Saskatchewan slowly ditching home phone lines: SaskTel

By Taylor MacPherson
January 24, 2018 - 2:00pm

More and more Saskatchewan residents are choosing to use mobile phones as their primary means of communication, according to SaskTel.

Spokesperson Greg Jacobs said the Crown telecommunications company has seen consumers slowly moving away from landline home phones, preferring instead to use their mobile phones exclusively.

“Over the last few years what we’ve noticed is a slow decline in the number of customers who take a home phone,” Jacobs told paNOW. “It’s declining about five per cent a year.”

Because SaskTel has provided both home phone and mobile service to Saskatchewan for years, Jacobs said their business model has not had to change much, despite the trend. While many customers are now using a mobile phone exclusively, Jacobs said they’re not missing out on any features or services.

“The only real difference between a mobile phone and a home phone would be those added features of a cell phone; texting or data usage,” he said. “The other standard features of a phone apply across both home phones and cell phones, so your long-distance, your 911, voicemail, caller display, all those things are common on both cell phones and home phones.”

While wired home connections are falling out of favour with individual consumers, Jacobs said there is still demand for wired connections, particularly for businesses.

According to data published by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the trend away from wired home connections is not limited to Saskatchewan, and similar numbers are being reported across Canada.

Between 2011 and 2015 average Canadian household spending on land line telephones has decreased by 6.91 per cent annually, while during the same period spending on wireless increased by an average of 6.73 per cent each year. In 2015-16 total revenues from wired telephone connections increased by just 0.4 per cent, while wireless revenue jumped by 3.2 per cent.

The CRTC’s most recent Communications Monitoring Report indicated wireless services are booming across Canada, while wired connections are not keeping pace.

“Wireless services represented more than half of all retail communications revenues in 2016,” the report stated. “In fact, wireless services are the largest sector among all retail telecommunications services, and have grown more than any other since 2008.”

“Wireline revenues have increased at a much slower pace since 2012.”

The number of local lines in Canada has decreased from 17.7 million in 2012 to 15.2 million in 2016, the CRTC reported. Statistics Canada’s 2015 Survey of Household Spending found 72 per cent of Canadian households had landline service while 86 per cent had wireless service. Of the homes surveyed, 13.2 per cent only used a landline phone, and 27.5 per cent only used wireless service.


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