Canadians Keep Smartphones Longer, Use More Data: Study

J.D. Power recently revealed its 2018 Canada Wireless Network Quality Study and it turns out that Canadians appear to be holding on to their devices for longer and using more data. Of course, the study also revealed that, in their respective regions, the highest-ranking providers were Videotron, TELUS Mobility, and SaskTel - in the East Region, Ontario, and the West Region, respectively. However, the length of time between upgrades and data usage are far more interesting points to note. That's because it presents Canadian carriers with new challenges in terms of maintaining profitability and network quality moving forward. The number of users in the country that hold on to their phones for more than two years has increased in 2018 by two-percent, landing at 23-percent. Meanwhile, one out of every three Canadians has chosen a data plan with a cap of 5GB or more and 14-percent of users born between 1995 and 2004 have a data cap of 10GB or more.

That's compared to users born between 1946 and 1964, with 37-percent of those using 2GB or less while only around a quarter of those born between 1977 and 2004 choosing such small data allotments. That seems to show an upward trend in data usage and, in fact, there has been a growth in terms of all data plans at 5GB or higher by eight-percent. The total for those plans moved from 25-percent to 33-percent. With users holding on to their phones for longer and using more data, J.D. Power says that carriers need to be more aware of the state of their networks. More directly, that's because the study showed that higher data caps correlated with a higher number of issues for mobile users, as did the use of older devices. With more users shifting to more data and holding on to devices, any insufficiencies in a network are pronounced.

By the numbers, around 37-percent of wireless consumers who experienced fewer than four network connectivity problems per 100 connections stay with their carrier. That's as compared to 18-percent of users who experience 12 problems over the same number of connections. That means that there's a sharp increase in the number of users who choose to leave their current carrier when the number of issues increases. More importantly, the number of users who experiences a higher-than-expected number of issues is set to grow due to the correlation between problems and data caps, as per the same report.

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