Canada has been at the forefront of 4G for several years now, but it seems the past year brought even wider reach and faster speeds to mobile users. So how are the individual operators stacking up?
In our third State of Mobile Networks report in Canada, we analyzed more than 405 million data points collected from 20,474 mobile users to examine Canada’s complex mobile market. Canada is unique in many ways. Canada still retains multiple independent regional operators, many of which are major players in the provinces and cities where they offer service. What’s more Canada’s major operators have all engaged in infrastructure and spectrum sharing agreements on many of their networks. To examine Canada as a whole, we focused on the three operators that provide nationwide 3G and 4G service over their own or shared infrastructure: Bell Canada’s Bell Mobility, Rogers Communications and Telus. But we didn’t ignore the regional providers. We drilled down into our data in two of Canada’s major metro areas, Toronto and Montreal, to parse the results of not only the big 3 but also regional powerhouses Freedom Mobile and Videotron. Regardless of the perspective from which we studied Canada, though, the results were in nearly every instance impressive.
The remarkable LTE reach we mentioned earlier was readily apparent in our 4G availability metric, where we saw all three national operators providing a signal over 86% of the time. Zooming in on Montreal, we saw users on all operators (including regional player Videotron) were able to get an LTE signal more than 89% of the time. Meanwhile in Toronto, the big 3 crossed the 90% benchmark while Freedom mobile lagged behind with a score below 45%.
And if you thought availability is impressive, here comes the winner of our 4G speed award: Telus providing average download speeds of 44.5 Mbps nationwide, 62.7 Mbps in Montreal and an amazing 70.4 Mbps in Toronto, according to our results. But that doesn’t mean the other players aren’t providing stunning speeds as well. Runner up both nationally and in our two cities, Bell managed to cross the 35 Mbps threshold nationwide, while our users in Montreal and Toronto experienced average 4G download speeds of 45.5 Mbps and 50.8 Mbps respectively. Even the slowest of the three, Rogers was able to provide 4G speeds at 27.6 Mbps in our tests, more than 10 Mbps higher than the global average.