Canadians relying on mobile data at never before seen rates, recent CRTC report shows

Data use regularly increased every quarter since Q4 2020

A recent report from Canada’s broadcasting and telecom watchdog shows Canadians are using wireless mobile services more than ever.

This is made possible as 99.7 percent of Canada has access to mobile coverage, whether that be HSPA+, LTE, LTE-A, or 5G, by the end of 2020.

Data from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) recent Communications Market Reports on mobile wireless trends shows mobile data consumption was highest in the last quarter of 2021. The average data subscriber used 5.3GB of data every month, increasing from the 3.8GB recorded in Q4 2020.

Image credit: CRTC

The report says the cost of mobile service plans is also decreasing as customers switch to packages with larger data offerings.

The data shows the national cost of 50GB plans decreased by nearly 30 percent between 2020 and 2021, and the cost of 10GB plans decreased by almost 20 percent for the same time period.

5GB plans decreased more than 50 percent between 2016 and 2021. Similar figures are also reported for 2GB plans.

Subscriptions to mobile plans remained strong, the report outlines, and was not impacted by COVID. “This trend is expected to continue as Canadians rely on their mobile devices more and more in the coming years.”

Image credit: CRTC

The CRTC says the target to provide mobile availability to all of Canada’s population, and various highways and roads are on track to be completed by 2026.

The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, which represents companies providing wireless services in Canada, praises organizations for investing in Canada’s wireless spectrum.

“Even as prices decline and usage soars, Canada’s telecom network operators continue to invest billions each year in expanding Canada’s digital infrastructure to underserved communities and ensuring Canada maintains its global leadership in quality of service by deploying next-generation technologies such as 5G,” Robert Ghiz, CWTA’s CEO, said.

However, neither the CRTC’s report nor the CWTA’s response mentions that Canadians pay some of the highest cell phone bills in the world.

Analyst firm Rewheel Research’s 2021 report showed Canadians pay some of the highest costs for a 20GB plan, which costs seven times more than for consumers in France.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Source: CWTA and CRTC