List of mobile network operators in Canada

As of March 2021, there are over 33 million wireless subscriptions in Canada.[1] Approximately 90% of Canadian mobile phone users subscribe to one of the four largest national telecommunication companies (Rogers Wireless, Bell Mobility, Freedom Mobile and Telus Mobility) or one of their subsidiary brands. These four mobile network operators own and operate transmission facilities that cover most of the country, though they sometimes share each other's networks in certain geographical regions in order to reduce costs and reach more customers.

The remaining 10% of subscribers are served by smaller, regional providers, mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), and resellers.[2] Regional providers own and operate transmission facilities that cover a limited area and rely on partnerships with national service providers to connect their customers across Canada. In contrast, MVNOs and resellers do not own spectrum or network infrastructure and are required to lease network capacity from other providers at wholesale rates. While MVNOs have their own facilities to package and support their mobile services, resellers rely on the host network provider to package, market, bill, and deliver mobile services.[3]

All wireless service providers in Canada are regulated by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), which has been blamed by some for the concentration of wireless service subscribers to only three large national carriers. Though measures have been taken to encourage more competition, critics suggest that more should be done to address the issue, e.g. by mandating wholesale network access for MVNOs.[4][5]

Mobile network operators (MNOs)

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This is a list of mobile network operators, which includes national and regional service providers. Where applicable, this list will also include any subsidiary "extension" brands associated with a mobile service provider. While primary brands, such as Rogers Wireless or Bell Mobility, account for roughly 82% of wireless revenue, extension brands allow wireless service providers to differentiate service offerings and reach broader market segments.[6]

Operator Subscribers
(in millions)
Coverage
(excluding roaming)
Ownership
Bell Mobility 10.028 (Q2 2023) Nationwide[note 1] BCE Inc.
Eastlink Wireless 0.075 (Q4 2015) NB, NL, NS, ON, PE, AB Eastlink
Iristel NU, NT, YT, QC Iristel
K-Net Mobile Remote ON[7][8] Communities Keewaytinook Okimakanak
Rogers Wireless 11.349 (Q2 2023) ON, QC, NS, NB, MB,
BC, PE, SK, AB, NL
Rogers Communications
SaskTel Mobility 0.654 (Q4 2022) Saskatchewan SaskTel
Sogetel Mobilité Quebec Sogetel
SSi Canada Quebec, Nunavut SSi Canada
TbayTel Mobility Ontario TbayTel
Telus Mobility 10.202 (Q4 2023) Nationwide[note 1] Telus Corporation
Québecor 3.600 (Q2 2023) QC, ON, BC, AB, MB Québecor
  1. ^ a b Bell Mobility and Telus Mobility have a multiple operator core network agreement to provide a common radio network to the customer (distinct from a roaming arrangement, where the radio networks are separate). Bell builds most of its towers in Eastern Canada, while most of Telus' towers are in Western Canada.

Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and resellers

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Operator Network Ownership Type / Info
7-Eleven Speak Out Wireless Rogers Wireless Ztar Mobile Reseller[9]
DCI Wireless Telus Mobility DCI Telecom Inc. Reseller[9]
Fongo Wireless Rogers Wireless Fibernetics Corporation Data only plans
Aetel Canada Telus Mobility Reseller
PC Mobile Bell Mobility Loblaws Reseller
Good2Go Mobility Rogers Wireless Ztar Mobile Reseller[9]
Wundle Mobile Bell Mobility/Telus Mobility Wundle United Co-Op/Fabricate INC Reseller
PhoneBox Canada Rogers/Telus Connex Telecommunications Inc. Reseller
Canadiansim.com Rogers Wireless Canadiansim.com Reseller
Execulink Mobility Bell Mobility Execulink Telecom Inc. Reseller/Wiresless Carrier
Quadro Mobility Bell Mobility Quadro Communications Co-operative Inc. Reseller/Wiresless Carrier
Wightman Mobility Telus Mobility Wightman Telecom Ltd. Reseller/Wiresless Carrier
CTExcel Canada Telus Mobility China Telecom Reseller
Always Mobile Various Always Mobile Reseller eSIM Data Plans

Push-to-talk networks

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Operator Ownership Coverage Technology Frequency Status Notes
Airtel Wireless Airtel Wireless Ltd. Calgary iDEN SMR Active
Fleetcom Fleetcom Inc. Toronto iDEN SMR Active

Former MVNOs

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Operator Network Ownership Notes
Amp'd Mobile Telus Mobility Launched on March 14, 2007. Discontinued on August 1, 2007 and eventually replaced by Koodo.
Clearnet Started as second Clearnet incarnation as MVNO on April 5, 2011 by Telus. Discontinued as of June 2, 2012.
MiKE Launched in 1996 by Clearnet on iDEN platform from Motorola. Clearnet acquired by Telus in 2000. Shutdown on January 29, 2016.
Shaw Mobile Freedom Mobile Rogers Wireless Discontinued as of December 21, 2023.
Solo Mobile Bell Mobility Bell Canada Discontinued for new customers, but still active for current ones.
Sprint Canada Fido Rogers Wireless Had 31,000 customers in Q3 2005 before being acquired
Petro-Canada Mobility Rogers Wireless Ztar Mobile Discontinued, customers migrated to Good2Go Mobility
Xplore Mobile Bell Mobility Xplore Inc. Xplore Mobile brand was announced August 1, 2018. Discontinued August 2022.
Cityfone Rogers Wireless As of November, 15, 2023 the company stopped accepting new activations and began transitioning customers over to Rogers Wireless.
Primus Wireless
Sears Connect
Simply Connect
Zoomer Wireless

Defunct, merged and acquired operators

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Some operators listed below may still function as a separate brand but they no longer own any infrastructure (towers, network, etc.).

Operator Ownership Voice technology Data technology End date Notes
CityWest CityWest GSM EDGE December 13, 2013 Wireless services discontinued; mobile customers transitioned to Telus[10]
Bell Aliant Bell Aliant CDMA 2006 Wireless services discontinued, migrated to Bell Mobility.
Bell MTS Mobility Bell MTS CDMA October, 2018 Wireless services discontinued, migrated to Bell Mobility.
Clearnet Clearnet Communications CDMA2000 EV-DO 2000 Network merged with Telus
Dryden Municipal Telephone Service Dryden Municipal Telephone Service GSM, CDMA2000 EDGE, EV-DO December 21, 2012 Wireless customers migrated to Tbaytel[11]
Fido Microcell GSM EDGE November 8, 2004 Network merged with Rogers; continues to operate as an MVNO.
Freedom Mobile Shaw GSM LTE December 21, 2023 Network merged with Videotron; continues to operate as an MVNO.
Kenora Municipal Telephone Service (KMTS) Kenora Municipal Telephone Service CDMA2000 EV-DO February 2008 Acquired by Bell Aliant.
Lynx Mobility Lynx Mobility GSM EDGE March 2018 Ceased operations.
Mobilicity DAVE Wireless UMTS HSPA+ 2016 Acquired by Rogers Wireless; customers transitioned to Chatr Mobile.
NorthernTel Mobility NorthernTel Mobility July 19, 2015 NorthernTel Mobility wireless subscribers moved to Bell Mobility.[12]
Northwestel Northwestel June 19, 2014 Wireless services discontinued, sold to Bell Mobility.[13]
Public Mobile Public Mobile CDMA2000 EV-DO August 8, 2014[14] Acquired by Telus; CDMA network decommissioned, continues to operate as a Telus MVNO[14]
Superior Wireless Superior Wireless CDMA2000 EV-DO August 2006 Merged with TBayTel
Télébec Mobilité Télébec February 2007 Télébec Mobilité wireless subscribers moved to Bell Aliant.[15]
TNW Investel Capital 3G

See also

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References

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  1. ^ "Subscribers Stats EN 2021 Q1" (PDF). CWTA. Retrieved June 6, 2021.
  2. ^ "Communications Monitoring Report 2015" (PDF). CRTC.
  3. ^ "Mobile Service Providers". February 16, 2016.
  4. ^ Geist, Michael (May 8, 2015). "CRTC falls short on true wireless competition". Toronto Star.
  5. ^ Chin, Brian (May 8, 2015). "No room for low-cost MVNO smartphone plan providers in Canada".
  6. ^ "Percentage of revenues and subscribers derived via primary brands, extension brands, and resellers/rebillers, 2014" (PDF). Communications Monitoring Report. CRTC.
  7. ^ "K-Net Mobile 3G Data Map | MOBILE". mobile.knet.ca. Archived from the original on September 27, 2023. Retrieved January 7, 2024.
  8. ^ "Network Coverage – KuhKenah Network". Archived from the original on October 31, 2023. Retrieved January 7, 2024.
  9. ^ a b c Wideman, Alex. "What is an MVNO? List and Status in Canada". Cansumer. Retrieved September 26, 2022.
  10. ^ "About TELUS". about.telus.com. Archived from the original on December 16, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  11. ^ "DMTS Notice to Customers " Dryden Municipal Telephone System". Dryden Municipal Telephone System. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  12. ^ http://support.bell.ca/Mobility/NorthernTel-Mobility-and-Telebec-Migration
  13. ^ http://www.bce.ca/news-and-media/releases/show/northwestel-wireless-moves-to-bell-mobility
  14. ^ a b "Public Mobile". www.publicmobile.ca.
  15. ^ "About Télébec > History".