Regional carriers SaskTel and Videotron score high in new wireless network performance study


A newly released study from J.D. Power says Canada’s regional carriers are among the country’s best providers of wireless service.

To rank each of the different networks, J.D. Power looked at how they performed when it came to call, messaging and data quality. To do this, J.D. Power used a metric it developed called “problems per 100 connections,” or PP100 for short, to measure how often a a person experienced a problem with a particular aspect of their network. The company surveyed 13,000 people for the report.

The most common network issue Canadians cited were problems with their data connections. According to the report, the average Canadian cellphone owner experiences about 14 data-related problems per 100 connections. When it comes to voice, that number decreases to 10 problems per 100 connections, and with text it’s even lower at five problems per 100 connections.

In terms of the most common grievance Canadians had with their data connections, slow downloads at 15 problems per 100 connections were the most cited problem. Connection errors, at 10 problems per 100 connections, were the next most cited problem.

When it came ranking individual networks, J.D. Power separated the country into three different areas—east, west and Ontario—and tried to gauge the overall performance of each network in those areas. In this regard, regional, not nation-wide, networks scored the best. SaskTel took the crown in J.D. Power’s west region, and Videotron did the same in the organization’s east region. In Ontario, Bell did the best among consumers, with Telus coming in a close second.

Rogers, which advertised itself as “Canada’s reliable network,” consistently ranked the worst across all three regions. In Ontario, it’s average of 10 problems per 100 connections was only beat by Wind Mobile, which had an average of 16 problems per 100 connections, the highest of any network in Canada

“With the high penetration of smartphones, the focal point for measuring wireless network quality is data. A single PP100 network quality difference represents an impact to a customer’s connectivity, the ability to engage in daily activities and ultimately the level of satisfaction with their carrier,” said Adrian Chung, account director at J.D. Power.

Related: Help us map wireless service in Canada