Voila! The fastest city in Canada for mobile speeds is Montreal

Posted on December 19, 2018 by Kevin Fitchard

The fastest mobile data speeds in Canada have a particularly francophone flair. Montreal topped both our download and upload charts in OpenSignal’s analysis of fastest cities for overall speed in Canada.

OpenSignal’s overall speed metrics measure the average download and upload speeds users see across 3G and 4G networks, taking into account how often users are connected to each technology. They provide an excellent indication of the typical speeds users experience every day. Though overall speeds are usual much slower than the speeds customers would see over unfettered 4G connections, Canadian city-dwellers have little to worry about. We found that both overall download and upload speeds were superb in the country’s 12 largest metro areas. Overall download speeds averaged well above 30 Mbps in all 12, while upload averages in each city topped 7 Mbps.

In overall download speed, we actually had a tie for fastest city. Edmonton and Montreal both had scores of 46.9 Mbps, which are speeds you’d be hard pressed to match except in the most advanced 4G cities in the world. Three other cities, however, averaged 4G download speeds in excess of 40 Mbps: Calgary, Quebec City and Kitchener.

In overall upload, Montreal stood alone at the top of our chart with an average speed of 12.6 Mbps, more than a megabit faster than nearest competitor Kitchener. Upload speeds were high in many of Canada’s cities, though. Seven of the 12 we analyzed had overall upload scores greater than 10 Mbps.

How is it that Canada is able to maintain such high levels of speed in its biggest cities? As we’ve noted before, Canada’s operators, particularly Bell and Telus, have made significant investment in their urban 4G infrastructure. In our last Canada report, we found that Bell and Telus had 4G download speeds in excess of 60 Mbps in Montreal and Toronto, illustrating the advantages of their infrastructure and spectrum sharing agreements. In Toronto, Telus managed to exceed 70 Mbps in our 4G download speed results and came close to 20 Mbps in our upload speed measurements.

But 4G speeds alone aren’t enough to produce such high overall speed scores. All three of Canada’s national operators are approaching 90% in our 4G availability metrics, meaning our users are able to find an LTE connection on their networks in nearly nine out of every 10 attempts. That high level of 4G access means consumers spend relatively little time connected to slower 3G networks, which provides a big boost to their overall speed scores.

If you’re a Canadian mobile user, we’d love to hear about the speeds you experience every day on your provider’s network. Share the details in the comments section below or on Twitter.

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