The latest global telecom report from BofA Merrill Lynch shows that Canadians had the highest monthly mobile phone bills among some fifty countries in Q1 2010. In Canada, mobile ARPU (Average Revenue per User) topped US$50 per month, including both voice and data. Following closely behind Canada are Japan, the US, Switzerland and Australia.
Unsurprisingly, this translates to Canada having the fifth lowest mobile penetration rate at about 65 percent. Compare that to most European countries where such rates exceed 100 percent (with Greece topping 200 percent). Also alarming is the fact that many countries with similar or worse affordability (which measures ARPU against relative USD GDP per capita) show better adoption rates, suggesting that Canada is also suffering from a lower digital literacy rate.
It will be interesting to see how these numbers change (or if they even do) with the recent launch of new carriers (Mobilicity, Public Mobile, WIND Mobile).