Telecommunications services price index (TSPI)

Detailed information for second quarter 2003





Record number:


This discontinued index measured price changes through time for wired long distance telephone services provided by telecommunications carriers to Canadian-based business clients.

Data release - November 1, 2004


The Telecommunication Services Price Index (TSPI) is a quarterly price index currently measuring the change over time in prices, only for wired long distance telephone services, provided by telecommunications carriers to Canadian-based business clients. These long distance services cover calls within and between Canadian provinces and territories as well as international calls. This index is available at the Canada level only.

The TSPI series is a useful indicator of economic activity in the telecommunications services industry. In addition, the indexes are used by the Canadian System of National Accounts to arrive at estimates of real value output for the industry through deflation.


  • Information and communications technology
  • Prices and price indexes
  • Service price indexes
  • Telecommunication industries

Data sources and methodology

Target population

Coverage for the TSPI targets the largest establishments of the telecommunications sector, as defined by category 5133 - Telecommunications of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The telecommunications sector consists of establishments primarily engaged in the provision of fixed or mobile telecommunications services. It includes establishments offering a full or limited range of voice and data telecommunication products and services using their own network or reselling the services of others. This sector does not include Internet Service Providers.

Instrument design

This methodology does not apply.


This methodology does not apply.

Data sources

Data are collected from other Statistics Canada surveys and/or other sources.

The data used to produce the TSPI comes from two other Statistics Canada (STC) surveys, the Quarterly Survey of Telecommunications Wireline Service Providers (survey number 2721), and the Annual Survey of Telecommunications Wireline Service Providers (survey number 2722). Both surveys are administered by the Science, Innovation and Electronic Information Division (SIEID) at Statistics Canada.

Error detection

Price relatives are analysed at the micro level during the processing stage to spot outliers or inconsistencies.


Imputation is carried out on the original survey data. No prices are imputed at the price index construction stage.



Using revenue and traffic activity data (minutes) from the Quarterly Survey of Telecommunications Wireline Service Providers, quarterly price relatives are calculated using average unit prices and then chained to arrive at a price index series for each carrier. The quarterly indexes by carrier are aggregated into a total index by using the each carrier's share of the total industry revenue for 1999 as the fixed weights.


Data from the Annual Survey of Telecommunications Wireline Service Provider is used to estimate the share of total revenues earned from the business portion and the proportion of long distance traffic (number of minutes) purchased by business clients.

Quality evaluation

The quality of this index is maintained through the expertise of analysts assigned to it. They develop a thorough knowledge of the domain, which is supplemented by outside personal contacts for particular goods or services. Much time and effort is devoted to detecting and following up unusual fluctuations over time in the pricing patterns of goods and services. Prior to dissemination, the price indexes are analyzed and historic trends reviewed.

The results of the TSPI are regularly discussed with SIEID survey managers and analysts for the purposes of validation and to ensure data quality.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Confidentiality analysis includes the detection of possible direct disclosure, which occurs when the value in a tabulation cell is composed of a few respondents or when the cell is dominated by a few companies.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

The quarterly price index is published on an annual basis. Two years of revisions are made with each new release.

Data accuracy

While considerable effort is made to ensure high standards throughout all stages of the estimation process, the resulting estimates are inevitably subject to a certain degree of non-sampling error originating from the source data used, the data coverage and the data processing.

The data accuracy of the two surveys providing the source data for the TSPI is judged to be excellent as described in their documentation (see the Data accuracy section of surveys # 2721 and # 2722).

Coverage error results from incomplete listing of establishments of the communications sector. The establishments covered by this surveys account for close to 99% of the total revenues of the sector.

Processing errors are minimal as only a few trained staff work on this survey and the spreadsheets used for data entry and data tabulation permit the analysts to quickly detect apparent anomalies.

Due to the fact that other survey data is used, confidence intervals are not currently estimated and statements about the statistical reliability of the price index series cannot be made.

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