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Old 2012-03-28, 02:45 PM   #1
Nix
 
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Default Best Wireless Coverage Provider in Sask?

Hello, I recently moved full time to Regina and will be starting a new job that requires me to travel throughout the province.

I'm trying to figure out which wireless provider provides the best overall coverage, so I'm not left with dead time when I can't access company email, or even make an important call, etc.

Is there a clear winner? Thanks in advance for any information!
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Old 2012-03-28, 03:22 PM   #2
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Generally speaking SASKTel has the best coverage province wide, while Rogers has the worst.
I've read that Bell signed an agreement to use SASKTels towers, but I don't know if this is true.
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Old 2012-03-28, 06:57 PM   #3
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Bell, Telus, SaskTel and Rogers all sell service in Saskatchewan. However, there are only two networks: Rogers and SaskTel. Bell and Telus roam on SaskTel's network.

Rogers' network coverage (http://www.rogers.com/coverage) is not fantastic here but the major areas are covered. If you are not in the boonies much you may find it is quite adequate. Rogers also has some fantastic plans here like a recent one that is under $20 with tax and a large bucket of minutes. Note that most of Rogers' coverage is 2G here (Regina and Saskatoon are 3G) which is fine for voice and text but not great for data usage.

SaskTel's network is huge and growing. It has had a lot of growing pains as it underestimated demand for the new HSPA technology. Many new cell sites have been erected in Regina, Saskatoon, Weyburn, etc. to remedy this and service is now very good. It is entirely 3G (there is no 2G GSM coverage at all). The only downside to this is that if you want to maximize your battery life, turning off 3G helps a lot, but the fast data access almost anywhere you go is a pretty big upside. SaskTel has one plan that I really like (and use), their Talk North America plan that includes US voice and text roaming and North American long distance as well. It's great if you travel a lot.

One downside to SaskTel is that their data plans have 200 MB caps for out-of-province but in-Canada data usage. This is enough most of the time but if you are outside Saskatchewan but in Canada for very long periods of time you might find this to be limiting. Bell and Telus don't have this issue, but don't have a plan as nice as Talk North America.

Wind Mobile is coming to Saskatchewan - rumour has it they'll be here this fall. However, their initial network is likely to only cover Regina and Saskatoon. They will roam on Rogers but for an extra cost. They are not likely a good choice for travellers but will be fine for people who are usually in the big cities.

I used Rogers for a long time (9 years) and I only left them because SaskTel finally adopted decent technology ( ) and I got tired of waiting for Rogers to upgrade its network here. Saskatchewan has been sorely neglected by Rogers. I strongly suspect that we'll see a large network upgrade next year, but by then I will have been gone for two years. (I suspect this because Rogers is spending big money in Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick doing upgrades right now. Either Newfoundland or Saskatchewan will be next.)

Jim
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Old 2012-03-29, 03:40 PM   #4
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Outside Regina or Saskatoon, forget Rogers (and Fido). At best you'll get slow EDGE service in cities along major highways, and that coverage is aimed at the highways themselves, so the cities have serious dead spots. At least that's been my experience.

Rogers is fine if you never leave Regina or Saskatoon. Otherwise, go with SaskTel, Bell, or Telus.
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Old 2012-03-29, 03:57 PM   #5
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I never had any trouble with Rogers in Weyburn, Estevan or Yorkton. Coverage was 2G but it worked well.

In fairness up until a few weeks ago even SaskTel covered Weyburn with a single tower, and Estevan with two. They've put more up but only in the last few weeks, and only for capacity, not for coverage improvement.

The real irritant I had with Rogers' 2G EDGE coverage was that with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets, there's more and more demand for connectivity. At our cottage at Sunset Cover (across from Regina Beach), the EDGE network worked pretty well on weekdays but on the weekend it was essentially unusable for data - there was too much demand for it. SaskTel's coverage out there has had its own challenges but I can get a couple of megabits per second with the HSPA network there.

In some areas of Regina and Saskatoon, until a couple of weeks ago Rogers actually had an indoor coverage advantage over SaskTel, but SaskTel has turned up its 850 MHz frequencies with HSPA coverage as of the end of February/beginning of March and that's helped considerably.

Like I said, SaskTel's network is very much a work in progress and it is far from perfect, but it is certainly more pleasant to use than Rogers', in general. However, the plans Rogers offers that are unique to Saskatchewan are hard to beat, if the foibles with Rogers' coverage here are livable.

My mother's on Rogers... and is totally fine with it. If she's out of Regina or Saskatoon, it's on the highway between, and the coverage is fine. Go to Waskesiu or the Cypress Hills much, and you'll be happier on SaskTel.
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Old 2012-04-01, 03:28 PM   #6
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Thanks to everyone for the replies, I really appreciate it. Making a decision should be much easier now
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Old 2013-04-14, 09:57 AM   #7
macdonaldp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoJim View Post
Bell, Telus, SaskTel and Rogers all sell service in Saskatchewan. However, there are only two networks: Rogers and SaskTel. Bell and Telus roam on SaskTel's network.

Rogers' network coverage (http://www.rogers.com/coverage) is not fantastic here but the major areas are covered. If you are not in the boonies much you may find it is quite adequate. Rogers also has some fantastic plans here like a recent one that is under $20 with tax and a large bucket of minutes. Note that most of Rogers' coverage is 2G here (Regina and Saskatoon are 3G) which is fine for voice and text but not great for data usage.

SaskTel's network is huge and growing. It has had a lot of growing pains as it underestimated demand for the new HSPA technology. Many new cell sites have been erected in Regina, Saskatoon, Weyburn, etc. to remedy this and service is now very good. It is entirely 3G (there is no 2G GSM coverage at all). The only downside to this is that if you want to maximize your battery life, turning off 3G helps a lot, but the fast data access almost anywhere you go is a pretty big upside. SaskTel has one plan that I really like (and use), their Talk North America plan that includes US voice and text roaming and North American long distance as well. It's great if you travel a lot.

One downside to SaskTel is that their data plans have 200 MB caps for out-of-province but in-Canada data usage. This is enough most of the time but if you are outside Saskatchewan but in Canada for very long periods of time you might find this to be limiting. Bell and Telus don't have this issue, but don't have a plan as nice as Talk North America.

Wind Mobile is coming to Saskatchewan - rumour has it they'll be here this fall. However, their initial network is likely to only cover Regina and Saskatoon. They will roam on Rogers but for an extra cost. They are not likely a good choice for travellers but will be fine for people who are usually in the big cities.

I used Rogers for a long time (9 years) and I only left them because SaskTel finally adopted decent technology ( ) and I got tired of waiting for Rogers to upgrade its network here. Saskatchewan has been sorely neglected by Rogers. I strongly suspect that we'll see a large network upgrade next year, but by then I will have been gone for two years. (I suspect this because Rogers is spending big money in Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick doing upgrades right now. Either Newfoundland or Saskatchewan will be next.)

Jim
The 200MB cap is not quite accurate. If you choose a talk plan with no data then just add a data plan you don't have the 200mb cap for data in Canada. You can use as much data as your data plan has. Or if you have the unlimited data plan you won't be charged for data either or have a cap.

By doing it this way I do have less calling minutes. But I never use the amount I'm allowed anyways.
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Old 2013-04-14, 05:32 PM   #8
noah12
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My advise would be find the best package that suits your needs between telus bell koodo virgin mobile and sasktel. Choose the one that is best for you, since there all on the sasktel towers coverage will not change,.
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Old 2013-04-22, 10:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
The 200MB cap is not quite accurate. If you choose a talk plan with no data then just add a data plan you don't have the 200mb cap for data in Canada. You can use as much data as your data plan has. Or if you have the unlimited data plan you won't be charged for data either or have a cap.

By doing it this way I do have less calling minutes. But I never use the amount I'm allowed anyways.
It was accurate back when this was posted in March of last year... back then it didn't matter what plan you had... leave the province and it was capped at 200MB. This is no longer the case.
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