Is 5G Available in Canada?
Introducing 5G all over Canada is a challenging task primarily due to the country’s size. Despite that, some major service providers have already established their 5G presence, but most carriers still haven’t provided their customers with 5G access. So, how long will you have to wait to start using 5G on your cell phone plan in Canada?
This article will give you a list of providers with 5G network coverage and when you can expect other platforms to meet the standard.
How Can You Access 5G in Canada?
You can use 5G in Canada if you’ve subscribed to one of the following three service providers:
The first two on the list released their 5G coverage in June 2020 in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. Conversely, Rogers Wireless introduced the network using their 5G New Radio at the beginning of 2020 in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver.
All three companies offer access to 5G without additional expenses. However, Rogers Wireless and Bell Mobility announced their plans to start charging a fee for using 5G in March 2021 – but have since revoked their intention. This brings a lot of uncertainty as to whether or not the service will remain free in the upcoming period.
Furthermore, other companies that may enable access to 5G include Wi-Fi providers, such as Eastlink and Xplornet. These carriers are looking to include broadband internet to improve the capabilities of their network. As a result, the various cutting-edge broadband Wi-Fi features may allow these carriers to release 5G by the end of the year.
Could Some Other Mobile Carriers Deploy Their 5G Network in 2021?
It’s very likely that mobile carriers, such as Virgin Mobile, Koodo, and Fido, will allow their customers to use 5G in 2021 or a bit later. Even though they operate on the identical 4G LTE network as Rogers Wireless, 5G is still inaccessible as of today. Nevertheless, the public expects these three to release 5G coverage next year.
Other providers that may launch 5G next year include SaskTel, Freedom Mobile, Videotron, and some other regional networks.
Best 5G Cell Phone Plans in Canada
What About Other Service Providers?
Since some prepaid carriers and low-end Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) consider price more important than performance, their network doesn’t have what it takes to run a fast service like 5G. Consequently, you may not see 5G access in the near future with the following service providers:
There are also carriers that feature high-speed 4G LTE internet data, such as SimplyConnect and Cityfone. However, these providers haven’t improved their networks, meaning that you shouldn’t expect them to release 5G anytime soon.
Which Cell Phone Plans Should You Get to Reach 5G?
As previously mentioned, you should look for a plan provided by Bell Mobility, Telus Mobility, or Rogers Infinite to use 5G on your phone. Your best option is to go for an unlimited internet data plan because there are no fees for exceeding your data. Luckily, you can get an unlimited plan from all three providers in select markets. Best of all, most of their contracts are on a monthly basis if you bring your own device, and multi-year contracts are necessary only if you’re looking to buy a new phone.
Can You Use 5G Under a Prepaid Plan in Canada?
Unfortunately, you can’t gain access to 5G if you have a prepaid plan. Not even the three abovementioned carriers can give you this option, meaning that purchasing a postpaid plan is the only way for you to get 5G in Canada.
What Phones Should You Use to Access 5G?
Unlike the US, where the number of phones that can utilize 5G is relatively limited, Canada offers its residents a wide array of 5G devices. Here’s which major producers let you use 5G in Canada:
Apple’s most recent flagship, the iPhone 12, is a premium device that gives you access to 5G. You can also get the network on the cheaper version, the iPhone 12 Mini, even though the price is still relatively high (nearly $1,000). When you add 5G to a reliably snappy and dependable device, such as the newest iPhone, you’ll be getting the full-on high-speed internet experience.
The full list of 5G-compatible Apple devices goes as follows:
- iPhone 12
- iPhone 12 Mini
- iPhone 12 Pro
- iPhone 12 Pro Max
Samsung was one of the first companies to introduce 5G-compatible devices in Canada. The high-end models you can get from Telus Mobility, Bell Mobility, and Rogers Wireless include the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note 20 models. In addition, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 also support 5G. You can get Samsung’s devices from other, smaller carriers, but don’t be confused since they only use the 4G LTE network for now.
Here are all the Samsung devices that support 5G:
- Galaxy S20
- Galaxy S20 Plus
- Galaxy Note 20
- Galaxy Note Ultra
- Galaxy Z Fold 2
- Galaxy Z Flip
If you want to save some money and still ensure 5G on your device, Google Pixel 5 might be perfect for you. It has all the premium features you need, and comes at a price of just $799, making it a worthy competitor to Apple and Samsung. Google also offers a more affordable entry. Namely, the Google Pixel 4a is also 5G-compatible, delivers exceptional performance, and costs $679.
Motorola is another manufacturer that offers 5G on its flagship device. In particular, the Motorola Edge+ gives you access to 5G, and you can get it at Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility, and Bell Mobility. You can also purchase the device at Koodo, but as we’ve already covered, you won’t be able to use 5G in that case.
Other features that the Motorola Edge+ brings to the table include high download speeds, a huge battery, fast CPU, excellent camera, and an eye-catching display.
As for LG, the company combines 5G access, advanced hardware, and some of the lowest prices on the market. You can choose from two models if you want 5G on your phone:
- The LG V60
- The LG Velvet Dual Screen
Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility have both of these devices, whereas Rogers Wireless only offers the LG Velvet Dual Screen.
If You Choose a 5G Device, What Are the Features You Can Get?
5G outperforms other network types in nearly all the relevant fields. There are many perks of getting a 5G device. Here are the main ones:
- You can get much higher speeds – 5G networks still haven’t reached their full operating power. Namely, you can expect your 5G internet speeds to be up to 100 times faster than 4G LTE. Accordingly, it will only take a few seconds to download large files, you’ll be able to stream high-resolution videos effortlessly, and your overall experience will be much better.
- Greater capacity – Even when there’s a large number of people nearby using the same network, 5G will still deliver high-speed internet. This is because the network works with greater capacity, allowing it to receive multiple data streams.
- Lower latency – 5G will allow you to connect to multiple devices in double-quick time.
- Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (AR) – Since 5G ensures faster connections and lower latency, you’ll be able to enjoy more immersive experiences. For instance, multiple views at entertainment and sporting events will be much smoother with 5G.
- Cloud gaming – With 5G, you’ll be able to access cloud gaming wherever you are. Only now, response times will be much faster, and the performance on your device will be more optimized.
Can You Upgrade Your Network to 5G?
The only way you can use the 5G network on a 4G device is if you have either the Motorola Moto Z3 or Motorola Moto z4. This is because these models have a built-in “moto mod” you can insert into the back of your phone. As a result, you can access Verizon’s 5G network in the US. Otherwise, you can’t upgrade your network to 5G, meaning that you’ll need to buy a new phone that’s compatible with the newly-established network.
On the other hand, many cell towers can be upgraded to reach 5G coverage, but the upgrade requires compatible hardware. Presently, many 5G cell towers operate using 4G LTE antennas since they work on the same broadcast radio signals.
It’s a New Generation
When you take a look at all relevant performance aspects (internet speed, latency, response times), 5G is a much better option than all the other networks you’ve used so far. If you’re a Canadian resident, you can get the network from either one of your three major carriers. Again, try to get an unlimited plan since you won’t have to worry about exceeding your data limit and restricting your 5G experience. Choose a compatible phone that fits your budget, make sure that it has all the other features you need, and embark on your 5G journey.