Canadian Mobile Subscriptions to Climb 20% by 2014: eMarketer

Smartphone ownership and mobile ad spending also rise

JUNE 10, 2010 – Mobile phone penetration in Canada is more than 5 percentage points lower in the US as of 2010, according to eMarketer estimates, but set to increase steadily over the next several years.

eMarketer forecasts the number of mobile subscribers in Canada will rise from 24.5 million this year to nearly 30 million by 2014, an increase of about 20%.

Subscriber growth will level off as the market approaches higher penetration levels, reaching 84.7% by 2014. The US is set to hit 80% penetration by 2013. eMarketer’s forecasting model takes into account both prepaid and postpaid subscriptions.

A rise in overall mobile penetration will go hand in hand with increased smartphone penetration in Canada. A Cisco Systems study predicts smartphones will increase from 31% of all handsets this year to 50% in 2014. The US will be slightly ahead of Canada by this measure.

Marketers in the country are gearing up for increased usage. About one-half of those surveyed by Ipsos Reid said they would be increasing their mobile spend this year, while another half would hold spending the same as in 2009.

AdMob reported Canada was the fifth-largest source of mobile advertising requests in March 2010, with more than 554 million ads served by the network. That was up from 332.5 million mobile ads served to Canada in December 2009, a nearly 67% increase.

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