices.

In 2013, there were over 500 Internet service providers in operation across Canada. Incumbent telecommunications service providers (TSPs) provided Internet services using mainly digital subscriber line (DSL), fibre-optic, satellite, and fixed wireless facilities. Cable companies used cable modem, fibre-optic, and fixed wireless facilities. Utility telecommunications companies, municipalities, and other TSPs provided Internet services using dial‑up, DSL, fibre-optic, satellite, and fixed wireless facilities. Resellers essentially relied on facilities-based TSPs to provide them with facilities on a wholesale basis. Resellers provided high-speed Internet service generally using leased DSL facilities and, to a lesser extent, cable modem and fibre-optic facilities.

Wireless service providers also provided broadband service. As displayed in the ‘Wireless retail market sector’ section of this report, 77% of wireless service subscribers in 2013 had advanced handheld devices, such as smartphones and tablets capable of accessing the digital world.

Figure 5.3.8 Popular Internet applications – Bandwidth requirements

3G refers to third generation wireless technology.

SD refers to standard definition

HD refers to high definition

This chart is an illustration attempting to show the amount of bandwidth required for various online applications and services, in order to illustrate the sorts of services that consumers may expect to receive depending on the Internet access service that they use as well as the capabilities of several broadband technologies. The X-axis is the Average Available Bandwidth in Mbps, and there are 6 labels along the axis; Dial-up, 128 kbps, 500 kbps, 1.5 Mbps, 5 Mbps, 15 Mbps, and greater than 15 Mbps. The Y-axis is Required Performance Consistency, and has 3 labels; Files, Streaming, and Real-Time. Within the body of the chart are various ovals illustrating the type of services and the bandwidth they require. In the “Files” category are the following: E-mail from dial-up to 128 kbps; Small Software Download from 128 kbps to 500 kbps; Music Downloads from 500 kbps to under 1.5 Mbps; Software Download (1 CD) from 1.5 Mbps to 5 Mbps; DVD Size Video Download from 5 Mbps to 15 Mbps; Blu-ray Size Video Download above 15 Mbps. Between the “Files” and “Streaming” categories is Web Surfing, which ranges from Dial-up to 1.5 Mbps. In the “Streaming” category are the following: Radio from dial-up to 140 kbps; Audio streaming from 140 kbps to 400 kbps; SD video streaming from 300 kbps to under 1.5 Mbps; HD Video Streaming from 3 Mbps to 15 Mbps. In the “Real-Time” category are the following: VoIP from dial-up to under 128 kbps; Real-Time Gaming from 70 kbps to 500 kbps; Video Conferencing from under 500 kbps to 5 Mbps.  Mobile 2.5G is capable of speeds up to 128 kbps, but cannot do more than file type performance consistency and low end web surfing.  Mobile 3G is capable of up to 500 kbps, is able to do VoIP, but its capability diminishes for other real time applications, and is limited to low end real-time gaming.  Mobile HSPA+ and wireline broadband less than 5 Mbps can do low end HD video streaming and SD IPTV, and many forms of video conferencing. Mobile 4G/LTE and faster wireline broadband services can handle all other applications.

Source: CRTC Technology Resource Centre

The following two figures illustrate the Internet access data rate for a number of commonly accessed online services on both wireline and mobile networks. These figures provide details regarding the average upload and download data rates for each service.

Figure 5.3.9 Average data rate of services over a wireline broadband Internet connection

This horizontal bar chart illustrates that average download and upload data rate in kbps for various services  over a wireline broadband connection.  For Nexflix (Low): 825, 21.5; Netflix (Medium): 1,384, 26.4; Netflix (High): 3,325, 84.7; Netflix (High-Super HD): 5638, 66.0; Rogers Anyplace TV: 1696, 38.0; YouTube (SD-480p): 1,323, 31.8; YouTube (HD-720p): 2,389, 55.6; YouTube (HD-1080p): 3,875, 102.8; Global TV: 1,547, 37.1; CBC TV: 2,502, 52.5; Google Play Music: 347, 9.7; CBC Radio 1: 68, 4.7.

Source: CRTC Technology Resource Centre

Figure 5.3.10 Average data rate of services over a mobile broadband Internet connection

This horizontal bar chart illustrates that average download and upload data rate in kbps for various services  over a mobile broadband connection.  For Nexflix (Auto): 794, 17.0; YouTube (HD-720p): 2,609, 30.3; YouTube (HD-1080p): 3,776, 34.3; Global TV: 1,842, 31.7; CBC TV: 1,752, 18.0; Google Play Music: 258, 3.5; CBC Radio 1: 52, 2.6.

Source: CRTC Technology Resource Centre

The data was gathered by CRTC staff using a test environment that replicated how a typical consumer would use online streaming services. The services were accessed over the Internet via both wireline residential broadband and mobile Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks using mainstream, off-the-shelf devices. The devices used to measure the data consumption over the wireline network included a Windows-based PC, a videogame console, and various streaming players. The devices used to measure the data consumption over the mobile network included Android and iOS tablets and smartphones. A Web browser was used to access the services on the PC, while the other devices used customized applications (apps) created for their respective operating systems. 

With the exception of Netflix and YouTube, for which multiple video-quality settings were measured, default settings were used for each device and service. The speed of the network connection through which the services were measured was significantly higher than the maximum speed requirements of any of the services measured. Multiple measurements were collected using a variety of tools and techniques on a relatively “idle” network without interfering applications or services. 

What is latency?

Latency refers to the delay in data reception.

For a typical consumer, the available bandwidth at any given moment can vary for a number of reasons, including resource sharing between multiple devices on a home network and moving around to/from different coverage areas on a mobile network. The end-user’s Internet connection is one factor in determining the quality and stability of a stream. Other factors include network congestion, server load, network/server latency, and end-user device capability. Increasingly, streaming services can dynamically adjust service quality (and, therefore, the amount of data consumed) based on several factors that contribute to a stable audio and/or video stream to the end-user. 

Many free streaming services include advertisement insertions, which also contribute to overall data consumption. In some cases, advertisements can be skipped, but in others, the ads must be streamed in order to view/listen to the desired content.

Data from streaming services is delivered in different transmission patterns, some through single large data bursts with gaps between data bursts, and others through more continuous data transmission. In order to provide representative data regardless of transmission patters, the measurements were conducted over sufficient periods of time. Most streaming services can modify the data burst size dynamically, making the average data rate an important factor in determining data consumption.

The following two figures illustrate the number of hours for which each service can be used before the limit of the various usage caps is reached, based on the information from the previous tables. Figure 5.3.11 shows typical wireline broadband usage caps, and Figure 5.3.12 shows typical mobile broadband usage caps. 

Although some services offer consumers choices with respect to the quality of the audio and video streaming (and thereby control over their data consumption), other services automatically attempt to maintain the highest audio or video quality possible, which may result in higher data consumption. In order for end-users to be aware of the data they consume for any given period of time, different approaches can be taken based on the type of network. For wireline broadband connections, TSPs typically provide usage-tracking tools and automatic alerts that can inform consumers when they are nearing their limit. For mobile broadband connections, various bandwidth monitoring tools are available either built into devices or through third-party applications (apps). These can be found using search terms such as “bandwidth monitor” or “network monitor” in popular app stores.

Figure 5.3.11 Number of usage hours before typical wireline broadband capacity thresholds are reached, by service

This horizontal bar chart illustrates the amount of hours that a service may be used until typical wireline broadband capacity thresholds are reached.  These thresholds are 100 GB, 60 GB and 20 GB.  For Netflix (Low): 263, 158, 53; Netflix (Medium): 158, 95, 32; Netflix (High): 65, 39, 13; Netflix (High-Super HD): 39, 23, 7.8; Rogers Anyplace TV: 128, 77, 26; YouTube (SD-720p): 91, 55, 18; YouTube (HD-720p): 91, 55, 18; YouTube (HD-1080p): 56, 34, 11; Global TV: 140, 84, 28; CBC TV: 87, 52, 17; Google Play Music: 620, 372, 124; CBC Radio 1: 3,038, 1,835, 612;

Source: CRTC Technology Resource Centre

Figure 5.3.12 Number of usage hours before typical mobile broadband capacity thresholds are reached, by service

This horizontal bar chart illustrates the amount of hours that a service may be used until typical mobile broadband capacity thresholds are reached.  These thresholds are 5 GB, 2 GB and 1 GB. For Netflix (Auto): 14, 5.5, 2.7; YouTube (HD-720p): 4.2, 1.7, 0.8; YouTube (HD-1080p): 2.9, 1.2, 0.6; Global TV: 5.9, 2.4, 1.2; CBC TV: 6.3, 2.5, 1.3; Google Play Music: 43, 17.0, 8.5; CBC Radio 1: 205, 82.0, 41.0;

Source: CRTC Technology Resource Centre

Due to the limited number of measurement samples and the wide variety of network configurations and equipment, the reported average bandwidth and capacity used is for illustrative purposes only. Results may vary in different settings.

h) Key indicators

Table 5.3.11
Key telecommunications availability indicators
Platform Availability (% of households)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Mobile broadband
3G/3G equivalent 96 98 99 99 99
HSPA+ n/a 96 99 99 99
LTE n/a n/a 45 72 81
Wireline broadband
DSL 85 85 86 87 82
Cable modem 80 81 82 82 82
Fixed wireless 81 82 86 50 63
IPTV 21 22 34 45# 56
Digital satellite National National National National National

Source: CRTC data collection

Not all broadband technologies are available in all parts of the country. This table lists the various types of mobile and wireline broadband technologies [as well as Internet Protocol television (IPTV) and digital satellite technologies], and shows the percentage of households nationally, for the years from 2009 to 2013, that were able to access such technologies. The decline in the availability of fixed wireless services in 2012 and of DSL in 2013 was due to the deactivation of the Inukshuk network and the deployment of new technologies, respectively.

The # symbol denotes a change in the data from what was published in the previous Communications Monitoring Report (refer to Appendix 1 for details).

Figure 5.3.13 Broadband availability (percentage of households)

This column chart describes, for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 the availability of broadband via various access means.  For 2009, DSL was at 85%, Cable modem was at 80%, Fixed-wireless and Satellite was at 82%, for a total availability of 96%.  For 2010, DSL was at 85%, Cable modem was at 82%, Fixed-wireless and Satellite was at 83%, Mobile was at 96%, for a total availability of 98%.  For 2011, DSL was at 86%, Cable modem was at 82%, Fixed-wireless and Satellite was at 87%, Mobile was at 99%, for a total availability of 99%. For 2012, DSL was at 87%, Cable modem was at 82%, Fixed-wireless and Satellite was at 51%, Mobile was at 99%, for a total availability of 99%. For 2013, DSL was at 82%, Cable modem was at 82%, Fixed-wireless and Satellite was at 64%, Mobile was at 99%, for a total availability of 99%.

Sources: Industry Canada and CRTC data collection

This bar graph shows the percentage of households nationally that were able to receive each of the various types of broadband technology in the period from 2009 to 2013. Since 2011, 98% of Canadians have been able to access broadband technology at speeds of at least 1.5 Mbps. The decline in the availability of fixed wireless services in 2012 and of DSL in 2013 was due to the deactivation of the Inukshuk network and the deployment of fibre technology.

Figure 5.3.14 Broadband availability vs. broadband subscriptions by province/territory (2013)

This stacked column chart describes, for the provinces of Canada, the availability of broadband via fixed technology, with a stacked element for the additional coverage provided by HSPA+ mobile technology.  In addition, it shows the subscriber take-up percentage of broadband subscriptions per province via fixed technology.  BC: 96%, HSPA+ adds 3%, take-up rate is 82%; AB: 99%, HSPA+ adds 0%, take-up rate is 77%; SK: over 99%, HSPA+ adds 0%, take-up rate is 72%; MB: 99%, HSPA+ adds 0%, take-up rate 72%; ON: 98%, HSPA+ adds 1%, take-up rate is 78%; QC: 95%, HSPA+ adds 4%, take-up rate is 76%; NB: over 99%, HSPA+ adds 0%, take-up rate is 75%; NS: over 99%, HSPA+ adds 0%, take-up rate is 73%; PEI: over 99%, HSPA+ adds 0%, take-up rate is 79%; NL: 83%, HSPA+ adds 14%, take-up rate is 76%; North: 96%, HSPA+ adds 2%, take-up rate is 68%; Canada: 97%, HSPA+ adds 2%, take-up rate is 77%.

Sources: Industry Canada and CRTC data collection

This bar graph compares the percentage availability of broadband service with the percentage of households that subscribe to the service by province and in the territories.

The provinces of New Brunswick and Saskatchewan have arrangements to provide broadband service via satellite at terms and conditions similar to those for wireline service. In the province of Prince Edward Island, HSPA+ [Evolved High-Speed Packet Access] is available to households without access to other means of broadband service at terms and conditions equivalent to those for wireline service. These arrangements have been taken into account in the “fixed broadband availability” bars in the graph. Finally, these data exclude satellite broadband service.

Figure 5.3.15 Broadband, 5 Mbps availability (percentage of households) (2013)

This column chart describes, for 2013, the availability of 5 Mbps broadband via various access means. For 2013, DSL was at 79%, Cable modem was at 81%, Fixed-wireless was at 52%, Fibre was at 14%. Mobile was at 81%, for a total availability of 94% without mobile, with mobile adding another 1%.

Source: CRTC data collection

Broadband download speeds of at least 5 Mbps are available to Canadian households on a variety of platforms. This bar graph shows the availability rates of broadband access through DSL, cable modem, fixed wireless, fibre, and mobile technologies, as well as the availability rate of all technologies at this speed. Satellite service is excluded; however, it would add approximately 1.5% to the availability of 5 Mbps broadband services.

i)  Broadband availability

Figure 5.3.16 Broadband availability by speed (percentage of households)

This column chart describes the availability of broadband by various download speeds, in Mbps for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, excluding HSPA+.  For 1.5 to 4.9 Mbps: 95%, 96%, 97%, 97%, 97%; for 5 to 9.9 Mbps: 82%, 86%, 87%, 91%, 94%; for 10 to 15.9 Mbps: 77%, 81%, 83%, 84%, 84%; for 16 to 24.9 Mbps: 67%, 77%, 80%, 82%, 82%; From 25 to 29.9 Mbps: 45%, 70%, 78%, 80%, 81%; for 30 Mbps to 49.9 Mbps: 30%, 66%, 76%, 79%, 80%; 50 Mbps to 99.9 Mbps: 30%, 58%, 75%, 77%, 78%; and 100 Mbps and higher: 11%, 16%, 28%, 35%, 60%.

Sources: Industry Canada and CRTC data collection

This bar graph shows the growth in availability to Canadian households of broadband technologies by speed between 2009 and 2013. The graph excludes data from HSPA+, LTE and satellite technologies.

Table 5.3.12
Broadband availability nationwide, by speed and number of platforms (percentage of households) (2013)
Number of platforms 1.5 Mbps and higher 5.0 Mbps and higher 10.0 Mbps and higher 16.0 Mbps and higher 25.0 Mbps and higher 30.0 Mbps and higher 50.0 Mbps and higher 100 Mbps and higher
1 3 8 22 23 24 24 53 52
2 10 10 52 55 53 52 25 8
3 37 40 10 5 5 5 0 0
4 48 37 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total nationwide availability 99 95 84 82 81 80 78 60

Sources: Industry Canada and CRTC data collection

This table shows the percentage of households nationwide that have access to broadband technologies at varying speeds, and over four platforms: DSL/Fibre, cable modem, fixed wireless, and mobile (HSPA+ and LTE). At one end of the availability spectrum, four broadband platforms at speeds of at least 5 Mbps are available to 37% of Canadian households. At the other end of the spectrum, two broadband platforms at a speed of more than 100 Mbps are available to 8% of Canadian households.

The total at the bottom of each column indicates the percentage of Canadian households that can access the speeds noted for each column.

Table 5.3.13
Broadband availability, by speed and province/territory (percentage of households) (2013)
Province/territory 1.5-4.9 Mbps 5-9.9 Mbps 10-15.9 Mbps 16-24.9 Mbps 25-100 Mbps
British Columbia 99 95 91 90 88
Alberta 99 97 85 84 80
Saskatchewan 99 81 62 58 58
Manitoba 99 98 67 67 67
Ontario 99 97 87 85 84
Quebec 99 94 84 82 82
New Brunswick 99 89 82 82 82
Nova Scotia 99 88 79 77 76
Prince Edward Island 99 89 57 51 51
Newfoundland and Labrador 97 81 70 70 62
Yukon 99 90 59 59 59
Northwest Territories 93 87 58 50 42
Nunavut 99 29 0 0 0

Sources: Industry Canada and CRTC data collection

Not all regions of the country have similar access to broadband technologies. This table shows the regional availability of broadband technology, by province and territory, in 2013. HSPA+ is included only in the 1.5 to 4.9 Mbps speed tier, and LTE is included in the 5 to 9.9 Mbps speed tier. Since satellite is a service with a national footprint, it is excluded from this table.

Figure 5.3.17 Broadband availability – Urban vs. rural (percentage of households) (2013)

This column chart shows broadband availability, by size of community and speed. Large population centers: 1.5-4.9 Mbps: 100%, 5-9.9 Mbps: 100%, 10-15.9 Mbps: 99%, 16-24.9 Mbps: 99%, 25-29.9 Mbps: 99%, 30-49.9 Mbps: 99%, 50-99.9 Mbps: 97%, 100+ Mbps: 77%. Medium population centers: 1.5-4.9 Mbps: 100%, 5-9.9 Mbps: 100%, 10-15.9 Mbps: 98%, 16-24.9 Mbps: 96%, 25-29.9 Mbps: 95%, 30-49.9 Mbps: 95%, 50-99.9 Mbps: 93%, 100+ Mbps: 60%. Small population centers: 1.5-4.9 Mbps: 99%, 5-9.9 Mbps: 98%, 10-15.9 Mbps: 90%, 16-24.9 Mbps: 84%, 25-29.9 Mbps: 80%, 30-49.9 Mbps: 76%, 50-99.9 Mbps: 72%, 100+ Mbps: 50%. Rural areas: 1.5-4.9 Mbps: 84%, 5-9.9 Mbps: 72%, 10-15.9 Mbps: 33%, 16-24.9 Mbps: 29%, 25-29.9 Mbps: 27%, 30-49.9 Mbps: 26%, 50-99.9 Mbps: 25%, 100+ Mbps: 18%. HSPA+ addition to small centres for broadband, 1%, addition to rural areas for broadband: 14%;  LTE addition to small and medium centres for 5-9.9 Mbps:  0, addition to rural areas for 5-9Mbps: 4%.

Sources: Industry Canada and CRTC data collection

Broadband technology availability differs between Canada’s urban and rural areas, particularly in terms of technologies that offer faster download speeds. This table shows the percentage of Canadian households in large, medium, and small population centres, as well as in rural areas, that can access various broadband services.

Small population centres are areas that have a population of between 1,000 and 29,000. Medium population centres have a population of between 30,000 and 99,999. Large population centres have populations greater than 100,000. Rural areas have a population of less than 1,000, or fewer than 400 people per square kilometre.

The HSPA+ and LTE bars show the additional contribution that these technologies make to the respective bars.

Satellite is excluded.

5.4  Data and private line retail market sector

This pie chart shows the retail data and private line revenues as a percentage of retail telecommunications revenues in 2013. Data: 7%; private line: 2%; Retail telecommunications revenues: $41.1 billion.

Data and private line services refer to those services sold by telecommunications services providers to business customers for the transmission of data, video and/or voice traffic.

For the purposes of this report, data services are classified as services that make use of (a) new data protocols such as Ethernet and Internet Protocol (IP), or (b) legacy protocols such as X.25, asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), and frame relay to transmit data.

Table 5.4.0
Retail data and private line market sector at a glance
2012 2013 Annual growth (%)
Revenues ($ billions) 3.5 3.6 2.9
Data 2.7 2.7 2.2
Private line 0.8 0.8 5.2
Data revenues as a percentage of total  77.2% 76.7%
Private line revenues as a percentage of total  22.8% 23.3%
New data protocols
Revenues ($ billions) 1.8 1.9 2.3
Percentage of total data protocol revenues  96.5% 97.4%
Data and private line revenue market share
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory) 62% 63%
Forborne services (retail)
Percentage of data revenues from forborne data services  91% 91%
Percentage of private line revenues from forborne private line services  83% 84%
Number of forborne private line routes 5,394 5,947 10.3

Source: CRTC data collection

Data and private line services were primarily sold to business customers. In 2013, revenues from the transmission of data services were classified based on the protocol used, either (a) new data protocols such as Ethernet and IP or (b) legacy protocols such as X.25, ATM, and frame relay. Canadian businesses were served by approximately 150 entities offering data and private line services in 2013. Of these, incumbent telecommunications service providers (incumbent TSPs or incumbent providers) accounted for approximately 20%, and alternative service providers, such as cable-based carriers, utility telcos, and resellers, accounted for the remaining 80%.

This table offers a snapshot of the state of the data and private line market in 2012 and 2013. It shows revenues for services, revenues from data and private lines as a percentage of total revenues, revenues from new data protocols, revenue market share, and retail revenues from forborne data and private line services as a percentage of total data and private line revenues.

Private line services provide a non-switched dedicated communications connection between two or more points to transport data, video, and/or voice traffic. These services include high-capacity digital transmission services and digital data systems, as well as voice-grade and other analog systems. Transmission facilities include copper wire and fibre optic cable. Private line services make use of transmission facilities such as OC-3 fibre optic lines, DS-1 copper facilities, etc.

This section presents retail revenue details over a five-year period to display the trends in the data and private line market sector. Competitive landscape and technology indicators, such as market share data and technology trends, are also presented.

a) Revenues

Table 5.4.1
Data and private line retail revenues ($ millions)
Data 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR (%)
2009-2013
Data protocols 1,744 1,740 1,833 1,893 1,917 2.4
Percentage growth 5.5  -0.2 5.3 3.3 1.2
Other 622 654 732 796 832 7.5
Percentage growth -8.4  5.1 11.9 8.7 4.6
Total data protocols and other 2,366 2,394 2,565 2,689 2,749 3.8
Percentage growth 1.5  1.2 7.1 4.9 2.2
Private line 843 807 751 793 834 -0.3
Percentage growth -5.7  -4.2 -7.0 5.6 5.2
Total data and private line 3,209 3,201 3,316 3,482 3,583 2.8
Percentage growth -0.5  -0.2 3.6 5.0 2.9

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows retail data and private line revenues for the years from 2009 to 2013. Data services were classified into one of two categories: (a) services making use of data protocols such as Ethernet and IP, X.25, ATM, and frame relay; or (b) other services such as network management and networking equipment.

Table 5.4.2
Retail data service revenues, by classification of data protocol used ($ millions)
New protocols 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR (%)
2009-2013
Ethernet 482.3 451.4  478.6 482.7 483.0 0.0
Percentage growth -7.4 -6.4 6.0 0.9 0.1 
IP 870.8 995.9 1,124.4 1,189.7 1,217.9 8.7
Percentage growth 22.6 14.4 12.9 5.8 2.4 
Other protocols 126.4 118.9 125.9 154.0 167.3 7.3
Percentage growth 63.0 -5.9 5.7 22.3 8.6
Total new protocols 1,479.5 1,566.2 1,728.9 1,826.4 1,868.1 6.0
Percentage growth 13.1 5.9 10.4 5.6 2.3
Legacy protocols 264.2 173.6 103.6  67.1 48.9 -34.4
Percentage growth -23.2 -34.3 -40.3 -35.3 -27.1
Total data protocols 1,743.7 1,740.0 1,832.5 1,893.4 1,917.0 2.4
Percentage growth 5.5 -0.2 5.3 3.3 1.2

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the retail data service revenues realized by service providers. The data services were classified as services making use of (a) new data protocols such as Ethernet and IP or (b) legacy protocols such as X.25, ATM, and frame relay. The table charts growth in these revenues over the period from 2009 to 2013.

Table 5.4.3
Private line retail revenues, by type of service provider ($ millions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR (%)
2009-2013
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory) 650 681 625 610 641 -0.4
Percentage growth n/a 4.9 -8.2 -2.4 5.0
Alternative service providers
Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory) 113 53 45 41 42 -21.9
Percentage growth n/a -52.9 -15.7 -8.0 1.6
Cable-based carriers 46 34 48 49 54 4.0
Percentage growth n/a -25.3 39.7 2.3 9.7
Alternative service providers (excluding cable-based carriers) 34 38 33 92 97 32.4
Percentage growth n/a 12.2 -14.8 183.2 5.4
Total alternative service providers 193 126 125 183 193 0.3
Percentage growth n/a -34.8 -0.3 45.6 5.7
Total private line 843 807 751 793 834 -0.3
Percentage growth -5.7 -4.2 -7.0 5.6 5.2

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the growth in private line revenues in the retail markets realized by service providers over the period from 2009 to 2013.


What is a private line?

A private line is a non-switched dedicated communications connection between two or more points.

b) Competitive landscape

Although incumbent providers accounted for approximately 20% of the entities providing data and private line services, they captured 76% of retail revenues. The remaining 80% of entities providing these services, consisting of cable-based carriers, utility telcos, and resellers, accounted for 24% of retail revenues.

Figure 5.4.1 Retail data and private line revenue market share (%), by type of service provider

These two pie charts describe the percentage revenue market share of various industry participant groups for the retail data and private line market for 2011 and 2013. For 2011: Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory): 66%; Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory): 14%; Non-incumbent alternative TSPs: 20%.  For 2013: Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory): 63%; Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory): 13%; Non-incumbent alternative TSPs: 24%.

Source: CRTC data collection

Different types of service providers have different shares of the retail revenues from data and private line services. These charts show these shares for the incumbent TSPs when providing service to their business customers, both within and outside of their traditional geographic areas, and for alternative service providers (excluding out-of-territory incumbent TSPs ) for 2011 and 2013. The latter group includes cable-based carriers, utility telcos, and resellers.

Figure 5.4.2 Retail data service revenue market share (%), by type of service provider

These two pie charts describe the percentage revenue market share of various industry participant groups for the retail data market for 2011 and 2013. For 2011: Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory): 61%; Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory): 17%; Non-incumbent alternative TSPs: 22%.  For 2013: Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory): 58%; Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory): 16%; Non-incumbent alternative TSPs: 26%.

Source: CRTC data collection

These charts show the revenue shares for the incumbent TSPs when providing data services to their business customers, both within and outside of their traditional geographic areas, and for alternative service providers (excluding out-of-territory incumbent TSPs ) for 2011 and 2013. The latter group includes cable-based carriers, utility telcos, and resellers.

Table 5.4.4
Retail data service revenue market share (%), by service provider and by classification of data protocol used
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
New data protocols
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory) 54 57 52 48 49
Alternative service providers
Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory) 21 18 20 19 17
Cable-based carriers 3 4 7 10 12
Alternative service providers (excluding cable-based carriers) 22 21 21 23 22
Total alternative service providers 46 43 48 52 51
Legacy data protocols
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory) 54 56 61 55 53
Alternative service providers - - - - -
Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory) - - - - -
Cable-based carriers
Alternative service providers (excluding cable-based carriers) - - - - -
Total alternative service providers 46 44 39 45 47
All data protocols
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory) 54 57 52 48 49
Alternative service providers - - - - -
Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory) - - - - -
Cable-based carriers
Alternative service providers (excluding cable-based carriers) - - - - -
Total alternative service providers 46 43 48 52 51

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the percentage of retail data revenues realized by service providers through the use of new and legacy data protocols.

Due to changes in company reporting in 2010 and 2011, results for incumbent providers when operating outside their traditional geographic areas are not consistent with those reported in previous years. In addition, these providers did not report revenues from data services using other protocols separately before 2010. This had less than a 2% impact on the results in 2010.

Table 5.4.5
Retail private line revenue market share (%)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory) 77 84 83 77 77
Alternative service providers
Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory) 13 7 6 5 5
Cable-based carriers 5 4 6 6 6
Alternative service providers (excluding cable-based carriers) 4 5 4 12 12
Alternative service providers 23 16 17 23 23

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the revenue shares for the incumbent TSPs when providing service to their business customers, both within and outside of their traditional geographic areas, and for alternative service providers (i.e. cable-based carriers, utility telcos, and resellers), for the years from 2009 to 2013.

Due to changes in company reporting in 2010 and 2011, results for incumbent providers when operating outside their traditional geographic areas are not consistent with those reported in previous years. In addition, due to new reporting by alternative service providers, 2012 results may not be comparable to results for previous years.

5.5  Wireless retail market sector

This pie chart shows the wireline and wireless revenues as a percentage of total telecommunications revenues in 2013. Wireless: 49%; Telecommunications revenues: $41.1 billion.

The wireless network is increasingly enabling service providers to provide services to Canadians that are similar to services Canadians can access from their wireline service provider. Through the wireless network, wireless service providers (WSPs) provide voice, data, Internet, and video services. The major differentiating factors tend to be mobility and price.

Wireless networks cover approximately 20% of Canada’s geographic land mass and reach 99% of Canadians. The advanced wireless network that supports handsets, such as smartphones, tablets, and turbo sticks, is available to 99% of Canadians. The long-term evolution (LTE) network, which delivers even higher speeds than previous generation networks, is available to approximately 81% of Canadians. Expenditures by Canadians on wireless services represent the largest component (50%) of total expenditures on telecommunications services.

Table 5.5.0
Wireless market sector at a glance
2012 2013 % growth
Revenues ($ billions) 19.5 20.2 3.4
Number of subscribers, excluding paging (millions) 27.7 28.4 2.3
Average revenue per subscriber per month, excluding paging $59.58 $59.97 0.7
Average revenue per minute, excluding paging $0.09 $0.07 -17.9
Wireless annual expenditure on plant and equipment as a percentage of revenues 13% 11% -
Average annual expenditure on plant and equipment per user per month $7.90 $6.80 -13.8
Wireless availability (% of population) 99 99 nil
HSPA+ broadband availability (% of population) 99 99 nil
LTE broadband availability (% of population) 72 81 13.1
Wireless penetration (% of population) 79 79 nil

Sources: CRTC data collection and Statistics Canada

This table presents a brief overview of the state of the wireless service market in Canada. It includes statistics on total market revenues, number of subscribers, average revenues per subscriber and per minute, capital expenditures, availability, and penetration.

In 2013, wireless services were available 99% of Canadians. Based on Statistics Canada’s Survey of Household Spending, 81.4% of Canadian households subscribed to wireless services and 17.8% abandoned wireline services in favour of wireless services.

Figure 5.5.1 Wireless service revenue and subscriber growth rates (excluding paging)

This line chart shows the mobile wireless revenue and subscriber percentage growth for each year between 2009 and 2013. Wireless revenue growth: 6.0%, 7.3%, 5.0%, 6.2%, 3.5%. Subscriber: 8.3%, 7.9%, 5.9%, 3.3%, 2.3%.

Source: CRTC data collection

Canadians have adopted wireless technologies. This table shows revenue and subscriber growth rates for wireless service providers (WSPs) from 2009 to 2013. Revenue growth was relatively constant between 2009 and 2012, in the 6 to 7% range, even though subscriber growth rates declined. In 2013, the wireless revenue growth rate declined to 3.5% and subscriber growth rates reached 2.3%, the lowest in 10 years.

From 2009 to 2013, Canadians were served by three large national WSPs, collectively accounting for 90% of wireless service subscribers. A number of smaller, regional, facilities-based WSPs and a small number of mobile virtual network operators and resellers accounted for the remaining 8%. Mobile virtual network operators and resellers depend on the facilities operators to provide wireless services to their subscribers.

Canadians in urban centres generally had a choice of between 3 and 6 WSPs, while Canadians in rural communities had a choice of between 2 and 5 WSPs. On average, Canadians paid $59.97 per month for their wireless services.

This section presents wireless service revenue and subscriber details, generally over a five-year period, to display the trends in this sector. Performance and technology indicators are presented, such as average revenue per subscriber, penetration and market share data, as well as broadband and coverage data.

a) Revenues

Table 5.5.1
Retail wireless and paging service revenues ($ millions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013
Wireless 16,300.6 17,487.4 18,368.6 19,504.8 20,179.3 5.5%
Annual growth 6.0% 7.3% 5.0% 6.2% 3.5%
Paging 48.2 41.9 38.2 21.8 18.4 -21.4%
Annual growth -22.3% -13.0% -9.0% -42.8% -15.6%
Total revenues 16,348.9 17,529.3 18,406.7 19,526.6 20,197.7 5.4%
Annual growth 5.9% 7.2% 5.0% 6.1% 3.4%

Source: CRTC data collection

Canadians have increasingly turned to wireless technology. This table shows the growth in revenue for the wireless and paging service markets from 2009 to 2013. Revenues from paging services, which predate wireless voice communication services, declined.

Table 5.5.2
Retail wireless and paging service revenue components ($ millions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013
Basic voice 10,276.7 10,285.1 9,816.5 9,486.8 8,818.7 -3.8%
Annual growth -1.6% 0.1% -4.6% -3.4% -7.0%
Long distance 1,201.8 1,275.9 1,286.2 1,255.6 1,160.3 -0.9%
Annual growth -1.7% 6.2% 0.8% -2.4% -7.6%
Paging 48.2 41.9 38.2 21.8 18.4 -21.4%
Annual growth -22.3% -13.0% -9.0% -42.8% -15.6%
Terminal equipment including handheld devices 1,106.3 1,159.0 1,401.9 1,532.8 1,501.5 7.9%
Annual growth 37.8% 4.8% 21.0% 9.3% -2.0%
Data, roaming, and other Data 2,996.1 3,866.1 5,046.1 6,233.2 7,546.1 26.0%
Annual growth 37.3% 29.0% 30.5% 23.5% 21.1%
Roaming and other 719.9 901.4 817.8 996.3 1,152.8 12.5%
Annual growth -13.7% 25.2% -9.3% 21.8% 15.7%
Total data, roaming, and other 3,715.9 4,767.5 5,863.9 7,229.5 8,698.8 23.7%
Annual growth 23.2% 28.3% 23.0% 23.3% 20.3%
Total 16,348.9 17,529.4 18,406.7 19,526.6 20,197.7 5.4%
Annual growth 5.2% 7.2% 5.0% 6.1% 3.4%

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the service revenue components of the wireless market for the years 2009 to 2013. These components include voice, long distance, paging, hardware, data, roaming, and other.

Table 5.5.3
Prepaid and postpaid retail wireless service revenues (basic voice, long distance, and data) ($ millions)
2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2010-2013
Prepaid 1,042.9 978.2 877.3 790.4 -8.8%
Annual growth na -6.2% -10.3% -9.9%
Postpaid 14,296.2 14,957.3 15,762.3 16,303.6 4.5%
Annual growth na 4.6% 5.4% 3.4%
Total 15,339.1 15,935.5 16,639.6 17,094.0 3.7%
Annual growth na 3.9% 4.4% 2.7%

Source: CRTC data collection

Canadians have a choice of either prepaid or postpaid wireless services. With prepaid services, a significant portion of services and usage is paid prior to consuming the services. With postpaid services, a significant portion of services and usage is paid subsequent to consuming the services.

This table shows the revenues from and revenue growth in both service plan options over the period from 2010 to 2013.

Figure 5.5.2  Roaming revenues by type and destination (2013)

This bar chart shows the percentage of voice and data roaming revenues that were derived within Canada, the United States, and internationally (SMS and MMS revenues were excluded). Canada voice: 2%; Canada data: 2%; the United States: 73%; the United States: 54%; International voice: 25%; International data: 44%.

Source: CRTC data collection

WSPs extend their coverage area to areas where they don’t have facilities by making arrangements with other WSPs that do have facilities in those areas to offer service to their end-users. When a subscriber uses the facilities of another WSP, the subscriber is said to be “roaming.” This graph shows the percentage of roaming revenues that were derived within Canada, the United States, and internationally. SMS and MMS revenues were excluded from the data revenue component within this particular figure.

b) Subscriber demand data

Table 5.5.4
Number of wireless and paging service subscribers
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013
Subscribers (thousands) Wireless 23,488.7 25,344.6 26,844.3 27,720.6 28,363.8 4.8%
Annual growth 8.3% 7.9% 5.9% 3.3% 2.3%
Paging 253.6 240.8 219.0 186.3 161.5 -10.7%
Annual growth -10.7% -5.1% -9.0% -14.9% -13.3%
ARPU ($/month) Wireless 60.14 59.68 58.66 59.58 59.97 -0.1%
Annual growth -1.9% -0.8% -1.7% 1.6% 0.7%

Source: CRTC data collection

From 2009 to 2013, the number of subscribers to paging services, which predate wireless voice communication services, declined. This table shows the growth in the number of subscribers to wireless and paging services between 2009 and 2013.

Table 5.5.5
Number of postpaid wireless service subscribers as a percentage of total wireless service subscribers
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Postpaid 79 79 78 81 83

Source: CRTC data collection

From 2009 to 2013, Canadians subscribing to wireless services favoured postpaid services.

Figure 5.5.3 Number of wireless service contracts by duration

Due to the implementation of the Wireless Code in 2013, Canadians can expect to see more postpaid plans with 2-year or fewer-year durations. This chart shows the percentage of postpaid plans that were under contract for less than 1 year, for 1 to 2 years, and for greater than 2 years.

This bar chart shows the percentage of postpaid plans that were under contract for less than 1 year, for 1 to 2 years, and for greater than 2 years. Less than 1 year: 24.0%; 1 to 2 years: 19.5%; Greater than 2 years: 56.4%.

Source: CRTC data collection

Figure 5.5.4 Total number of MMS and SMS messages

Short message service (SMS) enables the transmission of text messages of up to 160 characters in length between subscribers.

Multimedia messaging service (MMS) is similar to SMS, but it enables the transmission of multimedia content, such as pictures and videos, between subscribers.

This bar chart shows the total and daily number of SMS and MMS messages for each year between 2010 and 2013. SMS and MMS: 107B, 167B, 201B, 194B; SMS and MMS daily: 293M, 456M, 551M, 531M.

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the growth in the number of messages sent and received by Canadians via multimedia messaging services (MMS) and short message services (SMS) per day and annually in the period from 2010 to 2013. The total number of SMS and MMS messages were restated for 2010 to 2012 to include estimates for a company that was overlooked in those years.

c) Competitive landscape

Figure 5.5.5  TSPs’ wireless subscriber market share

These side by side pie charts show the mobile wireless subscriber market share of Rogers, Bell Group, Telus, New entrants and Others for 2012 and 2013, respectively. Rogers: 34%, 34%; Bell Group: 28%, 28%; Telus: 28%, 28%; New entrants: 5%, 5%; Others: 5%, 5%.

Source: CRTC data collection

These charts show the percentage of subscribers to wireless services in 2012 and 2013 for Canada’s three major telecommunications service providers (TSPs): the Bell Group of companies (Bell Group), Rogers Communications (Rogers), and Telus Communications Company (Telus). Collectively, Bell, Rogers, and Telus had 90% of wireless subscribers in 2012, and 2013.

The “Other” category includes telecommunications service providers (TSPs) such as MTS Allstream, SaskTel, and other small TSPs. The “New entrants” category refers to the new wireless entities that acquired spectrum in Industry Canada’s 2008 AWS spectrum auction and were still operating as a competitor to Bell, Telus and/or Rogers in 2013. These entities included: Data & Audio Visual Enterprises Wireless Inc.; Globalive Wireless Management Corp., operating as WIND Mobile; Videotron G.P.; and more recently, Bragg Communications Inc., operating as Eastlink. The “Bell Group” category includes Bell Canada; Bell Mobility; Latitude Wireless; NorthernTel, Limited Partnership; Northwestel Mobility; SkyTerra; Télébec, Limited Partnership; and Virgin Mobile. In 2013, Public Mobile’s figures were included with those of Telus.

Figure 5.5.6 TSPs’ wireless service revenue market share

These side by side pie charts show the mobile wireless revenue market share of Rogers, Bell Group, Telus, New entrants and Others for 2012 and 2013, respectively. Rogers: 36%, 35%; Bell Group: 28%, 28%; Telus: 28%, 29%; New entrants: 3%, 3%; Others: 5%, 5%.

Source: CRTC data collection

These charts show the percentage of revenues from wireless services in 2012 and 2013 for Canada’s three major TSPs: the Bell Group of companies (Bell), Rogers Communications (Rogers), and Telus Communications Company (TCC). Collectively, Rogers, Bell, and Telus had 92% of wireless subscribers in 2012, and 2013.

The “Other” category includes telecommunications service providers (TSPs) such as MTS Allstream, SaskTel, and other small TSPs. The “New entrants” category refers to the new wireless entities that acquired spectrum in Industry Canada’s 2008 AWS spectrum auction and were still operating as a competitor to Bell, Telus and/or Rogers in 2013. These entities included: Data & Audio Visual Enterprises Wireless Inc.; Globalive Wireless Management Corp., operating as WIND Mobile; Videotron G.P.; and more recently, Bragg Communications Inc., operating as Eastlink. The “Bell Group” category includes Bell Canada; Bell Mobility; Latitude Wireless; NorthernTel, Limited Partnership; Northwestel Mobility; SkyTerra; Télébec, Limited Partnership; and Virgin Mobile. In 2013, Public Mobile’s figures were included with those of Telus.

Figure 5.5.7  Percentage of revenues and subscribers derived via primary brands, extension brands, and resellers/rebillers (2013)

Extension brands are brand names created by companies to serve specific customer needs. These names are in addition to the companies’ established or main brand.

Extension brands are sometimes referred to as “flanker brands.” Some Canadian flanker brands include Fido, Solo, and Koodo.

Resellers/rebillers are companies that rely mainly on the large, facilities-based operators to package, market, bill, and deliver their mobile services, e.g. PC mobile, Petro-Canada Mobility, and SpeakOut 7-Eleven.

This bar chart shows the percentage of revenues and subscribers garnered through primary brands, extension brands, and resellers/rebiller arrangements. Primary brands: 86%, 78%; Extension brands: 13%, 21%; Resellers/Rebillers: 0%, 1%.

Source: CRTC data collection

Canadian WSPs market wireless services through primary and extension brands. By marketing their services through various market segments, WSPs are able to differentiate service offerings to potentially affect the competitive landscape in regional markets. This graph depicts the revenues and subscribers garnered through primary brands, extension brands, and reseller/rebiller arrangements.

Table 5.5.6
Wireless service subscriber market share, by province and territory (2013) (%)
Province/territory Bell Group Telus Rogers New entrants Other
British Columbia 19 39 38 3 0
Alberta 24 48 25 3 0
Saskatchewan 12 13 8 0 68
Manitoba 6 10 33 0 51
Ontario 29 19 45 5 1
Quebec 33 29 29 9 0
New Brunswick 57 26 17 0 0
Nova Scotia 53 33 14 1 0
Prince Edward Island 56 32 12 1 0
Newfoundland and Labrador 71 28 2 0 0
The North 99 0 0 0 1

Source: CRTC data collection

Canada’s major WSPs have different shares of the provincial wireless markets. This table displays the market shares owned by the major WSPs in Canada’s provinces and territories.

The three major WSPs have the largest market share across all provinces and territories except Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The incumbent telephone companies that offer wireless services have the largest share of subscribers to wireless services within their respective incumbent operating territory, except in Ontario.

The “Bell Group” category includes Bell Canada; Bell Mobility; Latitude Wireless; NorthernTel, Limited Partnership; Northwestel Mobility; SkyTerra; Télébec, Limited Partnership; and Virgin Mobile. In 2013, Public Mobile’s figure were included with those of Telus.The “New entrants” category refers to the new wireless entities that acquired spectrum in Industry Canada’s 2008 AWS spectrum auction and were still operating as a competitor to Bell, Telus and/or Rogers in 2013. These entities included: Data & Audio Visual Enterprises Wireless Inc.; Globalive Wireless Management Corp., operating as WIND Mobile; Videotron G.P.; and more recently, Bragg Communications Inc., operating as Eastlink. The “Other” category includes TSPs such as MTS Allstream, SaskTel, and other small TSPs.

A number of companies improved their tracking of data which may distort year over year comparisons. “The North” includes the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.

The average churn rate is a measure of subscriber turnover. It is derived by dividing the number of subscribers that have left a wireless service by the total number of wireless service subscribers.

Table 5.5.7
Wireless service average monthly churn rates (%)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Bell Mobility 1.6 1.9 2.0 1.7 1.6
Rogers Communications 1.4 1.5 1.8 1.8 1.7
TCC 1.6 1.6 1.7 1.5 1.4

Sources: Companies’ annual reports and CRTC data collection

This table shows the average churn rate for three major WSPs from 2009 to 2013. Customers may leave their WSP for a number of reasons, including dissatisfaction with the service, taking advantage of competitive offers, and pricing issues.

d) Technology indicators

The following tables and charts indicate the extent to which Canadians are adapting to a digital communication system. Advanced handheld devices, tablets, and other wireless devices that provide access to the Internet are continually increasing demand for wireless capacity.

Figure 5.5.8 Mobile device penetration

This clustered bar chart shows the percentage of Anglophones and Francophones owning the following mobile devices from 2009 to 2013: 2009: (Cellphones) 69%, Smartphones (14%), Tablets (0%); 2010: 72%, 24%, 3%; 2011: 77%, 37%, 10%; 2012: 80%, 51%, 26%; 2013: 83%, 62%, 39%.

Source: Media Technology Monitor (MTM) 2013 (Respondents: Canadians aged 18+)

This graph shows the percentage of Canadians, 18 years of age and older, who owned regular cell phones, smartphones, and tablets, from 2009 to 2013. The use of smartphones and tablets increases the volume of data traffic on the network

Table 5.5.8
Mobile device penetration by linguistic group (%)
Mobile device ownership 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Anglo Franco Anglo Franco Anglo Franco Anglo Franco Anglo Franco
Cell phone 72 59 74 63 80 67 83 71 86 74
Smartphone 16 8 27 14 41 26 55 39 66 49
Tablet n/a n/a 4 2 12 6 28 17 42 30

Source: MTM 2013 (Respondents: Canadians aged 18+)

This graph shows the percentage of Canadians, 18 years of age and older, who owned regular cell phones, smartphones, and tablets, from 2009 to 2013. The use of smartphones and tablets increases the volume of data traffic on the network.

Figure 5.5.9 Mobile device penetration by region

This clustered bar chart shows the percentage of Canadians owning the following mobile devices in 2013 broken down by region: Regular cellphones: 20% (British Columbia), 15% (Alberta), 13% (Manitoba/Saskatchewan), 19% (Ontario), 22% (Quebec), 23% (Atlantic), 23% (Total); Smartphones: 62%, 70%, 75%, 65%, 62%, 50%, 54%; Tablets: 39%, 45%, 45%, 45%, 30%, 41%, 39%.

Source: MTM 2013 (Respondents: Canadians aged 18+)

This table shows the percentage of Francophones and Anglophones in Canada who own cell phones, smartphones, and tablets, from 2009 to 2013. Cell phone owners include people who own either a regular cell phone or a smartphone.

Table 5.5.9
Number and percentage of advanced handheld devices by province and territory
Province/territory 2012 2013 Annual
growth (%)
Number of advanced
handheld devices
Percentage of total
handheld devices
Number of advanced
handheld devices
Percentage of total
handheld devices
British Columbia 2,002,719 13 2,388,176 11 19
Alberta 2,066,054 14 2,477,044 12 20
Saskatchewan 480,135# 5 596,026 3 24
Manitoba 730,018 5 803,718 4 10
Ontario 5,659,999 38 6,937,766 33 23
Quebec 2,884,597 19 3,202,481 15 11
New Brunswick 258,440 2 345,937 2 34
Nova Scotia 348,422 2 460,253 2 32
Prince Edward Island 48,210 0 64,975 0 35
Newfoundland and Labrador 187,908 1 268,560 1 43
The North 4,660 0 53,216 0 1,042

Source: CRTC data collection

Advanced handheld devices offer more than voice functions. They often support MMS, Internet email functions, and video. The number of advanced handheld devices is a measure of the extent to which Canadians are participating in the digital economy.

This table shows the number of advanced handheld devices that were in use in each region of the country in 2012 and 2013, as well as the number of advanced handheld devices expressed as a percentage of all devices in use.

The # symbol denotes a change in the data from what was published in the previous Communications Monitoring Report (refer to Appendix 1 for details). In 2013, at least one company had updated their reporting systems to allow for a more accurate reporting of subscribers by province.

“The North” includes the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.

Figure 5.5.10 Mobile data-only plan revenues and subscribers, by data plan capacity (2013)

Data-only plans include built-in and portable access devices, such as hubs, sticks, dongles, and laptops.

These side by side pie charts show the percent of revenues and subscribers for mobile data only plan for three categories, less than 501 MB, between 501 MB and 2 GB and greater than 2 GB. Revenues: 68%, 11% and 21%; Subscribers: 85%, 5% and 10%.

Source: CRTC data collection

These charts show the percentages of revenues and subscribers realized by WSPs by data plan capacity in 2013. Of the total number of subscribers, 5% were reported to be data-only subscribers.

Figure 5.5.11 Percentage of mobile revenues, voice vs. standard broadband vs. dedicated broadband (2013)

A standard mobile broadband user is someone who owns a smartphone or a regular cell phone with a subscription to a data and voice plan. (Mobile phone plans with browsing only are excluded from this category.)

A dedicated mobile broadband user refers to someone with a subscription to dedicated data services over a mobile network. These subscriptions are purchased separately from voice services, either as a stand-alone service (modem/dongle) or as an add-on data package to voice services, which requires an additional subscription.

This pie chart shows the percent of revenues by type of mobile plan in 2013. Voice: 25%; Standard mobile broadband: 72%; Dedicated mobile broadband: 3%.

Source: CRTC data collection

This chart shows the percentage of revenues that WSPs derive from customers who subscribe to voice plans, standard broadband plans, and dedicated broadband plans.

Table 5.5.10
Mobile broadband subscribers
2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2011-2013
Standard mobile broadband
Number of subscribers (millions) 12.0 13.0 16.1 15.9%
Percentage of all subscribers (%) 44 47 57
Annual growth (%) na 8.0 24.3
Dedicated mobile
Number of subscribers (millions) 1.2 1.3 1.5 11.4%
Percentage of all subscribers (%) 4 5 5
Annual growth (%) na 12.3 10.5
Total mobile broadband
Number of subscribers (millions) 13.2 14.3 17.6 15.5%
Percentage of all subscribers (%) 48 51 62
Annual growth (%) na 3.0 2.3

Source: CRTC data collection

From 2011 to 2013, Canadians increasingly used broadband technology on mobile devices. This table shows the number of mobile broadband subscribers in the country in that period.

Figure 5.5.12  Popular Internet and mobile activities by Canadian smartphone owners

This clustered bar chart shows the percentage of Anglophone and Francophone Canadians who reported engaging in the following activities on their smartphone in 2013: Read online news: (Anglophones) 41%, (Francophones) 35%; Listen to streamed audio: 33%, 28%; Watch Internet TV: 18%, 14%; Access social networking: 59%, 54%; Access Internet: 84%, 77%; Send/receive Email: 74%, 62%; Text message: 94%, 91%.

Source: MTM 2013 (Respondents: Canadians aged 18+)

This graph shows the activities that Francophones and Anglophones perform using their smartphones.

Figure 5.5.13  Popular Internet and mobile activities by Canadian tablet owners

This clustered bar chart shows the percentage of Anglophone and Francophone Canadians who reported engaging in the following activities on their tablet in 2013: Read online news: (Anglophones) 46%, (Francophones) 55%; Listen to streamed audio: 31%, 30%; Watch Internet TV: 29%, 33%; Access social networking: 51%, 58%; Access Internet: 88%, 92%; Send/receive Email: 65%, 69%.

Source: MTM 2013 (Respondents: Canadians aged 18+)

This graph shows the activities that Francophones and Anglophones perform using their tablets.

e) Performance indicators

Table 5.5.11
Average wireless service revenue per subscriber
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013
Average wireless service revenue per subscriber ($/month) 60.1 59.7 58.7 59.6 60.0 -0.1%
Annual growth -1.9% -0.8% -1.7% 1.6% 0.7%

Source: CRTC data collection

Average wireless service revenue per subscriber is a useful measure of the revenues WSPs receive per subscriber. Conversely, from a consumer perspective, it is a measure of consumers’ expenditures on wireless services. This table shows the average revenue per user for wireless services for the years 2009 to 2013.

The average wireless service revenue per subscriber for all prior years was restated.


The average wireless service revenue per subscriber was calculated by dividing total annual wireless service revenues by the average number of subscribers during the year. The result was then divided by twelve to obtain a monthly result. The average number of subscribers was determined by dividing the sum of the number of subscribers at the beginning and at the end of the year by two.

In prior years, the average wireless service revenue per subscriber was calculated by dividing total wireless service revenues for the year by the number of subscribers at the end of the year, and then dividing the result by 12. This methodology tends to overstate the results in a growing market, since it assumes that the number of subscribers at the end of the year is representative of the number of subscribers throughout the year. Using an average number of subscribers minimizes this overstatement.

Table 5.5.12
Average wireless service revenues per subscriber, by province and territory (excluding paging)
Province/territory 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
British Columbia $62.33 $62.59 $63.84 $62.55 $63.42
Alberta $71.17 $71.89 $75.82 $72.82 $74.10
Saskatchewan $51.65 $63.45 $53.51 $57.83 $58.72
Manitoba $52.78 $52.07 $53.07 $54.99 $59.42
Ontario $63.44 $62.04 $58.18 $60.60 $58.93
Quebec $52.53 $52.79 $51.08 $51.46 $53.69
New Brunswick $52.75 $55.11 $53.15 $54.62 $55.65
Nova Scotia $54.25 $57.76 $55.26 $57.22 $58.15
Prince Edward Island $57.32 $52.15 $52.01 $55.47 $52.86
Newfoundland and Labrador $50.34 $53.78 $53.86 $58.70 $60.61
The North n/a $82.02 $105.43 $94.31 $135.44

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the average revenue per user for WSPs in each region of the country for the years 2009 to 2013. “The North” includes the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. The average wireless service revenue per subscriber for prior years were restated. Estimates were made for companies that were not required to provide provincial and territorial data.

f)  Price

What is the report on Price Comparisons of Wireline, Wireless and Internet Services in Canada and with Foreign Jurisdictions?

This report provides a 2014 update to the previous annual telecommunications price comparison studies conducted over the period from 2008 to 2012 by Wall Communications Inc. for the CRTC and Industry Canada.

The individual services covered by the study include wireline, mobile wireless, broadband Internet, and mobile Internet services.

For more information, please consult the following link: http://crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/rp130422.htm

The price structure of wireless services is based on usage. To assess the price of wireless services in urban centres and in rural communities, three baskets were used. These baskets were adopted from the report on Price Comparisons of Wireline, Wireless and Internet Services in Canada and with Foreign Jurisdictions (2013).

  • The Level 1 mobile service basket represents introductory or low-usage types of plans that offer 150 minutes of voice service, with no short message service (SMS) or Internet data service per month.
  • The Level 2 mobile service basket encompasses low- to mid-tier types of plans that provide customers with at least 450 minutes of voice service, 300 SMS, and no Internet data services per month.
  • The Level 3 mobile service basket comprises plans representative of a typical smartphone user that offer at least 1200 minutes of voice service, 300 SMS, and 1GB of Internet data per month.

Urban centres

Urban centres having five or more WSPs had the largest price variance between the lowest and highest price reported, as well as the lowest prices in all three service baskets. The variance between lowest and highest prices across all service baskets in any given urban centre was wide, ranging from a low of $16 to a high of $50. The lowest price for a Level 1 bundle offered in an urban centre with four or fewer WSPs averaged $10 to $12 more expensive than bundles offered in cities where at least five WSPs were present. The average price variance between low and high prices was $11 or 46% of the lowest price for the Level 1 service basket, $20 or 65% of the lowest price for the Level 2 service basket, and $40 or 83% for the Level 3 service basket.

In cities where at least one of the new entrants offered wireless service, prices were significantly lower for all three service baskets. Although the results of the pricing survey suggest that the existence of more competitors leads to lower prices, this analysis does not take into consideration certain factors that could affect certain facets of consumer value, such as network coverage, quality of service, and bundling options.

Figure 5.5.14   Price of a Level 1 basket wireless service ($/month) and number of companies providing the service in a number of select cities

This stacked bar chart shows the highest and lowest monthly prices in dollars for a level 1 basket of wireless service by major centre, as well as number of providers in each centre.  Vancouver: 5 providers, low 22, high 35; Victoria: 3 providers, low 30, high 35; Calgary: 5 providers, low 22, high 35; Edmonton: 5 providers, low 22, high 35; Saskatoon: 4 providers, low 27, high 35; Regina: 4 providers, low 27, high 35; Winnipeg: 4 providers, low 27, high 35; Toronto: 6 providers, low 19, high 35; Ottawa-Gatineau: 6 providers, low 22, high 35; Hamilton: 5 providers, low 19, high 35; London: 5 providers, low 19, high 35; Kitchener-Waterloo: 5 providers, low 19 high 35; St Catharines – Niagara: 5 providers, low 19, high 35; Windsor: 5 providers, low 19, high 35; Oshawa: 5 providers, low 19, high 35; Montréal: 5 providers, low 19, high 35; Québec: 5 providers, low 19, high 35; Fredericton: 3 providers, low 30, high 35; Charlottetown: 3 providers, low 30, high 35; Halifax: 3 providers, low 30, high 35; St. John’s: 3 providers, low 30, high 35; Whitehorse: 4 providers, low 31, high 35; Yellowknife: 4 providers, low 32, high 35; Iqaluit: 4 providers, low 32, high 35.

Source: CRTC data collection

This bar chart displays the range in the monthly price of a Level 1 basket wireless service in 24 urban centres in Canada. The blue bar displays the lowest price, and the red bar displays the difference between the lowest and the highest price. The number at the top of each bar is the highest price. The number appearing in parentheses along the horizontal axis after the name of each urban centre represents the number of local WSPs.

Figure 5.5.15   Price of a Level 2 basket wireless service ($/month) and number of companies providing the service in a number of select cities

This stacked bar chart shows the highest and lowest monthly prices in dollars for a level 2 basket of wireless service by major centre, as well as number of providers in each centre.  Vancouver: 5 providers, low 31, high 50; Victoria: 3 providers, low 35, high 50; Calgary: 5 providers, low 31, high 50; Edmonton: 5 providers, low 31, high 50; Saskatoon: 4 providers, low 38, high 60; Regina: 4 providers, low 38, high 60; Winnipeg: 4 providers, low 38, high 49; Toronto: 6 providers, low 25, high 50; Ottawa-Gatineau: 6 providers, low 31, high 50; Hamilton: 5 providers, low 25, high 50; London: 5 providers, low 25, high 50; Kitchener-Waterloo: 5 providers, low 25 high 50; St Catharines – Niagara: 5 providers, low 25, high 50; Windsor: 5 providers, low 25, high 50; Oshawa: 5 providers, low 25, high 50; Montréal: 5 providers, low 25, high 50; Québec: 5 providers, low 25, high 50; Fredericton: 3 providers, low 35, high 50; Charlottetown: 3 providers, low 35, high 50; Halifax: 3 providers, low 35, high 50; St. John’s: 3 providers, low 35, high 50; Whitehorse: 4 providers, low 38, high 55; Yellowknife: 4 providers, low 38, high 55; Iqaluit: 4 providers, low 38, high 55.

Source: CRTC data collection

This bar chart displays the range in the monthly price of a Level 2 basket wireless service in 24 urban centres in Canada. The blue bar displays the lowest price, and the red bar displays the difference between the lowest and the highest price. The number at the top of each bar is the highest price. The number appearing in parentheses along the horizontal axis after the name of each centre represents the number of local WSPs.

Figure 5.5.16   Price of a Level 3 basket wireless service ($/month) and number of companies providing the service in a number of select cities

This stacked bar chart shows the highest and lowest monthly prices in dollars for a level 3 basket of wireless service by major centre, as well as number of providers in each centre.  Vancouver: 5 providers, low 40, high 85; Victoria: 3 providers, low 55, high 85; Calgary: 5 providers, low 40, high 85; Edmonton: 5 providers, low 40, high 85; Saskatoon: 4 providers, low 55, high 81; Regina: 4 providers, low 55, high 81; Winnipeg: 4 providers, low 59, high 109; Toronto: 6 providers, low 35, high 85; Ottawa-Gatineau: 6 providers, low 40, high 85; Hamilton: 5 providers, low 35, high 85; London: 5 providers, low 35, high 85; Kitchener-Waterloo: 5 providers, low 35 high 85; St Catharines – Niagara: 5 providers, low 35, high 85; Windsor: 5 providers, low 35, high 85; Oshawa: 5 providers, low 35, high 85; Montréal: 5 providers, low 35, high 85; Québec: 5 providers, low 35, high 85; Fredericton: 3 providers, low 55, high 85; Charlottetown: 3 providers, low 55, high 85; Halifax: 3 providers, low 55, high 85; St. John’s: 3 providers, low 55, high 85; Whitehorse: 4 providers, low 74, high 107; Yellowknife: 4 providers, low 74, high 107; Iqaluit: 4 providers, low 74, high 107.

Source: CRTC data collection

This bar chart displays the range in the monthly price of a Level 3 basket wireless service in 24 urban centres in Canada. The blue bar displays the lowest price, and the red bar displays the difference between the lowest and the highest price. The number at the top of each bar is the highest price. The number appearing in parentheses along the horizontal axis after the name of each centre represents the number of local WSPs.

Price comparison of urban and rural wireless services

What rural communities were included in this comparison?

54 rural communities were selected to assess the price of wireless services. These communities met the following criteria:

  • They were not part of one of the census metropolitan areas of the 24 urban centres;
  • They had population densities of fewer than 400 people per square kilometre, or their population centres had fewer than 1,000 people;
  • The number of communities in each province/territory was proportional to the population of the province/territory; and
  • The communities were not clustered together.

Appendix 4 contains the list of rural communities.

To assess the price of wireless services in rural communities, 54 rural communities were selected, and the price of wireless services in these communities was compared to that in urban centres.

The price of wireless services, across all service baskets, in rural communities was generally equal to or higher than that in urban centres.

The variance between the lowest and highest price of wireless services across all service baskets in rural communities, by province and territory, was wide, ranging between $3 and $50. This variance was also wide in the urban centres as well.

The average price variance among rural communities and urban centres for low usage wireless services and typical smartphone subscribers was 60% and 23% respectively. However, the average price variance for urban wireless service subscribers to low- to mid-tier plans was about 22% less than for rural subscribers.

Figure 5.5.17   Price of a Level 1 basket wireless service ($/month) and number of companies providing the service in urban centres and rural communities

This two-series stacked bar chart shows the highest and lowest monthly prices in dollars for a level 1 basket of wireless service by urban are rural areas on a per province basis.  BC Rural: 3 providers, low 30, high 35;  BC Urban: 5 providers, low 22, high 35; Alberta Rural: 3 providers, low 30, high 35; Alberta Urban: 5 providers, low 22, high 35; Sask Rural: 4 providers, low 27, high 34; Sask Urban: 4 providers, low 27, high 35; Manitoba Rural: 4 providers, low 27, high 35; Manitoba Urban: 4 providers, low 27, high 35; Ontario Rural: 4 providers, low 30, high 35; Ontario Urban: 7 providers, low 19, high 35; Quebec Rural: 5 providers, low 25, high 35; Quebec Urban: 5 providers, low 19, high 35; NB Rural: 3 providers, low 30, high 35; NB Urban: 3 providers, low 30, high 35; PEI Rural: 3 providers, low 30, high 35; PEI Urban: 3 providers, low 30, high 35; NS Rural, 3 providers, low 30, high 35; NS Urban: 3 providers, low 30, high 35; Nfld Rural: 2 providers, low 32, high 35; Nfld Urban: 3 providers, low 30, high 35; Yukon Rural: 4 providers, low 32, high 35; Yukon Urban: 4 providers, low 32, high 35; NWT Rural: 4 providers, low 32, high 35; NWT Urban: 4 providers, low 32, high 35; Nunavut Rural: 4 providers, low 32, high 35; Nunavut Urban: 4 providers, low 32, high 35.

Source: CRTC data collection

This bar chart displays the range in the monthly price of wireless services in urban centres and rural communities in Canada, by province and territory. The blue bar displays the lowest price, and the red bar displays the difference between the lowest and the highest price. The number at the top of each bar is the highest price. The number appearing in parentheses along the horizontal axis after the name of each province and territory represents the number of local WSPs.

Figure 5.5.18   Price of a Level 2 basket wireless service ($/month) and number of companies providing the service in urban centres and rural communities

This two-series stacked bar chart shows the highest and lowest monthly prices in dollars for a level 2 basket of wireless service by urban are rural areas on a per province basis.  BC Rural: 3 providers, low 35, high 60;  BC Urban: 5 providers, low 31, high 50; Alberta Rural: 3 providers, low 35, high 60; Alberta Urban: 5 providers, low 31, high 50; Sask Rural: 4 providers, low 35, high 60; Sask Urban: 4 providers, low 38, high 60; Manitoba Rural: 4 providers, low 38, high 49; Manitoba Urban: 4 providers, low 38, high 49; Ontario Rural: 4 providers, low 35, high 60; Ontario Urban: 7 providers, low 25, high 50; Quebec Rural: 5 providers, low 35, high 50; Quebec Urban: 5 providers, low 25, high 50; NB Rural: 3 providers, low 35, high 60; NB Urban: 3 providers, low 35, high 50; PEI Rural: 3 providers, low 35, high 60; PEI Urban: 3 providers, low 35, high 50; NS Rural, 3 providers, low 35, high 60; NS Urban: 3 providers, low 35, high 50; Nfld Rural: 2 providers, low 38, high 60; Nfld Urban: 3 providers, low 35, high 50; Yukon Rural: 4 providers, low 38, high 60; Yukon Urban: 4 providers, low 38, high 55; NWT Rural: 4 providers, low 38, high 60; NWT Urban: 4 providers, low 38, high 55; Nunavut Rural: 4 providers, low 38, high 60; Nunavut Urban: 4 providers, low 38, high 55.

Source: CRTC data collection

This bar chart displays the range in the monthly price of wireless services in urban centres and in rural communities in Canada, by province and territory. The blue bar displays the lowest price, and the red bar displays the difference between the lowest and the highest price. The number at the top of each bar is the highest price. The number appearing in parentheses along the horizontal axis after the name of each province and territory represents the number of local WSPs.

Figure 5.5.19   Price of a Level 3 basket wireless service ($/month) and number of companies providing the service in urban centres and rural communities

This two-series stacked bar chart shows the highest and lowest monthly prices in dollars for a level 3 basket of wireless service by urban are rural areas on a per province basis.  BC Rural: 3 providers, low 55, high 85;  BC Urban: 5 providers, low 40, high 85; Alberta Rural: 3 providers, low 55, high 85; Alberta Urban: 5 providers, low 40, high 85; Sask Rural: 4 providers, low 55, high 81; Sask Urban: 4 providers, low 55, high 81; Manitoba Rural: 4 providers, low 59, high 109; Manitoba Urban: 4 providers, low 59, high 109; Ontario Rural: 4 providers, low 55, high 85; Ontario Urban: 7 providers, low 40, high 85; Quebec Rural: 5 providers, low 50, high 85; Quebec Urban: 5 providers, low 35, high 85; NB Rural: 3 providers, low 55, high 85; NB Urban: 3 providers, low 55, high 85; PEI Rural: 3 providers, low 55, high 85; PEI Urban: 3 providers, low 55, high 85; NS Rural, 3 providers, low 55, high 85; NS Urban: 3 providers, low 55, high 85; Nfld Rural: 2 providers, low 74, high 85; Nfld Urban: 3 providers, low 55, high 85; Yukon Rural: 4 providers, low 74, high 107; Yukon Urban: 4 providers, low 74, high 107; NWT Rural: 4 providers, low 74, high 107; NWT Urban: 4 providers, low 74, high 107; Nunavut Rural: 4 providers, low 74, high 107; Nunavut Urban: 4 providers, low 74, high 107.

Source: CRTC data collection

This bar chart displays the range in the monthly price of wireless services in urban centres and in rural communities in Canada, by province and territory. The blue bar displays the lowest price, and the red bar displays the difference between the lowest and the highest price. The number at the top of each bar is the highest price. The number appearing in parentheses along the horizontal axis after the name of each province and territory represents the number of local WSPs.

g) Coverage/availability details

Figure 5.5.20 Wireless coverage, penetration, and ARPU by province and territory (2013)

This combination of a bar chart and plotted dot plot shows wireless coverage, penetration, HSPA+ coverage and LTE coverage by province and monthly ARPU in dollars by province for 2013: Wireless coverage: BC: 99.0%, AB: 99.8%, SK: 98.9%, MB: 98.4%, ON: 99.8%, QC: 99.4%, NB: 99.8%, NS: 99.8%, PEI: 99.9%:, NL: 96.4%, North: 83.7%, Canada: 99.4%; Penetration: BC: 85.1%, AB: 93.8%, SK: 81.7%, MB: 77.9%, ON: 80.5%, QC: 66.6%, NB: 74.7%, NS: 79.6%, PEI: 77.2%:, NL: 80.9%, North: 64.0%, Canada: 79.1%; HSPA+ coverage: BC: 98.7%, AB: 99.7%, SK: 98.1%, MB: 97.5%, ON: 99.8%, QC: 99.3%, NB: 99.6%, NS: 99.8%, PEI: 99.9%:, NL: 95.9%, North: 58.3%, Canada: 99.2%; LTE: BC: 89.4%, AB: 85.3%, SK: 59.3%, MB: 69.8%, ON: 85.7%, QC: 79.0%, NB: 50.0%, NS: 79.7%, PEI: 79.5%:, NL: 46.1%, North: 42.1%, Canada: 81.4%; ARPU: BC: $63.42, AB: $74.10, SK: $58.72, MB: $59.42, ON: $58.93, QC: $53.69, NB: $55.65, NS: $58.15, PEI: $52.86, NL: $60.61, North: $135.44, Canada: $60.67.

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows wireless coverage and penetration rates for various wireless technologies such as long-term evolution (LTE) and evolved high-speed packet access (HSPA+), by percentage of population for each province and the territories. The table also shows the average monthly revenue per user in each region.

Figure 5.5.21  Roaming voice and data traffic by destination (2013)

This dual chart shows the percentage of voice minutes and data traffic, excluding MMS and SMS, derviced from roaming withing Canada, the United States, and internationally. Canada: 57%, 63%; the United State: 36%, 31%; International: 8%, 6%.

Source: CRTC data collection

WSPs extend their coverage area to areas where they don’t have facilities by making arrangements with other WSPs that do have facilities in those areas to offer service to their end-users. When a subscriber uses the facilities of another WSP, the subscriber is said to be “roaming.” This dual chart shows the percentage of voice minutes and data traffic, excluding MMS and SMS, derived from roaming within Canada, the United States, and internationally.

Table 5.5.13
Wireless coverage, penetration, and average revenue per subscriber, by province and territory (2013)
Province/territory Coverage (%) Penetration rate (%) ARPU ($/month)
Wireless HSPA+ LTE
British Columbia 99.0 98.7 89.4 85.1 63.42
Alberta 99.8 99.7 85.3 93.8 74.10
Saskatchewan 98.9 98.1 59.3 81.7 58.72
Manitoba 98.4 97.5 69.8 77.9 59.42
Ontario 99.8 99.8 85.7 80.5 58.93
Quebec 99.4 99.3 79.0 66.6 53.69
New Brunswick 99.8 99.6 50.0 74.7 55.65
Nova Scotia 99.9 99.8 79.7 79.6 58.15
Prince Edward Island 99.9 99.9 79.5 77.2 52.86
Newfoundland and Labrador 96.4 95.9 46.1 80.9 60.61
The North 83.7 58.3 42.1 64.0 135.44
Canada 99.4 99.2 81.4 79.1 60.67

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows wireless coverage and penetration rates for various wireless technologies, such as LTE and HSPA+, by percentage of population for each province and the territories. The table also shows the average monthly revenue per user in each region. “The North” includes the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.

Table 5.5.14
Number of different wireless networks, expressed as a percentage of population covered, by province and territory (2013)
Province/territory Number of networks
None 1 only 2 only 3 only 4 or more
British Columbia 1% 2% 33% 5% 59%
Alberta 0% 1% 35% 7% 58%
Saskatchewan 1% 16% 75% 8% 0%
Manitoba 2% 2% 20% 76% 0%
Ontario 0% 1% 5% 21% 73%
Quebec 1% 4% 6% 7% 83%
New Brunswick 0% 4% 72% 23% 0%
Nova Scotia 0% 4% 18% 37% 41%
Prince Edward Island 0% 1% 24% 75% 0%
Newfoundland and Labrador 4% 39% 18% 40% 0%
The North 16% 26% 58% 0% 0%
Canada 1% 3% 17% 17% 63%

Source: CRTC data collection

This table represents the number of different wireless networks, in terms of radio access facilities, in each of the provinces and territories. In many provinces, facilities-based wireless service providers who own spectrum share the same radio access facilities to offer telecommunications services to the public. “The North” includes the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.

Figure 5.5.22 Established carriers’ coverage and penetration vs. new entrants’ coverage and penetration

This horizontal bar chart shows established carriers’ coverage and penetration versus new entrants’ coverage and penetration by percent of population for the years between 2010 and 2013: Established carriers’ coverage: 99.0%, 99.0%, 99.4%, 99.4%; Established carriers’ penetration: 73.1%, 75.1%, 75.6%, 76.9%; New carriers’ coverage: 47.0%, 54.9%, 57.6%, 64.5%; New carriers’ penetration: 1.4%, 3.0%, 4.2%, 3.8%.

Source: CRTC data collection

Canada’s wireless service market is dominated by established carriers. These companies offer significantly more coverage and penetration than new entrants. The “new entrants” category refers to the new wireless entities that acquired spectrum in Industry Canada’s 2008 AWS spectrum auction and were still operating as a competitor to Bell, Telus and/or Rogers in 2013. These entities included: Data & Audio Visual Enterprises Wireless Inc.; Globalive Wireless Management Corp., operating as WIND Mobile; Videotron G.P.; and more recently, Bragg Communications Inc., operating as Eastlink. In 2013, Public Mobile’s figures were included in Telus.

Map 5.5.1   Wireless service availability by number of facilities-based WSPs (2013)

This map displays the presence and the number of wireless facilities-based service providers in Canada.

Source: CRTC data collection

This map shows the cross-country availability of wireless services from facilities-based WSPs.

Map 5.5.2 Wireless HSPA+ service availability by incumbent and new-entrant facilities-based WSPs (2013)

This map displays the presence and the number of HSPA+ wireless facilities-based service providers in Canada.

Source: CRTC data collection

This map shows the cross-country availability of evolved high-speed packet access (HSPA+) technology by incumbent and new-entrant facilities-based WSPs.

5.6  Wholesale telecommunications market sector

This is a single pie chart that shows the percent of telecommunications wholesale services revenues provided by the wireless and wireline segments.  Wireline wholesale services make up 74% of wholesale revenues, while wireless wholesale services make up 26%.

Wholesale services enable providers of telecommunications services (TSPs) to extend their network and to interconnect with other service providers. Wholesale services include the lease of telecommunications facilities such as local access lines and private interexchange lines, sale of demand quantities such as long distance minutes, mobile wireless roaming and interconnection arrangements, or a service for resale purposes.

The size of the wholesale market is a measure of the competitive environment of an industry. Incumbent TSPs are the major providers of wholesale services, followed by cable-based carriers.

All providers of telecommunications services rely on wholesale services to varying degrees. Resellers are major users of wholesale telecommunications services. They rely on other service providers’ transmission facilities to provide service to their own end-customers. Incumbent TSPs are least dependent on the wholesale service market. They require these services when operating outside of their traditional operating area where they do not have facilities, or to interconnect with another service provider to complete a call or service. Other facilities-based service providers use wholesale services to extend their service areas or provide services that they are not able to provide directly to their customers.

Table 5.6.0
Telecommunications wholesale market sector at a glance
Revenues ($ billions) 2012 2013 Annual
growth (%)
Local and access 0.8 0.7 -6.2
Long distance 0.6 0.4 -21.5
Internet 0.4 0.4 3.5
Data 0.5 0.5 8.4
Private line 0.7 0.7 -5.5
Wireless 0.8 1.0 13.4
Total wholesale revenues 3.7 3.7 -1.0
Percentage of revenues from forborne wholesale services 76.6 75.1

Source: CRTC data collection

This table offers a snapshot of the size of the wholesale market sector in 2012 and 2013. It shows wholesale revenues by the market sector; local and access, long distance, Internet, data and private line, and wireless wholesale market sectors. The wireless wholesale market excludes fixed-wireless services. The table also shows the percentage of revenues from forborne wholesale services.

This section presents wholesale telecommunications revenue over a five-year period to display the trends in the wholesale market sector. Competitive and technology indicators, such as market share data and technology trends, are also presented.

a) Revenues

Table 5.6.1
Wholesale telecommunications revenues ($ billions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013
Wireline 3.1 3.1 3.0 2.9 2.8 -2.7
Annual growth (%) -1.3 -0.3 -1.4 -3.6 -5.1
Wireless 0.5 0.5 0.7 0.8 1.0 15.0
Annual growth (%) 19.3 -12.9 51.3 17.1 13.4
Total 3.6 3.5 3.7 3.7 3.7 0.7
Annual growth (%) 1.4 -2.2 5.3 0.7 -1.0

Source: CRTC data collection

This table presents an overview of wireline and wireless wholesale revenues, as well as the annual growth rates for each year, and the average annual growth rates over the 2009 to 2013 period. The table shows that wireline wholesale revenues have been declining since 2009, while wireless wholesale revenues have been increasing. The wireless wholesale market excludes fixed-wireless services.

Table 5.6.2
Wholesale telecommunications revenues, by market sector ($ millions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR (%) 2009-2013
Wireline Voice Local and access 824 798 832 751 704 -3.8
Annual growth (%) -3.2 -3.1 4.3 -9.8 -6.2
Long distance 780 797 617 552 433 -13.7
Annual growth (%) -5.7 2.2 -22.6 -10.6 -21.5
Voice subtotal 1,604 1,595 1,449 1,303 1,137 -8.2
Annual growth (%) 0.0 0.0 -0.1 -0.1 -0.1  
Non-voice Internet 357 346 411 429 444 5.6
Annual growth (%) 13.0 -2.9 18.6 4.4 3.5
Newer data protocols 216# 253# 307# 352# 390 15.9
Annual growth (%) 22.0 17.0 21.3 14.6 11.0
Legacy data protocols 56 42 41 35 30 -14.0
Annual growth (%) -8.3 -25.4 -2.2 -14.5 -12.5 24.2
Other data services 39 89 65 88 94
Annual growth (%) -9.8 125.8 -26.7 35.2 6.4
Data subtotal 311 384 413 475 515 13.4
Annual growth (%) 10.5 23.2 7.6 15.0 8.4
Private line 793 729 737 695 657 -4.6
Annual growth (%) -4.3 -8.0 1.1 -5.7 -5.5
Non-voice subtotal 1,461 1,459 1,561 1,599 1,615 2.5
Annual growth (%) 2.5 -0.1 7.0 2.4 1.0  
Total wireline 3,065 3,055 3,010 2,901 2,753 -2.7
Annual growth (%) -1.3 -0.3 -1.4 -3.6 -5.1
WirelessMobile 544 474 718 840 953 15.0
Annual growth (%) 19.3 -12.9 51.3 17.1 13.4
Total 3,610 3,529 3,728 3,742 3,706 0.7
Annual growth (%) 1.4 -2.2 5.6 0.4 -1.0

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows wholesale revenues by market sector and service. Voice wholesale revenues have declined 8.2% annually since 2009, whereas wireline non-voice or data service revenues have increased 2.5%. The strongest revenue growth was in newer services such as Internet and mobile wireless services, and data services using newer data protocols such as Ethernet and Internet Protocol (IP). These services have increased between 5.6% and 15.9% annually since 2009. The # symbol denotes a change in the data from what was published in the previous Communications Monitoring Report.

Figure 5.6.1 Wholesale telecommunications revenues, by market sector

This bar chart shows the revenues from 2009 to 2013 for the various sectors of the wholesale market.  Local and access: 824, 798, 832, 751, 704; Long distance: 780, 797, 617, 552, 433; Internet: 357, 346, 411, 429, 444; Newer data protocols: 216, 253, 307, 352, 390; Legacy data protocols: 56, 42, 41, 35, 30; Private Line: 793, 729, 737, 695, 657; Wireless: 544, 474, 718, 840, 953; Other data services: 39, 89, 65, 88, 94;

Source: CRTC data collection

Figure 5.6.2 Percentage distribution of wholesale telecommunications revenues, by market sector (2009 vs. 2013)

These two pie charts show the distribution of wholesale telecommunications revenue by market sector. In 2009: Wireless 15%, Local and access 23%, long distance 21%, private line 22%, Internet 10%, new data protocols, 6%, other data 3%.  In 2013: Wireless 26%, local and access 19%, long distance 12%, private line 18%, internet 12%, new data protocols 10%, other data 3%.

Source: CRTC data collection

These pie charts compare the percentage distribution of wholesale service revenues between 2009 and 2013. During this period, revenues from mobile wireless wholesale services have increased as a percentage of total wholesale revenues, from 15% in 2009 to 26% 2013. They make up the largest percentage of wholesale revenues, followed by local and access and private line.

Figure 5.6.3 Wholesale telecommunications revenues as a percentage of total revenues, by market sector (2013)

This bar chart shows the percentage of revenue for each sector/service derived from wholesale services in 2013.  Local and access: 8%, long distance 18%, Internet 5%, Newer data protocols 17%, Legacy data protocols, 38%, private line 44%, mobile wireless 5%, other data services 10%.

Source: CRTC data collection

This graph displays wholesale revenues by market sector/service as a percentage of total market sector/service revenues.

Table 5.6.3
Local wholesale telecommunications revenues, by major component ($ millions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009 – 2013
Interconnection 280 276 254 220 212 -6.7%
Centrex 97 89 88  76 64 -9.7%
PSTN access 290 288 354  327 304 1.1%
Unbundled loops 92 79 60  47 44 -17.1%
Other revenues 33 42 42  44 42 6.2%
Total 792 774 798  714 665 -4.3%

Source: CRTC data collection

This table displays local and access wholesale revenues by major component. Providers of telecommunications service use these components to provide retail telecommunications service. For example, unbundled loops can be used by an alternative service provider to provide local telephone service to its retail customers.

Table 5.6.4
Internet wholesale revenues, by type of service ($ millions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013
Higher capacity access and transport 48 42 53 45 52 1.9%
Annual growth(%) -11.0 -12.2 26.4 -15.7 15.5
Lower capacity access 213 218 266 303 336 12.1%
Annual growth (%) 32.3 2.3 21.7 14.2 10.8
Other wholesale services 96 86 92 81 56 -12.5%
Annual growth (%) -5.0 -10.0 6.9 -12.2 -30.5
Wholesale total 356 346 411 429 444 5.6%
Annual growth (%) 13.0 -2.9 18.6 4.4 3.5

Source: CRTC data collection

Wholesale Internet access and transport services are generally sold to Internet service providers (ISPs) and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers. ISPs use these services to provide Internet access service to their retail customers. “Higher capacity access” refers to fibre-based Internet access services. “Transport” refers to the transfer of Internet traffic between networks. “Lower capacity access” includes digital subscriber line (DSL) based services such as Bell Canada's Gateway Access Service and TELUS' Virtual Point of Presence, , and Third-party Internet Access (TPIA) service provided by cable-based carriers, as well as satellite capacity and dial up bundled with Internet access sold to ISPs.

Table 5.6.5
Data protocol wholesale revenues, by service category ($ millions)
Newer protocols 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009-2013
Ethernet 173 197 221 225 259 10.5%
Annual growth (%) 41.5 13.7 12.4 1.8 14.7
IP 12 42 69 99 102 71.6%
Annual growth (%) -32.3 253.5 65.0 43.2 3.9
Other 31# 14# 17# 28# 30 -1.4%
Annual growth (%) -16.4 -53.8 16.8 64.7 6.2
Total newer protocols 216# 253# 307# 352# 390 15.9%
Annual growth (%) 22.0 17.0 21.3 14.6 11.0
Legacy protocols 56 42  41 35 30 -14.0%
Annual growth (%) -8.3 -25.4 -2.2 -14.5 -12.5
Total data protocols 272 295 348 386 421 11.5%
Annual growth (%) 14.3 8.3 18.0 11.2 8.9

Source: CRTC data collection

The data services were classified as services making use of (a) newer data protocols such as Ethernet and IP, or (b) legacy protocols such as X.25, asynchrnous transfer mode, and frame relay. This table displays the revenues from wholesale data services by the protocol used in the service from 2009 to 2013. The # symbol denotes a change in the data from what was published in the previous Communications Monitoring Report (refer to Appendix 1 for details).

Table 5.6.6
Wireless mobile wholesale revenues, by type of service ($ millions)
2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR (%)
2010-2013
Interconnection and roaming 350 607 736 811 32.4
Annual growth (%) n/a 73.3 21.3 10.3
Other 124 111 105 142 4.4
Annual growth (%) n/a -10.6 -1.6 35.3
Wholesale total 474 718 840 953 26.2
Annual growth (%) -12.9 51.3 17.1 13.4

Source: CRTC data collection

Interconnection and roaming services are sold to other wireless service providers. The service allows the service provider to exchange their traffic and extend their geographic coverage area. ‘Other’ services mainly consist of, but are not limited to, arrangements for a wireless provider to provide wireless services for another company’s customers, also known as resale or MNVO arrangements.

b) Subscriber demand data

Table 5.6.7
Local and access lines, by type of telecommunications service provider (thousands)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009 – 2013
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory) 533 515 525 495 447 -4.3%
Annual growth (%) -14.4 -3.4 1.9 -5.8 -9.6
Percent of total 57 59 53 47 53
Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory) 300 266 322 247 236 -5.8%
Annual growth (%) 14.6 -11.2 21.0 -23.3 -4.6
Percent of total 32 31 32 24 28
Other alternative providers of telecommunications service 99 83 135 267   149 10.8%
Annual growth (%) 1.8 -15.7 61.4 98.4 -44.1
Percent of total 11 10 13 26 18
Cable-based carriers 0 5 16 33 5 -
Annual growth (%) - - 262.4 100.5 -85.2
Percent of total 0 0 2 3 1
Total wholesale lines 932 870 999 1,042 837 -2.6%
Annual growth (%) -5.1 -6.7 14.8 4.4 -19.7

Source: CRTC data collection

This table displays the number of local and access wholesale lines by type of service provider, as well as growth rates and the percentage of wholesale lines by type of service provider for the years 2009 to 2013. Over this period, incumbent TSPs’ share of wholesale lines declined from 57% in 2009 to 53% in 2013.

c) Competitive landscape

Table 5.6.8
Wireline wholesale telecommunications revenue market share, by type of provider of telecommunications service
(percentage) 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Incumbent TSPs (excl. out-of-territory) 66.0 64.8 70.6 72.1 72.3
Alternative service providers Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory) 17.2 16.1 15.1 12.7 11.3
Facilities-based alternative service providers (includes cable-based carriers) 13.6 16.6 11.7 12.1 12.8
Resellers 3.2 2.6 2.7 3.1 3.5
Subtotal 34.0 35.2 29.4 27.9 27.7

Source: CRTC data collection

This table displays wireline wholesale revenues market share by type of service provider of telecommunications service. Since 2010, incumbent TSPs have gradually increased their share of wholesale revenues. With a 72% share of wholesale revenues, they have the largest share of the wholesale market.

Table 5.6.9
Local and access revenues, by type of provider of telecommunications service ($ millions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009 – 2013
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory) 660 653 682 623 588 -2.8%
Annual growth (%) -3.8 -1.1 4.5 -8.7 -5.5
Percent of total 80 82 82 83 84
Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory) 115 105 112 85 69 -12.0%
Annual growth (%) 0.4 -8.6 6.5 -24.2 -18.5
Percent of total 14 13 13 11 10
Other alternative service providers of telecommunications service 27 21 22 34 36 -7.6%
Annual growth (%) 6.7 -20.8 1.6 56.5 6.5
Percent of total 3.2 2.7 2.6 4.5 5.1
Cable-based carriers 22 19 17 10 11 -16.1%
Annual growth (%) -13.8 -13.9 -11.5 -41.1 10.4
Percent of total 2.7 2.4 2.1 1.3 1.6
Total wholesale 824 798 832 751 704 -3.8%
Annual growth (%) -3.2 -3.1 4.3 -9.8 -6.2

Source: CRTC data collection

This table displays revenues from local and access wholesale services by type of service provider, as well as growth rates and the percentage of wholesale revenues by type of service provider for the years 2009 to 2013. Over this period, incumbent TSPs maintained over 80% of these revenues.

Table 5.6.10
Long distance revenues, by type of provider of telecommunications service ($ millions)
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 CAGR
2009 – 2013
Incumbent TSPs (excluding out-of-territory) 373 311 315 323 254 -9.1%
Annual growth (%) -11.2 -16.6 1.3 2.6 -21.4
Percent of total 48 39 51 59 59
Incumbent TSPs (out-of-territory) 231 229 205 138 106 -17.8%
Annual growth (%) -11.8 -1.1 -10.5 -32.5 -23.5
Percent of total 30 29 33 25 24
Cable-based carriers 40 64 55 72 59 10.1%
Annual growth (%) -72.1 57.7 -13.7 30.7 -17.2
Percent of total 5 8 9 13 14
Other alternative providers of telecommunications service 136 194 42 18 13 -43.8%
Annual growth (%) 37.8 42.9 -78.2 -56.5 -26.6
Percent of total 17.4 24.3 6.8 3.3 3.1
Total wholesale 780 797 617 552 433 13.7%
Annual growth (%) -5.7 2.2 -22.6 -10.6 -21.5

Source: CRTC data collection

This table displays revenues from long distance wholesale services by type of service provider, as well as revenue growth rates and the percentage of wholesale revenues by type of service provider for the years 2009 to 2013. Wholesale long distance service includes the resale of long distance minutes that one service provider has acquired from another services provider. Providers of prepaid long distance calling cards rely on these services. Over this period, incumbent TSPs had a 9.1% annual decline in these revenues, whereas alternative service providers had a 19% annual decline. This resulted in the incumbent TSPs increasing their share of wholesale revenues from 48% in 2009 to 59% in 2013.

d) Forbearance

Figure 5.6.4 Telecommunications wholesale service revenues by type of tariff (2013)

This is a single pie chart that shows the percent of telecommunications wholesale services revenues that are tariff, off-tariff and non-tariff for 2013. Tariff: 24%; Off-tariff: 1%; Non-tariff: 75%.

What are tariff, off-tariff and non-tariff wholesale services?

Tariff services are services whose rates, terms, and conditions are set out in a Commission-approved tariff.

Non-tariff services are those telecommunications services whose rates, terms, and conditions are not set out in a Commission-approved tariff.

Off-tariff services are those whose prices are filed with the Commission but for which the parties have agreed to an alternate price.

Source: CRTC data collection

This pie chart displays the percentage of revenues from wholesale services provisioned on a tariff, off-tariff, or non-tariff basis.

Figure 5.6.5 Telecommunications wholesale service revenues, by type of service (2013)

This is a single pie chart that shows the wholesale telecommunications revenue market share by type of service in 2013. Local and access: 19%; High-speed access (WHSA) services: 7%; Private line and Ethernet services: 24%; Support structures: 2% and other: 48%.

Source: CRTC data collection

This pie chart displays the percentage of revenues from wholesale services by type of wholesale service.

Approximately 76% of wholesale revenues were from non-tariff services and those services where the parties have agreed to an alternate price.

Table 5.6.11
Percentage of telecommunications wholesale revenues generated by forborne services
(percentage) 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Local and access 60 58 60 61 61
Long distance 97 97 96 99 99
Internet 56 54 59 56 41
Data 82 85 86 86 87
Private line 57 53 54 53 53
Wireless 100 100 100 100 100

Source: CRTC data collection

This table displays the percentage of wholesale telecommunications revenues from services that are not provisioned in accordance with a Commission-approved tariff.

Additional companies reported in 2012

e) Inter-provider expenses

Wholesale service revenues are the inter-provider expenses of providers of telecommunications service acquiring these services. All companies purchase telecommunications services from another carrier. The extent to which service providers rely on these services depends on the nature of their operations.

Figure 5.6.6 Inter-provider expenses per revenue dollar

This is bar shows the inter-provider expenses in cents per revenue dollar for various market participants.  SILECs: 2.9, ILECs 5.6, Cable 6.2, Other facilities-based 10.6, Resellers: 49.1.

Inter-provider expense per revenue dollar compares the expenses incurred by a telecommunications service provider to acquire wholesale services in the provision of services to customers with the revenues obtained from the telecommunications service provided to customers.

It is derived by dividing total annual inter- provider expenses by annual telecommunications revenues. This calculation includes all revenues from telecommunications services, including revenues from telecommunications services requiring no or limited dependency on wholesale services.

Source: CRTC data collection

This table shows the extent to which various providers of telecommunications services rely on wholesale services. Facilities-based providers of telecommunications service spend less than 10 cents of every revenue dollar on wholesale telecommunications services, whereas resellers – service providers that do not own or operate transmission facilities – are very dependent. They spend 49 cents of every dollar on these services.

Previous Table of Contents Next