Rogers launches 700Mhz service in parts of Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto

Daniel Bader

April 17, 2014 10:12 am

They may not be first, but Rogers’ rollout of its new Band 17 700Mhz spectrum promises to be Canada’s largest.

The company announced today that it has flipped the switch on 700Mhz connectivity in parts of Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, with other regions to quickly follow in the coming months.

Rogers calls its 6+6Mhz Block B radio waves “beachfront spectrum,” with which it will “deliver the ultimate mobile video experience to our customers in even more places where they couldn’t access LTE before.”

Much ado has been made about Rogers’ acquisition of multi-screen NHL rights, which begin in earnest next year. The new spectrum will help Rogers deliver better speeds for “streaming NHL highlights…deep indoors and underground with minimal delays.”

If you’re worried that your device may not support the 700Mhz spectrum on Rogers, check if it supports Band 17. If it does, you’re good to go. Rogers claims “the majority of LTE devices that Rogers customers use can take advantage of the 700 MHz spectrum that’s live today.”

Update: We’ve received from Rogers a list of where in each city the towers have been deployed.

  • Toronto: West to Yonge, East to DVP, North to Rosedale Valley Rd (just north of Bloor), South to Carlton
  • Vancouver: North to Pender, South to Howe, East to Beach, West to Broughton.
    • Parts of Barclay to Georgia, Denman to Lost Lagoon
  • Calgary: 10th Ave SW to 11th St SW, Prince’s Island Park to 1st St SW
SourceNewswire

  • Hussein

    I’m have no doubt that it will “deliver the ultimate mobile video experience to our customers in even more places where they couldn’t access LTE before.” It will also allow customers to burn through their 500 mb, which they pay for about $80 per month, in one day.

    • Brownstar

      I pay $88 for 6gb per month

    • Sean Walton

      That’s including talk time, text VM etc…. right?

      I have unlimited Canada wide, 5GB, unlimited text etc….. for $80 per month but I am Corporate.

    • Raphael Del Castillo

      Whoa that’s way too much. Lol. Even if it is corporate. That’s close to making my insurance for the car haha

    • FunkyMonkey

      got something against his baller lifestyle?

    • Raphael Del Castillo

      Lmao not at all. I’m also on a corporate plan with 6gb and what he has but it’s 52 bucks. That’s why I said it was a tad bit too high.

    • Brownstar

      Could be that your company negotiated a better deal, I got mine and a $700 credit from Rogers to pay out the remainder of my Bell contract.

    • Raphael Del Castillo

      Oh that’s pretty neat. I didn’t know rogers offered to pay off your contract. By any chance do you know what part of Toronto the new lte is operating in?

    • Benny X

      I do. That’s the Cabbagetown area, also known as Old Toronto. (my home turf)

      I’m on Bell, however.

    • Sean Walton

      How many lines does your corporation have? That makes a major difference in pricing. We have only 6 lines which is the minimum.

    • Raphael Del Castillo

      I’m not sure but I believe it’s open to all. Probably that’s why its cheaper

    • Al Chui

      I’m curious to know how many lines your corp has too. I’m with one of the big banks with 15,000+ cell lines alone and don’t come close to $52 for Canada wide calling, unlimited text, & 6GB data. There’s got to be a catch to what you’re claiming.

    • FunkyMonkey

      if your a gov/social service/union employee basically all 3 ROBELLUS companies have a promo for unlimited talk, text, vm and 6 gb of (non pooled data) for 50$ + tax…

      I’m pretty sure that what they all posters refer to

    • Sean Walton

      LOL.

    • RMT

      Not all of us drive 2001 Honda Civic’s. ;-)

    • Raphael Del Castillo

      Lmao close! I dislike Honda. Haha. Its a Toyota Corolla, you know saving that gas haha

    • Brownstar

      Yep, all txt, VM, North America wide calls……..SMB contract.

    • Sean Walton

      Cool. I’m trying to figure out how that other guy has what I have but for only $52 per month? You and I seem to be along the same lines but he is way lower, I suspect he has lot’s of lines.

    • Brownstar

      I would think so

    • Mr_Reliable

      I have multiple accounts that pay around that mark, and have anywhere between 400-4000 Cells (these are major accounts). Small or medium accounts pay around 57$/month. The BNC has a plan that costs them less then 50$/month (but only 3GB).

    • Al

      I have a CN corporate and it $48 with taxes. Unlimited text. 6gb data and 1000 incoming 300 daytime unlimited evening and weekends

    • hunkyleepickle

      I have yours…. For 50$. Non corp.

    • Mikie

      I can pee farther than you can

    • Digital_Troll

      seriously, this thread turned into “I have…!” “I have…!” “I have…! ….as if anyone even gives a #$%^ lol

    • Tom

      I pay $39 for 600 MB/month. On Fido. 450 Canada-wide minutes, unlimited evenings/weekends and texts. My dad pays $56 for unlimited Canada-wide calling/texting and 2 GB data. Neither of us are using corporate plans – we just saw Fido deals and grabbed them right away. My dad was on a contract when he switched to this plan, and does not plan to renew it when it ends (he’ll just buy his next phone outright and maintain the plan).

      Don’t use the parent companies if you really need to use the Big 3 (i.e. coverage). Use their lower-cost MVNOs. If they don’t sell the phone you want, buy it outright – the savings over 2 years can be worth it. If you’re fortunate enough to get decent Wind coverage at the places you frequent the most, then go with them – the lack of LTE is worth it :)

      As for whether the lower-cost MVNOs get the 700 Mhz, it’s probably yes, just possibly with delays. After all they already give LTE access.

    • jcox20

      I pay $78 all in for unlimited North America calling, unlimited texting and 5GB data.

    • Mikie

      and you too

    • Anaron

      How did you get that plan?

    • Jake Mc lovin

      I pay 65 a month with Telus for 6gb, 200min talk, free weekend Canada wide talk, unlimited text, picture, video messages… Best plan ever Telus 65 plan

  • Sequoia46.2

    Will this only improve signal with mobile data turned on? What about when it is turned off? I am guessing this is another LTE spectrum and will not affect me when I have low signal and mobile data turned off.

    • Ry29

      700Mhz has much better building penetration than 1700 or 2600 (the
      current LTE bands). If you had signal problems with LTE before, 700
      should help (assuming the usual factors)

    • Sequoia46.2

      I have signal problems rurally at home when I have mobile data off and wifi on.

    • naviz

      Rogers currently doesn’t support voice over LTE, so it will drop to 3G for calls and use the 850/1900 bands. So this doesn’t help you unless you forward your number to a VoIP service.

    • wahwah

      Not just better building penetration, but the signal also travels way farther (like extremely farther), so it’ll require less towers, less money, and less time to get coverage almost everywhere.

    • Tom

      If data is turned off, it’ll still connect to the LTE towers for talk and text I believe (correct me if I’m wrong), unless you set the network settings to not use LTE at all. It just won’t send any internet packets.

    • Sequoia46.2

      Interesting, this is what I was hoping for. I’ll see if my signal improves when they set up the towers in Ottawa/Gatineau.

    • Tom

      Sorry jcox20 is right, as of now LTE only transfers data – if you have LTE on and make a voice call, the radio switches to 3G for that. However Voice Over LTE is in development and when that rolls out then it’s worth turning on LTE.

      By the way, if you turn off data for the purpose of saving battery, and you are on Rogers or its subbrands, consider switching the radio to 2G instead of disabling data. It’s a heck of a lot better (from my experience, and I’m also in Ottawa) and you’ll still be able to receive emails, whatsapp, etc. When I’m at home/work, I switch the radio to 2G and turn on wifi which is the best combination. When I go out I do turn on 3G if I need to search for something in a hurry.

    • jcox20

      I could also be wrong but as far as I understand, with Rogers, LTE is currently only used for data. You can see this when you make a call, your phone will first switch to 3G then make the call. Voice over LTE is not something Rogers offers yet.

    • Tom

      I did some research and you are correct.

  • Ry29

    It’s quite impressive how fast 700Mhz is being rolled out.

    • Columbo

      Yup… it’s almost as if the Big 3 knew exactly how much spectrum they would win and where.

    • accord1999

      You can thank the Federal Government for that, since they limited the Big 3 to one prime block each there was no possibility that any of the Big 3 would not get a prime block, or get two prime blocks.

      Plus it also helps that the Americans started with 700 MHz.

  • Percy

    Just out of curiosity… how do we know if our phone supports 700 Mhz?

    • wahwah

      Do a search for your phone model on gsmarena. When you find your model, you’ll be able to see what frequencies it uses.

    • Percy

      thanks for the info. Only the newest of Rogers phones can use this, like the Galaxy S5.

    • wahwah

      Perhaps. My nexus 5 works quite well and it was released late last year.

    • Balls O’Steele

      How can you tell if the nexus 5 is transmitting on the 700mhz band or the 1900mhz band?

    • Balls O’Steele

      Also does 700mhz include Fido customers?

    • duwenbasden

      Yes, but don’t bother. I could only get it to connect to 17 in an elevator. Otherwise it kicks me back to the faster band 7. (Calgary)

    • Tom

      *#*#4636#*#*

    • naviz

      Download Nexus 5 field test mode from Play Store and go to the LTE info section. It will tell you there.

    • Tom

      Not really, a lot of phones released around 2012/2013 also support the 700 Mhz band – it just wasn’t usable in Canada until now. You can credit AT&T for that – many of the phones sold by Robellus are exactly the same variants as those sold by AT&T (which mostly uses 700 but does use 1700 in some parts, whereas Robellus mostly uses 1700 LTE for now).

  • fruvous

    Wasn’t their argument for 700 was that it would help them in rural applications? When did Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto get considered rural?

    • ScooterinAB

      Rural is a big part of it, but the other part is building penetration. Both are about equally important.

    • abc123

      Did you honestly believe what they said? These people know that they can blow smoke out of the arses and not be accountable for it.

      Part of being a successful executive is knowing how to lie without blinking.

  • Tech Guru

    Hopefully Telus does this soon too

  • Thurnis

    If you want to see if your on 700MHz LTE and your on an iPhone, dial *3001#12345#* and once in the Field Test app, go to Serving Cell Info and “Freq Band Indicator” will tell you what LTE band your on. If 4, your on AWS. If 17, your on 700MHz.

    • Balls O’Steele

      What about a Nexus 5?

    • wahwah

      Its harder to distinguish as you need to know the cell id of the tower but dial *#*#4636#*#* and touch phone information. The info is in there.

  • PT

    Robberts LTE in Vancouver is a joke and a half. Now you want to talk about the new 700mhz ? lol!

  • RMT

    Rogers sucks hard on the west coast. You drive out of the city and it’s a crap shoot if you are going to get a signal or not.

    I’ll stick with Bell, thanks.

  • Jamal Alkadri

    No love for ottawa??

    • Digital_Troll

      Who’s ottawa?

  • Stephen K

    I wonder if this will be reflected on their coverage map…

  • ScooterinAB

    Prince’s Island Park and 1st? Really, Rogers? Really? Is building penetration on that bike path such a big a deal?

  • bmccull

    Rogers seems to have its compass directions confused in Vancouver.

  • Tom

    Too bad the unofficial LTE in my Nexus 4 is only 1700 Mhz :/

  • Mikie

    Sounds like one or two towers at most in what is described in Calgary’s “launch” lol

  • abc123

    So much for the rural areas…

  • naviz

    For anybody wondering, this is showing as 737 MHz (Block B). They don’t use their Block A yet in Vancouver.

  • Kyle Burton

    I wonder if this works for fido

  • Swordfish

    I am sooo disappointed in ths so called 700mhz offering. I live in the area that Rogers just rolled out to in Calgary. I have a work blackberry on Bell and my Note 3 is on Rogers. When in my parkade (only one level down), I now get no connection for data on my Note 3. My blackberry meanwhile has 5 bars. Data downloads from my Condo using Speedtest on my Note 3 give me 8 meg down and 2 up! Before the upgrade I could get at least 15 Meg down and 4 up. What a dissappointment!!