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Rogers, Telus and Bell Network Performance Compared: Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver [u]

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RootMetrics has published a study of wireless network performance from Rogers, Telus and Bell in three major Canadian cities: Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Their study conducted over 47,000 call, data and text tests to compare the networks at different times of the day, essentially replicating real-world behaviour. Their conclusion:

In the cities we visited, all three carriers shined during call and text testing, but the data speeds we found were especially impressive. For consumers who want fast downloads or uploads, consider this: The average download and upload speeds we found on each carrier’s LTE network in all three cities were faster than the speeds we’ve found in many major cities in the US and UK.

The average download speeds across all network technologies (not purely LTE) ranged from Bell’s speedy 19.3 Mbps in Toronto to Rogers’ blazing-fast 33.0 Mbps, also in Toronto. The average upload speeds we found were likewise impressive. On the low end, Rogers registered an impressive 6.9 Mbps on average in Vancouver, while Bell and Telus each had average upload speeds a tick above 13.0 Mbps in Montreal.

Screenshot 2013 11 05 12 09 31

Below are the “Rootscore Award Winners” for each city:

Last month, PCMag completed an extensive nationwide speediest of our Canadian networks and crowned Rogers as having the fastest network, which is similar to what RootMetrics discovered.

Update: Here’s further clarification from RootMetrics on their testing in regards to Bell and Telus, via email:

We have done extensive analysis on this since we noticed the deltas and knew that Bell and Telus shared the same RAN network. This is important because they only share the RAN network, but they have separate transport and separate core networks. In checking this with latency and TraceRt related tests, we noticed that their performances were different: for instance, we observed quite different RTT delays and different number of hops between the client and the server – and we repeated these tests twice (once using AWS servers on West Coast and once using local speed servers in Canada).

Additionally, Bell and Telus do not share HSPA/LTE network everywhere: we have seen that Bell has additional bands (namely 2600 MHz) in Toronto area that Telus customers don’t have access to.

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  • Bowserm

    Pretty interesting considering TELUS rents their lines from Bell

  • John

    The bar scores are inconsistent with the text conclusons. Not sure this article makes sense without furter interpretation.

  • Al

    The text refers to speed. The bar graphs refer to reliability.

  • NotARogersEmployee

    Click on the report and then click on the city and it’ll show you the charts that better align to the text conclusions you’re referring to.

  • SV650

    Or in western Canada, where the backbone is owned by Telus……

  • willzzz88

    Perhaps someone more technical can answer this but from what I’ve read (howardforums) online Bell does the East and Telus does the West in Canada. They use a MOCN (Multiple Operator Core Network) technology on their Huawei/Nokia Siemens Networks (Quebec) RAN in which in each others territory they get the data at the point of presence/mobile switching centre level (POP/MSC) instead of each cell site which dramatically reduces costs for Bell/Telus. (The active equipment in Vancouver is TELUS’es for example but it also broadcasts Bell’s UMTS MNC-MCC. The data traffic from a Bell user on the UMTS RAN is actually sent through TELUS equipment and connected to Bell’s RAN at the MSC/switch level. It’s opposite in Toronto for example.) In reality in Canada there are TWO national carriers (Rogers and Bell/Telus).

  • Just updated the post with more info from RootMetrics in regards to Telus/Bell.

  • Chek

    I got up to 69Mbps down here in montreal with Fido and 9.5Mbps up

  • da Boss

    I’m with Rogers high speed, probably the fastest internet in Canada. My Ping average is around 8-14 (can get as low as 6), my download speed ranges from 30-60mbps on average (can get as high as 90mbps), my upload sped ranges from 4-5 (but can get as high as 8 mbps). Pretty good, slightly higher than what i had with Bells fastest internet. Yet to test Telus, but suspect that it will be less than satisfactory.

  • Tim

    I find it more interesting that the first iphone had data speeds not much better than a dial up modem and a short time later my phone can move data faster than my broadband internet connection.

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