Telecom Outlook 2007

by Hugh

The OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) just released their Communications Outlook 2007 report, that gives an overview of member states’ communication (mobile, broadband, broadcast, telephony etc) infrastructure, usage, pricing, etc.

Michael Geist gives a brief review of the report, and extracts these key points:

  • Canada ranked second last in the OECD for the total number of mobile subscribers. For medium mobile users, Canadian plans ranked among the most expensive in the OECD.
  • Canada placed far behind other countries for innovation. For example, Bell Canada was the only Canadian telecom provider to obtain patents in the United States with four since 2003. By comparison, AT&T, British Telecom, NTT, France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia, and Korea Telecom have all obtained dozens (or hundreds) of patents in that same time frame.
  • Canadian investment in telecommunications was average, trailing countries such as the US, Australia, Japan, and the UK.
  • The OECD found that, on average, mobile revenue per subscriber dropped from 2003 to 2005 due to increased competition. In Canada, revenue increased during that period.
  • The report reconfirms Canada’s sinking ranking in broadband subscribers along with its relatively high prices for broadband (18th in both monthly pricing and per MB pricing)

All are worrying, but I find #2 (lack of patents) the most indicative of long-term problems on the horizon in Canada.

And, in related iPhone news, Patrick links to an article that says:

Until Canadian companies can offer cheaper [mobile data] plans so that everyone will want one, iPhone won’t be coming to Canada.