Best Cell Phone Coverage In Vancouver

10 January 2018

Have you ever worn a pair of Lululemon shorts, sported an Arc’teryx jacket, or munched on a Nature’s Path granola bar? If so, you’ve got Vancouver to partially thank. 

You see, all of these companies were founded in and are currently headquartered in the Big V (a nickname I came up with for the city—I hope it catches on). It makes sense that so many world renowned athletic/outdoor brands would spring up from Vancouver, since its unique location on the edge of the Pacific with the dramatic Rockies to the east make it one of the world's ultimate jumping off points for adventure. 

Indeed, Vancouver is one of the most picturesque cities in the world—taking the Cambie Street Bridge into downtown can leave the most jaded of locals in awe. Fortunately, the local government has gone to lengths to ensure this beauty extends deeper than the helicopter view, and Vancouver ranks as one of the cleanest cities in the world. 

Vancouver also ranks as one of the world's highest tech cities, serving as a hub for a litany of software development, biotech, aerospace, and video game companies. 

Which is to say that Vancouver residents have high-tech needs--and this extends to mobile coverage. Read on to learn about the ins and outs of cell phone coverage in Vancouver. 

Coverage in Vancouver At-a-Glance

Unfortunately, the cell phone coverage doesn't match the beauty of Vancouver, as the city comes in with a score of 35 out of 100. You can also check out this guide to coverage for the entirety of British Columbia

What we love
  • Three of the four majors provide adequate coverage
  • Competitive market with lots of choice
  • 4G LTE widely available
What could be improved
  • Coverage less reliable the further you travel from the city
  • Coverage can disappear in remote natural areas or along shorelines 

Carrier Network Coverage in Vancouver

Three of the major networks perform adequately throughout Vancouver. Your best bet is going with Rogers, Telus or Bell, in that order. 

Best Coverage in Vancouver by Network
Network  Covered Area %
Bell 47.59%
Rogers 52.97%
Freedom 37.01%
Telus 47.59%

Cell Phone Coverage in Vancouver by Area

The Vancouver region encompasses 568.00 square miles, and the most robust local carriers, Telus, Rogers and Bell, cover roughly half of it. 

Geographic Area Covered in Vancouver per mi2
Network Percentage Geographic Area Covered
Bell 47.59% 270.34
Rogers 52.97% 300.89
Freedom 37.01% 210.24
Telus 47.59% 270.34
Coverage data generated November 11st 2017 from carrier maps

Vancouver is broadly covered by both 3G and 4G LTE technology. 3G is the network that some older phones run on, and the one newer 4G LTE-capable devices fall back to when unable to reach a primary network. Here's how much territory the top carriers cover:

Coverage in Vancouver (568.00 m2) by 3G/4G LTE
Bell Rogers Freedom Telus
3G 257.57 300.89 165.14 257.57
4G LTE 270.34 282.36 210.24 270.34

Big Carriers vs. Small Carriers in Vancouver

When choosing a cell phone providers, there's no need to limit yourself to the big companies. There are dozens of smaller carriers that run on the major networks, but charge a fraction of the price for service. Known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs for short), these carriers purchase network service from the major providers at wholesale prices, then pass the savings on to consumers. 

Getting the Best Plan & Coverage

WhistleOut's industry-leading coverage check feature supercharges an already robust comparison engine by allowing you to instantly see what coverage is like at your location. Just  punch in your address, and we'll do the rest. 

In addition to showing you a map of your area with the coverage from all four major carriers, we filter through the available cell phone plans and present only those from carriers who provide good reception to you.  

Cell Phone Carriers in Vancouver

Here's the full list of wireless carriers (big and small) in Vancouver, and the network that each belongs to. Note that the smaller carriers—PhoneBox, Fido, etc.—utilize the networks of the major carriers.

Carrier Network Available in Vancouver
Bell MobilityBellYes
Chatr WirelessRogersYes
Freedom MobileFreedomYes
Koodo MobileTelusYes
PC MobileBell/Telus Yes
Petro Canada RogersYes
Public Mobile TelusYes
Rogers RogersYes
Videotron VideotronNo (roaming network only)
Virgin Mobile BellYes
7-11 SpeakOutRogers Yes

One More Thing: Using Public WiFi in Vancouver

Vancouver offers free WiFi in a variety of public spaces, a few of which are listed below. This is handy when you want to save your cellular data.

  • YVR Airport
  • Vancouver Public Library
  • Yaletown
  • Most restaurants
  • Shopping malls
  • Vancouver Aquatics Centre
  • Robson Public Market
  • Kitsilano Outdoor Pool
  • Aberdeen Centre
  • Richmond Centre
  • Tim Hortons
  • Starbucks locations
  • Waves Coffee House
  • Breka Bakery & Cafe
  • JJ Bean



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