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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?”

  • T1MB0T

    So wind mobli and VT have the same subs? ( Winds numbers were changed yet again. ) WOW I am sure tony is not happy about that!!! so much for national!! Thanks to the windsider and his leaked memmo !!! Why does Tony bother to open his mouth when the owners correct him! 315k only!!!! and losing ground daily

    • Graham

      How is it the same, Wind has 125,000 more, if that is the same that is some interesting math you are using. I don’t see how wind is disappointed by this either, they continued to add subscribers. At the end of Q3 they had 358,000. That is a net add of 67,000!! It won’t matter soon anyways, Wind will most likely buy Mobi since Mobi’s financial backers are starting to feel the hurt.

    • CADDMan

      A link to said leaked memo would be appreciated

    • T1MB0T

      Links were posted on the wind forums but it was promptly removed. Ask Justin he commented on the leak just yesterday. Then again he has to keep it under wraps since they may think it was he that leaked it. right Justin.. The fact remains each time tony has said a number the owners have ” corrected ” him. IF they have the number he is claiming then they are losing money each year because of interest and payouts to vendors and staff. BUT this leaked memmo shows they are in need of yet another cash infusion. Call center shipped to Egypt & India and now the stalled Windsor call center. Well not stalled since they have scrapped it. Just apply and see what happens. Mobli is actually paying back some of the loans and is in a good position. Wind is just digging deeper.. Hofo thread over 1.5 billion in the hole. Go to the wind forums and see the mess. People with issues and the answers they get from the imbeciles there is you mad? your a troll. So people with issues are met by this sort of talk from the wind employees right Justin. Is it true you were fired from all of the carriers you worked for? You need to keep your friends in check they are taking out of school …

    • T1MB0T

      Well ….Links were posted on the wind forums but it was promptly removed. Ask Justin he commented on the leak just yesterday. Then again he has to keep it under wraps since they may think it was he that leaked it. right Justin.. The fact remains each time tony has said a number the owners have ” corrected ” him. IF they have the number he is claiming then they are losing money each year because of interest and payouts to vendors and staff. BUT this leaked memmo shows they are in need of yet another cash infusion. Call center shipped to Egypt & India and now the stalled Windsor call center. Well not stalled since they have scrapped it. Just apply and see what happens. Mobli is actually paying back some of the loans and is in a good position. Wind is just digging deeper.. Hofo thread over 1.5 billion in the hole. Go to the wind forums and see the mess. People with issues and the answers they get from the imbeciles there is you mad? your a troll. So people with issues are met by this sort of talk from the wind employees right Justin. Is it true you were fired from all of the carriers you worked for? You need to keep your friends in check they are taking out of school …

    • T1MB0T

      was posted n the wind forums.. but deleted. Justin commented on it.. so chime in Mr Wind

  • Steven

    I’m curious to know what the subscriber numbers are for Fido, Chatr and Koodo. I understand that they are respectively owned by the big 3 but they are still considered three separate companies when asking any employee.

    • Alex Perrier

      Same here! i’ve often wondered how much the flanker brands have. Fido has at least 2 million subscribers. This can be found by going to the Fido.ca website, clicking on “The Fido ADVANTAGE”, then “FidoDOLLARS”, then “What are the advantages of this program?”. The text reveals Fido has “over 2 million members and counting”.

      To give you an idea, Fido had 1 275 094 customers in November 2004. So i don’t know how accurate the 2 million count is or if there really is a slow growth in Fido customers. But certainly at least 2 000 000 of the 9 335 000 Rogers customers are using Fido.

      For Solo Mobile, there should be very few customers, because this Bell brand shut down its retail presence except to provide support and warranty for older customers. Clearnet from TELUS was a pilot project, and it is just as dormant as Solo, or perhaps even more so. But yeah, besides the brands you mentioned, there are also third-party brands like 7-Eleven which would be interesting to know.

  • WhoCares

    Wind sucks.

    • rick

      it takes a suck to know a suck…

  • Local

    4 new entrants combined have over 1.2 million users. Wow!

  • WP74Life

    I don’t understand why they have more costumers..
    I was hoping that videotron would become the “wind” or “mobi” in Québec and Found out they are nothing more but another Bell Mobility.
    Same expensive rate, same attitude, everything the same.
    Ohh wait, they have less tempting devices.
    You deceived me Vidéotron, really.

  • zzZZzz

    Can’t agree more with WP74Life!

    And that’s coming from someone working for a competitor. More competition would’ve been good, forces better prices. Koodo is the driver of low prices and changes in Qc (and probably other provinces) as far as I’m concerned. On the other hand, I see more and more Videotron subscribers knocking on my door, often disappointed that their phones don’t work due to Videotron’s network.

  • Aiden

    Total subscribers is 25 million. Isn’t our population around 32 Million?…that’s almost one cellphone for every person.

    • Daniel AJ

      Yes, Canada has some 35 million inhabitants and with only 25 million phones we have probably the lowest penetration rate in the developed world.

      Penetration rate is industry speak for cellphones per person.

      It even lies below the world average, where we have 6 billion phones for 7 billion people.

      This is bad for Canada’s economic development, as every extra percentage point in mobile penetration adds 0,1 to 0,2% to the GDP.

      The reason for Canada’s slack is simply a very low level of competition. Regulation has its part, frequency allocation and of course the Canadian ownership requirement. The oligopoly has resulted in a market characterized by a small coverage footprint, old technology and extremely high prices. Sucks.

  • Zeake

    199,999 for Public Mobile? Really? I didn’t get the joke mobilesyrup. Why not 200K?

  • david

    “Videotron adds 154,500 wireless subscribers in 2011, now totals 290,600”

    290,600, that is very impressive or shall I said it full of Sh***t! . They’re making Public Moron look like a Saint.

  • Daniel AJ

    Thank you for those stats! However, one must keep in mind that the way these customers are counted is probably not uniform. Are non-paying customers included (like employees, SIM-cards handed out to partners for testing, etc.)? How long are prepaid SIMs kept in the statistics once they are not used any more?

    The SAC of Videotron of 489$ (!!!) is shockingly high. Wow.

  • Mitchell

    Hey Ian any idea on Tbaytel’s customer base? They basically own North Western Ontario but thats only like 300,000 ppl. Any ideas on this?

  • Abe

    Id like to know how much Virgin Mobile Canada exactly has. I know they are apart of Bell in Canada but Bell only owns the brand(again in Canada) not the company itself.

  • kevin_405

    Flanker brands are all run as a part of the main entity from sharing of backbone network to back end systems. Only thing that differentiates the brand is their website and call center people.
    The sole purpose of the flanker brands is to compete at the different tiers in the wireless market without disturbing the apple cart of the core brand.

    From the annual reports i have NOT seen any of the telcos report sub count by brands.

    That said i wish someone would post a comparative ARPU

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