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Which technology trend is set to make Canadian telecommunications sector more efficient?

A new report conducted by the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) has found that the Internet of Things will make the Canadian telecommunications sector much more efficient - and claimed that the industry is competitive in comparison to other markets on a global basis.

Many Canadians have expressed dissatisfaction with the telecoms industry in the country - describing it as 'uncompetitive' and 'expensive' - which compares poorly in contrast to other countries. However, this viewpoint has been labelled 'inaccurate' following an academic study compiled by the Montreal Economic Institute.

The study which has been entitled 'The State of Competition in Canada's Telecommunications Industry 2017' - has set out with a clear agenda to dispel the theory that Canada's telecoms industry is uncompetitive. It has also claimed that the sector is set to be majorly disrupted and improved by the rise of the Internet of Things. (IoT)

The MEI established that Canadians are in fact amongst the biggest consumers of telecommunications services in the entire world - with a very high rate of penetration with devices such as tablets and smartphones - whilst LTE connections are amongst the highest for industrialized countries. The report disclosed that 83% of Canadians own smartphones and use on average around 2,267 megabytes of data per month.

However, in relation to price, the Montreal Economic Institute found that residents in Canada pay more for wireless services than in places such as Europe and Australia - they are much more comparable to the average price in Japan and the US. With connected devices now surpassing the number of electronic devices, used by consumers on a global basis - the arguments made in the last decade over telecommunications services, prices and levels of competition are likely to become less relevant as the IoT paradigm predicted to transform the sector.

The report repeatedly claims that as IoT becomes more important in finding and analyzing the vast amounts of data created by mobile devices - the country's entire economy will depend on telecommunications networks that support the Internet of Things. There will be subsequently as a result of this an increased focus on providing IoT platforms and integrated solutions to complement phone and internet services. Analysts have estimated that the IoT market will be worth around $21 billion in Canada by the end of next year.

In addition to this, it claims that only the large national and regional service providers will be able to afford the investment required in the wireless infrastructure needed to support the developments of both IoT and 5G networks. "Only the carriers that own the infrastructure will be able to manage their networks so as to meet these complex needs. Resellers will have no role to play in this evolving market," it predicts.

It concludes that while IoT will help the Canadian telecom market and economy become more efficient and competitive, federal policies need to evolve so that the government is not "fighting yesterday's regulatory battles," and instead, support the new IoT reality.