Victoria-based Convergence Research Group has released its annual predictions for the Canadian wireless market. As usual, subscribers and profits are will increase with the Big Three carriers still leading the charge.
According to the latest Communications Monitoring Report by the CRTC, there are now over 30 million wireless subscribers, which saw almost one million wireless new subscribers over 2015. Convergence believes 2017 will continue this trend of increased subscribers but will only add 900,000 across all the carriers. That number is still significantly higher, however, than a recent forecast from IDC Canada, which predicts approximately 500,000 new subscribers in 2017.
Eastlink, Shaw (Freedom Mobile) and Videotron — which are all still being dubbed as ‘new entrants’ — will reportedly account for 7.3 percent of the market, up 6.6 percent from 2016, which represents approximately 2.26 million subscribers. Wireless revenues will continue to increase across the board by 5 percent and ARPU (average revenue per user) will grow 1.7 percent.
Hoping on the similar path from carrier quarterly reports, Convergence states that smartphone penetration in Canada will jump by 3 percent from last year to reach 79 percent. Probably the most notable stat from the forecast is the number of Canadian households that will be ‘wireless-only’ will be 42 percent in 2017, up from 37 percent in 2016.
Brahm Eiley, President of Convergence Research Group, said, “Wireline broadband and wireless voice/data remain the two key growth pillars of the Canadian market. Videotron’s wireless bundle strategy has seen 80 percent of their wireless subs take at least one other Videotron service; we expect in the near future Shaw will also launch a bundle wireless offer.”