Facts & Figures

Wireless phone subscribers in Canada

Industry Studies

Investment and Job Creation in Canada

  • Taking into account direct, indirect and induced impacts, the Canadian wireless industry generated a total economic contribution of $22.4 billion in GDP to the Canadian economy in 2013.
  • Canada’s wireless carriers invested more than $36.8 billion in communications infrastructure between the years of 1985 and 2013 not including $5.7 billion in auction fees during that time.
  • Canada’s wireless service providers pay licence fees in excess of $175 million each year – nearly two-thirds of the total fees collected by Industry Canada from all spectrum users.
  • Over 126,000 people are employed in Canada as a result of the wireless industry.
  • The demand for highly skilled wireless communications specialists is so great that Canadian post-secondary institutions have created programs specifically geared to the wireless industry.

The Canadian Market

  • Canada’s wireless carriers offer coverage to more than 99% of Canadians. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2014)
  • Canadian wireless phone subscribers number over 27.9 million. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2014)
  • There are currently more than two dozen wireless service providers in Canada, including national carriers and their subsidiaries, regional carriers, urban-centric providers, and numerous high-profile resellers: Bell, Bell Aliant, Chatr Wireless, Cityfone, CityWest, EastLink, Fido, Ice Wireless, KMTS Mobility, Koodo Mobile, Lynx Mobility, MTS, Mobilicity, NorthernTel, PC Mobile, Petro Canada Mobility, Primus, Public Mobile, Rogers Wireless, SaskTel, Sears Connect, 7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless, Sogetel, TBayTel, Telebec, TELUS, Videotron, Virgin Mobile, Wightman Telecom and Wind Mobile
  • More than one in five households in Canada have cell phones as their only form of telephone service. In 2013, 21% of households reported using a cell phone exclusively, up from 13% in 2010. (Statistics Canada, Residential Telephone Service Survey 2014)
  • Exclusive cell phone use is more pronounced in households where all of the members are under 35 years of age. In 2013, 60% of these households reported using a cell phone exclusively, up from 39% in 2010 and 26% in 2008. (Statistics Canada, Residential Telephone Service Survey 2014)
  • In 2013, 83% of Canadian households had an active cell phone, up from 78% in 2010. (Statistics Canada, Residential Telephone Service Survey 2014)
  • Some major urban centres report that more than half of all calls to 9-1-1 come from mobile phones.
  • Wireless revenues in Canada totalled $20.2 billion in 2013. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2014)
  • Wireless market sector revenues are the largest component (49%) of total telecommunications revenues. (CRTC, Communications Monitoring Report, 2014)
  • In Canada, mobile data traffic will grow 900% from 2013 to 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 54%. (Cisco, VNI Mobile Forecast Highlights, 2013-2018)
  • Smartphone penetration in Canada is now at 73%. (J.D. Power & Associates, Canadian Wireless Total Ownership Experience Study, 2014)
  • Canada has the highest social media network penetration in the world, with 82% of Canadians using a social network. (We Are Social Singapore, Social, Digital & Mobile Around The World, Jan 2014)
  • An estimated 64,100 jobs have been created in Canada’s apps economy to date. By 2019, that number is projected to increase to 110,000. (ICTC, The Appification Of Everything – Canada’s Apps Economy Value Chain, 2014)
  • Canada’s apps enterprises currently generate $1.7 billion in annual revenues. Annual revenues by 2019 are projected to be $5.2 billion. (ICTC, The Appification Of Everything – Canada’s Apps Economy Value Chain, 2014)


Marc Choma
Director of Communications
Tel: (613) 233-4888 ext. 207
E-mail: mchoma@cwta.ca