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Thread: Saskatchewan: It's time for an upgrade. Seriously.

  1. #1
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    Saskatchewan: It's time for an upgrade. Seriously.

    Hello.

    On a whim I zoomed into the Canadian coverage map and made some estimates of how many cell sites are GSM/GPRS/EDGE-only (no 3G and no LTE). There aren't many, but the pattern is rather interesting. (Note that I estimated based on coverage area; it might be that some of these sites are HSPA at 1900 MHz but GSM/EDGE at 850 MHz so the 2G coverage area is larger. Still, the general theme is accurate.)

    My estimates for the remaining 2G-only sites:

    British Columbia: 3
    Alberta: 0
    Saskatchewan: 47
    Manitoba: 2
    Ontario: 3
    New Brunswick: 0
    Prince Edward Island: probably 0, possibly 1 or 2
    Nova Scotia: 1
    Newfoundland & Labrador: 0

    So... non-Saskatchewan Canada, at most, 11; Saskatchewan alone, 47 (give or take a couple).

    I'm quite sure, given my experience trying to use EDGE at my cottage on a weekend, that those in more populous EDGE-only areas (Weyburn, Estevan, Swift Current, Moose Jaw, Yorkton, Battlefords, Prince Albert) can barely use their data connectivity due to overloading of capacity. Today's devices simply expect too much from such a small pipe, especially if many people are using that same pipe at once.

    Rogers, it's time you upgraded Saskatchewan. It was time 5 years ago. It's time you add some significant new coverage here too - a dozen or two towers would go a long way to making your network at least semi-competitive here.

    Colleagues who visit here from other provinces are amazed to find out how little coverage there is here - and this is the only province in Canada, short of Newfoundland, where this is true. Newfoundland, however, has new coverage (a ton of new 3G and a little LTE, plus new service at the west end of the island). Meanwhile, in Saskatchewan... the crickets chirp.

    I ported out; I got tired of waiting. More and more will do the same. Are you really giving up on Saskatchewan - with the second-strongest economy in Canada?
    SaskTel 306, Rogers 647 data, Rogers 306 flex tablet, Bell 519 flex tablet, Wind 587, PureTalkUSA 406, T-Mobile 716 & 347 prepaid, AT&T iPad SIM 716, T-Mobile postpaid data 619, Toggle Mobile (UK/FR/US), GiffGaff (UK)

    GSM phones: Too many to list.

  2. #2
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    In the last year, I thought Rogers should do what they did in Thunder Bay market and just pull out and sell the subscriber base to the incumbent, in this case Sasktel. This way Rogers customers get access to 3G in places like Estevan finally
    Man gets hit by Brick Phone! Ouch!

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    I agree, make some sort of deal with Sasktel. When I head to my parents out in SK, its bad getting only EDGE for most of the trip there. At least they live along the trans-Canada highway to get just EDGE.

  4. #4
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    The problem is, SaskTel has no incentive to make a deal. MTS made a deal with Rogers because, from what I understand, Rogers did most of the heavy lifting upgrading MTS' CDMA network to HSPA+. In Saskatchewan, however, SaskTel did their own network upgrades, and their footprint is massive now compared to Rogers'. I'm blown away at how densely covered it is, actually. I can't remember the last time I found myself out of SaskTel's coverage area.

    Rogers should upgrade here, if for no other reason that their coverage map looks embarrassing with this giant hole of a little yellow and a lot of white in the heart of Canada. If Rogers is going to pretend to be a national carrier, they at least have to make a show of it.

    Lots of people would like a serious alternative to SaskTel, I assure you (and Bell and Telus aren't the greatest choices).

    You know what's scary? Wind could come here soon and in a few months, have a better network than Rogers. (They won't do that. But they easily could.)

  5. #5
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    Well Weyburn is getting LTE now, so it will be the first LTE market that has EDGE as a fallback?

    Oops, it's bell launching LTE, not Rogers. I don't know why I thought somehow Rogers would be EXPANDING anything in SK.
    Last edited by Hans_Moleman; 06-20-2013 at 03:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hans_Moleman View Post
    Well Weyburn is getting LTE now, so it will be the first LTE market that has EDGE as a fallback?
    Interesting news - where did you hear it and is there any news about it on the web?

  7. #7
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    Oops, it was Bell, not Rogers. Damn it.. of course..

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hans_Moleman View Post
    Oops, it was Bell, not Rogers. Damn it.. of course..
    SaskTel's turning on LTE in Weyburn very soon, so that adds up.

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    I had seen the Bell expansion into Weyburn announced on mobile syrup. So does Bell have an LTE agreement with Sasktel?

  10. #10
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    Yes, it took awhile but Bell and Telus customers can roam on SaskTel LTE, and SaskTel customers on Bell and Telus LTE.

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    Rogers coverage in Saskatchewan is pathetic. I like many others got sick of waiting and ported out. I happily paid the ETF just to get out. Now not only do I actually have coverage I have reliable LTE as well. After multiple battles with Rogers on FB asking when they ever planned to upgrade Saskatchewan they actually banned me from posting. Guess they didn't like someone posting about their lack of commitment to the province. When ever I talk to people who are on Rogers they are all jumping ship. I would be curious to know how many subscribers they ave left. Can't be very many.

  12. #12
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    Maybe Rogers needs some embarrassment.

    There are simple upgrades Rogers could do now (like putting 3G - not even LTE - at Lumsden and Regina Beach) that would increase their credibility, but it's clear that Saskatchewan is just an afterthought at this point. It's a real shame because when Rogers changed to GSM, it actually had some competitive advantages over SaskTel, which it squandered.

    Rogers doesn't need to do a ton - just expand the network a few sites each year and upgrade the existing footprint to 3G. People would notice the expansion and be willing to stay aboard or migrate to Rogers, I'm sure. But when it's clear Rogers has no intention to do anything except to keep Regina and Saskatoon well-covered (and presumably that's for travelers, otherwise why bother), Saskatchewanians have little incentive to choose Rogers.

  13. #13
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    It would make sense to upgrade to at least 3G to the booming parts of the province like Estevan, but noooooo. Apparently that costs too much?

    Thankfully I have an unlocked Nexus 4, so I'll get a prepaid sim and use data only when I visit SK. prepaid data is still way too expensive though. Ugh.

  14. #14
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    The sad reality is that if you want to go anywhere rural, in most of Canada, Rogers is a second tier provider. Saskatchewan is an extreme example. Manitoba is the exception thanks to their MTS deal.

    Ask the locals when you're in these places and they will almost certainly make fun of Rogers or say it's simply not an option. Finding a local Rogers dealer can be challenging. The service can be so bad that nobody wants to sell it.

    I switched to Bellus and enjoy making fun of my friends on road trips.

    There are of course exceptions to this so I keep a Rogers sim around just in case.

  15. #15
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    I had a customer who lives right on the MB/SK border come by yesterday complaining about the service. I've had bad service exactly around where he lives so it's not just him. However, he told me that Rogers is plotting out a new site right near Antler on SK side of the border. I seriously doubt this is real.. Most likely a company like RF Now building a new wireless internet site or an oil company. Has anyone else heard similar rumours? I can't see Rogers ever upgrading the SK network to 3G.. Took this long not too.. So what's another 5 years to them?

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