Canadian Telecoms Have the Highest ARPU than Any Wireless Players in Developed Markets

by Istvan Fekete on July 24, 2013

Canadian wireless players have the highest ARPU compared to telecoms in any other country, an international study has found (via Huffington Post). Because there is a fierce debate between telecoms and industry analysts on whether Canadians are paying among the highest bills or not, the price paid for wireless services is one of the reasons why the ARPU is so high. But, the second reason could be the wireless consumer’s habits.

According to the “Wireless Matrix Report” from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, released earlier this year, telecom firms in Canada make more revenue per subscriber than any other developed country. And the study has compared telecom firms of 19 developed countries, just to find that the average take per customer in Canada is $58.22 per month.

Interestingly, in Germany this number drops to $20 per month.

As Michael Geist has highlighted recently, based on a recent OECD report, Canadian wireless prices are among the highest compared to developed countries. In an interesting twist, a Telus executive uses the same report to say Canadians should pay more for wireless services, but they aren’t.

But there is the consumer cellphone-use habit that could contribute to the high ARPU of incumbents. And we don’t have to go too far in time to find that the rapid adoption of smartphones brought a change in cell-phone usage patterns: Canadians phone less and they use their smart handset as a small computer instead. They browse the web, email, watch videos, use data hungry apps, etc.

This obviously increases the data usage, which weighs quite a lot in the cell-phone bill Canadians receive each month. The Wireless Matrix report highlights that Canadians are among the heaviest data users of any group surveyed, averaging more than 600MB of data per month on their cell phones.

Other reports are rather confusing: incumbents like to cite the Wall Communications report that says Canadians pay 13% less on their wireless bills, compared to last year.

Another noteworthy report, on the other hand, signed by J.D. Power, claims exactly the opposite: it shows a 13% price increase over the same period.

In the end, there is only one thing to do: control your data usage, there are some great tools out there in the App Store or Google Play that will help you.

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

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