The majority of Canadians still prefer land lines for phone service, but two-thirds of consumers also report using a cellphone, according to a Statistics Canada survey released Friday.
"As of December 2006, about 90.5 per cent of households reported having a land line, while 66.8 per cent reported having at least one cellphone," the federal agency said in a release.
Albertans led the country with about 80 per cent of households using cellphone services. By comparison, New Brunswick and Quebec households had the fewest number of mobile phone users, with 57.5 per cent and 57.9 per cent respectively.
About five per cent of households reported using a cellphone exclusively, nearly matching 2005 figures of 4.8 per cent. Of those respondents, 10 per cent said they had dropped their land-line service because monthly charges and installation fees were too steep.
10% of Canadians use VoIP or cable telephone services
Statistics Canada also introduced survey questions about cable telephone usage, which allows users to make and receive calls using a connection through a company's cable network. The survey also asked respondents if they used voice-over-internet protocolservices (VoIP). VoIP uses a high-speed internet connection as a phone line instead of a regular analog line, often at a lower cost to the consumer.
Just over 10 per cent of Canadian households said they used cable or VoIP services, with Albertans at 13.5 per cent having the highest rates in the country. At the other end of the spectrum, less than five per cent of residents in Newfoundland and Labrador used the new technologies.
People who did not have telephone service at all held steady with last year's figures at 1.2 per cent.
Canadians pays highest cellphone fees: Seaboard Group report
A study released in March suggested Canadians pay the highest cellphone feescompared to all other developed countries. The report by the Seaboard Group, a Canadian research and consulting company, said that the average cellphone bill in Canada was the highest of the 30 countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, an international trade agency.
Canadians pay 1.5 times more than Americans with comparable service plans, according to the study. The authorssuggested prohibitive fees have significantly slowed growth in the market.
But, Michael Hennessy, Telus Mobility vice-president of wireless, broadband and content policy, dismissed the findings of the study. He said the suggestion that Canada trailed behind Turkey and Botswana were untrue given that those countries did not offer secure land-line service.