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Bell Tops Most Comprehensive Canadian Mobile Network Performance Testing Ever Conducted

  • Across Canada as a whole: Bell finishes first (outright or tied) in all six mobile performance categories, while Rogers and Telus a close second
  • Intense competition at metro level; where they operate, Videotron a strong performer while WIND has a lot of ground to make up

BELLEVUE, WASH., Dec. 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- RootMetrics®, the standard for independent mobile performance information, today released results of the most comprehensive testing of Canadian mobile network performance ever conducted. The RootMetrics 2015 Canadian Mobile Network Performance Review examined consumer-focused performance of the major three national operators as well as two popular regional carriers, where available.

RootMetrics, an IHS (NYSE: IHS) company, conducted independent, scientific testing across Canada to produce the most comprehensive consumer-focused picture of mobile network performance ever published. In gathering data for the report, RootMetrics professional testers drove nearly 30,000 kilometers; tested in over 500 indoor locations; and collected more than 214,000 samples across the nation's seventeen largest metro areas, numerous medium-sized and smaller cities, and on roadways. All testing was conducted using the same leading smartphones consumers can buy from operator stores.

Performance at the National Level

In good news for consumers, the latest report found a tight race among the three major carriers at the national level, with Bell edging slightly ahead of Rogers and Telus. Bell finished in first place across all six categories tested, including outright wins in Overall Performance, Network Speed, and Data Performance. While scoring was very close, Bell's more consistent top speeds and slightly better data reliability gave it the lead it needed for the distinction of highest-ranked overall mobile performance.

Rogers and Telus finished in a near dead heat for second place overall in Canada, slightly behind Bell. Rogers shared RootScore Awards in the call and text performance categories and narrowly trailed the leaders in all other categories.

Meanwhile, Telus shared three RootScore Awards at the national level, in Network Reliability, Call Performance, and Text Performance. Although Bell and Telus share spectrum and many towers throughout most of Canada, much of their core networks remain separate and each operator has slightly different systems for handling traffic. While the separation was narrow, Bell delivered top speeds more consistently than Telus, especially in roadway testing between cities.

"This is the most comprehensive, scientific, consumer-focused testing ever undertaken in Canada, and it reveals great news – and some surprises – for Canadian mobile consumers," said Tim Newberg, Head of Business Development Strategy for RootMetrics. "Our independent testing suggests Bell, Telus, and Rogers are solid options for consumers looking for consistently strong mobile performance across the country. Meanwhile, regional carrier Videotron is taking advantage of the broad spectrum availability, and WIND appears to be emphasizing value over speed. We are excited to be reporting on Canada for the benefit of consumers, and look forward to watching mobile performance evolve."

(Please note: Information, rankings, and data presented in the RootMetrics 2015 Canadian Mobile Network Performance Review, RootMetrics press releases, and RootMetrics RootScore reports may not be used for any commercial purpose without express written permission from RootMetrics.)

Overall Performance RootScore Awards (2H 2015):

1 – Bell (94.5)
2 – Rogers (93.7)
2 – Telus (93.6)

Network Reliability and Speed

RootMetrics offers two holistic categories that provide a clear view of each network's performance in the key areas of network reliability and speed. Looking at Network Reliability and Network Speed in conjunction with Overall RootScores offers the most comprehensive view of the consumer mobile experience.

The Network Reliability RootScore Award is based on how reliably calls could be made and texts delivered, as well as how often RootMetrics could make a data network connection and stay connected throughout testing.

Network Reliability RootScore Award:

1 – Bell (95.7)
1 – Telus (95.2)
3 – Rogers (95.0)

The Network Speed RootScore Award considers results such as how quickly a consumer could download and upload files, send emails, and perform typical web and app-related tasks.

Network Speed RootScore Award:

1 – Bell (93.3)
2 – Rogers (92.5)
3 – Telus (91.6)

Scoring is also broken down into Call, Data, and Text Performance RootScores.

Data Performance RootScore Award:

1 – Bell (96.4)
2 – Rogers (95.9)
3 – Telus (95.6)

Call Performance RootScore Award:

1 – Bell (91.4)
1 – Telus (90.4)
1 – Rogers (90.1)

Text Performance RootScore Award:

1 – Bell (97.9)
1 – Telus (97.4)
1 – Rogers (97.0)

Performance Across Eight Largest Metros

After testing the three largest Canadian metros in 2014, RootMetrics expanded its detailed testing to eight large metro areas this time: Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Quebec City, and Winnipeg. In addition to the three national carriers, RootMetrics tested two popular regional operators, WIND and Videotron, where available.

The separation between the three national carriers remains very small when focusing on the metro areas. Bell again slightly edged out the other two carriers when considering a total tally of awards, winning outright or sharing first place in 38 of the 48 total RootScore Award opportunities. Bell also had excellent reliability in all eight cities tested and its 39.1 Mbps median download speed in Toronto was one of the fastest speeds seen from any operator.

Telus finished second in RootScore Awards earned, with 32 outright or shared first-place finishes. Vancouver and Winnipeg were the strongest metro areas for the carrier, as Telus earned first-place finishes across all six categories in both metro areas. Telus did trail the other two carriers in terms of speed; it was the only big operator unable to surpass 30 Mbps for median download speed.

Rogers was a very close third in total RootScore Awards with 31 wins. Rogers particularly shined in speed as it exceeded 30 Mbps for median download speed more than any other operator. Its 41.8 Mbps median download speed in Toronto was also one of the fastest recorded in all the testing.

Videotron Shines Where Available

RootMetrics also tested Videotron's network in three of the metro areas: Ottawa, Montréal, and Quebec City. Videotron has a network sharing agreement with Rogers and piggybacks on its system to a large extent, which is good news for consumers looking for service beyond the big three operators. Within these three metro areas, Videotron earned first-place finishes (outright or shared) in 13 of 18 total opportunities. In both Montréal and Quebec City, Videotron won outright or tied for first in all six performance categories. It also recorded a blazing fast 41.0 Mbps median download speed in Montréal.

WIND Has Ground to Make Up

While WIND's entrance into the Canadian market has been heralded as a strong value option for consumers, testing shows the network still has significant room for improvement on performance. RootMetrics tested WIND in four of the metro areas and the carrier did not win any RootScore Awards. It also trailed far behind in terms of speed, with a top median download speed of 2.8 Mbps in Toronto – nearly 15 times slower than the top median download speed recorded by Rogers. Furthermore, sharing a 3 MB picture on Bell's network in Calgary would take two seconds while you'd be waiting more than two minutes on WIND's network. WIND also did not offer LTE in any of the markets tested and its reliability lacked the consistency shown by all the other networks tested.

For details on the RootMetrics testing methodology, visit: http://www.rootmetrics.com/us/methodology.

About RootMetrics®

The industry standard for mobile performance measurement, RootMetrics offers unbiased insights into how consumers experience mobile networks under real-world conditions. The company's RootScore® Report series provides nation-to-neighbourhood performance information for the US, UK, and Canada. To ensure results reflect real-world mobile usage, testing is conducted based on where, when, and how consumers use their smartphones most often. RootMetrics also offers a free, downloadable CoverageMap app to test coverage worldwide.

RootMetrics owns all information, ranking results, and data in this and all RootScore reports and associated press releases; they may not be used for any commercial purpose without express written permission from RootMetrics.

About IHS

IHS (NYSE: IHS) is the leading source of insight, analytics and expertise in critical areas that shape today's business landscape. Businesses and governments in more than 150 countries around the globe rely on the comprehensive content, expert independent analysis and flexible delivery methods of IHS to make high-impact decisions and develop strategies with speed and confidence. IHS has been in business since 1959 and became a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange in 2005. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, USA, IHS is committed to sustainable, profitable growth and employs about 8,800 people in 32 countries around the world.

CONTACT: Lori Niquette for RootMetrics rootmetrics@shiftcomm.com 617-779-1800Source: RootMetrics