Ken Engelhart is Senior Vice-President, Regulatory over at Rogers wrote a very interesting piece titled “Canada is a wireless leader”. He gives a great overview on where and why Canada stands around 66% penetration rate when it comes to wireless.
On Where and Why Canada is placed:
“About 66% of Canadians have a cell phone and we are badly behind countries like Greece, where 200% of the population have a cell phone. The foolishness of this measurement should be apparent already. 200% of a population does not exist. What these figures indicate is that there are two phone subscriptions for every man, woman and baby in Greece. In Canada, and in most advanced countries, most adults and teenagers have a cell phone. In Greece however and in many European countries, many people have one cell phone and several subscriptions.
Because Europe is on the GSM system, people have multiple SIM cards that they put in and out of their phones, depending on where they are and what time of day it is, to get the best price or service. These multiple SIM cards are generally a sign that there is something wrong with the cell phone market in that country. They certainly are not a good measurement of the take-up of phone service in an economy.
The best measurement is minutes of use per capita. A report by Merrill Lynch on Sept. 28 showed Canada to be the eighth best in the world using this metric. It is sometimes noted that the U.S. has a much higher level of usage than Canada and this is true. However, the point I am trying to make is that we are well ahead of Britain, France, Germany, Spain and most other countries in terms of the usage of wireless phone service.”
“The standard and correct way to compare prices among countries is to take total voice revenue and divide it by total voice minutes. On this statistic (called “average revenue per minute”), Canada has some of the lowest prices in the world. Canadians pay on average 8 cents per minute for phone service. The cost is 12 cents in the U.K., 14 cents in France, 15 cents in Italy, 16 cents in Germany and 24 cents in Japan. (It’s just five cents in the U.S.) Canada has very low prices internationally. This is particularly impressive given that we have much more network capacity per customer than most countries including the U.S.”
More here at the National Post