For the third year in a row, Telus “edged out Bell” as the fastest national network carrier, according to PCMag’s ‘Fastest Networks Canada’ report.
The magazine drove through all 10 provinces and hit 29 major and minor cities to “test speed and coverage” on Bell, Shaw Communication’s Freedom Mobile, Rogers, SaskTel, Telus and Vidéotron.
PCMag attributes much of Telus’ winnings to the fact that it shares a lot of its spectrum and towers with Bell. This itself gives both carriers “a massive amount of shared resources.”
Telus also has “a highly optimized core network for routing connections through the internet, which seems to have made the critical difference in some of our cities,” PCMag said.
On various points, including average download and upload speeds, and time on LTE, PCMag determined that Telus’ speed score was 99 out of 100. Bell’s score was 97 out of 100, while Rogers was 85 out of 100.
Concerning average download speeds, Telus hit 242.11Mbps. Bell resulted in 227.81MBps, while Rogers resulted in 128.94Mbps.
It is worth adding though that while Rogers came in last per the PCMag report, more recently it scored high points in another report. The P3 report indicated that the company scored 857 points, while Bell came in second at 837 and Telus with 826. It added that Rogers offers slightly more cellular coverage in Canada compared to other carriers.
On average upload speeds, Telus came in at 33.11Mbps. Bell’s was 32.94Mbps, while Rogers’ was 31.60Mbps.
On Telus’ network, time connected on LTE was 100 percent, Bell was 99 percent, while Rogers was 100 percent.
PCMag indicated that average speeds have “continued to increase,” and added that “nationwide, every carrier was at least 20 percent faster than it was last year.”
To get these incredibly fast speeds though, the report indicates that a user needs a modern flagship smartphone. This year the team used the Samsung Galaxy S10, which is “the fastest LTE phone currently available in Canada,” according to the report.
The report used the Ookla Speedtest to crowdsource data, it added.
Because Telus and Bell both have such great networks, according to the report, PCMag even inferred that in the future the two networks could “start using some of their existing spectrum for 5G.”
For Rogers, PCMag noted that cities have decent service “that doesn’t quite measure up to Bell or Telus.”
And because SaskTel runs much of its towers operated by Bell and Telus, in Saskatchewan, the three networks are very similar in performance, the report concluded.
It added that Freedom and Eastlink are at the bottom. While “Freedom’s speeds have been improving over the past few years,” the carrier has spent more time coverage rather than speed.
“Eastlink is handicapped by its very limited spectrum allotment,” the report noted. “While it’s also been adding coverage in New Brunswick and Newfoundland, the download results we’ve seen from the carrier are the slowest of all.”
Unsurprisingly, the report noted that speeds suffered in rural parts when compared to urban areas.
Tests were done mostly during business hours from August 7th to August 31st and different cities were visited on different days. The report indicated that 19,600 test runs were conducted.