Total estimated Canadian wireless subscribers reaches 26,383,417

Most carriers have announced their Q4 and full 2011 results. Quebecor, Videotron’s parent-company, have released their numbers. In the release they reminded us that their 4G network coverage reaches 7 million people in Quebec, but more staggering is the increase in subscriber numbers. In 2011 Videotron experienced a growth of 154,500 subscribers, up from 136,100 in 2010 (46.8%), to take them to a total subscriber base of 290,600. Must have been all those Android devices. Q4 specifically saw 32,500 net subs. Revenues also increased $59.6 million (112.1%) to $112.7 million, which they said was “essentially due to customer growth resulting largely from the launch of the new network”. Unfortunately they do not list the ARPU (Average Revenue Per User), but they do note that it approximately costs “$489 per subscriber addition”.

So let’s break down the subscriber numbers by carrier, this will give an insight into how many wireless customers are in Canada.

Rogers: 9,335,000 subscribers
Bell: 7,427,482 subscribers
TELUS: 7,340,000 subscribers
SaskTel: 568,904 at the end of Q3 2011, Q4 N/A
MTS: 496,432 subscribers
WIND: 425,000 subscribers
Mobilicity: 300,000 subscribers (estimated)
Videotron: 290,600
Public Mobile: 199,999 subscribers

Total estimated Canadian wireless subscribers: 26,383,417. The total wireless subscribers in Canada in 2010 was 24,567,947 – these totals represent an increase of 1,815,470 subscribers, or 6.88%. In addition, based on the estimated 26,383,417 subscribers, here’s the % of the market each carrier owns:

Rogers: 35.38%
Bell: 28.15%
TELUS: 27.82%
SaskTel: 2.16%
MTS: 1.88%
WIND: 1.61%
Mobilicity: 1.14%
Videotron: 1.1%
Public Mobile: 0.76%

What’s interesting is taking a look at the CRTC’s 2010 annual “Communications Monitoring Report”. This gives an official breakdown of wireless subscribers, ARPU and revenue. In 2010 the number of wireless subscribers reached 25.8 million, an increase of 8.5% over 2009. In addition, 2010 had Rogers with the largest market share 37%, clearly losing a bit of steam this year with approximately 35.38%. Bell had 29% market share in 2010 and slightly dipped about 1% in 2011. TELUS also fell from 28% to 27.82% in 2011.

So this means that the Big 3 are slowly losing market share to either the newer players – WIND, Mobilicity, Public Mobile – or to other province only carriers like MTS, SaskTel and Videotron. Of course, this is all reflected on the numbers above being accurate, namely Mobilicity and Public Mobile. Those two companies are private and have no need to officially announce their subscriber numbers. Regardless, interesting stats.

Update: Our friend Greg O’Brien made a good point. “It’s really subscriptions (accounts) not subscribers (people). How many people have two or more accounts?”