Canada ranks 12th in the world for overall data speed, says Open Signal

Cell Tower photo - opensignal Canada data speeds

OpenSignal has released its latest Global State of Mobile Networks report, providing a comprehensive snapshot of the overall global wireless landscape.

The report demonstrates that LTE steadily continues to displace 3G and that Wi-Fi remains an important feature for smartphone users, especially in Canada.

“Since our last global mobile networks report, we’ve seen average overall mobile data speeds increase steadily in countries worldwide. But we’re also seeing continued reliance on Wi-Fi networks as supplemental means of accessing the mobile internet. We may be in the 4G age, but, as always, consumers are using a multitude of wireless technologies,” states OpenSignal.

Overall Speed

Overall Speeds Chart OpenSignal Report

In terms of overall speed of data networks, Canada has improved marginally from 18.31Mbps in the last report to 20.26Mbps. 87 different countries were included in this section of the report’s findings, and even in an age of rapid wireless improvement, the results remain extremely broad.

Canada is the only country in the west to reach 20Mbps, giving the nation a ranking of 12th on the list of the world’s fastest national networks. This is up two places from its previous 14th position slot.

South Korea maintains its first place position, though the country’s average mobile data connection speed dropped slightly since the last report was issued, to 37.54Mbps. Other countries that crossed the 30Mbps threshold include Norway, Hungary and Singapore.

Canada lands over 20 positions above its southern neighbour, the United States, which averages a much lower mobile connection speed of 12.48 Mbps.  The lowest average speed recorded among the countries on this list is Costa Rica at 2.69 Mbps.

Time on Wi-Fi

Time on Wi-Fi Chart Open Signal Report

Unlike the last Global State of Mobile Networks report, this recent edition also focuses on the time spent on Wi-Fi by smartphone users around the world. 96 countries were included in this section of the report and of these nations, 38 had time on Wi-Fi scores of 50 percent or greater.

Canada takes a massive leap from the last section to place fourth in the Wi-Fi component, behind the Netherlands, China and Germany. According to the report, Canadians spend approximately 60.65 percent of their time on mobile networks connected to Wi-Fi.

This represents a 10 percent higher rate than the United States, whose residents spend just over half their time on mobile networks connected to Wi-Fi. The lowest recorded time on Wi-Fi of the countries included on this list was Nigeria, whose residents spend just over 11 percent of their time connected to Wi-Fi networks.

For this report 19,257,135,678 data points were collected from 1,095,667 users of OpenSignal’s speed testing app between November 1st, 2016 and January 31st, 2017.

Image Credit: Razor512

Source: Global State of Mobile Networks


  • MoYeung

    “Canada is the only country in the west to reach 20Mbps, giving the nation a ranking of 12th on the list of the world’s fastest national networks.”

    This is hard to believe.

    • Ipse

      It’s based on their sample. Whenever I used OpenSignal to locate a tower or check surrounding ones, I turned OFF data upload to their servers, so that’s a missed data point.
      Although even on Videotron in West Ottawa I get 20-something Mbps – or 100+ if I force the 20MHz band (band 7 in my area).
      The point is that their data is only as accurate as users make it.

  • It’s Me

    I found speeds in Costa Rica were decent. Prices were awesome.

    • Samuel Gomez Recuero

      Been there/lived there and I agreed. beautiful place too

    • It’s Me

      One of my favorite places so far.

    • KiwiBri

      Were you on roaming or did you get a local SIM?

    • It’s Me

      Local SIM. It was 2015, but from what I recall it was about $5 for 500mb.

  • LarryD

    Now if they do the same kind of study regarding data and phone plan pricing, I would bet that we rank quite low on the totem pole….

    • Ali F.

      Internet in my home country Lebanon sucks and is very expensive but to my great surprise I discovered yesterday that data is cheaper. That for sure changed in the past two years since the last time I visited. So you are right, we must rank low…

    • GottaLoveCapitalism

      Well actually the CRTC did that and we’re less expensive than the US for the same services (excl. voice-only plans).

      Love the straight up denial everytime a report comes out showing that, on average, Canadians get access to much better networks in terms of speed & reliability than Americans do.

  • Samuel Gomez Recuero

    12th in speed and #1 in price hike!

  • fred

    Well of course speed is good in Canada. Our caps are so low that the network is often unused outside peak hours.

  • KiwiBri

    I guess our high subscriptions ($ amount) are paying for something..

    • It’s Me

      Top 3 in the world for rates (and margins) gets us 12th fastest in the world…

  • Smanny

    Canada sucks when it comes to it’s pricing and the amount of data you are allowed to use in the carriers given plans. The plans in Canada really suck wind. I guess that is one of the reasons why Wind mobile changed to freedom mobile, because they really sucked wind.

    • MoYeung

      Canada sucks… Hear, hear!

    • Warren Chang

      Highest wireless prices per capita? Gotta be number 1 in something right?

    • Russ

      You should consider switching to Public Mobile. It’s a Telus subsidiary that offers discount plans, but with the advantage of the excellent Telus/Bell network. You don’t get the same degree of customer service and support, but that’s why it costs less. I’m effectively paying $40/month for 1Gb of data (I spend most of my time on wifi).

      Canada’s wireless providers are for-profit businesses that are seeking to make as much money for shareholders as possible. The best way to generate profit is to get as many customers as possible to pay as much as they’re willing to pay. So, they can charge what they want, and we can choose to pay it or not.

    • Terry Schonauer

      The cheapest option is a plan in Manitoba or Saskatchewan as they prices are approximately half what you would pay in Ontario for the same plan. I have unlimited Canada wide calling, unlimited international messaging, voicemail, call display and 5Gb of data for $65/month. There are ways of getting one of these plans regardless of your province. For example, go to carrier of your choice, purchase a cheap phone, activate online choosing MB/SK mailing address (with online billing there is no paper bill sent anyway) and then choose your number, sometimes you have to choose a number from that province but you can change that later or even port your number in. As long as your mailing address is in that province you will get the cheaper rates and the carrier really has no way of checking to see if you live there. There are even people online who will handle it all for you to ensure no problems (for a fee of course).

  • Chris

    Bell even calls their fiber network “fibe” so that people automatically think fiber. It’s deception. They ran a project called “line conditioning” for 6+ years which was to “groom” old copper lines for faster speeds. They then got fiber to the “node/opi” which converted to copper and ran to your house/place.

    They only started the real fiber project a couple of years ago. Long way to go. Almost everyone outside of the city is still on old copper… but you got that new fibe network!!! Wooh!

    • Captain Henry Morgan

      Bell Fibe is called Dial-up network in South Korea. LOL

    • naviz

      That’s horrible.
      Telus is at least putting in a fibre strand to each unit in apartment buildings and to the premise for houses for free. Can’t wait for those resellers to get access to it!

  • naviz

    But but…according to Telus, we are #2:
    www. telus. com/en/bc/mobility/network/
    “Canada has the 2nd fastest wireless network in the developed world based on advertised speeds, following only behind Denmark.”

    Also, the other 2 facts are false as well…