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Why is there basically no coverage for the whole province of manitoba?


I notice that I'm the only person in my company who can't use my cell phone in manitoba. When I look at the coverage maps I can see that there is extremely limited coverage for the entire province including some of highway 1. SaskTel phones use the same network as bell/telus/koodo and they work fine here in manitoba. is there a reason for this? obviously the network infrastructure is in place.....

17 replies

Rogers/MTS are the reason.
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KaneSlavik wrote:

Rogers/MTS are the reason.

To clarify, Rogers and MTS signed an exclusive agreement to share the existing HSPA network. If anyone else wants to provide coverage they have to build their own network from the ground up.
Below is the text of the complaint I filed with CRTC over this. It's not all Koodo's fault but I feel ripped off that there is no coverage in the whole province. This should be made more clear. Koodo/Telus/ Bell advertise themselves as national carriers but provide extremely limited service in the province of Manitoba. Almost no service is available off of Highway 1 and in fact not all of highway one is even covered as it is virtually everywhere else in the country. Large towns are not covered and neither are virtually all the roads in the province. This stands in stark contrast to the service provided in the rest of the country where large areas or remote or rural country side are covered. This presents sever problems for me as a user: 1. The device I count on for work and road safety does not work as it does in the rest of the country 2. Even though I receive no service I still pay the same monthly bill The upshot is that I end up having to get a new MTS or rogers account and either using it or having my calls forwarded to a local 204 number. When I signed the service agreement with Koodo I was not made aware that there was little to no service in Manitoba; a fact that would have influenced my purchasing decision since I travel regularly for work. I realize that this situation is the result of what is effectively an embargo agreement between MTS and Rogers and thus is not entirely Koodo’s fault. My complaint to the CRTC is that companies are allowed to create zones where other service providers are barred from effectively offering service. This only serves to reduce competition in the local market and infuriate customers from neighbouring provinces not on Rogers. My complaint regarding Koodo is that this fact was not made abundantly clear to me when I signed up for my service contract. Obviously as a user I expect that not all areas of the country are covered by mobile networks but I do expect that the standard of service should not be vastly different between adjacent provinces where factors such as terrain and population density are not radically different. So far as I can see ths problem can only be resolved by the regulator or by a huge expenditure by koodo/telus/bell that they are unlikely to make.
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Findlay MacDermid wrote:

Below is the text of the complaint I filed with CRTC over this. It's not all Koodo's fault but I ...

It would be difficult to explain to every customer which areas had good or poor coverage. It would be up to the customer to look at the coverage map for each provider when they were shopping around. The good news is that Koodo does not have any cancellation fees or contracts so you can easily switch to a provider with better coverage with little difficulty
Findlay MacDermid wrote:

Below is the text of the complaint I filed with CRTC over this. It's not all Koodo's fault but I ...

True, buyer beware at all times with wireless. However we are not talking about a specific area here, it's an entire province and I'm not entirely blaming koodo/Telus/bell. I'd say the majority of the fault lies with CRTC/Rogers/MTS. Nonetheless, I read everything I sign and I was extremely surprised to find that the coverage was so bad. Rogers coverage in Saskatchewan is terrible (could be because of the same kind of deal) so if you are like me and you travel a lot for work what do you do? Canceling my contract and going to rogers won't help; you have to have 2 phone accounts. When I went to mexico I got a local phone there. When I go to manitoba I have to do the same thing? seems like I should expect that for another country but not another province.
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Findlay MacDermid wrote:

Below is the text of the complaint I filed with CRTC over this. It's not all Koodo's fault but I ...

There's no law or regulation that specifies that you are guaranteed service everywhere in Canada. As such, your complaint with the CRTC has no merit. That being said, I don't disagree with you that coverage should be better. After all, aren't we constantly reminded that our (Canadian, not Koodo per se) rates are high because our incumbent providers give us excellent coverage despite the giant landmass?
Findlay MacDermid wrote:

Below is the text of the complaint I filed with CRTC over this. It's not all Koodo's fault but I ...

yes, I'm sure you are correct and as I stated I have no expectation that coverage is everywhere. My beef with Koodo is that the service is not really nation wide if it largely excludes one province. If Koodo has made a business decision to exclude most of manitoba from it's coverage area then this should be made clear in the contracts. As far as the network goes, there are already towers but agreements between companies keep bell/telus/koodo from building out the infrastructure. This reduces competitiveness and drives up costs for the users. Since CRTC is attempting to introduce more competition to the market why not look at these types of problems as well?
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Findlay MacDermid wrote:

Below is the text of the complaint I filed with CRTC over this. It's not all Koodo's fault but I ...

Because it's not the CRTC's job to. You're making a big deal out of something that can't be controlled. You literally want to either a) force carriers to make agreements with each other to use each others networks and make themselves less competitive or b) make the carriers build more towers which also isn't going to happen. Just because you don't like the way a business works, you can't change it becuase you feel like it. Koodo is not run by the CRTC or the government and neither is any other carrier. It's your job as a consumer to do your research before buying anything. Nothing was hidden from you and there was no misrepresentation
Findlay MacDermid wrote:

Below is the text of the complaint I filed with CRTC over this. It's not all Koodo's fault but I ...

Because Koodo has CDMA service across Canada(as well as HSPA, to most degrees), they can be classified as a National Carrier.
Findlay MacDermid wrote:

Below is the text of the complaint I filed with CRTC over this. It's not all Koodo's fault but I ...

so when they shut down CDMA service, which they are doing shortly, then they will no longer be a national carrier? I tried to get my phone activated on the CDMA network and they wouldn't do it. That would solve the problem as many phone are capable of downgrading (Iphones for example or any "global" or "world" phone)
Findlay MacDermid wrote:

Below is the text of the complaint I filed with CRTC over this. It's not all Koodo's fault but I ...

Try it, call them up and tell them you want to put your phone on the CDMA network.... see what they say....
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Findlay MacDermid wrote:

Below is the text of the complaint I filed with CRTC over this. It's not all Koodo's fault but I ...

Check the specs for your phone again. Is it CDMA or WCDMA? The two are very different networks. CDMA is an early 2G communication standard. WCDMA is a 3G standard built off of the GSM network, a different network with completely different protocols. The only company offering an iphone capable of a CDMA connection is Verizon, and even that is ONLY on the Verizon network, since CDMA phones cannot be unlocked from their original provider.
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I don't know where you got the idea that Koodo/Telus have towers in MB. They don't. Neither does Bell. MTS has towers. From 1908 until 1996 they were a government owned Crown corporation who effectively controlled all telecommunications in MB. Rogers signed a deal which allows them, and only them, to share these towers. Cell towers cost an average of $150,000.00 apiece to build. No cell company is going to go to the expense of building towers and then make an executive decision not to use them.
Timo Tuokkola wrote:

I don't know where you got the idea that Koodo/Telus have towers in MB. They don't. Neither doe...

It must have been from the marketing about covering 97% of the Canadian population or something. I guess I missed the fine print about not including manitoba. I'm not suggesting that they made a decision not to use the towers, I'm saying they are not building them. I'm aware that they are expensive which is why it is so stupid to have companies building towers next to one and other.
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Timo Tuokkola wrote:

I don't know where you got the idea that Koodo/Telus have towers in MB. They don't. Neither doe...

It does cover over 70% of Manitoba's population which includes its top 4 cities (by population)
Timo Tuokkola wrote:

I don't know where you got the idea that Koodo/Telus have towers in MB. They don't. Neither doe...

The 97% was for the CDMA network. HSPA coverage is not nearly as wide spread as the CDMA network.
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Only people to blame is MTS and Rogers. CRTC as no say on this. Botton line, MTS and Rogers signed an agreement to make any other cell phone provider build their own network if they want coverage. As previously mentioned it's $150,000 roughly per tower. It's no different signed the agreement with Tbay Tel in Northern Ontario. Only Rogers customers can roam on Tbay Tel towers for free and get excellent coverage.

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