Canada

5G Experience Report
February 2022

Opensignal is the independent global standard for analyzing consumer mobile experience. Our industry reports are the definitive guide to understanding the true experience consumers receive on wireless networks.

Author
Hardik Khatri Technical Analyst

Key Findings

Our Canadian 5G users continue to enjoy the best multiplayer mobile gaming experience on Rogers

Once again, Rogers wins Opensignal's 5G Games Experience award — this time with a score of 81.8 points (out of 100), ahead of Telus and Bell's scores of 80 points and 78 points, respectively. However, compared to the last report, our users across all three networks reported declines ranging between 3.9 and 4.9 points. As a result, all three carriers' scores placed in the Good (75<85) category for 5G Games Experience.

Rogers edges out the competition to win the 5G Upload Speed award

In the last report, we saw a three-way split for the 5G Upload Speed award, but Rogers is the outright winner this time. Our users on its network experienced the fastest average 5G upload speed of 20.8 Mbps — 2.9 Mbps (15.9%) faster than Bell and 1.6 Mbps (8.5%) faster than Telus on average. This resulted from a 1.3 Mbps improvement reported by our Rogers' users and a 1.7 Mbps decline reported by those on Bell since the last report. Meanwhile, Telus' score showed no statistically significant difference from that in the previous report.

Telus and Rogers jointly win the 5G Voice App Experience award

Rogers won the 5G Voice App Experience award outright in the previous report. But this time, Rogers and Telus share the 5G Voice App Experience award, as our users in Canada did not see a statistically significant difference in their experience on both 5G networks. This change occurred from a slight decline in scores reported by users across all three networks — from 1.3 points on Telus to 2.3 points on Bell. However, these declines were not big enough to affect the Voice App Experience ratings; all three operators remain in the Good (80<87) category with very close scores.

Bell and Telus dominate Canada on average 5G download speeds

Bell and Telus have jointly won the 5G Download Speed award ever since we published the first Canada 5G Experience report in April 2021. Both operators continue to remain the joint winners this time with statistically tied scores averaging above 150 Mbps. Bell and Telus maintain a substantial lead over Rogers, as our users on both networks experienced average 5G download speeds that were 68.6-72.1% faster than those on Rogers.

Users on Bell and Telus enjoy an Excellent 5G Video Experience

Bell and Telus are joint-winners of the 5G Video Experience award with statistically tied scores margining around the 80 points mark (on a 100-point scale), which place in the Excellent (75 or above) category. An Excellent rating means users enjoyed a very consistent experience across all video streaming providers and resolutions tested, with fast loading times and almost non-existent stalling.

Rogers defends the 5G Availability and jointly wins 5G Reach awards, as Bell and Telus are closing

Rogers continues to lead on 5G Availability with a score of 11.1%, which is statistically unchanged from the previous report. But, in comparison, our Bell and Telus users reported improvements of 1.7 and 2.4 percentage points, respectively, on account of which both carriers were less than 1.5 percentage points away from challenging Rogers for the 5G Availability award. We saw different result in 5G Reach this time, as Bell and Telus saw noteworthy increases of 1.8 points in their scores. As a result, Rogers and Bell share the 5G Reach award, with statistically tied scores.

Introduction

Opensignal's third 5G Experience Report on Canada reveals a highly competitive landscape as all three operators are joint or outright winners for at least three or more award categories. Rogers remains ahead of the competition in 5G experience, but we've seen quite a few changes in the awards table compared to the last report. While Rogers remains the sole winner of 5G Availability and 5G Games Experience awards, it now shares the 5G Reach award with Bell and the 5G Voice App Experience award with Telus. Further, Rogers also broke out of a three-way statistical tie we saw last time around and is now an outright winner of 5G Upload Speed. On the other hand, Telus and Bell continue to lead on 5G Video Experience and 5G Download Speed.

Canada's operators are currently focused on expanding their 5G services nationally. While Bell now offers 5G in many new locations and is on track to cover 70% Canada's population, Telus claims to have already achieved this milestone. On the other hand, Rogers has announced the launch of its standalone 5G core network using 2.5 GHz, AWS and 600 MHz spectrum. Canadian carriers have not deployed in the 3.5 GHz band yet, as they need to wait for current users in urban areas to vacate these frequencies first. As operators rely on low capacity spectrum bands due to the limited availability of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band, this is likely to be one of the reasons why Canada's uplift in experience from 4G to 5G is lower than that seen in many other 5G countries. To address this problem, Canada's Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) is considering making 25 unpaired 10 MHz blocks of spectrum in the 3650-3900 MHz range available for auction.

In this report, we examine the 5G experience of our users on the three national mobile network operators in Canada: Bell, Rogers and Telus; over the 90 day period beginning on October 1, 2021, and ending on December 29, 2021, to see how they fared. We have also published a companion report which analyzes the overall experience of all our mobile users in Canada — nationally and regionally.

Opensignal Awards Table

5G Mobile Experience Awards, Canada
February 2022, Canada Report
5G Availability
5G Reach
5G Video Experience
5G Games Experience
5G Voice App Experience
5G Download Speed
5G Upload Speed
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Mobile Experience Awards Winners
February 2022, Canada
5G Availability
5G Games Experience
5G Upload Speed
Mobile Experience Awards Draws
February 2022, Canada
5G Reach
5G Video Experience
5G Voice App Experience
5G Download Speed
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Overview

Click on metric labels below for a quick preview
5G Availability
in %
Bell
10.1
Rogers
11.1
Telus
9.7
0 3.75 7.5 11.25 15
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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National Analysis

5G Availability

Rogers holds on to the 5G Availability award, with a score of 11.1%. This means that Opensignal's 5G users in Canada continue to spend the highest proportion of time connected to 5G on Rogers’ network. While our Rogers users did not see any statistically significant difference in 5G Availability compared to last time, those on Telus and Bell saw their scores improve. Our Telus 5G users were connected 9.7% of the time to 5G networks — up by 2.4 percentage points since the last report, while those on Bell saw their average 5G Availability increase from 8.5% to 10.1% this time.

Having breakneck average 5G download speeds is only useful when users have a 5G connection. Opensignal's 5G Availability compares the amount of time 5G users spend connected to 5G — the higher the percentage, the more time users on a network are connected to 5G.

5G Availability
in %
Bell
10.1
Rogers
11.1
Telus
9.7
0 3.75 7.5 11.25 15
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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5G Reach

Rogers and Bell are joint winners of the 5G Reach award, with statistically tied scores. Additionally, Telus has also narrowed the gap with Rogers — from 1.4 to 0.3 points — as both rivals saw noteworthy increases of 1.8 points in their scores, compared to a smaller increase of 0.7 points for Rogers. Opensignal's 5G Reach represents the proportion of locations a 5G user visits that have a 5G signal. In simple terms, 5G Reach measures the mobile experience in all the locations that matter most to everyday users — i.e. all the places where they live, work and travel.

5G Reach
in 0-10 points
Bell
4.4
Rogers
4.8
Telus
4.4
0 1.25 2.5 3.75 5
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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5G Video Experience

Bell and Telus are joint winners of the 5G Video Experience award with scores of 79.7 and 80.6 points, respectively. Meanwhile, Rogers comes further behind with 72.6 points (on a scale of 0 to 100). With these scores, Bell and Telus placed in the Excellent (75 or above) category, while Rogers placed in the Very Good (65<75) category.

5G Video Experience
in 0-100 points
Bell
79.7
Rogers
72.6
Telus
80.6
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Opensignal's 5G Video Experience quantifies the quality of video streamed to mobile devices by measuring real-world video streams over an operator's networks where users are connected to 5G technology. An Excellent rating means users enjoyed a very consistent experience across all users, video streaming providers and resolutions tested, with fast loading times and almost non-existent stalling. And as we descend to lower ratings, loading times lengthen, and users encounter more stops and stutters in video streams, most notably at higher resolutions.

5G Games Experience

Rogers remains the outright winner of the 5G Games Experience award, this time with a score of 81.8 points (out of 100), which means our 5G users in Canada continue to perceive the top experience while playing multiplayer mobile games on Rogers' network. Meanwhile, Telus and Bell are close behind with 80.0 and 78.0 points, respectively. However, the scores of all three operators have declined since the last report — Bell users reported the greatest decline of 4.9 points, while Rogers and Telus saw their scores drop by 4.4 points and 3.9 points, respectively. These scores mean all three operators now place in the Good (75<85) category for 5G Games Experience.

5G Games Experience
in 0-100 points
Bell
78.0
Rogers
81.8
Telus
80.0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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5G Games Experience quantifies the experience when playing real-time multiplayer mobile games on mobile devices connected to a 5G network. A Good rating means that most users did not experience a delay between their actions and the game; the gameplay experience was generally controllable.

5G Voice App Experience

Our users in Canada did not see a statistically significant difference in their experience when using over-the-top voice apps between Rogers and Telus' 5G networks. As a result, Rogers and Telus share the 5G Voice App Experience award — unlike last time when Rogers won the award outright. This change occurred from a slight decline in scores reported by users across all three networks — from 1.3 points on Telus to 2.3 points on Bell. Despite these declines, all three operators place in the Good category (80<87) with very close scores for 5G Voice App Experience.

5G Voice App Experience
in 0-100 points
Bell
80.3
Rogers
82.1
Telus
81.7
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Opensignal's 5G Voice App Experience measures the quality of experience for over-the-top (OTT) voice services — mobile voice apps such as WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger — on 5G connections. It uses a model derived from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)-based approach for quantifying overall voice call quality and a series of calibrated technical parameters. This model characterizes the exact relationship between the technical measurements and perceived call quality. 5G Voice App Experience for each operator is calculated on a scale from 0 to 100.

5G Download Speed

Bell and Telus users continue to enjoy the fastest average 5G download speed in Canada, with statistically tied scores averaging above 150 Mbps. With these scores, Bell and Telus remain joint winners of the 5G Download Speed award and maintain a significant lead on Rogers — this time between 62.2-65.4 Mbps.

However, our users across all three networks saw their speeds drop, compared to last time. The average 5G download speeds fell by 21.9 Mbps (12.5%) on Bell, 14.4 Mbps (13.7%) on Rogers and 12.3 Mbps (7.3%) on Telus. This is likely due to the growing adoption of 5G; as more users connect to 5G, the demand for data and network capacity on these networks increases, thus causing congestion.

5G Download Speed
in Mbps
Bell
152.9
Rogers
90.7
Telus
156.1
0 40 80 120 160
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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5G Upload Speed

All three operators shared the 5G Upload Speed award in the previous report, but we have an outright winner this time. Our users on Rogers saw their average 5G upload speeds improve by 1.3 Mbps (6.6%) to 20.8 Mbps, on average. On the other hand, our users on Bell saw the speeds dip by 1.7 Mbps (8.7%) while those on Telus' didn't see a statistically significant change compared to the previous report. As a result, Rogers solely claims the 5G Upload Speed award, with a lead of 1.6 Mbps over Telus and 2.9 Mbps over Bell.

While download speeds always attract the most attention, upload speeds are becoming increasingly important to users. For example, users benefit from fast upload speeds when sharing high-quality photos or videos on social media or sending large file attachments by email.

5G Upload Speed
in Mbps
Bell
17.9
Rogers
20.8
Telus
19.1
0 6.25 12.5 18.75 25
The brackets represent confidence intervals.
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Regional Analysis

For the first time, Opensignal has analyzed the 5G experience in four major regions of Canada to understand how 5G experience varies across the country on three national carriers — Bell, Rogers and Telus — and a regional 5G carrier Videotron.

Bell and Telus share the regional 5G Video Experience awards in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario with Excellent ratings. Both operators also garnered an Excellent category in Quebec, however, Videotron is the outright winner in the region.

We saw identical winners for the regional 5G Games Experience and 5G Voice App Experience categories — Telus and Rogers each win outright in Alberta and Ontario, respectively. Meanwhile, Rogers shares the top spot in Quebec with Videotron. In British Columbia, we saw a three-way split between the national operators for both awards.

Moving onto the regional 5G Download Speed results across all operators and regions, our Bell users in Alberta and British Columbia reported the fastest average 5G download speeds of 175.6-182.8 Mbps. In addition, Bell and Telus share the 5G Download Speed award in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.

Having super-fast 5G download speeds is only relevant if users can spend time connected to an active 5G signal. Opensignal’s regional analysis shows that Rogers users see the highest 5G Availability across all operators in Alberta (14.1%) and British Columbia (15%), as well as Ontario where it jointly wins with Telus. On the other side, Bell leads on 5G Availability in Quebec with a score of 13.2%.

Select any region or city below to display individual breakdown

Alberta

5G Availability
in Alberta
in %
Bell
11.6
Rogers
14.1
Telus
10.7
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5G Video Experience
in Alberta
in 0-100 points
Bell
82.0
Rogers
72.2
Telus
83.3
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5G Voice App Experience
in Alberta
in 0-100 points
Bell
82.5
Rogers
82.1
Telus
84.0
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5G Download Speed
in Alberta
in Mbps
Bell
182.8
Rogers
102.1
Telus
169.1
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5G Upload Speed
in Alberta
in Mbps
Bell
23.8
Rogers
22.7
Telus
23.5
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British Columbia

5G Availability
in British Columbia
in %
Bell
11.3
Rogers
15.0
Telus
9.1
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5G Video Experience
in British Columbia
in 0-100 points
Bell
81.1
Rogers
73.5
Telus
82.0
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5G Voice App Experience
in British Columbia
in 0-100 points
Bell
81.9
Rogers
81.4
Telus
82.9
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5G Download Speed
in British Columbia
in Mbps
Bell
175.6
Rogers
87.0
Telus
168.1
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5G Upload Speed
in British Columbia
in Mbps
Bell
21.7
Rogers
17.3
Telus
21.7
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Ontario

5G Availability
in Ontario
in %
Bell
9.2
Rogers
10.9
Telus
9.9
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5G Video Experience
in Ontario
in 0-100 points
Bell
80.0
Rogers
73.4
Telus
79.5
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5G Voice App Experience
in Ontario
in 0-100 points
Bell
79.8
Rogers
82.1
Telus
80.6
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5G Download Speed
in Ontario
in Mbps
Bell
158.8
Rogers
89.6
Telus
158.4
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5G Upload Speed
in Ontario
in Mbps
Bell
15.0
Rogers
21.5
Telus
15.5
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Quebec

5G Availability
in Quebec
in %
Bell
13.2
Rogers
8.7
Telus
11.2
Videotron
5.2
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5G Video Experience
in Quebec
in 0-100 points
Bell
78.5
Rogers
70.9
Telus
78.4
Videotron
82.2
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5G Voice App Experience
in Quebec
in 0-100 points
Bell
79.7
Rogers
82.4
Telus
80.2
Videotron
83.0
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5G Download Speed
in Quebec
in Mbps
Bell
135.9
Rogers
93.2
Telus
135.3
Videotron
80.2
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5G Upload Speed
in Quebec
in Mbps
Bell
17.2
Rogers
21.4
Telus
16.5
Videotron
20.4
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Learn more

Opensignal measures the real-world experience of consumers on mobile networks in the places they live, work and travel.

We continually adapt our methodology to best represent the true experience of smartphone users. Therefore, comparisons of the results to past reports should be considered indicative only.

For every metric we calculate statistical confidence intervals indicated on our graphs. When confidence intervals overlap, our measured results are too close to declare a winner. In those cases, we show a statistical draw. For this reason, some metrics have multiple winners.

In our bar graphs we represent confidence intervals as boundaries on either sides of graph bars. In our supporting-metric charts we show confidence intervals as +/- numerical values.

More about Methodology

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For every metric we calculate statistical confidence intervals indicated on our graphs. When confidence intervals overlap, our measured results are too close to declare a winner. In those cases, we show a statistical draw. For this reason, some metrics have multiple operator winners.

In our bar graphs we represent confidence intervals as boundaries on either sides of graph bars.

In our supporting-metric charts we show confidence intervals as +/- numerical values.

Why confidence intervals are vital in analyzing mobile network experience

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