Best Cell Phone Coverage in British Columbia

10 January 2018

Occupying Canada's Pacific seaboard and dominated by the soaring Rockies, British Columbia offers its four million residents a lot to do and see. 

Over half of British Columbians live in the Vancouver metro region, making the city a true hub of industry, technology and culture. Plus, you're unlikely to find many cities as picturesque. 

With so much of the province outside of Vancouver dominated by rural, wild areas, it's not surprising to learn that cell phone coverage isn't the best throughout British Columbia. That said, the reception you receive will depend largely on where you are exactly in BC, and which carrier you're with. Read on to learn more. 

Coverage in British Columbia Canada

Given how much of British Columbia is still untamed wilderness, it's perhaps not surprising that the province comes in with a coverage score of 8 out of 100. However, you can expect coverage to be pretty solid in and around Vancouver

What we love
  • Coverage from Telus and Bell is tops in B.C.
  • Rogers is the next best network in the province
What could be improved
  • Freedom has minimal coverage and is best to avoid
  • Coverage always challenging in remote wilderness and deep in the Rockies

Carrier Network Coverage in British Columbia

The top four major carriers are represented throughout British Columbia, as are a multitude of smaller carriers that run on their networks.

Telus, Rogers, and Bell generally provide the best coverage in British Columbia (in that order), while Freedom Mobile barely registers.

Best Coverage in British Columbia, Canada by Network
Network  Covered Area %
Bell 18.90%
Rogers 9.97%
Freedom 0.24%
Telus 18.90%

Cell Phone Coverage in British Columbia by Area

British Columbia encompasses 366,969 square miles, and the most robust carriers, Rogers and Bell, cover a little less than 20% of it: 

Geographic Area Covered in B.C. per mi2
Network Percentage Geographic Area Covered
Bell 18.90% 69,367
Rogers 9.97% 36,587
Freedom 0.24% 891
Telus 18.90% 69,367
Coverage data generated November 11st 2017 from carrier maps

British Columbia is covered by both 3G and 4G LTE technology. 3G is the network that some older phones run on, and the one newer 4G LTE-capable devices fall back to when unable to reach a primary network. Here's how much territory the top carriers cover:

Coverage in British Columbia, Canada (366,969 m2) by 3G/4G LTE
Bell Rogers Freedom Telus
3G 69,367 36,587 891 69,367
4G LTE 56,165 34,937 591

British Columbia Coverage Maps

Numbers on a page are one thing, but the coverage maps tell the full story. Fortunately, you don't have to go to all of the carriers' websites to get this information--you can see what the coverage is like from the four majors below: 

As the map shows, Telus and Rogers lead the way for coverage in BC, followed by Bell. Freedom, meanwhile, barely shows up to the party. 

Big Carriers vs. Small Carriers in British Colubia

If you're on more of a budget but still want the same network coverage as a top lever carrier, we think using an MVNO is a smart bet. These carriers run off of a top level carrier network to provide their customer with quality service but at a more affordable price.

For example, if you find you Rogers coverage to be what you need but the pricing is a bit too high, you can use a carrier that runs off of Rogers and offers cheaper monthly plans. You can switch to PC Mobile, Koodo, Public Mobile, and PhoneBox as these providers all use the Rogers network to deliver service to their customers.

Getting the Best Plan & Coverage

Our new coverage check is a sweet tool that will help you stay connected. Find the right plan is super easy. Simply enter in your address and we'll show you plan you can purchase that support your Province. If you want to view the map, scroll to the bottom of the page to see who has the best network coverage at your address today

Coverage Map Comparison
Checking coverage at an address in Encinitas across Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and ATT networks

Once you search your address, don't forget to use our smart filtering options to narrow down your search results. That way you'll get the best cell phone plan in BC.

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