INFORMATION is administered by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA). For more information about Canada’s wireless industry and the work of CWTA, please visit



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Investing in Canada’s Wireless Future


To meet the growing demand of Canadians for wireless services, our Canadian-owned facilities-based operators - the operators that build and operate Canada’s wireless networks – continue to make massive investments in building and improving wireless networks in every region of Canada.


These investments total approximately $48 billion spent on building wireless network infrastructure between the years of 1985 and 2017, with over $13 billion invested over the last five years alone. [1]


In addition, our facilities-based operators have contributed over $14.1 billion in revenue to the Government of Canada between the years 1987-2016 for the right to use select radio frequencies for mobile wireless communications. [2]


When compared to other countries, Canadian operators’ investments in telecommunications as percentage of revenue is 1st in the G7 and 4th of 36 OECD nations. [3]


And the need for investment by Canada’s wireless network operators is not slowing down. The next-generation of wireless technology, known as 5G or fifth-generation wireless, will revolutionize the way in which wireless communications can be used to work, play and interact. In order for Canada to maintain its leadership position in wireless, it is estimated that, between 2020 and 2026, Canada’s facilities-based wireless operators will have to spend $26 billion to begin the rollout of 5G infrastructure in Canada. [4]



[1] Historical data from Nordicity, CRTC, and CWTA.


[2] Historical data from the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED).


[3] Montreal Economic Institute (MEI), The State of Competition in Canada's Telecom Industry, 2018, p. 20.


[4] Accenture, Fuel for Innovation: Canada's Path in the Race to 5G, p. 16.