Canadian LTE Coverage Recap [Updated]

With Apple widely expected to announce an new iPhone tomorrow, most people are expecting support for LTE data networks as well announcing the iPhone 5 with LTE, it seems like a good time to summarize what sort of LTE coverage Canadians can expect from the major cellular network providers at this point in time.

Bell

Bell launched their LTE network on September 14, 2011 and currently offer the broadest LTE coverage in Canada by including several smaller cities along with broader coverage in suburban areas. Currently, they provide service in and around Vancouver, Whitehorse, Yellowknife, Edmonton, Calgary, Medicine Hat, London, Kitchener/Waterloo, Orangeville, Hamilton, Toronto (and the GTA), Belleville, Kingston, Port Severn, Port Carling, Huntsville, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, and Halifax. See their coverage map for more details.

Rogers

Rogers launched their LTE network on July 7, 2011 (the first Canadian carrier to do so) and provide coverage in and around Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Moncton, Halifax, and St. John’s with several other cities are listed as “Coming Soon”. See their coverage map for more details.

Update: Rogers wrote to inform us that they will be expanding their coverage on October 1, 2012 to include Kingston, Edmonton, Quebec City, Oakville, Burlington, London, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Barrie.  Their plan is to cover 60% of the Canadian population by the end of 2012.

Telus

Telus was the third carrier to join the LTE party with a network launch on February 9, 2012. They offer the same coverage as Bell in and around Vancouver, Whitehorse, Yellowknife, Edmonton, Calgary, Medicine Hat, London, Kitchener/Waterloo, Orangeville, Hamilton, Toronto (and the GTA), Belleville, Kingston, Port Severn, Port Carling, Huntsville, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, and Halifax. See their coverage map for more details.

Fido

Fido was the last of the 4 major carriers to launch their LTE service on August 30, 2012. Much like parent company Rogers (whose network they share), Fido provides LTE coverage in and around Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Moncton, Halifax, and St. John’s. See their coverage map for more details.

All of the above carriers offer 75 Mbps LTE service (with expected download speeds of 12-25 Mbps) with plans for 150Mbps service in the future. They require you to have an LTE data plan and an LTE SIM card in order to receive service. In general, if your area does not have LTE service you will continue to receive the same 3G/4G/HSPA+ or GSM service that you receive today.

Note that if you have an existing 3G data plan with one of these carriers you might need a different or updated data plan in order to use LTE, so you should contact your carrier ahead of time to get details on switching to an LTE plan and any associated costs.

I spoke to Customer Service at Fido regarding my $30/6GB plan and was told that all I would need is a new SIM and an LTE compatible device, so there doesn’t seem to be any need to change the plan itself (whew!). Your mileage may vary of course.

Are you planning to upgrade to the new iPhone if it supports LTE? Let us know in the comments.

Husband & Father. Apple, Music, Comics, Food, Travel, Wine, Tech, Space & Gadget lover. An IT generalist, X5 driver, Lost fan, and occasional Writer. Follow me on Twitter @swotam or App.net @swotam

  • MrBambinoDent

    I’m waiting for Koodo who share the same network with Telus to announce LTE. Hopefully with the new iPhone announcements they will launch LTE officially along with Nano SIM cards that new iPhones may need.

  • http://twitter.com/MBB87 Mike

    Been waiting for ever for the iPhone to have LTE! 4S should of had LTE but hey, Selling my 4S to pay for my iPhone 5.

  • MattWatterworth

    Um… if the new iPhone doesn’t support LTE I’ll probably give up on Apple. Ha ha. No I won’t. The sick part is that Apple’s next MacBook Pro could have a black & white screen and I’d probably still buy it.

  • J.C.

    Fido data connection has always been hardware dependent, even though tech support says otherwise. I still have my unlimited GPRS data plan with original sim card back in 2000. All I did was upgrade my PC modem to benefit the speed increase over the years from GPRS, to 2G, 3G, and 3.5G. I managed to get a hold of a LTE sim card and now getting HSDPA+, 4G, and LTE.

  • swotam

    I’ve always assumed that the 4S not getting LTE was directly related to battery life. Apple wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice that just to have an LTE chipset in there, and (at least from a Canadian perspective) only Bell and Rogers had LTE coverage as of the 4S launch whereas the new device will see all 4 major carriers with active LTE service so odds are the timing is right.

  • xxJDxx

    I’m curios as to when the “next wave” of LTE will be deployed since my city isn’t covered yet.

  • kyuusei

    Ah well. At least Victoria is ‘soon’ for LTE. =P I knew Rogers’ 6GB plan would come in handy!

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca Gary

    Yep. LTE should be in Victoria by the end of 2012.

    As for 6GB, LTE is what we’ve been waiting for. We’re still going to blow through it though, ya know ;)

  • kyuusei

    Oh no doubt. LTE will just help me use up my 6 GB.. faster. ;)

  • bruce56

    no LTE coverage planned for Winnipeg ??? no reason to get the iPhone 5 then

  • bruce56

    strange that its not shown on their coverage map (not even shown as a “future” upgrade)

  • mb2i

    Small correction***: Bell CURRENTLY OFFERS 150mb/s LTE in at least some parts of ontario (in parts of Toronto and Kitchener/Waterloo area). the iPhone 5 will support 100mb/s so you won’t get the full benefit but will get faster speeds than other carriers in those locations

  • captinkirk

    What about Virgin?

  • http://www.facebook.com/olivier.mouyau Olivier Kiwami Mouyau

    is it supposed to say 4G on your phone as opposed to 3G ?? My iphone 5 is showing 3G and I’m in the middle of Ottawa … ? Sorry may be it is a silly question …

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003116823383 Janis Smith

    I live outside Windsor, Ontario and we STILL don’t even get cable television!! We’ll Never get anything more than a crawl. Why is Canada so backwards in this day of age?

  • Alex

    150MBs is Max theoretical and not actually speed. Your iPhone wont be your limitation, as you’re very unlikely to get ACTUAL download speeds above 75mbps for years to come.

  • Chelsea H.

    It should say 3G. 4G is only is displayed on AT&T network in the US.

  • The Dude

    Thanks for the post! I appreciate the links to the coverage maps and the explanations, well done, it helped me a lot.

  • Jeff Hughes

    That’s because you are an iSheep. Can you say “baaaaah”.