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LTE in Canada?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by wayner, Aug 5, 2015.

  1. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    Have any of our new owners taken delivery of a vehicle with an LTE modem? Do you get LTE service in Canada?

    And I wonder if we can get the retrofit here in Canada?
     
  2. gauss256

    gauss256 New Member

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    Yes, yes and probably, but I don't know for sure.

    I took delivery of a Model S which came with LTE in Vancouver in June. The "LTE" designation lights up when I am driving in Canada and the US.

    And there is no noticeable difference between LTE and 3G (which I used for several months before getting this new car). I would definitely not pay for a retrofit in the expectation that it will make the maps load faster or make the browser more responsive. It doesn't.

    I think the reason for the switch to LTE is because 3G for data is being phased out, or something like that.
     
  3. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    A lot of US customers are raving about how much better LTE is. Personally, my 3G works very well. I have Slacker turned up to the highest quality setting and it works flawlessly. Maps and traffic info load more than fast enough for my purposes. I have not yet experienced LTE in a Model S yet, so thanks for that observation.
     
  4. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

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    Our 2013 Tesla Model S85 came with 3g, and does periodically suffer from it from a connection point of view, depending on where we are on a road trip out of major population areas.
    In those instances, we have used our cell phone to share LTE as WIFI for the Tesla to connect to, and that works great too.

    As mknox said above, the vast majority of the time, 3g is plenty good.

    However, upgrading the Tesla to LTE would take advantage of Tesla paying for the service instead, so there is that...
     
  5. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    I agree that the speed upgrade is of marginal benefit as the browser is just plain slow. And Slacker will only play 128kbps files no matter what you do. I have a Rogers LTE hotspot and I occasionally use it in my car and it really doesn't make much difference vs. 3G.

    But I am wondering if the unexplained 3G connectivity blackouts problem will exist with LTE. And this seems to be a uniquely Canadian problem.
     
  6. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I'm not an IT guy, but my guess is "yes". I thought the issue had to do with the car having to negotiate some sort of VPN or proxy connection to the US in addition to establishing the regular 3G connection. (My car "thinks" it's in the US as far as web services and Slacker music licensing is concerned). The LTE solution would probably have to jump through that same hoop in Canada.
     
  7. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    I think you are probably right but there is a small chance that the LTE connection goes through a different path that isn't as susceptible to this issue.

    To to me this issue appears to be related to authentication of a roaming user. This problem looks very similar to issues that I have on my phone when in the US.
     
  8. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Guys in the U.S. that live in areas that had "spotty" 3G coverage are reporting both better connectivity and performance with LTE...think I will upgrade when it's time for the annual service...
     
  9. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Would it be wise to check LTE coverage where you plan to drive? I assume it would fall back to 3G, but I do know there are some places I go with my LTE phone and all I get is 3G coverage. Seems it might be a waste if you live or drive in an area with spotty LTE coverage to begin with.
     
  10. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Southern Ontario coverage (specifically The Golden Horseshoe) for Rogers for LTE is pretty good.
     
  11. techMology

    techMology Member

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    This is most likely due to the wireless baseband flipping between carriers. My (educated) guess is that one you lose coverage with the primary (Rogers), the baseband will scan and find Bell/TELUS and latch onto that. Because Rogers is preferred, it will periodically scan to reattach to the Rogers network. Once I finds it again, it will re-attach. Why? AT&T has long been a preferred roaming partner with Rogers in Canada. No doubt it pays less to roam on Rogers than Bell or TELUS.

    You'll have the same issues on LTE most likely. Tesla could do a lot to optimize the baseband software to improve this, though.

    The core access paths to the "Internet" are typically the same, so it's doubtful there will be any difference due to the radio interface technology.
     
  12. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I became a customer of Cantel in 1987 and remember when they changed their name to Rogers AT&T, then later, just Rogers.
     
  13. techMology

    techMology Member

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    It's a different world in the US. LTE is widely deployed at 700 MHz which I'm assuming the new chipset supports (I haven't seen what they're using; just seen the specs for the old one). 700 MHz is so called "beachfront spectrum" because it propagates well. The US networks generally don't have as much contiguous spectrum as Canadian providers do. US networks are a mish-mash of spectrum licenses (metropolitan and regional service areas), whereas Canada is quite a bit simpler and with less competition (and history). Canada hasn't really deployed 700 MHz in a meaningful way yet because they haven't had to (despite what the carriers are saying as they lobby for more spectrum).

    All that to say don't base the experience in the US on what you may get in Canada. :)

    In Canada, LTE is primarily deployed at 1700/2100 which
     
  14. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    According to Rogers' coverage map, pretty much all of Southern Ontario is covered. This is consistent with my results - I almost never see 3G on my phone unless I am on a phone call, where it is always 3G.

    And I doubt my car will ever be more than 250km from "The Six" so I don't worry about other areas.
     
  15. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I've noticed that with my company Bell phone (I realize Tesla uses Rogers) that I'll get 3G as often as I get LTE when in the Muskoka region. As far as I can tell based on signal strength, the LTE and 3G signals seem to be coming from different towers. Can I assume the same is true of Rogers? LTE and 3G from different towers?
     
  16. techMology

    techMology Member

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    Yep. I had friends who worked there when it was called Cantel, in RF engineering. They referred to their coverage areas as just "colour on a map" to keep up with Bell. They didn't have the money the provincial telcos did, but were mandated to mimic coverage by the CRTC for some time. They would put up repeaters where Bell was putting up full cell sites, for example. Bell had twice the density and capacity, and hence, the network lead in the early days.

    They've been closely aligned from a technology perspective for quite some time. AT&T was a IS-136 TDMA hold out just like Rogers (Cantel at the time) when everyone else was going CDMA (Verizon, Sprint, Bell, TELUS, Clearnet, etc...). It ended up working well for them in the long run, however, because TDMA quickly became outclassed, they went all in on GSM which essentially gave them the monopoly on international roaming and premium and wide device selection (hello, iPhone) for a while.

    Rogers has a habit of aligning with a US carrier as far as technology goes; they align with Comcast on the cable side (mostly) too.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Rogers has a solid LTE network. The reason you see 3G when you make a phone call is because your phone either doesn't support voice over LTE (VoLTE) or Rogers hasn't white listed your device yet. All circuit switched calls go over the 3G or 2G network. Last I checked, there is only one LG phone they have enabled.
     
  17. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    That's interesting because the reason I went with Cantel over Bell was that Cantel had better coverage where I needed it. For instance in the late '80s Bell had nothing in Muskoka but Cantel did. Ted Rogers must have had a cottage there or something!

    EDIT: In the early 2000's I was working in midwestern Ontario. It seemed you either were in a Bell town or a Rogers AT&T town. Kincardine, for instance, had a strong Rogers AT&T signal, but Bell would barely work. The exact opposite was true in Hanover.
     
  18. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    Maybe, but I doubt it. I almost never see outages on my phone and I get them on a very regular basis in my car and they often last for several minutes. There should be no difference between the car and my phone since my phone is on Rogers - except for the fact that my phone is primarily on LTE while the car is 3G. But I doubt that is relevant in the discussion, I think it is due to the fact that the Tesla is using Jasper Technologies so the car is not a native Rogers device so getting authorized on the network can be problematic.
     
  19. techMology

    techMology Member

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    What you're experiencing are the differences between signal propagation at different frequencies. Bell/TELUS have deployed LTE at 1700/2100 MHz (the so called AWS band) in Muskoka, and 3G is at 800 MHz and 1900 Mhz. Bell/TELUS have started to deploy 700 MHz LTE up there, but it's far from complete (and your phone may not support it).

    The lower the frequency, the better and further it travels (especially through dense trees and leaves like you have in Muskoka). The cells also breathe a bit, meaning they contract when they're busy. When you're getting 3G instead of LTE, your phone has basically lost a level of quality it needs/wants to maintain a connection on that technology (comprised of some quality of service and received signal strength indicators). Each phone is different and optimizes their "algorithm" (I'm using this term loosely), and seemingly simple things like the orientation of your phone can impact this. That's why your friend may have LTE at that instant right beside you, and you may not.

    Most of the time, the 3G towers and LTE towers are the same physical location. Their antennas may differ because of their operating frequency, but they'll be on the same mast. There are some exceptions, of course, but they are rare. Most often, you'll have old tech (e.g. 3G) and no new tech (e.g. LTE) at a site versus two different sites for each technology. Also, often times, Bell/TELUS and Rogers will share the same tower.
     
  20. SluyterCapital

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    Same here! I have had the same number now for 28 years! Still a rogers customer for that long. I deserve an award.
     

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