Rogers announces first LTE technical trial in Canada

We’re proud to share some exciting news today. Shortly we’ll begin a comprehensive technical trial of Long Term Evolution (LTE) on our wireless network. The technical trial will take place in the Ottawa area.

What is LTE?

LTE is a fourth generation (4G) wireless technology that will enable lightning-fast HD video streaming, gaming, communications, transactions and other connected experiences through mobile Internet. LTE allows significantly more data to pass through a network at higher speeds of up to 150 Mbps and it will become the foundation in a world defined by connected experiences.

What’s happening in Ottawa?

Ericsson, in co-operation with Rogers, has been conducting LTE lab testing comparing speeds and performance of LTE technology in multiple frequency bands. Rogers will expand on this testing and move to a comprehensive technical trial of LTE on both low and high band frequencies across the Ottawa area.

The technical trial will initially use recently auctioned AWS spectrum. Rogers is also working with Industry Canada to secure a development license to use 700 MHz spectrum for the trial.

What does this technical trial mean for Rogers customers?

Rogers was the first carrier to roll out HSPA+ in North America about a year ago, giving customers the ability to get speeds of up to 21 Mbps via a new Rocket Stick. We’re proud of our HSPA+ network, and when the market is ready for commercial deployment of LTE, we’ll be there.

When there are more details to share, we’ll update you here on RedBoard.

Rob Manne is a regular contributor to RedBoard.

Leave a Reply

82 comments on “Rogers announces first LTE technical trial in Canada

  1. Dave

    wow, great news!
    I’m still waiting for HSPA+ on all of Vancouver Island… how about bringing an LTE capable tower to Nanaimo? :p

  2. For once, we won’t be a year behind the States. Good job, Rogers!

    1. RogersRob

      We’re excited too. Appreciate your comment, Robert!

  3. Chris

    As an Ottawa resident and a large consumer of both wired and wireless media I would like to offer my services as an in field tester for LTE.

    1. RogersMary

      Thanks for the offer, Chris!! If we need any testers, we’ll let everyone know :)

  4. Greg

    I’ll be happy to get 100 kb/s in downtown Ottawa on my iphone. Your network sucks! I can’t even stream a puny music stream.

    1. RogersRob

      Hi Greg,

      Sorry to hear that. Have you tried 611 to see if it’s a device issue?

      I was in Ottawa this summer, primarily in the Byward Market and near the NAC. I was able to stream video using the Rogers On Demand Mobile app without issue.

    2. Alex

      Must be the iPhone. I’m getting amazing speeds on my Acer Liquid even while using Skype Video Call while tethering.

  5. Ian

    How about *any service at all* between Revelstoke and Golden? Full bars on my wife’s Telus phone the whole way. My Rogers phone? Nothing.

    1. RogersMary

      I’m not really familiar with that particular area Ian. If you can send me some further specifics on the location through the feedback tool on this site, I’ll have a look into that. If there’s news I can share, I certainly will!

  6. Booya. I’m with Chris: need any field testers? ;-) I don’t live in Ottawa but details, details…

  7. Mike

    Yes! Speeds of up to 150 Mbps…coming for only $130/month with a 250MB cap. Sigh. Affordable Internet and Rogers are fully opposite terms.

  8. Luke

    Good to hear.
    What are the chances of a network expansion in Newfoundland? You have 11 towers here. Its half embarrassing not being able to use my cell phone in certain areas of the St. John’s Metro area. It would be nice to see a few towers thrown up here and there, espically in the west coast of the island.

    1. RogersMary

      Hi Luke. While I can’t comment on a roll out before it’s ready to be deployed, I can assure you that Rogers will continue to invest in our network to ensure a superior, reliable network experience.

    2. Ranma

      Odds are Rogers will decide to sell their towers to some local providor before they add more. I know for a fact they did it here in Northwestern Ontario. We had all of 6 towers, and Rogers decided, it would be more profitable to cut and run, then to upgrade.

  9. reza

    I’m proud to be part of Rogers Communications, an ever Onward company.

  10. random72

    Sprint already has a 4G network up and running in some US markets. It’s about time this technology was made available here.

    1. RogersMary

      Exciting, isn’t it?!?!

  11. Paul

    Sorry Rogers, but I can’t get excited about this. You set the bar really low for reliable 3G coverage, so one can only assume that your LTE deployment will be similarly disappointing. Your current HSPA+ network still needs A LOT of work & expansion…I think greatly improving your 3G reliability & stability should be top priority right now.

    1. RogersMary

      Thanks for your comment Paul. Rogers customers currently have access to HSPA+, HSPA and GSM networks, which covers 94% of the population. We are always assessing the needs our customers and will continue to make business decisions that make sense for all our customers in various regions.

  12. John

    Ummm can we please expand the 3G network in New Brunswick first? Bell/Telus is killing us here. Rogers: Moncton, saint john, fredericton ONLY while Belus has 3G coverage pretty much all over NB. Improve your network before rolling something new out.

    1. RogersMary

      Hi John. Rogers will continue to invest in our network to ensure a superior, reliable network experience.

  13. waverate

    I live in Ottawa. How can I participate in this trial?

    1. RogersMary

      Hi. We don’t require customers for testing at this point but we appreciate the offer!

  14. This is cool, it’ll be sweet to see some 4G phones coming to Canada. Eventually. Take your time though on this LTE roll-out, will ya? I’m planning on getting a new phone shortly, and if you launch your LTE network and 4G phones 2 months later I’m gonna be super hella annoyed. :P

  15. mbourd25

    I would be happy just to get service in my area, which is the clarence-rockland area in Ontario, just outside of Ottawa. But the worse is that Rogers has towers all around where I live in Hammond, they just seem not to work. Already opened 4 tickets with Rogers but I guess they were just ignored.

    1. RogersMary

      Hi mbourd25…. I’ll have a look into that. Can you send me some more specifics on the location through the feedback tool? Thanks!

  16. Caspan

    Does Bell and Telus not have an HSPA network already? How is this different then Rogers? In your article is says Rogers will be the first in Canada with this network.

    1. RogersRob

      Good question, Caspan.

      The testing we’re doing is for LTE/4G, a newer technology that sends data at a higher speed – up to 150 Mbps. The HSPA/HSPA+ network that is currently available to our customers is different, operating at speeds of up to 21 Mbps.

      1. Joe707

        Will the LTE use 700MHz channel? will it have stonger signal than 3G. I can NOT get 3G signal inside the building at my work at Ottawa, unless I move to close to the windows.

  17. Chris

    @ RogersMary PLEASE STOP saying ” Rogers will continue to invest in our network to ensure a superior, reliable network experience” JUST DO IT.
    Did have 2 x 3G Iphones now 2 x 3G Iphone4 (figured it be better,love the phone) with barely any service in Ottawa STILL :( Does not matter how many times you call tech support. its not the phone its not the sim….its the network just admit it and will all be happier simple…………….nobody likes to be lied too :)

    Dont get me wrong…..Yes Im excited that we here in canada are finaly gettting LTE 4G in Canada but at the moment I would be happy with just service simple put it.

    1. rob

      where in ottawa? i’m in the east end, and recently ditched the iphone in favour of a droid, and have since been getting 3-5Mbps down and 1-1.3Mbps up?

  18. George s

    What good does this do my iPhone 4 on Rogers run 0.5 mb/ps and your tech support say oh it’s normal even though my iPhone should be running 7.2 mb/ps

  19. Gere

    I’d be excited for this if I actually got reliable service with the existing HSPA+ network in my area…I often get speeds of less than 100 kbps (that’s less than 0.1 mbps!!!!!) while walking on my street in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT when nobody is using data, then when I walk to another street I get 6 mbps. I’ve called Rogers and had the issue escalated a few times. All they do is look at their map and say that I “should” be getting perfect coverage, when I obviously DON’T. I shouldn’t have to waste my time fighting to get money back for service I don’t even receive.

    1. Gere

      To be more specific in regards to my original post, I don’t live in the sticks or anything…this is a built up area of Richmond Hill, Ontario (Leslie and Elgin Mills).

      1. RogersMary

        Hey Gere – Have you called Tech Support to ensure your device is working properly?

      2. Gere

        Yes, I’ve called many many times and each time I get a different answer. I’ve even tried other peoples’ phones and gotten the same result. The tech support reps agree that it is a network issue since it only happens in one place (I get great speeds elsewhere), then when they pass me on to level 2 tech support, all they do is look at a map and say everything’s fine even though the issues have been documented in detail many times. If I keep calling, I make sure to try to get some credits back for the poor reliability since the inconvenience is overwhelming – they occasionally credit me on a week-to-week basis, though I’d much rather not spend hours on the phone every week. Unfortunately, they keep trying to upsell me into either going to a higher data tier or getting a ROCKET STICK every time I call in, right after telling them my issue. Why would I want to pay for Rocket Stick service or get more bandwidth when my phone can barely use my data plan in the first place???

      3. Greg

        Yes, they keep saying the same thing. Call tech support. I have 5 bars in downtown Ottawa and the network sucks. My friends with Iphones have the same problem. They just pass the buck. Rogers your network is broken. Reception is not the issue, throughput is. When you get 5bps on 5 bars of 3g coverage, you have a problem. All they say is it’s probably your device. I’m on my 3rd SIM card and 2nd iphone 4. I

  20. Paul

    Bell’s already completed LTE trials. As I’ve always suspected, Bell and Telus will be the first ones to deploy a new network technology this time around. What’s Rogers’ answer to this?

  21. vl

    Looks like you’re not the first at all. Bell has been testing LTE since August.
    Bell is ahead of you AGAIN. First with the Samsung Galaxy S launch, now with this…

  22. Imagine Engine

    What I would like to see happen:

    1. LTE in all major cities by Q3 2011. Across the entire network by Q2 2012.
    2. HSPA+ support across the entire network by Q1 2011.
    3. Smartphones and USB modem that use Qualcom dual HSPA+ & LTE.
    4. Smartphone/USB Modem/Hub data options $20.00 75 GB data cap, $30.00 125 GB data cap and $100.00 250 GB data cap.
    5. cellular TV subscription service to reach customers outside of Rogers current cable footprint.

    1. Paul

      That’s pretty optimistic. If it was Bell/Telus, I’d say it’s very possible…but not for Rogers. As for #5, you’ll need a reliable network for that…and if LTE’s reliability is anything like the current Rogers HSPA+ network, then no chance of that ever happening.

  23. Mike Jenkins

    Heres hoping Rogers buys up the most of the 700 Mhz spectrum so this way you can launch the LTE network on the same band as both AT&T and Verizon in the USA, then there will be no waiting for handsets to become available. Keep it up Rogers.

  24. John

    Bell is also beating Rogers in 3G coverage….by far!

    1. Paul

      Agreed. However, the biggest difference between the Bell/Telus network and Rogers’ network is the reliability. Rogers will often boast about their network superiority and claim that Bell/Telus don’t have nearly as many wireless customers, but they fail to realize that even when Rogers had just as many 3G wireless customers as Bell and Telus have now, it was nowhere near as reliable and stable as the current Bell/Telus 3G network. Having a 2G GSM network as a safety blanket is bitter-sweet. Yes it’s nice to have but many of us are finding that Rogers relies on it way too much…and for an aging technology, it’s hardly acceptable. The Bell/Telus 3G network (from personal experience and feedback from many others) is solid, fast, stable, and very reliable. I love Rogers from a customer service perspective as I’ve always been treated more than fairly…but I really do wish they’d get their 3G network in order…and I fear the network issues will just bleed over to their new LTE network when launched.

  25. CShantz

    Rogers should work on getting their existing technology up to date first…
    HSPA+ is still not available in my area (Elora,ON between toronto and kitchener)
    Pretty sad service…. and the prices are a rip off.

    1. RogersMary

      Rogers continues to invest in our network to ensure customers have access to a superior, reliable network experience.

      1. Paul

        It hasn’t been reliable or superior to anyone else’s since it was launched over 3 years ago!! I really hope actions start speaking much much louder than words.

      2. CShantz

        Please stop spouting this line “Rogers continues to invest in our network to ensure customers have access to a superior, reliable network experience.” and actually do something instead of just talking about it.

        i currently have Bold 9700 and regularly have between SOS and full 3G service while sitting in my office. i regularly have dropped calls as well.

    2. Imagine Engine


      Elora, ON is a HSPA+ coverage zone. The only devices Rogers currently sells that is HSPA+ (max 21 Mbps) capable is the ZTE MF668 USB Modem and Nokia CS-18 USB Modem. Every other device (cellphone, Rocket HUB, MiFi) is HSPA (max 7.2 Mbps). What device are you using? What 3G data speed do you get in Elora, ON (use If you’re using a 3G capable device but only getting 2G (EDGE) then you should contact Rogers tech support to troubleshoot.

  26. Nomi

    Maybe I can finally get more than one bar at home.

  27. Jason

    Is Rogers developing LTE or LTE-Advanced?

    If its LTE, then why are you advertising 4G speeds when its really only faster 3G.

  28. OttawaUser

    I’d like to add my voice to the people complaining about the throughput of the network in downtown Ottawa. Using an iPhone we usually get something around 100Kbps download speeds and sometimes less. I have done all the usual steps including:

    resetting network connections,
    turning on Airplane Mode and then back off again.

    The speeds work much quicker in the evening or as you travel away from downtown. I know two other people with iPhones, and they report similar speeds. Rogers users who aren’t using iPhones also experience the slowdown – however it is less noticable to them, as iPhones use much more data – and thus for each action that requires 3G we have to wait longer. (when it works at all).

    Streaming video is out of the question. Streaming Audio is hit or miss. I even time out trying to retrieve my Rogers email from time to time.

    It is not confined to one building – as the problem persists across the entire downtown core at street level and in the office buildings. Clearly Rogers towers are vastly overloaded here. I can only hope that the reason for the poor performance is that the towers are busy testing this new technology out, and eventually we will see them give the use of the towers back to their customers.

  29. LTE is nice, but how about rolling out 3G across your entire network first? Your 3G coverage on Vancouver Island is terrible. Edge data in Tofino/Ucluelet is particularly useless.