List of Canadian mobile phone companies

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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.[1] 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.[2]

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.[3][4]

Mobile network operators[edit]

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.[5]

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)
Postpaid Prepaid Total
Rogers Communications Canada Inc. Rogers Wireless, Fido, Chatr LTE: 95%[6]
HSPA+: 97%
GSM: 97%[7]
8,360,000 1,612,000 10,143,000 $62.30
Bell Canada[note 1] Bell Mobility, Virgin Mobile, MTS Mobility [8] LTE: 97%
HSPA+: 98%
[9][note 2]
7,896,919 900,259 8,764,714 $63.09
Telus Communications Inc.[note 3] Telus Mobility, Koodo Mobile, Public Mobile LTE: 97%
HSPA+: 98%
[10][note 2]
7,315,000 1,072,000 8.427.000 $63.74
Shaw Communications Freedom Mobile HSPA+: 44%[11][better source needed] 667,028 376,260 1,043,288 $37.40
Vidéotron General Partnership Vidéotron Mobile Québec and Ottawa N/A 828,900 $69.44
SaskTel SaskTel Mobility Saskatchewan N/A 614,221 $64.39
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
References:[12]
  1. ^ Bell subscriber numbers include recently acquired MTS subscribers.
  2. ^ a b 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.
  3. ^ 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.[13]

Market share[edit]

Market share of Canadian mobile network operators in Q1 2013
Telus Mobility
  
28.51%
Bell Mobility
  
28.40%
Rogers Wireless
  
21.86%
Fido Solutions
  
12.28%
SaskTel Mobility
  
2.25%
Freedom Mobile
  
2.23%
MTS Mobility
  
0.83%
Videotron Mobile
  
0.56%
Bell Aliant
  
0.53%
Note that Fido Solutions is listed as a separate entity from Rogers Wireless.

Mobile networks[edit]

Operator Technology Frequency Ownership Roaming
GSM
CDMA iDEN
HSPA+ LTE
PCS
SMR
AWS
Airtel Wireless No No Yes No No No Yes No Airtel Wireless Ltd. None
Bell Mobility No Yes (shut down April 2018) No Yes Yes Yes No Yes Bell Canada Enterprises Telus Mobility / SaskTel
Eastlink No No No Yes Yes No No Yes Eastlink Rogers Wireless / Bell Mobility
Fleetcom No No Yes No No No Yes No Fleetcom Inc. None
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
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)[14] 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 Yes Telus Communications Bell Mobility / SaskTel
Vidéotron Mobile No No No Yes Yes No No Yes Vidéotron Rogers Wireless
Freedom Mobile No No No Yes No No No Yes Shaw Communications Rogers Wireless / Telus Mobility / Bell Mobility

Former mobile networks[edit]

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[15] Complete CDMA shutdown planned prior to 2017[15]
CityWest CityWest December 13, 2013 Wireless services discontinued; mobile customers will be transitioned to Telus[16]
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[17]
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.[18] KMTS wireless subscribers moved to Bell Mobility.[19]
Lynx Mobile CDMA Lynx Mobile N/A December 31, 2015 CDMA network replaced by GSM Network[20]
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.[21]
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.[22]
Northwestel Northwestel Bell Mobility June 19, 2014 Wireless services discontinued, sold to Bell Mobility.[23]
Public Mobile CDMA with Ev-DO Public Mobile Telus Mobility August 8, 2014[24] MVNO on Telus HSPA+ network[24]
Sasktel Ev-DO Sasktel N/A September 30, 2014[25] Complete CDMA shutdown planned prior to 2017[25]
Superior Wireless CDMA Superior Wireless TBayTel August 2006 Merged with TBayTel[26]
TBayTel CDMA TBayTel N/A December 31, 2014.[27]
Télébec Mobilité Télébec Mobilité Bell Aliant July 19, 2015 Télébec Mobilité wireless subscribers moved to Bell Mobility.[28]
Telus Mobility Ev-DO Telus N/A March 31, 2014[29]
Telus Mobility (Mike) iDEN Telus N/A January 29, 2016[30]

Mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) and resellers[edit]

Operator Ownership Network provider
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)
OnStar OnStar Bell (M2M)
PC Mobile Loblaws Bell (prepaid) / Telus (postpaid)
Petro-Canada Mobility Ztar Mobile Rogers

Former subsidiaries[edit]

Operator Ownership Network provider
Solo Mobile Solo Mobile Bell
Mike Mike Telus
Clearnet Clearnet Telus
Mobilicity Mobilicity Rogers

Travel SIM Cards & Specialty Services[edit]

Operator Ownership Network provider Notes
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.[31]
Brightroam iRoam Mobile Solutions Rogers International SIM, offers Canadian and American numbers.[32]
Know Roaming Know Roaming Various Global SIM Sticker placed on existing SIM card.[33]
Krew Mobile Otono Various Offers American numbers for roaming in USA. Budget family plan.[31]
ZIP SIM Otono T-Mobile USA Offers American numbers.[34]
Roam Mobility (USA) Otono T-Mobile USA Offers American numbers for roaming in the USA and Mexico.[35][36]
Roam Mobility (Canada) Otono Various Offers Canadian numbers for roaming in Canada. SIM's expire after usage.[37]
PhoneBox PhoneBox Rogers (postpaid) / Telus (postpaid) Offers Canadian numbers. SIM's expire after usage.[38]
FlyMobi FlyMobi CDMA Sprint For inmates

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Communications Monitoring Report 2015" (PDF). CRTC. 
  2. ^ "Mobile Service Providers". 
  3. ^ Geist, Michael. "CRTC falls short on true wireless competition". 
  4. ^ Chin, Brian. "No room for low-cost MVNO smartphone plan providers in Canada". 
  5. ^ "Percentage of revenues and subscribers derived via primary brands, extension brands, and resellers/rebillers, 2014" (PDF). Communications Monitoring Report. CRTC. 
  6. ^ "Rogers LTE Coverage (Q3 2015 report)" (PDF). 
  7. ^ "Rogers GSM/HSPA Coverage (2013 Industry Canada)" (PDF). 
  8. ^ "BCE announces agreement to acquire Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS)". 
  9. ^ "Bell Network Coverage". 
  10. ^ "Telus Network Coverage (Q2 2015 report)" (PDF). 
  11. ^ "Coverage". Wind Mobile. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  12. ^ "Q2 2016 Subscriber Stats" (PDF). CWTA. Retrieved 2015.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  13. ^ Solomon (2013-10-22). "Provisional bidders for 700 MHz spectrum finalized". IT World Canada News. Retrieved 2013-10-23. 
  14. ^ "SaskTel to turn down CDMA network in July 2017". July 5, 2016. Retrieved July 6, 2016. (subscription required (help)). 
  15. ^ a b Bell lays out plan to shutter its CDMA network by January 1st, 2017
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ "DMTS Notice to Customers " Dryden Municipal Telephone System". Dryden Municipal Telephone System. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  18. ^ http://www.bce.ca/news-and-media/releases/show/city-of-kenora-unanimously-approves-bell-aliant-offer-to-purchase-kenora-municipal-telephone-system-for-27-million
  19. ^ http://kmts.ca/personal/kmts-mobility-service/
  20. ^ Lynx Mobility
  21. ^ [2]
  22. ^ http://support.bell.ca/Mobility/NorthernTel-Mobility-and-Telebec-Migration
  23. ^ http://www.bce.ca/news-and-media/releases/show/northwestel-wireless-moves-to-bell-mobility
  24. ^ a b Our new 4G network is ready
  25. ^ a b SaskTel Turning Down EV-DO Data Service
  26. ^ http://media.knet.ca/node/2187
  27. ^ Tbaytel tells customers to upgrade older cell phones
  28. ^ https://www.telebec.com/english/magasinage_ligne/asp/mobilite/transfert_bell.asp/
  29. ^ TELUS aims to shut down its CDMA network in 2015
  30. ^ Important Service Notice: Mike is retiring
  31. ^ a b https://otono.com/brands
  32. ^ http://www.brightroam.com/default.aspx
  33. ^ https://www.knowroaming.com/
  34. ^ https://www.zipsim.us/
  35. ^ https://www.roammobility.com/plans
  36. ^ https://www.roammobility.com/mexico-roaming-plans
  37. ^ https://roammobility.ca/plans
  38. ^ https://gophonebox.com/