In February 2022, The Conference Board of Canada invited experts from a cross-section of organizations to a leadership roundtable to get their insights on the current state of the telecommunications sector in Canada and how consolidation may impact key indicators consequential for consumers and businesses. Some highlights:
- Canada’s telecom industry spends 5.3 per cent more on capital expenditures (as a share of revenue) than its counterparts in other countries. Geography, scale, and spectrum costs all contribute to these higher capital expenditures.
- Canada has some catching up to do in terms of 5G deployment.
- Regulators need to monitor the experiences of individuals and businesses when it comes to the potential impact of consolidation on the availability and uptake of advanced telecom services.
- If consolidation were to occur, the government’s evaluation framework should ensure that a meaningful portion of potential efficiency gains is passed on to end users in the form of increased availability, higher quality of services, and lower prices.