The government of Ontario should create a a five-year mobile action plan so the province will become a leading mobile jurisdiction, says an art and design institution.
In a report issued Wednesday, OCAD University that while Ontario has significant wireless infrastructure and his home to over 700 mobile companies, it needs a strategy to harness its advantages.
It notes, for example, that while Canada has very active users of mobile services, with an average minutes of use of 388 minutes per month, Ontario also has the smallest mobile-penetration rate (78 per cent) and the largest average revenue per use (ARPU) of $59 of the jurisdictions around the world it looked at.
It also pointed out that Bell Mobility, Rogers Communications and Telus Corp. control 97 per cent of the wireless market. The entrance of startups Wind Mobile, Public Mobile and Mobilicity has pushed down ARPU, it notes.
OCAD U is the Ontario College of Arts and Design, whose courses are heavily digital-related.
“Failing to act now will disadvantage Ontario in numerous ways,” says the report.
If access isn’t affordable there will be a gap between those who have mobile devices and those who don’t; private-sector businesses will miss out on economic opportunities, financial-services organizations will lag behind their global counterparts, government services like healthcare will miss out on significant efficiencies of operation and quality of care, and students will miss out on skills they will need to compete effectively in a competitive world.
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The report has recommendations for the private sector to follow as well.
For example, it urges industry to work with the province to expand the number of qualifying trades under the Apprenticeship Training Tax Credit to include people who create, market and distribute mobile products.
Industries should try a consortium approach to mobile research, the report said, point to TR Tech, a not-for-profit technology commercialization company.
“The quality of life and economic well being of Ontarians can be radically transformed in the next decade with the possibilities that mobile technologies, networks and applications offer,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, president of OCAD U and co-principal investigator, said in a statement.