Economic Benefit Generated by the Canadian Wireless Sector Reached $50.2 Billion in 2011

by Istvan Fekete on June 5, 2013

Wireless communication has become a core part of our everyday lives. In fact, more than 90 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and over are using a mobile phone, and millions of us are now using smartphones and tablets to stay in touch with friends and family, to shop, etc.

The number of wireless subscribers stood at 27.4 million at the end of 2011, and that includes 22.1 million post-paid subscribers.

But how does the wireless industry contribute to Canada’s economic growth? The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) has decided to find out with the help of Nordicity.

According to a study conducted by the market research company, Canada’s wireless industry continues to yield significant economic benefits, with the activity in this sector having impacted gross domestic product and employment in terms of supply-side.

As the CWTA points out, the wireless industry’s economic benefit was mainly driven by Canadians’ rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets, which obviously pushed up mobile data service and mobile app usage.

To put that into numbers: the Canadian mobile industry generated an overall economic benefit of $50.2 billion in 2011, up 16.7% from the $43 billion generated a year previously. Direct and multiplier effects associated with the industry’s GDP — $38.7 billion — are combined with the consumer surplus generated by wireless voice and data services — $11.5 billion.

Other key findings:

  • The Canadian wireless industry generated $20.7 billion in direct GDP in 2011. Direct GDP was up by 15% from $18 billion in 2010. Most of this increase was associated with Canadians’ increasing use of smartphones and wireless data services.
  • Out of the wireless industry’s direct GDP of $20.7 billion, $13.4 billion, or 64%, was retained in Canada.
  • Canada’s wireless industry supported 280,000 jobs in 2011, including direct, support-staff and indirect employment. The inclusion of induced impact employment brought the wireless industry’s total employment impact to 308,000.
  • Canadian wireless network operators made capital investment totalling $2.6 billion in 2011.

It remains to be seen whether telcos will respond to CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais’ invitation to converge the private and public interest to serve Canadian mobile subscribers.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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