A new survey suggests wireless network performance remains poor in Canada, with some Canadians saying their wireless network is “just fine” despite the increasing number of devices connected to it.
In fact, according to the survey, one in five Canadians surveyed have not been able to get online since the beginning of the year.
But with so many devices now connected to the internet, the quality of wireless networks has become a key issue for many.
In the survey of 1,200 Canadians, more than half said their wireless networks are either “okay” or “excellent” according to one of the leading consumer surveys on the internet.
The survey found that more than one in four Canadians said they were not satisfied with the quality and reliability of their wireless service.
“In the survey results we found a large proportion of Canadians who have a wireless service still don’t feel they have been satisfied with their wireless services,” said Andrew Meggs, chief executive officer of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA).
“We’ve seen some very good things, like the wireless industry, getting into the game.
But at the same time, we also see a number of Canadians having some issues with their service.”
More than one-quarter of respondents said they’d changed their wireless plan at least once in the last six months, compared to just over a third of those who didn’t change plans.
The numbers are similar to a recent CBC/Radio-Canada survey that found one in three Canadians are still not satisfied after six months with their plan.
“It’s not surprising that a large number of Canadian consumers are not satisfied,” Meggss said.
“That’s an indication that a significant number of consumers have changed their plan and their wireless subscription plans and not been satisfied.”
The Canadian Wireless Association says there are many factors contributing to poor wireless performance.
In some cases, it’s due to the way the network is configured.
Some wireless networks have been designed to support many different devices at the exact same time.
In addition, some carriers do not have a clear standard for how to connect devices.
For example, Rogers and Shaw, both of which operate in Canada’s largest wireless market, have been criticized for not setting a standard for wireless service quality.
But Meggess said he was not surprised by the survey’s findings, given that these companies have faced criticism over the past year over the quality they’re delivering.
“There’s a lot of things that are happening that aren’t going to make any difference if we don’t have a quality standard, and that’s why I think this is an issue for consumers,” he said.
For instance, Rogers is the only Canadian company that has an international standard, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
But in the U.S., there are also a number other wireless companies that are competing against Rogers for business.
“We’re in a very competitive marketplace with a lot more companies offering services across the world,” Meggerss said of the U,S.
“You’re seeing more and more companies trying to innovate.
You see the emergence of some of the smaller carriers that offer wireless services across Canada.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t be competitive.”
Meggson said the new Canadian wireless standard would be the first of its kind in the world.
But he noted that Rogers has been trying to improve its wireless service since 2015, with an ambitious plan to make sure it would have “the best possible network.”
He said Rogers is not alone.
“The U.K., Ireland and a number more countries are also looking to make their networks more competitive,” he noted.
“And they’re looking at this from the perspective of a lot other businesses that are using our networks to deliver services to their customers.”
Meggers said the wireless community has a lot to learn from Rogers.
“What we’re trying to do here is to really understand the different ways that we can improve and the different way that we are going to work together to make that happen,” he explained.
“Rogers has been working hard to get better and it’s working well.
It’s not perfect, but they’re trying their best to improve.”
However, the CTA’s Meggis said that for some consumers, there’s a better way.
“I think what the consumer really needs to understand is that if you’re looking for a wireless plan that’s going to be good for you for the foreseeable future, and you’re not just going to keep switching to different carriers, then we think it’s best to go with the one that has the most advanced technology,” he added.
The CTA is currently in the process of preparing a wireless network standard.
Megg’s company, which has been lobbying the federal government for the wireless standard, said they’ve heard from customers and have been in discussions with the government to help them get the standard finalized.
The industry is also considering other changes.
“Somebody needs to make it easier for consumers to choose a plan, not just a wireless provider, to pick the best plan