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Canadians Turn to Mobile as Main Way to Communicate

October 24, 2015 - Written By Cory McNutt

It was bound to happen, although nobody was sure exactly when it would happen – more Canadians are turning to their mobile wireless services (20-percent) than they are to wired telephone services (14-percent).  This isn’t surprising since the latest study from CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) shows that 85-percent of Canadian households have a mobile phone compared to the 79-percent that have a landline.  We have become a mobile society and we like to take our mobile phones with us – everywhere – less we miss a phone call, text message or email.

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC  said, “Canadians are increasingly adopting mobile technologies for their communication needs. The 2015 Communications Monitoring Report provides an overview of the changes currently taking place.  We invite Canadians, whether consumers of communication products and services, creators and distributors of content or members of the public, to make use of the information in this publication and the two others that will follow, and to take part in our public proceedings.”

Over the last five years, Canadians that have access to 5 Mbps download speeds has risen from 86 – 96-percent and 77-percent of Canadian households subscribe to these services and that is up 6-percent from just 2013.  Another interesting, but understandable find was that even though traditional television watching has remained the same, more and more Canadians are turning to online video services.  Among the 18-34 years old group, Netflix subscriptions have risen from 29-percent in 2013 to 58-percent in 2014 for English speaking residences and from 7-percent to 24-percent for French speaking Canadians.

People love their big screen TVs for movies, sporting events and music concerts – a phablet or tablet is a nice way to watch a movie or video if you are on the go, but once we get home, down goes the phone and on comes the TV.  The average weekly viewing hours for Canadians over 18 years of age only dropped from 29.8 in 2011 to 29 in 2014 – just a slight decline.  When broken down into age groups, 18-34 year olds spent only 20 hours watching conventional television while Canadians over 65 watch over twice the amount of television at 42 hours per week.

Canadians are also paying more for their communication services as each household in 2014 averaged $203 per month – up $12 per month or 6.2-percent year-over-year.  This increase was caused mostly by increased prices on wireless and internet services, which rose by 14-pecent and 10-percent, respectively.  Some of the increase could come from the packages that viewers are choosing – they want more movies and sports.  Revenue generated by the communications industry grew from $61.9 billion in 2013 to 63.2 billion in 2014 – an increase of 2.1-percent.

CRTC wireless vs wired