Rogers Mobile Network Declared Fastest in Canada by PCMag [LIST]

PCMag has completed their first ever nationwide speed test of Canada’s mobile data networks in 13 metro areas and has concluded the Rogers data network is the fastest in town, beating out Telus and Bell with speeds up to 92Mbps download on the 2600MHz LTE network in Vancouver:

Rogers’ national reach along with its growing high-speed 2600MHz LTE network make it Canada’s fastest carrier, nationwide. But Bell, Rogers, and Telus all performed well in our 13 cities, and regional carriers Videotron and MTS did well in their limited coverage areas.

Rogers delivered download speeds higher than 8Mbps at least 90 percent of the time in every city except Toronto (where it was 86 percent), making it the most consistent high-speed download experience. Bell broke that 90-percent barrier in 10 cities; Telus, in five. Higher upload speeds, especially during our Toronto tests, helped Bell keep pace. But in the many cities where Rogers offers 2600MHz service, its speeds tended to dominate, and we think it will extend its lead with the new Category 4 LTE phones coming out over the next several months.

As for regional winners, in southern Ontario, it was a tie between Rogers and Bell. Below is the data for the national tests:

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The publication covered 13 of 14 top metro areas by population (but left out Victoria; what, no time for BC Ferries?!), which equates to half of our population, or 17 million people according to 2011 census data.

Tests were completed in August and September, before smartphones with Category 4 LTE modems were released on Bell and Rogers. Two days were spent in each of the five biggest cities and one day in smaller cities, with testing done in both the suburbs and core metro areas. Here’s how they tested data speeds:

To test Canada’s mobile data networks, we used field-test software from Sensorly, loaded onto Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphones running Android 4.2.2.

We used separate phones for the Rogers, Telus, and Bell HSPA+ and LTE networks, with one device locked to each network. Because Telus and Bell share towers in many areas, if the phones detected that they were using the same tower, we toggled the Bell and Telus phones so they weren’t running at the same time.

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PCMag says every city had LTE and HSPA coverage from the Big 3. They also tested Videotron in Montreal and Quebec, MTS in Winnipeg and WIND where available. SaskTel and Eastlink cities were not tested and Mobilicity opted out of the tests. In 2014, there are plans to hit up Saskatchewan and the Maritimes if possible.

The report is extensive, but here are the regional winners:

  • Niagara Region: Rogers LTE
  • Hamilton: Bell LTE
  • Toronto: Rogers LTE
  • Kitchener/Waterloo: Bell LTE
  • London: Rogers LTE
  • Windsor: TELUS LTE
  • Ottawa: Rogers LTE
  • Montreal: Rogers LTE
  • Quebec: Rogers LTE
  • Winnipeg: MTS
  • Edmonton: Bell LTE
  • Calgary: Bell LTE
  • Vancouver: Bell LTE

PCMag concluded data prices were the same amongst Rogers, TELUS and Bell and said “it could stand to be a little more affordable.” The bottom line: despite the high prices we pay for data, it is worth it based on the impressive LTE networks built by the Big 3, as speeds would make “south-of-the-border Americans green with envy.”

You can check out the extensive report here, it’s a doozy. The Rogers Redboard also has an interview with PCMag.com Lead Mobile Analyst Sascha Segan who ran the mobile network tests.

What do you think about the network coverage in your area by the Big 3?

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • ward09

    I declare Rogers’ coustomer service the worst in Canada.

  • websnap

    that’s why I left

  • Don

    Same here, Bell has been so much better and that’s why I have been with them the past 4 years.

  • websnap

    Same, but a month and a half

  • Chrome262

    Left Bell because they were awful. Tellus was nice, and Rogers sucked. Fido, seems ok the last few years, even though they were bought out by the devil lol

  • jabohn

    True they may be the fastest, but they should do their tests again NOT in metro areas. Try going into parts of the Kootenays where their map says there is coverage but there isn’t. How fast is NO coverage?

  • gerry

    Fido turned to the dark side of the cellular world.

  • Martin

    I disagree…I don’t care what the stats show…anyone can be paid off, which must be the only explanation for these ridiculous results. I live in the greater Toronto area and I was formerly a Telus customer. I had a Samsung Galaxy note 1 with Telus and my LTE was much faster than my Rogers service…and the handset is not the issue as I now have a Galaxy Note 3…furthermore, when I try to Skype my parents so they can see my toddler, it is choppy and slow with Rogers…As for the comments about the worst customer service…I 100% agree and would be willing to bet that Rogers has to be one of the worst not only in Canada but in North America as a whole. The only Rogers service that I would recommend is their High Speed internet…rarely did I have issues and it is fast…just hope to God that you don’t have issues as you will have to wait on hold for a few millenniums before a Rogers rep answers to ask you for all of your info only to tell you that you need to be transferred to another area. God bless Canadian companies as I do support them and our Canadian economy, but I cant wait until the Feds allow some American competition…hopefully the customer service will improve and the Rogers lies will end!!!

  • Doug Patterson

    Hmm, reasons to stick with Telus when my contracts up next month.

  • Doug Patterson

    In rural Alberta, where it is flat and cellular signals can travel further, Rogers does not have as good a network as Telus/Bell either.

  • inderoid

    Wind mobile I love it
    40$ all over Canada calling ,text msg,unlimited data ,downloading speed of 5mbps for first 5gb per month and 2mbps after that. Better quality service for what you pay . I am with wind since 2years .I was never surpeized to see my bill .I even used this data as WiFi hotspot on my laptop and Samsung smart TV to watch videos and downloads .it never let me down I lived in Ottawa,Toronto ,Calgary and now fort Saskatchewan a small town in Alberta .

    Wind you rock .

  • rizz2pro .

    Everyone here crying about how bad Rogers is needs to learn how to pay their bills.

    No company really rips you off unless it’s your fault and you simply “feel” ripped off.

    Bunch of whiners looking for other whiners to feel better about themselves.

  • Kevin Owens

    They left out the regional carriers. In Quebec, I would have liked to know if Videotron is better.

  • Hani Faraj

    Unlike people who are commenting on here and making no sense by just talking trash. The bell network is the most dense and with the most towers coast to coast. I own a business and we switched to rogers for a cheaper plan and the roam like home feature. It was a bad idea and now I can’t wait to go back to bell. I keep getting texts saying I’ve missed calls while I’m near a window. It’s too bad.