The continuing evolution of communications

Yesterday, Statistics Canada released data from the 2012 Survey of Household Spending providing a glimpse of what kind of equipment is in the homes of Canadians and how we spend our money each month.

It didn’t take long for some to misunderstand some of the data on communications services spending. “Cellphone costs hit historical high: Statistics Canada” read one of the headlines, leading Open Media to tweet out a call to action by its followers.

Monthly cellphone spending is different from costs.

Prices are lower, so more households have more phones, as the detailed Statistics Canada data shows:

  • Households with at least one cellphone increased to 81.4% in 2012 (up from 79.4% in 2011);
  • Households with exactly one cellphone declined to 35.5% from 36.5%;
  • Households with exactly 2 cellphones increased to 29.2% from 28.0%; and,
  • Households with 3 or more cellphones jumped to 16.7% from 14.9%.

The monthly bills went up because there are more devices in the average household.

There was other data that I found interesting in the release, despite the numbers being a year old.

  • Households with a home computer declined year over year to 84.1% from 84.5%. While this is a statistic on person ownership of computers (as contrasted with a device provided by an employer), the number is headed in the wrong direction.
  • Computer ownership is the denominator that should be used to measure penetration of internet access. Households with internet access increased to 81.5% in 2012 from 80.5% in 2011. That represents 96.9% of households with a computer, up from 95.3%. Only 3.7% of households used dial-up connections in 2012, down from 5.2%.
  • Despite all of the talk of cord-cutting for TV services, Statistics Canada found 88.3% of us had a wired or satellite TV service in 2012, up from 87.4%.

We will be looking at all of these trends at The 2014 Canadian Telecom Summit, taking place June 16-18 in Toronto.

Here is a look at just one of the panels, that will discuss the continuing evolution of TV, from a wide variety of perspectives.

The Continuing Evolution of TV
Content Anywhere, Any Screen, Anytime
Monday afternoon, June 16, 2014

Jeff Fan (moderator)
Analyst, Telecom & Cable
Charlotte Burke
Chief Marketing Officer
Quickplay Media
Dave Caputo
Michael Hennessy
President & CEO
Canadian Media
Production Association
Dragan Nerandzic
Chief Technology Officer
Ericsson Canada
David Purdy
SVP, Content
Rogers Communications

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