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Annual telecommunications statistics, 2015

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Released: 2017-05-18

Telecommunications' operating revenues

$60.3 billion


2.5% increase

(annual change)

In 2015, operating revenues for the telecommunications industry increased 2.5% over the previous year to $60.3 billion. At the same time, operating expenses increased 0.9% to $47 billion. As a result, the industry generated a 22.0% operating profit margin.

Mobile services (including paging) continues to be the largest component, accounting for 39.6% ($23.9 billion) of the industry's total operating revenues. Internet services were the second largest component, representing 15.9% ($9.6 billion). Together, they accounted for the majority of the revenues generated by the industry, at 55.5% ($33.5 billion), up from 52.6% in 2014 and 47.7% in 2011.

Internet services revenues surpassed broadcasting distribution revenues for the first time in 2015. Broadcasting distribution accounted for 15.6% ($9.4 billion) of the industry's total operating revenues. In 2014, Internet services represented 14.7% of the industry's total operating revenues compared with broadcasting distribution's share of 16.1%.

Mobile and paging revenues, and Internet services revenues continue to drive the growth of the telecommunications industry. Both sectors have experienced annual increases in their year-over-year growth in the previous three years. Mobile services grew 3.6% in 2013, 4.6% in 2014 and 7.2% in 2015, while Internet services have experienced even stronger growth, increasing by 7.1%, 9.0% and 10.2% over the same period.

Telling Canada's story in numbers; #ByTheNumbers

In celebration of the country's 150th birthday, Statistics Canada is presenting snapshots from our rich statistical history.

In 1912, six years before the creation of the Dominion Bureau of Statistics, the Department of Railways and Canals wrote it first telephone statistics report. The document, entitled Telephone Statistics of the Dominion of Canada for year ending June 30, 1911, stated that it was difficult to gauge exactly how many telephone companies were operating in Canada at that time, but a total of 537 organizations submitted reports. These telephone companies were mainly situated in Ontario (319), Saskatchewan (143), and Quebec (32) and their gross earnings were just over $10 million dollars.

During that time, there were 302,705 telephones in operation, split between 174,994 (58%) central energy telephones, which was popularly described as automatic, and 127,765 (42%) magneto telephones, which used a crank to generate energy. The three provinces with the most telephones were Quebec with 158,000 units, Ontario with 39,633 and Manitoba with 33,881. In 2015, there are approximately 0.43 wireline telephone subscriptions and 0.83 wireless subscriptions per Canadian compared with 0.04 telephones per Canadian in 1911.

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