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Video: Rogers and Bell LTE Speed Test network showdown


LTE (Long Term Evolution) is the next generation of data speeds, potentially giving customers download speeds of 150 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 70 Mbps. Canada is one of the first counties in the world to experience these speeds and both Rogers and Bell went live over the past couple months, other carriers will follow next year. Rogers is currently set up in Ottawa and will be launching Toronto on September 28th. Bell stepped up, bypassed Rogers, and set their LTE network in several Southern Ontario locations: Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Guelph. The race is on for LTE dominance and no doubt who’ll be claiming to be the “fastest” and “most reliable” first.

Smartphones, “Superphones” and tablets are all coming, some that are top of mind are the LTE Samsung Galaxy S II, HTC Puccini and the Galaxy Tab 8.9. Currently the selection of devices are minimal, with only a couple internet sticks available. As expected with new technology, the strategy by both companies is to target the early adopter crowd, but this comes at a high price. The data price points start at $45/month for 1.5 GB and slightly increasing every GB thereafter.

In a recently poll we ran that asked “When LTE comes to your city will you buy?”, 54% of voters stated “No”, while 23% said “Yes”, 3% stated they still need a bit more education on what exactly LTE is. Finally, twenty percent of the voters are “undecided”, perhaps waiting for new devices or the prices to drop.

So how does LTE stack up in speed. Yesterday I grabbed hold of both internet sticks and did some speed tests. Rogers and Bell both sell the Sierra Wireless AirCard 313U and the weather in Toronto was a lovely rainstorm, which actually made for good testing. In addition, I traveled through the downtown core, both driving and stationary. It’s estimated that both Rogers and Bell have over 300 active LTE sites up. The Rogers LTE SIM was activated for testing in Toronto. Below are a number of tests from SpeetTest.net and a few videos of the results.


  • KidCanada

    So tell me, will be able to download a full HD movie before I hit the 1.5GB cap? Lol

  • Jim

    The speeds aren’t stable but still half decent. But is it worth giving up 6gb for $30 on a smartphone? Nope.

    • Sean

      Agreed am not giving that plan up

  • Fury

    I gotta ask. What’s with all the different servers being used? It’s kinda putting into question your testing methodology. Why arn’t you using the same test server for all tests?

    Some servers will give back lower speeds independant of the network they’re tested on.

    I see 4 different test servers. I could understand if you did all 4 test servers from each location, on each data stick, but it’s not consistant, unless you’re just randomly picking your result pics.

    Pings look pretty consistant atm.

    • Nitin

      If you actually watch the video or have ever used speedtest.net (try it) all you have to do is press test connection and it picks a server by itself.

    • daveloft

      Yes it does automatically pick one but it’s easy to choose another and it should have been done to keep the test consistent.

    • A

      Using the same server isn’t truthful unless you test a variety of them from around the internet, if you want to test the actual throughput of the network, you should use a server that is on each carrier’s backbone to rule out internet congestion. For example, you may say pick a server in Montreal, where Rogers may have a direct connection than Bell may have. People forget , it don’t matter what throughput you get on your connection at home, your more than likely going to be limited to the speeds of the server your downloading from especially when you get up to 30 meg on the download speed. Where the full benefit of LTE will shine would be on a Mi-Fi type device when you want to use your tablet, smartphone, and laptop together on the one pipe doing things.

  • jack

    lemme get a LTE stick just so i can browse at 30 Mb/s!!

  • asdkjfaskl

    i got 5Mb/s at home on my DESKTOP computer……..

  • ross

    yeah, using different servers makes this test actually worth very little.

    cant compare apples to oranges..

    • Steveo

      what are you all talking about, the different server test are good. makes for real speeds

  • astudent

    can’t afford it regardless, my arms and legs are already taken by home internet

  • PeZzy

    I bet the latency for Rogers in Vancouver will be something like 200ms and the internet speed will top out at 5Mbps.

  • mtlboy

    Happy to hear speeds of 150 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 70 Mbps. Canada is one of the first counties in the world to experience. but we need more GB of max 6GB GSM/HSPA must to give more GB & Price if it Speed Max up to 7,10 Mbps.. be fine.. to use Mobile or Pc :D Say Good buy to you are Home internet or Wifi:):)

    • roman129

      It’s priced high exactly for this reason. So you won’t say goodbye to your home Internet connection. Because Rogers and Bell are also in the business of selling most people’s home Internet. If they price LTE fairly, everyone would just drop their home lines. With current pricing, most LTE customers will be paying for a home connection as well, because the caps are bloody awful.

    • daveloft

      Even if it was priced competitively I wouldn’t cancel my home connections consistent, stable, low ping connection for a wireless solution. I don’t even like gaming on WiFi.

  • proud Canadian

    I am proud to see these results ! Having travelled around the world for business . I should say these are best speeds I have seen on wireless network. ROGERS is definitely leading the pack in Canada . I will never sign up for the unlimited dropped calls package from Wind . May be just me but I like a phone that works.

    • Weewee

      Really “proud Canadian”, your glad to be getting ripped off by the Big Three and Rogers. Congrats!!

      Would you like to pay for my phone bill as well??

  • Alex Perrier

    If the coverage is so small, and the speed tests not so breathtaking, why pay so much for so little? Even AT&T LTE is $50 for 5 GB. That’s still a pricey $10/GB, but it’s still much better than RoBell’s “buy more, ‘save’ more” scheme.

  • Alex Perrier

    Have to say that the LTE pings are much lower, so therefore better, than HSPA+. Never tried CDMA2000 and EVDO. But anyway, since it costs more than AT&T LTE and Robelus HSPA+, it’s not a good value for money yet.

    • ELNY

      Although I do agree that the pricing scheme is definitely not worth it right now, you seriously cannot compare Canadian Telecom prices to Americans. Consider this: Rogers has over 9 million subscribers, in a country that has a total population of approx 30 mill, which is vastly uninhabited. ATT alone, has around 15 mill in the STATE of New York, in a country that is almost completely inhabited. Point is, obviously American companies can charge less when they are making such extremes amount of money.

      The problem does not lie in the companies charging too much cuz any smart company would, the problem lies in our government allowing them to price gouge consumers this much.

    • seller

      @ELNY your not seeing the point dude… the big 3 dont have nearly as many customers but are some of the most profitable Telco’s in the WORLD… big problem

  • raz

    So.. I’m seeing HSPA+ speeds. Why exactly should any customer be forced to spend an extra penny to use these “LTE” speeds? Why can’t carriers be forced to provide these speeds to current customers on current network?

    10 years from now… Big Three are launching SAFGN: Super Awesome Forever Great Network with speeds upto 10Gb/s!

    MobileSyrup shows SpeedTest results at launch – about 100Mb/s, pretty much the LTE speeds advertised now, and it will be even worse when people actually get ON the network.

    Freaking rip-offs! How about advertise speeds slightly below what the average user experiences and then have situations when we’ll be pleasantly surprised from time to time, instead of constantly disappointed.

  • Peters

    There seems to be a disconnect btw what the big corporations expect customer’s to pay and what customers really do want to pay. If your getting anywhere btw 3-7Mbps download on your phone currentlycurrently, I’m sure most Canadians are currently satisfied with this. I can’t see the majority of people going crazy over the cost of LTE.

  • trolol

    Urmm…..
    I’ll stick to HSPA.

  • Reggie Noble

    I’ll stick to HSPA for now too. Both Bell and Rogers don’t even have LTE set up in Scarborough right now anyways. I can’t wait to see how much they charge for this, lol. Now that HSPA is last generation, I hope they lower the price or increase the data usage to 10gb or more.

    • Justin Credible

      They already give you 10 GB. For $100.

      This is why nobody should ever buy wireless from a company that also sells home phone and home internet. They DO NOT want you to cut the cords. Why do you think the original FIDO was affordable and unlimited? And now WIND/Mobilicity? Robelus wants you to pay for multiple services and “save” with a “bundle” lololololllll.

  • anon

    The idea of testing latency and speed for different servers gives you an idea as to how fast you can download/upload data when accessing servers across the globe from your LTE device. It seems that Bell’s latency has always been lesser than Rogers, even on current HSPA network.

    As for advertising 150Mb/s and not achieving it on your device, 150Mb/s is the total bandwidth allocated for the network, as more users hop on to it, speeds will deteriorate just like on the HSPA+ network.

    No cellular device currently or in the near future will support such speeds due to hardware limitations, the only benefit of LTE right now is to gamers and people who don’t want to wait that extra few milliseconds for a page to load or a connection to be made to the server.

    LTE is just another cash cow, unfortunately, its deployment was based on competition between which company puts it out first, rather than which company actually has devices and coverage to utilize the network.

  • Trevor

    Higher caps and cheaper LTE rates would raise the odds of back end saturation for the carriers in turn costing them tons more cash in upgrades and providing the customer “us” with very poor service so we’ll still be spending top dollar for a service we would surely complain about.

  • andy c

    no matter what you thing of apple lte rates will remain high until apple releases a lte iphone

  • jb

    these speedtests show that rogers is better than bell

  • Nate

    Ummm…. I can never get myself to pay for LTE yet. rates will have to drop big time

  • wewewi

    Geez.. you’re using a Macbook on a daily basis?
    What a shock. I was idolazing you, here! What a waste. ;-)

  • Tbone

    everything is expensive at first. when smartphones fisrt started you were not geting 6GB for $30, give it time, it will eventually all come down, when they come up with something better then LTE you can almost bet that there will be some super deal on LTE data when it becomes more mainstream

  • Deli

    You guys that are complaining about the hspa+ speeds should be looking at the ping response! Holy crap, under 50 Ms!!! For those that don’t know, current ping rates are usually north of 200, more like 300 in most situations. That’s where u will find your speeds.?

  • jsebean

    As soon as the i****s at Bell/Rogers decides to make Decent caps they can keep their 30Mbps ish speeds. I would LOVE to have this but 10GB cap is disgusting. I wouldn’t settle for less than 150GB cap for those speeds.

  • Kelly

    Thanks for posting this. Sorry that your readers seem to have mental problems. I appreciate someone running these tests and while I agree that those caps are archaic, maybe you trolls should contact the service providers, the CRTC or encourage your MPs to allow unrestricted investment in our communications networks, instead of propping up the big 3. They will treat their customers like children as long as you behave like children.

  • ihos501

    Well LTE is in its beginning phases we can’t expect much more usage caps. I am quite sure we will soon have larger caps in time to come, when these larger caps come home internet will be no longer.

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