How fast is Freedom Mobile’s LTE network in Toronto?

freedom mobile store sign

When Wind Mobile launched its LTE network in November 2016, it did so with a bang. Alongside the new mobile network, which would finally allow it to compete in a more meaningful way with the Canada’s Big Three carriers (Bell, Telus and Rogers), it also gained a large-scale marketing campaign, fuzzy mascot and a new name: Freedom.

The only thing it lacked, at least at first, was the network.

Three weeks after its announced launch, users were unable to connect to LTE speeds in downtown Vancouver and Toronto. The company explained that a few optimizations were needed before the network could truly go live, but it didn’t help much when it came to customer satisfaction. Many customers also didn’t care for the fact that they had to switch to a specific $45 6GB LTE plan to use the network, or that, at the outset, there was only one device that supported the network’s new band. In short, the launch became somewhat shrouded in confusion and frustration.

“We think that based on testing our competitors and ourselves we’re the same or better than their typical speeds”

But when it comes to Canadian telecoms, the back story is always a little more complicated than it seems. Freedom Mobile’s choice of a new and obscure LTE band wasn’t random — the carrier purchased it because its options were limited. As of 2015, the Big Three had secured most of the 4G LTE spectrum in Canada, either through auctions or acquisitions. The auction held in March of that year gave Freedom (then Wind) a chance at purchasing LTE spectrum — albeit of the brand new AWS-3 variety. This meant there was still much work to be done to bring LTE Band 66 up and running once the company officially secured the spectrum in Southern Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

Compatible devices had to be sourced — the LG V20 and ZTE Grand X 4 are currently the only devices in Canada that support Band 66, though ZTE’s Hawkeye adds another compatible device to the pipeline — and the network had to be built out. Brian O’Shaughnessy, Freedom’s executive vice-president of technology services, says the process was a “logistical nightmare.”

“There’s no invention involved, it’s all work,” O’Shaughnessy stated in an exclusive interview with MobileSyrup, explaining that the lengthy process involves preparing rooftops and towers, installing the radios and optimizing them for minimal interference. He notes, however, that while the work has been intensive, “it’s gone incredibly well.”

In total, the infrastructure project carries a price tag of approximately $250 million, per a joint announcement made with Nokia last year. Freedom expects to have the Greater Toronto Area fully deployed by spring 2017, all of its western footprint complete by the summer and the rest of country by fall — though O’Shaughnessy says the company will attempt to go achieve these goals at a faster pace.

So far, Freedom hasn’t revealed just how many people are on its “traffic-free” network, but it is adamant the speeds are competitive with the Big Three.

“We think that based on testing our competitors and ourselves we’re the same or better than their typical speeds,” said O’Shaughnessy, adding that beyond speed, stability is an important feature of its new network.

“I mean, you can always find a place and a time where they’re going to be better. They have more spectrum than we do so naturally they can get a higher peak speed. But I kind of liken it to the 401 [highway]. At 3 o’clock in the morning, you could drive 200 kilometres per hour if the police didn’t catch you, but you’re not going to do that during rush hour. What most people are getting throughout the entire day, for us it’s the same all day long, 24 hours a day.”

O’Shaughnessy adds that he believes it will be “at least a couple years” before customers have to worry about congestion issues on the carrier’s network, stating that the company will “find ways of getting around that” when the time eventually does come.

He’s optimistic about device support for AWS-3, too, citing the fact that heavyweight U.S. players Verizon and AT&T purchased large amounts of the spectrum and will soon make support a mandatory requirement for manufacturers.

“I’d say every quarter you’re going to see new phones introduced and by mid, second half of the year, almost every phone will be able to work on our network.”

Along with a wider diversity of devices due to arrive soon, O’Shaughnessy notes customers can expect to see more LTE plans coming out as 2017 progresses. He says the choice to offer a single LTE plan was based on a desire for simplicity.

“We made it very simple at the start just saying, ‘here’s the two phones, here’s the plan to work with it.’ We put a lot of value into it making it 6GB of data so we thought that was a good launch plan to start with. Over time, I would see more and more plans having it.”

From a technical perspective, however, O’Shaughnessy says he’d love to see all Freedom customers on LTE plans.

“I’d be ecstatic if every customer would move over… because it does two things. One, they’ll find it’s a fantastic experience, whether it be speed or latency. Our latency on our network is I think the best in the country… And as soon as those customers move over, their traffic moves with them. So, things only get better on the 3G network in areas where we do have some congestion now.”

To ascertain just how fast and responsive the network is, MobileSyrup obtained an LG V20 and ZTE Grand X 4 with Freedom Mobile SIMs, courtesy of the carrier, and performed speed tests across various points in the Greater Toronto Area, simultaneously testing the network speeds for Rogers, Bell and Telus.

The tests were carried out at the extremities of Toronto accessible by subway (north, south, west and east) as well as in the downtown, mainly during the morning and early afternoon.

The networks were measured in megabits per second for download and upload speed, as well as ping rate in milliseconds. For those unfamiliar with the latter term, it indicates the latency of a network, or how fast data can be fetched from the server with which the user is connecting.

To explain the concept, Speed Test by Ookla invokes the image of a water pipe, stating that bandwidth is the total amount of water that can flow through the pipe at any given time, while latency is the amount of time it takes for the water that enters the pipe at one end to exit at the other.

Nine samples were collected for each carrier using the LG V20, and the tests were also completed on a ZTE Grand X 4 with a Freedom Mobile SIM. The testing shouldn’t be referenced as exhaustive, but it does give a good indication of what speeds customers might be able to expect from the carriers.

Freedom Mobile fared well in the tests, with a 45.81Mbps average download speed, 26.79Mbps average upload speed and 19.42ms average latency. It bested Rogers, which averaged 20.17Mbps for downloads, 11.59Mbps for uploads and 31.71ms for latency.

Above: left, Freedom’s LTE network at Bloor and Quebec. Right, Freedom’s LTE network at Simcoe and King.

It fell significantly short of Bell and Telus, however, which received similar results due to an agreement in which they share infrastructure and network, with Bell investing in infrastructure in the East and Telus in the West.

Bell delivered a 90.27Mbps average download speed, 34.59Mbps average upload speed and 14.71ms average latency – unsurprising for a network that has been consistently named Canada’s fastest 4G LTE network by PCMag, while Telus came in a close second, posting a 83.79Mbps average download speed and 32.53Mbps average upload speed. The latency, however, didn’t keep pace with Bell, Freedom or Rogers, at an average of 32.42ms.

Meanwhile, the test on the ZTE Grand X 4 showed similar results to its more premium counterpart, with an average 44.11Mbps download speed, 27.33Mbps upload speed and 23.85ms latency on the Freedom LTE network.

Geographically, Telus took the top spot in the east (Main and Danforth), north (Finch and Yonge) and south (John and King) for best download/upload speeds, while Bell took the top spot in the west (Bloor and Quebec) — though in most locations it was close, and in the north it bumped Telus’ upload speed by a small margin. Freedom took third place in the west, south and north, with Rogers snagging second in the east.

In terms of latency across all directional extremities, Bell took first, followed closely by Freedom. Rogers and Telus lagged behind by a lengthy margin.

The testing also allowed for ample testing of Freedom’s LTE accessibility on TTC subway platforms, which O’Shaughnessy states is about 90 percent deployed. I found excellent LTE connectivity was accessible at the western stations from High Park to downtown, and around the southern loop. At the northern stations past St. Clair on the Finch line, however, I was not able to connect to the network (LTE or otherwise) and likewise for the stations past Broadview to the east. The feature remains an incredible bonus for the stations where it does exist, allowing for better music streaming and the ability to send messages over data or browse social media as one travels.

Other bonuses for Freedom Mobile customers coming down the pipeline are Wi-Fi calling and voice over LTE (VoLTE), which O’Shaughnessy states is currently in testing and will likely arrive in spring or summer of 2017. O’Shaughnessy also stressed that while Freedom is currently rolling out LTE and these new services, that doesn’t mean it has forgotten about its 3G spectrum.

“We’re building well over a 100 sites a year across the country for adding capacity and coverage and they’re 3G and LTE. So, they will help LTE customers as well, but absolutely performing our 3G performance whether it’s coverage or capacity is always important.”

O’Shaughnessy also noted that Freedom was looking at 5G technology, but had not started tests yet.

As for consumer feedback on the new network, O’Shaughnessy sees the roll-out as ultimately successful, while acknowledging some of the negative comments received.

“You go online and you see people saying ‘why are they making me buy a new phone?’ Well, we’re not making you buy a new phone, the only frequencies we had to put it on are the new phones. But I think as people learn what it’s all about, those things will naturally work their way through.”

Are you a Freedom Mobile user in Vancouver? Our west coast testing will hit MobileSyrup shortly, so make sure to stay tuned!

Update 01/18/17: This article previously stated that AT&T and T-Mobile had purchased large amounts of spectrum, when in fact Verizon and AT&T were the top purchasers. It has been updated to reflect that.

Comments

  • Not for you

    Nice work. Good to see you at least bothered to get outside of the downtown core :p

    That bear has to go though.

    • Hello Moto

      Yay fredobear!

    • KiwiBri

      not quite to Kennedy though 😉

    • Rose

      Thanks! We’re hoping to get an interview with the bear in the near future.

    • Not for you

      Please let this be on the podcast or syrup drop.

      Sarcasm aside, thanks for posting details for each location instead of relying on averages.

  • Shogun

    You guys should cut back on large images of that bear. That thing is just too creepy.
    Also, the TV commercials these guys are using are simply atrocious.

    • dc2000

      I kind of prefer the old company’s marketing.. That bear just looks absolutely creepy. Who approved it? Shaw? Way to go.. those little robots on shaw commercials aren’t any better though.

    • Shogun

      Actually the old company’s name and marketing were just fine. Freedom Mobile is really just pretentious and frankly a misnomer. For it to be true ‘freedom’ is to pay nothing for the service of which of course no one expects. But ‘freedom’ from whatever else not sure what they’re angling for.

    • JD

      It’s because the bear has fingers and toes. Give him running shoes and make those fingers paws and bam.

    • Rose

      Just to make sure you can’t go to sleep tonight: the folks at Freedom say the bear “knows all” and that everything gets run past him first.

  • Surveillance

    More importantly, what has happened to Rogers? They’re really falling behind!

    • Ulysses Grant

      They are falling behind but not on charging on time and ripping off customers.

    • Humbre

      More users on the same spectrum. That’s what happened to Rogers.

  • Grumpel

    Its traffic free because none of their users have compatible devices. I have 3 friends on Wind and they all think they’re being transitioned to LTE with their current phones (Wind is definitely angling to make customers think this with their current adverts), but I had to break it to them that they’re gonna be stuck on the molasses-slow 3G until they upgrade their hardware.

    • Techguru86

      Welcome to band 66 ,devices aren’t supported I partially blame pre shaw owners who have put them into this situation, but it was the Rogers band that they got it from because of Mobilicity ,but if people complain enough they may make certain in market plans LTe compatible

    • YoGoerz

      Close but not quite.
      There have been three important spectrum auctions since WIND’s inception.

      The original was AWS-1 (1700/2100mHz). This is the band that most LTE networks are built on across North America, with all three of the big incumbents in Canada using it across their roll out.

      The next, which WIND could not find the capital in order to participate in, was the 700mHz auction. This band is lower and therefore travels further, and penetrates deeper through walls. This band is one that WIND did not secure, however again other carriers across North America use it to make sure you have a connection in basements and elevators, along with rural expansion.

      The third and final auction was for AWS-3. This auction had a huge set aside for new players, allowing WIND to secure almost ALL of the spectrum at a bargain price. The problem is that it is a new band, in that most manufacturers and networks do not support it. Along with this, some carriers are ignoring it, such as Rogers who didn’t even participate in this auction.

      WIND therefore has ONLY AWS-1 and AWS-3 spectrum. AWS-1 is currently being used for their HSPA (3G) network. AWS-3 is being used for their new LTE (4G) network.
      The spectrum that Mobilicity had was AWS-1, and some of that DID come to WIND. That spectrum, at least in the west, has already been deployed – but again only for 3G.
      They have elected for the time to use AWS-1 for 3G and AWS-3 for 4G. They will likely refarm the AWS-1 spectrum as more of their customers leave that network, allowing them to supplement the AWS-3 with AWS-1 which will improve the compatibility and likely the speeds on their new network. I would say that is a while out though.

      SO the TL:DR is that WIND doesn’t have enough spectrum in the AWS-1 range to make both an HSPA and LTE network.

    • Grumpel

      Okay?

  • therealsybarite

    good write up. as a wind customer with poor signal at home and work and no lte coverage coming for a while, i hope you asked about wifi calling. how’s it going to work? will it be supported on all devices, if not then which devices will support it? When will it be available? if they’re not willing to provide info now, when will they?

    • Rose

      More information should come through soon! Keep a look-out for it on the site.

    • MassDeduction

      I used VoWiFi recently on a T-Mobile SIM roaming in Canada. It worked great, the phone worked and sounded just great. This is a mature technology and Freedom should have no trouble deploying it and getting good results.

  • pvanb

    If you’re not willing to pay for the SpeedTest app (why not?) at least hide the ads before taking screenshots. Sheesh.

    • Ulysses Grant

      and it costs only .99 cents

    • Rose

      Yep, thought of that afterwards, when it was too late. Sorry for the eyesore guys.

  • Humbre

    How much time until their LTE gets so jammed that no one gets over 3 mb/s?
    1 year?
    At the end of the day, they lack good quality spectrum.

    • specialk2000

      For capacity, AWS3 is “good quality”.

    • Me Ted

      Could you please link to the source supporting your claim please?

    • Liquid5n0w

      Well LTE can put more data through the same space compared to hspa. So if everyone moved over and they brought all of the aws1 to LTE they could fit way more people.

    • MassDeduction

      It’ll be a long longer than one year. LTE is more spectrally efficient than HSPA, so more LTE users are required to get the airwaves “jammed”, for one. For another, only people with very new handsets who also opt for LTE-enabled plans will even be on the LTE network, meaning it will fill up more slowly than their HSPA spectrum did. Finally, even their HSPA spectrum took over a year to drop to that speed, I think.

  • YoGoerz

    This kind of reporting is amazing and so uniquely Canadian and MobileSyrup!
    Keep up this fantastic work ????

  • blzd

    I’ve been wondering exactly this. Thanks for the article.

    As of now hardly anyone is using their LTE, once more phones and plans are available I imagine these speeds will not hold up. Similar to how their 3G/H speeds are only 1/4th of the competition.

    I don’t mind not having the fastest speeds I just want a reasonable price without worrying about over charges. Paying $80 for faster mobile downloads doesn’t make sense to me personally.

  • YoGoerz

    I posted this as a comment bellow, but I think some of the readers here should read this to understand what Freedom Mobile’s infrastructure looks like, and why.
    If you have any questions PLEASE let me know ????

    There have been three important spectrum auctions since WIND’s inception.

    The original was AWS-1 (1700/2100mHz). This is the band that most LTE networks are built on across North America, with all three of the big incumbents in Canada using it across their roll out.

    The next, which WIND could not find the capital in order to participate in, was the 700mHz auction. This band is lower and therefore travels further, and penetrates deeper through walls. This band is one that WIND did not secure, however again other carriers across North America use it to make sure you have a connection in basements and elevators, along with rural expansion.

    The third and final auction was for AWS-3. This auction had a huge set aside for new players, allowing WIND to secure almost ALL of the spectrum at a bargain price. The problem is that it is a new band, in that most manufacturers and networks do not support it. Along with this, some carriers are ignoring it, such as Rogers who didn’t even participate in this auction.

    WIND therefore has ONLY AWS-1 and AWS-3 spectrum. AWS-1 is currently being used for their HSPA (3G) network. AWS-3 is being used for their new LTE (4G) network.
    The spectrum that Mobilicity had was AWS-1, and some of that DID come to WIND. That spectrum, at least in the west, has already been deployed – but again only for 3G.
    They have elected for the time to use AWS-1 for 3G and AWS-3 for 4G. They will likely refarm the AWS-1 spectrum as more of their customers leave that network, allowing them to supplement the AWS-3 with AWS-1 which will improve the compatibility and likely the speeds on their new network. I would say that is a while out though.

    SO the TL:DR is that WIND doesn’t have enough spectrum in the AWS-1 range to make both an HSPA and LTE network.

    • Rose

      Thanks for this great comment — lot of good context here! & thanks for kind words.

    • YoGoerz

      Thanks Rose!

  • Jackie DeSousa

    Fido has a data plan, 3gb of data for 15 dollars. You will have to use Google Hangouts for calling and text. Fongo sucks but is available to make calls/text for a small fee.
    You can use the sim in a mobile phone, since the plan comes with a number. One dollar per minute, so keep it in mind. I got this for all my kids. No time for Freedom, and their nonsense.

    • Balls O’Steele

      Really, Fido/Rogers is the best carrier because they offer this $15 deal. I don’t know why they offer it, because it’s so awesome when paired with Fongo for a Canadian phone number.

      Only problem with Fongo is the microphone is weak on the Nexus 5x and it eats battery because you have to turn off battery saver in order to receive phone calls

    • MassDeduction

      Perhaps they offer it hoping that people will use more than 3GB and pay overage. I note that Rogers’ Small Business flex plans have a $10/2GB overage rate, which works out to the same $5/GB value as this Fido 3GB data-only plan. The $40/4GB Fido late-November promo plan that includes talk and text is also similar value (Fido’s provincial talk and text plan is $20, so an additional $20 for 4GB of data works out to $5/GB). So Rogers has pegged the included and/or the overage data rate at $5/GB for many of their newer plans.

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  • Brigitte Laskowski

    Just to let you know Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL both use the Snapdragon 821Chip that uses upto LTE Cat. 12 speed and x12 LTE with download speeds upto 600Mbps, multi-gigabyte 802.11ad & 802.11ac WIFI. So yeah, the Google Pixel and Pixel XL Phones can handle Freedom Mobiles Band 66 too.

    • specialk2000

      And where exactly did you hear the Pixel supports band 66?

    • Brigitte Laskowski

      Why don’t you go to the Snapdragon website and read up on the 821 chip specs? It’s from where I copied my information. I didn’t make it up. Also read about the modem that’s used in the chip. Then read about what chip and modom that’s used in the LG V20. Notice anything? Freedom is trying to get customers who want to be on their LTE to use only their phones, because they get a piece of what a customer would pay for the phone. With the Pixel phones, you have to buy them outright and Freedom does not make any money off of you except for your phone service plan.

    • MassDeduction

      But nowhere in the quote you provided does it indicate that they support band 66. The online resources I looked for indicate the following supported LTE bands:

      “FDD LTE: B 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/20/25/26/28/29/30
      TDD LTE: B 41”

      Remember that something the phone is capable of, and what the OEM chooses to implement, are not always the same. I’m sure Freedom would be ecstatic if it supported band 66, as would the U.S. carriers who’ve begun deploying the spectrum.

    • Liquid5n0w

      The pixel does not support the new freedom mobile network as the chip is incapable of connecting to band 66 LTE.

  • David

    This clearly reads like a sponsored piece initiated by Freedom to target the critical mass of mobile enthusiasts which represents that part of their subscribers.

    Make no mistake, the carefully tailored words of O’Shaughnessy pander to the 3G holds outs while giving hope that they are making progress.

    The speed tests represent a small sample size with a network that’s likely running mostly empty. Also note that tests where probably all completed outside. I’ll trust PCMag and their conclusion when it publishes its comparison.

    O’Shaughnessy and the Shaw marketing gurus know and are starting to read how existing customers are feeling ignored. They know they are pricing themselves like the Big 3 right now and this article tries to make the argument that Freedom LTE is an equal product and that 6GB is an awesome deal. Note that it isn’t mentioned that it’s actually 3GB.

    • TOmtlVAN

      You are cynical! I think its relevant that a blog titled Mobile Syrup report on this. What in this article is not factual? You are also critical that an executive is on message?

      Like them or not however how is this not progress for their company?

    • David

      I feel like this is less news than an orchestrated marketing piece. I’m a customer, I appreciate progress but in corporate speak there are key messages here and some important ones missing.

      From the sounds of it, they will not migrating 3G customers to LTE as easily as we all had hoped – strategically keeping a “traffic-free” network free from any traffic. This is understood by how O’Shaughnessy makes mention of the 3G network several times.

      Realistically, there is no business case purchasing old technology for customers that spend less when the ultimate goal is to refarm AWS-1 and increase ARPU.

      In the cynicism there is some realism and that’s that Freedom LTE has some real drawbacks. A very small footprint, an obscure band and lack of band layers so that the LTE signal will perform just as well under different scenarios. So, an indoor speed test would have helped in making the argument that Freedom LTE is competitive with the Big 3.

      Alek Krstajic said it best recently when he was more clear about management’s intentions. It was funny to hear that he called $40, 4GB plans unsustainable when he’s touting his own LTE plan when speaking to customers and not investors.

    • TOmtlVAN

      Ok fair enough. I’m not a FM customer, and I thought you sounded overly negative. I get where you are coming from now.

      I spend most of time in Toronto. I have been a Rogers customer forever. Their network is no where near as good as it used to be. I am lucky that if my bill goes to 150 a month due to overages for example it doesn’t break me. What does bother me is that I’m paying more for a network that is noticeably worsening month in month out. What I am realizing is I use Wi-Fi at home (Rogers has poor signal there), I take the subway to work (driving takes forever) and my relationship is now with my iPhone, then why do I stick with Rogers, they are not a utility there is choice. So if FM’s phones work on average as good as Rogers, works where I need it and where it doesn’t I’m on Wi-Fi anyway why would I stick with a company that won’t stick with me? So yeah I might as well try their marketing.

      So yeah I don’t know what their management said about $40 a month but even twice that month in month out would be cheaper than I have now.

      I’m not alone

    • Me Ted

      I don’t know. It looks like Mobilesyrup has done their due diligence here. They’ve supplied their results and they look promising. You’ve supplied – well – nothing.

    • Me Ted

      “They know they are pricing themselves like the Big 3 right now a”
      Can I have what you’re smoking please? Thanks.

      “Note that it isn’t mentioned that it’s actually 3GB.”
      It’s not. It’s 6gb for those of us who are already on the network.

    • David

      The new benchmark for value was set last fall at $40 for 4GB on a Big 3 flanker brand. For the first time we see fair market value per gigabyte if we compare ourselves to OCED countries.

      Without this offer in market, Freedom’s $45, 3GB which is discounted to $40, 6GB for one year for new customers or permamemently for existing doesn’t offer enough value based on the amount of conditions you have using Freedom LTE. Freedom LTE is being positioned as equal to the LTE of mature networks. This is not true but for the average consumer this is the expectation that is being set by the marketing.

      I am a customer, and will continue to use Freedom service. I too hope I will one day get LTE on my 3G plan but my criticism is merely on the article that is more a PR piece rather than an objective, realistic look at what Freedom is currently doing.

      The executive goal here is to drive ARPU to $45 and keep LTE as a premium offering by pricing at that sweet spot

    • specialk2000

      Public mobile has zero retail presence and no support for anyone who isn’t somewhat techsavvy, no device subsidy options, I wouldn’t consider them offering $40 for 4GB a standard because they offer much much less in other ways, even compared to Freedom.

    • Rose

      Thanks for your comment David, just want to clarify a few points. We actually initiated the article and the extent of what we received from Freedom was two SIMs and an LG V20 and ZTE Grand X 4, which we will be returning following expected Vancouver testing. Not all tests were completed outside — it was mixed. I’m not trying to make an argument with the article, simply relaying results. I agree it will be interesting to see results when more users have joined the network, as well.

    • David

      Thank you Rose, I’m happy that you read my comments and followed up on my points. I was wrong and I appreciate that you’re keeping your reporting impartial.

  • hunkyleepickle

    Would love to see a similar article for Vancouver, since i’m considering giving Freedom a go in 2017 at some point.

    • MassDeduction

      The article notes that a future article on Vancouver is coming.

  • fruvous

    Rogers’ skimping on infrastructure is showing here. Doubt there will be any improvement any time soon since they just wrote off $1B of stuff.

  • The real story is how poorly the rest of the network us fairing. It’s been deteriorating since July to the point now I have to change carriers. I was a raving fan for over five years, and am so disappointed…

    • specialk2000

      Out of curiousity, how has it changed for the worse in these 5 years (coverage, data speeds etc.)? And is this in the same areas where it use to be good but now isn’t?

    • Hello Moto

      For me, it was bad 2 years ago, then it got better after they did network upgrades, then it got bad again after a while when Wind added too many new customers to the network.

    • MassDeduction

      I understand why Freedom might want to retain the option to charge a premium for LTE plans, but I think Freedom should let any customer with a compatible phone use the LTE network in the short-term as an introductory offer, just to reduce congestion on the HSPA network for other users and to let people get a taste of LTE to tempt them to jump to an LTE plan after the introductory period.

  • DrSmith

    A shame the spectrum (LTE) is an unusual (rare) part of the spectrum. Not likely to trade up my iPhone anytime soon (read a couple of years). Hope the 3G service/coverage improves above all and does not suffer during the LTE network upgrade investments

  • Cody Williams

    I will stick with the fido tablet data sim in a phone with fongo. Unlimited calling and texting and 3 gigs data for $17 a month. 😉

    • Balls O’Steele

      Exactly. I don’t know why more people don’t take advantage of this.

    • Hello Moto

      I would have, but when I tried Fongo over a full wifi or LTE connection, the people on the other end kept cutting in an out and they complained that they couldn’t hear me either. The Fongo app also kept getting disconnected (and staying disconnected) when moving from wifi to LTE until I opened the app again. Thirdly, I tried test calling my Fongo number/app from various phones/providers and VOIP services, and found that for some providers, the calls don’t go through to the Fongo app and the voicemail I made didn’t get saved to Fongo’s system either. At the very least, voicemails should be reliably saved to Fongo’s system so I can check them later if the calls don’t reach me, but that wasn’t the case in my experience. Some people can call you and leave a voice message but you’d never know because even their voice message doesn’t get saved.

    • Distract2

      1- Fongo call quality is terrible
      2- This isnt unlimited calling, remember , you only have 3GB/month
      Its fine for kids and students, nothing more.

    • Cody Williams

      Not sure why it is terrible for you. Could be a combination of things like phone, carrier, connection etc. 3 gigs will be basically unlimited for most people…if you were a rare person without wifi, even if you used ALL the data on a call, that’s equal to 6 THOUSAND mins. I remind you it $17 a month. It works flawlessly for myself and the people I know who use it.

  • Like a snail?

  • Mikie

    Well done Mobile Syrup for an actual DECENT ARTICLE.

    But yes as it was mentioned .. looks like Rogers has been lacking in Network Speeds these days.. can’t seem to handle their 10 million clients I guess

    • MassDeduction

      I get significantly better Rogers performance than that where I live, and significantly worse Bellus performance here. In the annual PC Magazine tests there are cities where Bellus wins, and cities where Rogers wins. I think a lot of it has to do with who is the most congested/oversubscribed carrier in an area. Go with the second-most popular network in your area and you’ll probably have some of the best overall performance. 🙂

    • Distract2

      I dont understand why they cant afford the adfree version of speedtest. Also, their Rogers results dont match what I get when I visit Toronto. I usually get at least 110 Mb/s DL.

  • Wasted Mass

    are you experiencing YouTube lag, I can’t steam HD on freedoms LTE in Vancouver

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  • Igor Babichev

    I remember there were talks about merger/parntership btw WIND/Freedom and Videotron couple of years back. If I’m not mistaken, Videotron is sitting on 700 MHz spectrum licenses for BC, AB and ON, which I don’t think they are really intending to use. It would be really great if Shaw could somehow get a hold of these licenses in order to improve coverage and building penetration…

    • specialk2000

      A while ago when asked that question in a town hall session, CEO Alek Krstajic said (I am paraphrasing the best I can) the reason they haven’t or aren’t going to buy that is because when the time comes for the 600mhz auction they would be less likely to get a set aside if they already have low band spectrum, etc.

      There is also 10Mhz of AWS1 in the GTA and 2500Mhz spectrum for Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver that Videotron is holding which Freedom could use to have LTE work on most current devices.

    • Rimtu Kahn

      freedom and videotron need not merge, they have to do what Bellus did, sign a network sharing agreement and build out the network jointly to benefit each other.

  • Igor Babichev

    I don’t know why people keep comparing top LTE speeds when in fact ping is what matters most. Full HD bitrate can hardly get to 20 mbps. The faster your speed is, the quicker you drain your monthly data allowance. And If in case of WIND you are going to be throttled down for the rest of the billing cycle, in case of Big3 you might end up with a large charge for extra data (and then no data at all if you exceed the maximum allowed cap for overage charge). WIND’s 6 Gb will deplete in less than 10 minutes at 100 Mbps download speeds 🙂

    • Tyrannosaur3464

      Technically there is no cap for data. You can continue going past a data block with the Big 3. There’s options for blocks @ $50 as well as $100. Once you hit these though, you can go as high as you want.

    • specialk2000

      Isn’t that just the max they can charge you in overage without your consent. I don’t think it becomes unlimited at that point. I think your thinking of roam like home max charges.

  • Thomas C. Riddell

    Why should buy a new phone and Change my Grandfather Plan at 29.00 a month
    I got all data I need and Fast enough for me
    Shaw may have change Winds name but I Plan is Staying till they kick me off it
    Then I may go else where just to keep my phone.

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  • How many tests did you guys actually do? I doubt the TELUS speeds are that bad consistently.
    I’ve used PM downtown and get much better speeds than that.

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