Seven million Canadians — almost one in four — now own a wireless phone, reports the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA).

A recent report by the CWTA says the results represent a 30-per-cent subscriber growth rate over last year and forecasts the same growth in 2000.

“It took the wireless industry in Canada seven years to accumulate its first one million customers, and now we’ve added one million customers in just the last seven months,” says Peter Barnes, CWTA president and CEO, in a company statement. “This phenomenal growth demonstrates that wireless phones have become an integral part of our daily lives. Canadians have come to count on these tools for convenience and business productivity, as well as safety and security.”

The wireless industry is a $4 billion industry in Canada. Wireless carriers directly employ more than 13,000 Canadians, and suppliers of products and services to the wireless industry generate another 12,000 jobs in the high-tech sector. Thousands more jobs have been indirectly created as a result of the wireless industry, CWTA reports.

The CWTA can be reached on the Web at