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Canada - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

February 2021 | 195 pages | ID: C2A86066B584EN
BuddeComm

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Canada delays 5G spectrum auction

The Canadian telecom market continues to show steady development as operators invest in network upgrades. Much of this work is being supported by regulatory efforts to ensure that operators have spectrum available to develop 5G services, for which several auctions are planned through to 2024. Assigning and releasing spectrum for 5G will allay existing fears that the country could lag developments in the US and Europe. In addition, the regulator has set aside a portion of certain spectrum for new entrants to encourage competition in the wireless segment. Much of the investment among telcos has been channelled into LTE infrastructure to capitalise of consumer demand for mobile data services, while there has also been further investment in 5G.

There has also been a concentration of investment in fixed-line infrastructure, focussed on FttP and, among cable broadband providers, upgrades to the DOCSIS3.1 standard. This is having the effect that the DSL segment is steadily losing market share as customers are migrated to fibre.

At the same time, fixed-line telephony services are dwindling as customers make greater use of mobile networks and VoIP options. Revenue from the broadband and mobile sectors is underpinning overall telecom sector revenue while the fixed-voice sector continues to decline.

Canada's broadband penetration rate is several percentage points above the OECD average, with around 15.4 million subscriptions for fixed broadband and 30.9 million for mobile broadband in 2019. Government policy has encouraged the extension of broadband to rural and regional areas, with the result that services are almost universally available and the emphasis now is on improving service speeds to enable the entire population to benefit from the digital economy and society. Cable broadband is the principal access platform, followed by DSL. The main cablecos are upgrading their networks to the DOCSIS3.1 standard, which can deliver data at 1Gb/s and above. Fibre deployments are also gaining momentum, with a growing number of Gigabit towns now connected.

The mobile penetration rate remains comparatively low by international standards, and so the market offers further room for growth. Canadians are well provided for LTE and LTE-A infrastructure. Despite topographical challenges and the remoteness of many areas, the major players effectively offer 99% population coverage with LTE. In the 5G segment, Telus and Bell Wireless were early triallists, followed by Shaw Communications in May 2018.

The government has endeavoured to encourage market competition by ensuring that blocks of spectrum have been reserved for new entrants, while preventing deals among operators which would have concentrated spectrum either regionally or nationally. About 43% of spectrum to be auctioned in the 600MHz band has been reserved for smaller operators in a bid to encourage competition.

This report provides a broad range of key statistical data on the major telecoms segments, as well as developments in e-commerce and e-health, and policies which support the adoption of smart meters and the progress of smart grids. It provides an overview of each major sector, an analysis of market developments and an assessment of operator strategies. The report also covers the mobile voice and data markets, as well as the fixed-line and fixed-wireless broadband sectors.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G in Canada has been postponed, as it has in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:
  • 3500MHz 5G spectrum auctions postponed to June 2021;
  • Rogers' 5G network using LiDAR sensors to monitor city vehicle and pedestrian traffic;
  • Unsolicited offer from Rogers and Altice USA to buy Cogeco for CA$10.3 billion is rejected for a second time;
  • Federal Court of Appeals directs incumbents to establish fair wholesale internet rates;
  • ISED approves AWS-3 spectrum sharing agreement between Bell and Telus;
  • Value of Canadian of e-commerce transactions grew to CA$65 billion in 2019;
  • Report update includes the regulator's 2020 telecom monitoring report, operator data to December 2020, recent market developments.
Companies mentioned in this report:

Rogers Wireless, Bell Mobility, Virgin Mobile Canada, Telus Mobility, SaskTel Mobility, MTS Allstream, Freedom Mobile, Mobilicity, Public Mobile, Vid?otron Wireless, Shaw Communications, Bell Canada, Bell Aliant, BOLDstreet Wireless, Tadaa Wireless, DoDo Wireless, Hotspotzz, Wayport, Boingo, FatPort, Rogers Communications, Craig Wireless System, Barrett Xplore, I-NetLink, SaskTel, Vid?otron, Shaw Cablesystems, Rogers Cable Communications, Cogeco Cable.
1 KEY STATISTICS

2 COVID-19 AND ITS IMPACT ON THE TELECOM SECTOR

2.1 Economic considerations and responses
2.2 Mobile devices
2.3 Subscribers
2.4 Infrastructure

3 COUNTRY OVERVIEW

4 TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET

4.1 Overview

5 REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT

5.1 Regulatory authorities
5.2 Mobile network developments

6 MOBILE MARKET

6.1 Market analysis
6.2 Mobile statistics
6.3 Mobile infrastructure
6.4 Major mobile operators
6.5 Mobile content and applications

7 FIXED-LINE BROADBAND MARKET

7.1 Introduction and statistical overview
7.2 Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) networks
7.3 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
7.4 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
7.5 Other fixed broadband services

8 DIGITAL ECONOMY

8.1 E-health
8.2 E-Learning
8.3 E-commerce

9 FIXED NETWORK OPERATORS

10 TELECOMMUNICATIONS INFRASTRUCTURE

10.1 Overview of the national telecom network
10.2 International infrastructure
10.3 Smart grid developments

11 APPENDIX HISTORIC DATA

12 GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS

13 RELATED REPORTS

LIST OF TABLES

Table 1 Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities- Canada 2020 (e)
Table 2 Telecom and broadcasting revenue (CA$ billion) 2007 2019
Table 3 Telecoms revenue by type (CA$ billion) 2006 2019
Table 4 Telecom revenue by type of provider (CA$ billion) 2008 2018
Table 5 Telecoms investment by type (CA$ billion) 2006 2019
Table 6 Telecoms investment in spectrum 2012 2019
Table 7 Average household spend on telecom services by type ($ per month) 2012 2017
Table 8 Proportion of mobile contract plans by term length 2013 2018
Table 9 Growth in the number of mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2011 - 2026
Table 10 Development of mobile revenue by service type (CA$ million) 2006 2019
Table 11 Retail wireless revenue 2006 2019
Table 12 Mobile ARPU 2009 2019
Table 13 Average mobile data user per subscribers 2014 2018
Table 14 Mobile device penetration by type 2009 2018
Table 15 Mobile broadband availability by technology 2011 2018
Table 16 Text messages sent per month 2006 2018
Table 17 Text messages sent per month per subscriber 2014 2018
Table 18 Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2011 - 2026
Table 19 LTE and LTE-A availability for households 2017 2019
Table 20 Rogers Wireless revenue, operating profit (CA$ million) 2010 2020
Table 21 Rogers Wireless pre and postpaid subscribers (million) 2009 - 2020
Table 22 Rogers Wireless annualised churn 2009 2020
Table 23 Rogers Wireless annualised ARPU 2009 - 2020
Table 24 Bell Wireless operating data 2010 - 2020
Table 25 Bell Wireless financial data 2010 2020
Table 26 Development of Telus Mobility's financial data 2010 2020
Table 27 Telus Mobility prepaid and postpaid subscribers 2009 - 2020
Table 28 Telus Mobility ARPU and monthly churn rate 2010 2020
Table 29 Development of SaskTel Mobility's revenue 2009 2021
Table 30 SaskTel Mobility subscribers 2010 2020
Table 31 Development of Vid?otron's revenue 2009 2020
Table 32 Growth in the number of Vid?otron's mobile subscribers 2008 2020
Table 33 Vid?otron mobile ABPU 2017 - 2020
Table 34 Shaw Communications' mobile subscribers 2016 2020
Table 35 Shaw communications revenue and capex (CA$ million) 2016 2021
Table 36 Retail broadband market revenue 2010 2019
Table 37 Fixed internet revenue 2013 2019
Table 38 Broadband availability through Economic Action Plan 2010 2012
Table 39 Change in the number of DSL and cable broadband subscribers 2010 2018
Table 40 Growth in the number of fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration 2011 2026
Table 41 Proportion of residential broadband connections by data rate 2015 2019
Table 42 Household broadband availability by platform 2012 2019
Table 43 Household broadband availability by data rate 2011 2019
Table 44 Market share of fixed internet subscribers by platform 2010 2019
Table 45 Fixed broadband traffic by subscribe (GB per month) 2011 2019
Table 46 Broadband ARPU 2012 2018
Table 47 Shaw Communications subscribers 2010 2020
Table 48 Shaw Communications revenue 2009 2021
Table 50 Rogers Cable subscriber data (thousand) 2011 2020
Table 51 Change in the number of Vid?otron's subscriber (thousand) 2008 2020
Table 52 Cogeco subscribers by sector (thousand) 2009 2020
Table 53 Decline in the number of DSL broadband subscribers 2008 2018
Table 54 Bell Canada (BCE) financial data (CA$ million) 2008 2020
Table 55 Bell Canada revenue by division (CA$ million) 2008 2020
Table 56 Change in the number of Bell Canada's subscribers by sector (thousand) 2008 2020
Table 57 Development of Telus's financial data (CA$ billion) 2010 2020
Table 58 Telus subscribers by sector (thousand) 2007 2020
Table 59 SaskTel financial data (CA$ million) 2010 2021
Table 60 Change in the number of SaskTel's subscribers by sector 2010 2020
Table 61 Proportion of homes connected by fibre (incumbent telcos) 2014 2019
Table 62 Growth in the number of fibre broadband subscribers 2006 2018
Table 63 Wi-Fi hotspots in service by province 2018 2019
Table 64 Retail e-commerce sales Canada 2013 2018
Table 65 Change in e-commerce and total retail sales 2016 2020
Table 66 Proportion of fixed-only and wireless-only household 2004 2017
Table 67 Change in the number of fixed-lines in service and penetration 2011 2026
Table 68 Fixed-line retail voice revenue 2010 2019
Table 69 Fixed-line retail and wholesale revenue (CA$ billion) 2006 2019
Table 70 International internet bandwidth 2010 2016
Table 71 Historic - Wireless subscribers and penetration 2000 2009
Table 72 Historic - Mobile revenue by service type 2002 2009
Table 73 Historic - Multiple SIM card use as proportion of subscribers 2011 2015
Table 74 Historic - Prepaid and post-paid sector revenue 2010 2016
Table 75 Historic - Market share of subscribers by operator 2015 2016
Table 76 Historic - Text messages sent per month 2002 2009
Table 77 Historic - Rogers Wireless revenue, operating profit 2002 2009
Table 78 Historic - Bell Wireless operating data 2006 - 2009
Table 79 Historic - Bell Wireless financial data 2006 2009
Table 80 Historic - MTS wireless revenue, ARPU 2007 2014
Table 81 Historic - MTS subscribers 2007 - 2014
Table 82 Historic - Telus Mobility revenue, EBITDA, capex 2003 2009
Table 83 Historic - Telus Mobility ABPU and monthly churn rate 2002 2009
Table 84 Historic - Take-up of services by type 2009 2015
Table 85 Historic - Bell Aliant subscribers by sector 2008 2014
Table 86 Historic - Bell Aliant financial data 2008 2014
Table 87 Historic - MTS financial data 2007 2014
Table 88 Historic - MTS revenue by sector 2007 2014
Table 89 Historic - MTS subscribers by sector 2007 2013
Table 90 Historic - Retail broadband market revenue 2004 2010
Table 91 Historic - Fixed-line retail and wholesale revenue (CA$ billion) 2006 2010
Table 92 Historic - SMS and MMS sent 2009 2016
Table 93 Historic - Bell Wireless financial data 2006 2010
Table 94 Historic - Bell Wireless operating data 2006 - 2010
Table 95 Historic - Bell Wireless financial data 2006 2020
Table 96 Historic - Telus Mobility revenue, EBITDA (CA$ billion) 2006 2010
Table 97 Historic - Telus Mobility ARPU and monthly churn rate 2006 2010
Table 98 Historic - SaskTel Mobility subscribers 2007 2010
Table 99 Historic - DSL and cable broadband subscribers 2004 2009
Table 100 Historic - Proportion of residential broadband connections by data rate 2014 2018
Table 101 Historic - Cable broadband revenue ($ billion) 2008 2016
Table 102 Historic - Development of Telus's financial data (CA$ billion) 2006 2010
Table 103 Historic - SaskTel financial data (CA$ million) 2007 2010
Table 104 Historic - SaskTel subscribers by sector 2007 2009
Table 105 Historic - Fixed-line retail voice revenue 2006 2010
Table 106 Historic - International internet bandwidth 2002 2010
Chart 1 Telecom and broadcasting revenue 2007 2019
Chart 2 Telecoms revenue by type 2006 2019
Chart 3 Telecom revenue by type of provider (CA$ billion) 2008 2019
Chart 4 Telecoms investment by type (CA$ billion) 2010 2019
Chart 5 Average household spend on telecom services by type ($ per month) 2012 2017
Chart 6 Proportion of mobile contract plans by term length 2013 2018
Chart 7 Growth in the number of wireless subscribers and penetration 2011 2026
Chart 8 Development of mobile revenue by service type (CA$ million) 2010 2019
Chart 9 Retail wireless revenue 2010 2019
Chart 10 Growth in the number of active mobile broadband subscribers and penetration 2011 - 2026
Chart 11 Rogers Wireless revenue, operating profit (CA$ million) 2010 2020
Chart 12 Rogers Wireless pre and postpaid subscribers (million) 2009 2020
Chart 13 Bell Wireless financial data 2010 2020
Chart 14 Development of Telus Mobility's financial data 2010 2020
Chart 15 Telus Mobility prepaid and postpaid subscribers 2009 2020
Chart 16 Development of Vid?otron's mobile revenue 2009 2020
Chart 17 Shaw Communications' mobile subscribers (thousand) 2016 2020
Chart 18 DSL and cable broadband subscribers 2004 2018
Chart 19 Growth in the number of fixed-line broadband subscribers and penetration 2011 2026
Chart 20 Fixed broadband traffic by subscriber 2011 2019
Chart 21 Shaw Communications subscribers by type (thousand) 2010 2020
Chart 22 Rogers Cable cable financial data financial data 2010 2020
Chart 23 Rogers Cable subscriber data 2011 2020
Chart 24 Change in the number of Vid?otron's subscriber (thousand) 2010 2020
Chart 25 Bell Canada (BCE) financial data 2008 2020
Chart 26 Bell Canada revenue by division 2008 2020
Chart 27 Bell Canada fixed-line subscribers by sector 2010 2020
Chart 28 Telus financial data 2006 2020
Chart 29 Telus subscribers by sector 2010 2020
Chart 30 SaskTel financial data 2010 2021
Chart 31 Proportion of fixed-only and wireless-only household 2004 2017
Chart 32 Fixed-lines in service and penetration 2011 2026
Chart 33 Fixed-line retail and wholesale revenue (CA$ billion) 2010 2019
Exhibit 1 AWS-3 auction results March 2015
Exhibit 2 700MHz auction results February 2014
Exhibit 3 700MHz auction licensees by province February 2014
Exhibit 4 2.5GHz spectrum auction results April 2015
Exhibit 5 Major submarine cables landing in Canada


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