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Canadian LTE Coverage Recap [Updated]

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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.

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