Canada's 3 major 4G LTE networks were just tested against each other

Aug 15 2019, 6:55 am

National carrier Telus has been dubbed Opensignal’s top operator in Canada, for the second year in a row.

Opensignal, the independent global standard for analyzing consumer mobile experience, compared the user experience for consumers of Bell, Telus and Rogers (and regionally Videotron and Freedom Mobile), based on data from everyday Canadian consumers.

According to OpenSignal’s August Mobile Networks Update, which examined nearly over 438 million measurements across 173,628 devices from April 1 to June 29, 2019, while all three major Canadian carriers have received a big increase of 4G speed, Telus still remains the lead operator.

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This year, Telus dominated the rankings, claiming four of Opensignals titles, which include 4G availability, video experience, download speed experience, and latency experience — Telus also tied with Rogers for a fifth in upload speed experience.

Opensignal Canada Report, August 2019

Download Speeds

As for download speeds, Opensignal recorded big surges for all of Canada’s major operators. Bell and Telus both boosted their download speeds beyond 50 Mbps, with users’ average overall download speeds both increased 8 Mbps in the last six months to reach 51.9 Mbps and 57 Mbps respectively.

Rogers users, on the other hand, were able to access average downstream connection speeds of 41.7 Mbps, representing an increase of more than 5 Mbps since the last report.

According to the report, these rapid increases in speed show no signs of slowing down, which Opensignal suggests will lead to 60 Mbps in download speeds broken in the next year.

Download Speeds/Opensignal Canada Report, August 2019

4G Availability

Telus is Canada’s only operator to surpass the “elusive” 90% milestone in 4G availability, by providing a 4G signal to users 90.1% of the time. Both Rogers and Bell were close behind, with 4G availability scores above 87%.

4G Availability/Opensignal Canada Report, August 2019

 Consumer Video Experience

Video experience scores improved for all three major operators in the last six months, according to the report, with Bell and Telus both securing “very good” ratings. This is means videos streamed to new users exhibited short load times and few interruptions even at higher resolutions. Meanwhile, Rogers was just shy of a “very good” rating.

According to the report, Telus won with a score of 69.8 in the 100-point scale, followed by Bell with 68.6, and Rogers with 64.3.

Video Experience/4G Availability/Opensignal Canada Report, August 2019

Upload Speed Experience

While there were huge improvements in download speeds for all operators this time around, there was “practically no change” in their upload speed scores.

“That’s a good indication that any new LTE Advanced network upgrades are mainly affecting the downlink rather than the uplink portion of the network,” reads the report.

Users had access to excellent upload speeds across all three operators’ networks, with Telus and Rogers drawing for the award with Upload Speed Experience scores just below 10 Mbps.

Upload Speed Experience/Opensignal Canada Report, August 2019

Latency Experience

Telus once again claimed the top spot for latency experience, with an average overall response time of 41 milliseconds. According to the report, lower latency connections mean less lag time when using real-time connection apps, faster reaction speeds during multiplayer gaming sessions, and generally faster video and webpage loads.

Latency Experience/Opensignal Canada Report, August 2019

Telus is the Operator to Beat

In this edition of the report, Telus won four out of five awards outright, and tied for the fifth, improving on its already-dominant position it secured last year. This year, Telus added video experience to its list of wins, after tying with Bell in that category in last year’s report.

However, this isn’t to say that the other major operators aren’t improving, it’s just that Telus has managed to stay ahead of or outpace the competition in nearly every metric in Opensignal’s analysis.