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Wireless Carriers and Calling Plans: Canada

The following list of wireless service providers (carriers, operators and resellers) operate in national or regional markets.

A Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) is a company that does not own or operate a wireless (mobile phone) network, but resells wireless services under their own brand name, using the network of a wireless network operator.

National size rankings are by number of mobile subscribers. National coverage might mean that 80% of the population area has service. Check with each service provider about specific areas of coverage and calling plans before you sign up.

All carriers operate an analog network (AMPS, TACS) in addition to any digital networks mentioned, unless noted. Although many carriers are retiring their analog networks and service.

Coverage maps show primary service areas, secondary service areas and/or roaming areas.

For more information about wireless carriers and calling plans, including guides, reviews and promotions, see our Wireless Carriers and Calling Plans main page.

Caveat About Coverage Maps

Coverage maps help you find areas where you can and can not get service. But most maps do not show dead zones (local places where your phone doesn't work) that affect your ability to use a cell phone service. The actual service you get may be different from the areas shown on the map.

Before buying a new service, and possibly being locked into a plan with poor coverage, ask for a trial period and check for dead zones along your regular routes.

Be sure to use the phone handset model you plan to buy, because the RF performance (radio frequency signal sensitivity) of a handset affects its dead zones and on-road (in motion) performance.

Canada

Company Overview
Aliant Mobility Service in four maritime provinces. Controlling shareholder Bell Canada.
Bell Mobility #2 national carrier. CDMA network. Teamed with Virgin Mobile to serve youth market. Owned by Bell Canada (BCE). Coverage maps.
Chatr Discount wireless brand targeted at urban users with unlimited voice and text plans. Owned by Rogers Communications. Launched July 2010. Coverage map.
Fido (Microcell) GSM network. Billing by the second. Microcell resellers: Cityfone, SimPro and KORE wireless. Owned by Rogers Communications.
Koodo Mobile MVNO discount mobile brand targets youth market. Owned byTelus.
Mike (Telus Mobility) Walkie-talkie (2-way radio), digital cellphone, pager and wireless data service. Roaming agreement with Nextel for use in US uses iDEN network.
Mobilicity HSPA+ network in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa. Shares Bell Mobility cell-sites. Roaming on Rogers GSM network. Owned by Obelysk, and Quadrangle Capital Partners. Launched May 2010. Formerly Data & Audio Visual Enterprises Wireless (DAVE Wireless). Coverage map.
MTS Mobility Service in Manitoba.
PC Mobile MVNO. Prepaid calling plans. President's Choice owned by Loblaws Inc.
Primus Canada Wireless MVNO. Owned by Primus Telecommunications, Inc. Coverage map.
Public Mobile CDMA network. Unlimited talk and text for a flat rate. Owned by venture capital and OMERS Private Equity (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System). Launched June 2010.
Rogers Wireless #1 national carrier. AMPS, TDMA and GSM networks. Acquired Microcell (Fido). Acquired Cantel. Owned by Rogers Communications. Coverage maps for GSM, TDMA, BlackBerry and paging services.
SaskTel Mobility Service in Saskatchewan.
Solo Mobile Monthly and prepaid plans offer unlimited voice and text. Owned by Bell Canada. Relaunched August 2010. Coverage map.
7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless Services MVNO uses Fido network. Prepaid plans. Owned by 7-Eleven, Inc.
Telus Mobility #3 national carrier. CDMA network. Acquired Clearnet. Owned by Telus (merger of Telus and BCTel). Coverage maps.
Virgin Mobile Canada Prepaid service in four provinces. MVNO uses Bell Mobility's CDMA network. Owned by Canada-based Bell Mobility. Coverage maps.
WIND Mobile HSPA network in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Edmonton. Operated by Globalive Wireless Management Corp. Backed by Eygptian-based Orascom. Coverage maps. Service launched Dec. 2009.

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