The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has released Navigating Convergence II: Charting Canadian Communications Change and Regulatory Implications, a compilation of independent research and views obtained from CRTC stakeholders, including consumers, public-interest advocates and members of the broadcasting and telecommunications sectors. The first edition of the report was published in February 2010. A PDF version of the latest report is also available.
According to the report, the development and adoption of new devices, products and services is accelerating in Canada. Canadians are rapidly embracing the global digital environment and making their choices and voices known. The evolving environment is also creating opportunities for the communications industry to provide services and content in new and innovative ways.
In 2010, 24% of anglophones and 20% of francophones watched some of their television programming online, including newscasts, sports clips and shows, which were offered by Canadian and foreign services. This trend is expected to continue as these services give consumers the flexibility to catch up on the television shows they have missed, at a time and on the device that is most convenient. As consumers access more online content and services, traffic over Canadian Internet networks is projected to quadruple from 2009 to 2014.
Canadians are also increasingly adopting mobile devices, which can connect to the Internet and deliver content, information and social media services. Between 2010 and 2014, the number of wireless subscribers is expected to rise from 25.8 million to nearly 30 million, with half of them owning a smartphone. At the same time, mobile Internet subscriptions in Canada are predicted to increase significantly from 5.5 million in 2011 to 14 million in 2015.
The report also notes that consolidation has increased in the communications industry. Despite this trend, the introduction of new services, such as those that deliver television programming online or through phone lines (known as Internet Protocol television), and the emergence of new service providers in the wireless market create competitive options for consumers.