Although Canada’s telecommunications sector has been among the most advanced in the world, between 2000 and 2007 Canada’s performance in areas such as broadband penetration and wireless penetration started to lag behind its OECD counterparts. In addition, total telecom service revenues grew by a modest 5% during 2006, with final figures for 2007 expected to be little different. During 2007, the traditional fixed line sector continued to shrink as subscribers increasingly switched to wireless and VoIP services. These trends have led to calls for a lighter-handed regulatory framework. Accordingly, several regulatory reforms were legislated during 2007 which resulted in the CRTC issuing regulatory forbearance decisions in relation to numerous local residential fixed-line markets across Canada.
Despite slowing wireless subscriber growth, wireless revenues are being underpinned by strong wireless data revenue growth. The wireless market is expected to receive additional competition in 2008, given the pro-competitive rules proposed for the upcoming Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) auction. In terms of triple play developments, cable companies continue to enjoy robust growth in VoIP in contrast to the relatively tentative moves of the telcos into the broadcasting (IPTV) sector. Finally, further deregulation in telecommunication, broadcasting and new media markets is expected during 2008 and 2009, including possible loosening of Canada’s foreign investment restrictions.
These markets continued their trends towards a triple play model during 2007 and early 2008. In particular, the telcos started making genuine strides towards their vision of triple play, by aggressively accelerating their deployment of optic fibre networks across their footprint. Their sense of urgency was highlighted by the rate of wireline losses; both Verizon and AT&T Inc posted fixed-line losses of around 10% for 2007. The main beneficiaries of the telcos’ significant churn rates were the cable companies, whose VoIP services enjoyed rapid subscriber gains.
The Internet economy continued its meteoric rise, with sites such as Facebook becoming $100 billion companies virtually overnight, highlighting the enormous scale of network economies that can be harnessed by the Internet’s expansive reach. Online advertising and e-commerce are taking an increasingly significant share of the overall advertising and retail markets. Microsoft’s bid for Yahoo!, if successful, would give the merged entity, together with Google, a combined 50% of the $20 billion per annum online advertising market.
This report provides overviews, analyses and detailed statistics on the US fixed-line, wireless and broadband markets including their sub-markets such as DSL, cable, FttH, wireless broadband, utilities broadband, the Internet, VoIP and IPTV.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.
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