Best Cell Phone Coverage In Ottawa

10 January 2018

Ottawans have it pretty good. 

Sure, Canada’s capital city is cold—in fact it’s the seventh coldest capital in the world, behind such frigid places as Ulaan-Bataar, Mongolia and Helsinki, Finland. But if you can withstand the winters, Ottawa has so much to offer. 

For starters, Ottawa features a magical blend of city and country. Wherever you are, you’re probably not far from a park (or a field—it boasts more farmland than any other Canadian city). It’s also exceedingly clean, so much so that Forbes ranked Ottawa the fourth cleanest major city in the world. 

And then there’s the people. They’re undoubtedly some of the friendliest anywhere—perhaps because their city puts them in a good mood. After all, Ottawa boasts the second-highest standard of living in the nation. 

As for as the local economy goes, salaries are the highest of any city in Canada, and unemployment is extremely low. The Federal government is the city’s largest employer, but technology is a big local player as well: Ottawa’s 1,800 tech companies employ over 60,000 people. 

One other bonus to living in Ottawa is the great cell phone reception, as most of the major carriers provide excellent service to the city. Read on to learn the ins and outs of coverage in Ottawa. 

Coverage in Ottawa At-a-Glance

Beautiful scenery and the Senators hockey team are not the only reasons to come to Ottawa--there's also the great cell phone coverage. Ottawa comes in with an stellar coverage score of 88 out of 100. Here's a guide to coverage for the entirety of Ontario

What we love
  • Bell, Rogers and Telus all blanket Ottawa with great coverage
  • Competitive market with lots of choice
  • 4G LTE widely available
What could be improved
  • Coverage less reliable the further you travel from the city
  • Freedom's coverage in Ottawa is not great

Carrier Network Coverage in Ottawa

While no carrier's perfect, three of the four major networks perform suberbly throughout Ottawa. This means you can join any of them--or the multitude of smaller carriers that run on their networks--to get great coverage. 

Best Coverage in Ottawa by Network
Network  Covered Area %
Bell 99.86%
Rogers 99.70%
Freedom 20.90%
Telus 99.88%

Cell Phone Coverage in Ottawa by Area

Ottawan encompasses 1924.51 square miles, and the most robust local carriers, Bell, Rogers, and Telus, cover nearly every bit of it: 

Geographic Area Covered in Ottawa per mi2
Network Percentage Geographic Area Covered
Bell 99.88% 1922.29
Rogers 99.70% 1918.74
Freedom 20.90% 402.25
Telus 99.88% 1922.29
Coverage data generated November 11st 2017 from carrier maps

Ottawa is broadly 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 Ottawa (1924.51 m2) by 3G/4G LTE
Bell Rogers Freedom Telus
3G 1921.83 1918.74 154.01 1921.83
4G LTE 1922.30 1885.39 402.25 1922.30

Big Carriers vs. Small Carriers in Ottawa

When choosing a cell phone providers, there's no need to limit yourself to the big companies. There are dozens of smaller carriers that run on the major networks, but charge a fraction of the price for service. Known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs for short), these carriers purchase network service from the major providers at wholesale prices, then pass the savings on to consumers. 

Getting the Best Plan & Coverage

WhistleOut's industry-leading coverage check feature supercharges an already robust comparison engine by allowing you to instantly see what coverage is like at your location. Just  punch in your address, and we'll do the rest. 

In addition to showing you a map of your area with the coverage from all four major carriers, we filter through the available cell phone plans and present only those from carriers who provide good reception to you.  

Cell Phone Carriers in Ottawa

Here's the full list of wireless carriers (big and small) in Ottawa, and the network that each belongs to. Note that the smaller carriers—PhoneBox, Fido, etc.—utilize the networks of the major carriers.

Carrier Network Available in Ottawa
Bell MobilityBellYes
Chatr WirelessRogersYes
Freedom MobileFreedomYes
Koodo MobileTelusYes
PC MobileBell/Telus Yes
Petro Canada RogersYes
Public Mobile TelusYes
Rogers RogersYes
Videotron VideotronYes
Virgin Mobile BellYesYes
7-11 SpeakOutRogers Yes

One More Thing: Using Public WiFi in Ottawa

Ottawa offers free WiFi in a variety of public spaces, including libraries, museums, and parks. Check out some of the places offering free WiFi below. This is handy when you want to save your cellular data.

  • Ottawa International Airport
  • Ottawa Public Library
  • National Gallery of Canada
  • Canadian Museum of Nature
  • Ben Franklin Place/Centrepointe
  • Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex
  • ByWard Market Building
  • Minto Recreation Complex
  • Greenboro Community Centre
  • Kanata Liesure Centre and Recreation Complex
  • Nepean Sportsplex
  • Ottawa City Hall
  • St-Laurent Complex
  • Walter Baker Sports Complex
  • Tim Hortons

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