Phones Canada brings you the lowdown on 5G coverage in Canada and how it impacts your cell phone plan. Bell, Rogers, Telus, and Freedom Mobile are the major carriers offering 5G in Canada, along with regional carriers like Eastlink, SaskTel, and Videotron, as well as MVNOs like Public Mobile, Virgin Plus, and Koodo. But what exactly does 5G offer? Let’s break it down and see why it matters for your cell phone plan and your wallet.
In terms of 5G coverage, all three national networks (Bell, Rogers, and Telus) provide 5G service to 70% of Canadians. Freedom Mobile has also launched its own 5G network, offering a more affordable alternative in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. Smaller regional carriers and flanker brands also offer 5G plans.
When it comes to the fastest 5G service, according to a 2023 umlaut report, Rogers offers the fastest 5G downloads and the most reliable network. Rogers also offers 5G+ service in five provinces – British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec – for even faster speeds, especially in crowded areas. Bell also offers 5G+ in select areas, while Telus is yet to roll out 5G+.
5G is faster than 4G LTE due to advancements in telecommunications technology and more efficient use of existing radio frequencies. However, it’s worth mentioning that Canadians already enjoy comprehensive coverage and reliable service through 4G LTE connections, which offer some of the fastest download speeds in the world. So while 5G offers improvements, it may not be an immediate necessity for everyone.
When it comes to 5G smartphones, all major cell phone manufacturers offer 5G-capable smartphones, including Apple, Samsung, Google, TCL, and Motorola. The best way to find a 5G cell phone is by referring to our guide on the best 5G phones in Canada.
In terms of 5G cell phone plans, Bell, Rogers, and Telus offer similar prices and features, charging around $80/month or more for 5G-capable phone lines. However, Freedom Mobile’s 5G Unlimited 40GB CA-US Plan stands out for the large chunk of bonus 5G data it offers when you purchase a new device with the plan. Telus’ Essential 60 5G Plan is also a great option, with 60GB of full-speed 5G data and unlimited talk and text for $65/month.
Apart from the major carriers, regional carriers like Videotron, SaskTel, and Eastlink are also rolling out 5G coverage in their respective areas. Videotron offers 5G coverage in some areas of Quebec, while SaskTel aims to reach 50% of Saskatchewan residents with 5G network availability. Eastlink provides 5G coverage in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
In terms of cheap 5G plans, popular carriers like Public Mobile, Koodo, and Virgin Plus, which are owned by Rogers, Telus, and Bell respectively, offer access to their parent companies’ 5G networks at reduced rates.
That’s the lowdown on 5G coverage in Canada. Stay tuned for more updates and FAQs on Canadian 5G networks.