List of Canadian mobile phone companies
This is a list of wireless service providers in Canada.
A wireless service provider is a type of communications service provider that connects devices like mobile phones or tablets to wireless networks. As of Q3 2015, there are over 29 million wireless subscriptions in Canada.
Approximately 90% of Canadian cell phone users subscribe to one of the three largest national telecom companies (Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility) or one of their subsidiary brands. These three carriers own and operate transmission facilities that cover most of the country, though they sometimes share each other's networks in certain geographical regions in order to reduce costs and reach more customers.
The remaining 10% of subscribers are served by smaller, regional providers, mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), and resellers. Regional providers own and operate transmission facilities that cover a limited area and rely on partnerships with national service providers to connect their customers across Canada. In contrast, MVNOs and resellers do not own spectrum or network infrastructure and are required to lease network capacity from other providers at wholesale rates. While MVNOs have their own facilities to package and support their mobile services, resellers rely on the host network provider to package, market, bill, and deliver mobile services.
All wireless service providers in Canada are regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which has been blamed by some for the concentration of wireless service subscribers to only three large national carriers. Though measures have been taken to encourage more competition, critics suggest that more should be done to address the issue, e.g. by mandating wholesale network access for MVNOs.
Mobile network operators
This is a list of mobile network operators, which includes national and regional service providers. Where applicable, this list will also include any subsidiary "extension" brands associated with a mobile service provider. While primary brands, such as Rogers Wireless or Bell Mobility, account for roughly 82% of wireless revenue, extension brands allow wireless service providers to differentiate service offerings and reach broader market segments.
This list is ordered from largest to smallest by the number of current subscriptions.
|Parent Company||Brands and subsidiaries||% of Canadian population covered||Subscriptions (2016)||Blended ARPU monthly (2014)|
|Rogers Communications||Rogers Wireless, Fido, Chatr, Cityfone, Mobilicity||LTE: 92%
|Bell Canada[note 1]||Bell Mobility, Virgin Mobile, Solo Mobile, MTS Mobility||LTE: 93%
|Telus[note 3]||Telus Mobility, Koodo Mobile, Mike, Clearnet, Public Mobile||LTE: 91%
|Shaw Communications||Wind Mobile||HSPA+: 44%[better source needed]||639,997||363,472||1,003,469||$38.00|
|Vidéotron||Vidéotron Mobile||Québec and Ottawa||N/A||795,700||$69.44|
|Eastlink||Eastlink Wireless||Atlantic Canada||N/A|
|Tbaytel||Tbaytel Mobility||Thunder Bay||N/A|
|Ice Wireless||Ice Wireless, Sugar Mobile||Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut||N/A|
- Bell subscriber numbers include recently acquired MTS subscribers.
- Bell Mobility and Telus Mobility have a multiple operator core network agreement to provide a common radio network to the customer (distinct from a roaming arrangement, where the radio networks are separate). Bell builds most of its towers in Eastern Canada, while most of Telus' towers are in Western Canada.
- Telus numbers include those of recently acquired of Public and may be different from CWTA-reported.
In addition, as of October 22, 2013 the following companies expressed their interest in becoming mobile carriers as part of Canada's 2014 700 MHz spectrum auction by becoming provisional bidders: Feenix Wireless Inc, Catalyst Capital Group, Vecima Networks, Novus Wireless, and a numbered Alberta company controlled by Corridor Communications.
|Airtel Wireless||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||Airtel Wireless Ltd.||None|
|Bell Mobility||No||Yes (shut down Jan 1, 2017)||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Bell Canada Enterprises||Telus Mobility / SaskTel|
|Eastlink||Roaming[note 1]||No||No||Yes||Yes||Roaming[note 1]||No||Yes||Eastlink||Rogers Wireless / Bell Mobility|
|Ice Wireless||Yes||No||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||Ice Wireless||Rogers Wireless / Videotron|
|Keewaytinook Mobile||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No||No||Keewaytinook Okimakanak's (KO) Kuhkenah Network||Rogers Wireless|
|Lynx Mobility||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No||Lynx Mobility||Bell Mobility / Telus Mobility|
|Mobilicity||Roaming[note 1]||No||No||Yes||No||Roaming[note 1]||No||Yes||Rogers Communications||Rogers Wireless|
|MTS Mobility||No||Yes (shut down December 2016)||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||MTS||Rogers Wireless / Sasktel|
|Rogers Wireless||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Rogers Communications||TBayTel / ICE Wireless / Bell Mobility / Telus Mobility / SaskTel|
|SaskTel Mobility||No||Yes (shut down July 5, 2017)||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||SaskTel||Bell Mobility / Telus Mobility / MTS|
|Sogetel Mobilité||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||Sogetel||Bell Mobility|
|TBayTel Mobility||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Thunder Bay Telephone||Rogers Wireless|
|Telus Mobility||No||Yes (shut down Jan 31, 2017)||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes[note 2]||Yes||Telus Communications||Bell Mobility / SaskTel|
|Vidéotron Mobile||Roaming[note 1]||No||No||Yes||Yes||Roaming[note 1]||No||Yes||Vidéotron||Rogers Wireless|
|Wind Mobile||Roaming[note 1]||No||No||Yes||No[note 3]||Roaming[note 1]||No||Yes||Shaw Communications||Rogers Wireless / Telus Mobility / Bell Mobility|
- Videotron Mobile allow their customers to roam on Rogers Wireless' GSM technology and Personal Communications Service (PCS) frequency network. Roaming is intended to be used when one is outside of the AWS carrier's network coverage. Wind Mobile allow their customers to roam on Rogers' network as well as Bell Mobility and Telus Mobility. Eastlink Wireless also allows their customers to roam on Rogers Wireless' GSM 3G/4G network, as well as Bell's.
- Telus Mobility sells Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN) services using Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) frequencies. Services are sold under the Mike brand, which is available in Telus retail stores and online.
- Wind Mobile confirmed to be testing basic 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology on February 3, 2011. The operator has not yet deployed LTE for general public use.
Former mobile networks
This list includes legacy network terminations as well as defunct network operators.
|Operator||Type||Ownership||Purchased by||Ceased operations||Fate|
|Bell Mobility||Ev-DO||Bell||N/A||July 1, 2015||Complete CDMA shutdown planned prior to 2017|
|CityWest||CityWest||December 13, 2013||Wireless services discontinued; mobile customers will be transitioned to Telus|
|Clearnet||CDMA||Clearnet Communications||Telus Mobility||2000||Network merged with Telus|
|Dryden Municipal Telephone Service||GSM, CDMA||Dryden Municipal Telephone Service||Wireless sold to Tbaytel, Wireline to Bell Aliant||December 21, 2012||Wireless customers migrated to Tbaytel|
|Fido||GSM||Microcell||Rogers Communications||November 8, 2004||Network merged with Rogers; Fido operates as MVNO|
|Kenora Municipal Telephone Service||CDMA||Kenora Municipal Telephone Service||Wireless sold to Bell Aliant||February 2008 & July 19, 2015||Wireless customers sold to Bell Aliant. KMTS wireless subscribers moved to Bell Mobility.|
|Lynx Mobile||CDMA||Lynx Mobile||N/A||December 31, 2015||CDMA network replaced by GSM Network|
|Mobilicity||AWS, HSPA+||DAVE Wireless||Rogers Communications||2015||Rogers will transition some Mobilicity retail locations and all its customers to Rogers sub-brand Chatr Mobile. As of August 16, 2016, Rogers will stop activating new Mobilicity lines.|
|MTS Mobility||HSPA+||Manitoba Telecom Services||Bell Mobility||2016|
|NorthernTel Mobility||NorthernTel Mobility||Bell Aliant||July 19, 2015||NorthernTel Mobility wireless subscribers moved to Bell Mobility.|
|Northwestel||Northwestel||Bell Mobility||June 19, 2014||Wireless services discontinued, sold to Bell Mobility.|
|Public Mobile||CDMA with Ev-DO||Public Mobile||Telus Mobility||August 8, 2014||MVNO on Telus HSPA+ network|
|Sasktel||Ev-DO||Sasktel||N/A||September 30, 2014||Complete CDMA shutdown planned prior to 2017|
|Superior Wireless||CDMA||Superior Wireless||TBayTel||August 2006||Merged with TBayTel|
|TBayTel||CDMA||TBayTel||N/A||December 31, 2014.|
|Télébec Mobilité||Télébec Mobilité||Bell Aliant||July 19, 2015||Télébec Mobilité wireless subscribers moved to Bell Mobility.|
|Telus Mobility||Ev-DO||Telus||N/A||March 31, 2014|
|Telus Mobility (Mike)||iDEN||Telus||N/A||January 29, 2016|
Mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) and resellers
|7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless||Ztar Mobile||Rogers|
|Cansel Connect||Cansel||Rogers (M2M)|
|DCI Wireless||DCI Telecom||Rogers|
|Execulink Mobility||Execulink Telecom||Bell|
|good2go Mobile Canada||Ztar Mobile||Rogers|
|KORE Wireless||KORE Telematics||Rogers (M2M)|
|PC Mobile||Loblaws||Bell (prepaid) / Telus (postpaid)|
|Petro-Canada Mobility||Ztar Mobile||Rogers|
Travel SIM Cards
|AlwaysOnline Wireless||Otono||Various||A global data network for iPad owners on the go. AlwaysOnline Wireless is an on-demand 4G LTE service in over 45 countries with plans by the hour, by the day, or by the megabyte.|
|Brightroam||iRoam Mobile Solutions||Rogers||International SIM, offers Canadian and American numbers.|
|Know Roaming||Know Roaming||Various||Global SIM Sticker placed on existing SIM card.|
|Krew Mobile||Otono||Various||Offers American numbers for roaming in USA. Budget family plan.|
|ZIP SIM||Otono||T-Mobile USA||Offers American numbers.|
|Roam Mobility (USA)||Otono||T-Mobile USA||Offers American numbers for roaming in the USA and Mexico.|
|Roam Mobility (Canada)||Otono||Various||Offers Canadian numbers for roaming in Canada. SIM's expire after usage.|
|PhoneBox||PhoneBox||Rogers (postpaid) / Telus (postpaid)||Offers Canadian numbers. SIM's expire after usage.|
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- "Communications Monitoring Report 2015" (PDF). CRTC.
- "Mobile Service Providers".
- Geist, Michael. "CRTC falls short on true wireless competition".
- Chin, Brian. "No room for low-cost MVNO smartphone plan providers in Canada".
- "Percentage of revenues and subscribers derived via primary brands, extension brands, and resellers/rebillers, 2014" (PDF). Communications Monitoring Report. CRTC.
- "Rogers LTE Coverage (Q3 2015 report)" (PDF).
- "Rogers GSM/HSPA Coverage (2013 Industry Canada)" (PDF).
- "BCE announces agreement to acquire Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS)".
- "Bell Network Coverage".
- "Telus Network Coverage (Q2 2015 report)" (PDF).
- "Coverage". Wind Mobile. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- "Q1 2016 Subscriber Stats" (PDF). CWTA. Retrieved 2015.
- Solomon (2013-10-22). "Provisional bidders for 700 MHz spectrum finalized". IT World Canada News. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
- "SaskTel to turn down CDMA network in July 2017". July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016. (subscription required (. ))
- Bell lays out plan to shutter its CDMA network by January 1st, 2017
- "DMTS Notice to Customers " Dryden Municipal Telephone System". Dryden Municipal Telephone System. Retrieved 2015-10-21.
- Lynx Mobility
- Our new 4G network is ready
- SaskTel Turning Down EV-DO Data Service
- Tbaytel tells customers to upgrade older cell phones
- TELUS aims to shut down its CDMA network in 2015
- Important Service Notice: Mike is retiring