Hello Northwestern Ontario: Rogers and TBayTel team up to provide 3G coverage

In RedBoard’s first blog post, we received a comment from Shane asking about coverage in Northwestern Ontario. Today, we have an update for you Shane – as well as for those living, travelling or doing business in that area.

Rogers and Thunder Bay, Ont.’s TBayTel announced this morning an agreement that will see Rogers customers gain access to TBayTel’s HSPA network, which covers will cover communities and major highway corridors in a 300,000 square kilometre area spanning from just west of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. to the Manitoba border. (How big is 300,000-square kilometres? Roughly the size of France.)

The deal will give TBayTel customers access to Rogers’ 3G HSPA network, allowing them to use mobile devices on the Rogers network across Canada.

The Rogers-TBayTel agreement is subject to approval by regulators. Should it be approved, service between the Rogers and TBayTel is expected to begin later this year.

We are always looking at ways to expand and improve our network. Our HSPA network covers more than 84 per cent of the Canadian population and we are currently upgrading it to HSPA+ — which provides speeds of up to 21 Mbps, similar to those of fixed broadband.

Check out www.rogers.com/network for more information about our Wireless coverage.

Richard Bloom is a regular contributor to RedBoard

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29 comments on “Hello Northwestern Ontario: Rogers and TBayTel team up to provide 3G coverage

  1. Jay

    Now that is good news for all the people here in northwestern Ontario (specially Kenora). We have been living in the stone age of the dying CDMA service of KMTS and 2G for Rogers. I can’t wait for it. Thanks Rogers and Tbaytel.

  2. Am I missing something here? I live in Thunder Bay, own an iPhone 3GS and I’ve never seen a 3G signal. Since when does Thunder Bay have 3G?

    1. James

      Tbaytel currently has EvDO 3g , your GSM iphone will not see it.. However with upgrades to tbaytels network, you will be able to gain access to 3g, expected to be done by the end of the year.

  3. Donny

    tbaytel has not turned on their 3g yet though they obviously are working on it. I was expecting them to remain partnered with bell. I’m surprised.

  4. Eric

    I’ve been asking Rogers coverage (p0m 3g0) since the days they ran AMPS/TDMA, then sold it off to Superior Wireless who was purchased by TBayTel.

    When can I expect some GSM or HSPA service between Sault Ste. Marie and White River ?
    Also, would TBayTel purchase DMTS GSM network (between TBay and Manitoba) ?

  5. Dan

    Please upgrade the network in Northeastern Ontario! I’m still getting gprs at times when it shows on the website it should be edge, its crazy. Bell is launching a full 3g network in the area in July. I hope Rogers follows quickly after or signs an agreement with Bell to roam.

  6. Donny

    Will this be free roaming (eg bell/telus agreement) or a cost/addon required?

    1. Rogers_Richard

      Hi Donny,
      We do not have specific details to announce at this time. However, we will be communicating pricing details prior to launching should the agreement receive regulatory approval.

  7. Luke

    Please please add coverage to Newfoundland so you can have the entire TCH covered across Canada.

  8. Randy

    Great for this Ontario region. After approx 30 years though, Rogers still has at best spotty coverage in St. John’s,NL, at worst downright pathetic. When I fly down to visit my mother, 10 minutes from downtown St. John’s, my Rogers phone was a paper weight. Bell & TELUS give me 5 bars consistently. It’s as if Rogers basically has given up even trying to provide coverage in Newfoundland. :(

    1. Rogers_Richard

      Hi Randy,
      Thanks for your feedback!
      Unfortunately, we can’t discuss what may be in the works but we are always looking at ways to improve our network — and we’re listening to what customers have to say about coverage.
      We know our network is a hot-topic among RedBoard readers so stay tuned for most blog posts on this subject.

  9. Cody

    Please hurry up with the Manitoba expansion, I’ve been dying to see 3G in this neck of the woods for forever and still nothing. There are still alot of coverage holes in the province. It’s not fun visiting family in the country and not being able to use the phone what-so-ever

  10. Hélène Gilles

    C’est très bien pour les gens de l’Ontario, mais il ne faut pas oublier les provinces Maritimes. J’éprouve beaucoup de difficultés à obtenir un bon signal sur mon iPhone à Fredericton. Transmettez le message à votre équipe réseau.

    J’espère bien une réponse en français;)

    1. @Rogers_MJ

      Bonjour Hélène,

      Tel que mentionné ci-dessus, Rogers travaille continuellement à l’amélioration de son réseau et de son expérience client. Merci d’avoir pris le temps de partager vos commentaires avec nous. Je vais définitivement les transmettre à notre équipe réseau.

      Bonne journée!


  11. Barry Wojciechowski

    Finally good news. TBayTel finally got with the times and did something right for Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario. Now I can finally use my Rogers HTC Dream and go anywhere in Northwestern Ontario and get my money’s worth with service in this area. Way to go for Rogers and TBAYTEL!! 3G service will be fantastic too. I’m very happy for the future of cell coverage in Northwestern Ontario!! I’ve been complaining of the very very poor coverage of this area for years. It is great to see Rogers was listening to it’s customers. KUDOS!!

  12. Paul


    A little off-topic but still on the same idea of coverage…what kind of timeline are we looking at for Rogers to match their 2G coverage with 3G?..and perhaps even exceed Bell & Telus’ HSPA+ coverage? Instead of the same old “we’re always working to improve coverage”, can you be specific with your answer?


    1. Rogers_Richard

      Hi Paul

      Thanks for your question.

      Due to competitive issues, we can’t comment about our future network expansion plans before we have a formal announcement to make.


  13. N.C

    Great, I can’t wait! When will this start? I hope soon! I have a question, is it possible to use the iPhone with a pay as you go plan? I couldn’t find any information on this. I don’t need to be on a 3G network or anything, just if I can talk and text.
    Thanks so much!

    1. Rogers_Richard

      Hi N.C.

      Thanks for your comment and question.

      Our Customer Care centre will be able to help you out with this request. We’ve got lots of ways you can get in touch with them: via email, live chat and phone. Here’s a link with all of the contact info: http://www.rogers.com/web/content/contactus


  14. Mike S

    Having just driven through Northwestern Ontario, I certainly applaud this move. All across the prairies, I was dismayed to receive the Rogers “E” symbol on my iPhone 3Gs for most of the Trans Canada Highway outside, and I mean JUST outside major centers. We drove up from Swift Current to Saskatoon and had a tire blow out on our RV a half hour out of SC. NO SERVICE but Sasktel customers who drove by did have service. HMM Can’t Rogers sign roaming agreements with Sasktel, MTS and other Prairie carriers to improve coverage? You have roaming agreements with networks in other countries, for crying out loud!

    1. Rogers_Richard

      Hi Mike,
      Thanks for your comment. While we can’t talk about future network expansion plans or possible agreements with other carriers, we did announce this morning that more Canadian cities — including those in the Prairies — will now have access to HSPA+ service.
      Check out our post here: http://redboard.rogers.com/2010/rogers-network-update-hspa-rollout-continues-across-canada/

  15. C. R

    So with this change will it mean my Rogers phone will go onto the tbaytel network in Dryden? I’m sick of going on the DMTS network. I want to get a smartphone but i’m not sure if I should go with Rogers or Tbaytel.

  16. Alex M

    Is the new network going to be up by september? I’m making the drive back to Lakehead in early September, and would greatly appreciate this upgrade.

  17. John

    Hello there, we live in a small place called Sioux Lookout, well you have coverage in this aera? Thanks!

  18. Lucille

    I’m a tbaytel/Rogers prepaid customer, and am currently in Regina, Sask. can I buy minutes from any Rogers to top up?

    1. RogersMike

      I don’t believe you can, but I’d suggest reaching out to tbaytel for confirmation.

      1. Lucille

        Ok thx! What if I want to unlock my iPhone? Can I go to a Rogers and unlock it there, in Regina?

      2. RogersMike

        No, our stores wouldn’t unlock any phone that’s not purchased directly from us. :( That would need to be done via tbaytel’s call centre at 1-800-264-9501.