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Mobile internet usage in Canada - statistics & facts

The mobile revolution has visibly reshaped the digital ecosystem and telecommunications landscape in Canada. In recent years, mobile devices have become essential tools for connecting people across provinces and territories in the world’s second-largest country. As web-enabled smartphones and tablets have also become a portable gateway to the rest of the world, mobile usage is rapidly increasing throughout Canada, with more mobile devices finding their way into consumers’ hands than ever before: As of 2021, the number of mobile internet users in Canada stood at 33.7 million, and by 2026, Canada’s mobile population is projected to surpass 38 million users. While laptop and desktop computers are still the most used devices to navigate the internet, web traffic from mobile phones has experienced a substantial increase in recent years.

Cutting the chord: connectivity and mobile usage trends in Canada

At the end of 2020, Canada counted 47.78 million mobile broadband subscriptions. By 2025, Canada is expected to report a 45 percent adoption rate of 5G mobile connections, which are projected to account to 45 percent of all mobile connections in the country.

The number of mobile subscribers in Canada has steadily increased over the last few years. In 2020, more than 33 million Canadians were subscribed to wireless services from leading mobile service providers such as Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless, or TELUS Mobility, marking a record year in subscriptions for most Canadian mobile telecommunications companies and a further step away from landline telephone usage. Canadians are also going wireless to browse the web: Mobile internet user penetration in Canada currently stands at an all-time high of 88.54 percent, and this gradual switch from desktop to mobile is increasingly showing in Canada’s distribution of online traffic.

What are the most popular mobile activities in Canada?

According to a 2020 survey of Canadians, the majority of respondents reported spending 20 hours or less weekly online via their mobile devices. In line with North American and global digital trends, e-mail and social media usage are the leading mobile internet activities in Canada. Canada’s social media usage has seen particularly fast growth rates in recent years, as the ever-increasing selection of available apps and platforms continues to excite and engage online users of many ages.

Mobile app usage in Canada

According to the most recent Statista Global Consumer Survey, internet browser apps and e-mail services were the most commonly used app categories in Canada. Social media and gaming were also among the most used app categories in the country, with an August 2021 penetration rate of 56 percent and 45 percent among smartphone users, respectively.

In July 2021, several mobile games were among the most downloaded apps from users in Canada. While clash game Count Master was the most downloaded app for Android users in Canada, iPhone users downloaded the mobile game Fidget Trading 3D approximately 452 thousand times, making it the second most popular app after social video platform TikTok.

Mobile social media in Canada

As of 2021, while Facebook continues to be the leading social media website in Canada. On mobile, TikTok was the most downloaded social media app for both Android and iPhone users. Between 2018 and 2021, the number of TikTok users in Canada increased to reach approximately nine percent of the country’s online population, capturing the attention of the younger Internet audiences in Canada. As of September 2021, Canada was among the leading TikTok markets, with iOS users in the country generating more than 355 thousand U.S. dollars in revenues on the mobile-first social video app.


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