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Fido connection worse compared to Rogers

fiedospuppies
I'm a contributor level 2
I'm a contributor level 2

Fido overal reception seems quite a bit worse compared to Rogers. I understand Fido towers are separate from Rogers but I would not expect Fido reception quality drops 50% of Rogers in many places I go. I use 2 SIM cards, one is running Fido one on Rogers. That drains battery faster and probably impacts the speed as well. The area where I live, often I an getting a 4 reception on Rogers and 1-2 reception on Fido.  This is regardless of deveice because I already switched severla devices over time.

14 REPLIES 14

KAPABLE-K
MVP MVP
MVP

Hello @fiedospuppies, what area are you in where you experience this?



fiedospuppies
I'm a contributor level 2
I'm a contributor level 2

Hello there, the problem has been exactly same before 5G was rolled out, so during the LTE period. I even had iPhone and Android phones and same issue. I have to correct myself. It wasn't 3G capped, it was 2G capped. And I found the exact date because I had a 2G android phone watch able to receive calls and send SMS messages. That was well before Apple had SIM card support. 

I remember that time in the news was Fido was replacing the tower equipment, making upgrades 4G to faster LTE speed I believe. And that was when I started getting difficulty with the Fido signal and it's the issue till today. Today the difference is 1 bar for Fido and 4 bars for Rogers.


The technical support suggested in the past to reset network settings... well I have done that before and that does not resolve the issues. 

I am going to try to see what happens if I force to 3G for Fido to see what happens with the signal over time. However, this may be a bad idea to run around the city with forcing 3G connection only. Some towers only have 4G so I may end up getting worse signal when I move around. Not to mention the speed downgrade too.  Anyways if things improve, I will report. 

Nevertheless, the miserable signal for Fido is also showing when I disable the data, when only the phone signal is on. But I guess that doesn't have any impact since phone disnal is now same as the data signal.

 

 

Hello again,

 

 Thank you for the additional information.  I’m sorry, but I think you might be too focused on the number of bars of signal on your phone. I could be mistaken, however, I have not seen you mentioned any actual issues with your services due to the difference in signal. In addition, your assumption that Fido is somehow worse than Rogers because of that difference in signal could be erroneous.

 

   The difference in signal is likely due to the phone connecting to different bands/frequencies. The different frequencies vary in their characteristics. There is no best band or frequency. Some frequencies may be better at some things, but not as good for other things. For example, the lower frequencies (ie 700MHz) are better able to travel farther and penetrate deeper than higher frequencies (ie 2600MHz)(see graphic here). That attribute is great in some circumstances. However, there can also be some disadvantages of lower frequencies. While the lower frequencies can travel farther, they also have a narrower bandwidth so potential data speeds would be slower than with higher frequencies. In fact, 2600MHz has approximately 4x the bandwidth of 700MHz (see table here).

 

  You mentioned that you remember upgrades to faster LTE at the time you first noticed the occurrence. That could relate to the introduction of 2600MHz or Band 7 (see here). If that is the case, it could explain the difference in signal strength you note. That frequency would be slightly more affected by distance and obstruction than their network backbone frequencies (1700MHz/2100MHz or Band 4).

 

  I understand the differences in signal you note between Fido and Rogers are at the same location. It’s possible that Fido prioritises a better data connection (2600MHz) whereas Rogers might prioritise strong signal (700MHz). Neither consideration is necessarily better than the other. While you seem to prefer signal strength over anything else, others might prefer the potentially faster data connection.

 

  In addition, it is also not uncommon for a device to connect to different bands or frequencies -- even with the same provider (see here and here). There are also other examples online showing the similar experiences, again with the same provider.   

 

  You also mentioned you are planning on setting your device to ‘3G’ to monitor signal. Are you having issues with your services using the LTE network? If you do receive stronger signal using the ‘3G’ network, that could also be attributed to the band/frequency used. Fido/Rogers uses 850MHz for their WCDMA/UMTS or ‘3G’ network. That lower frequency could offer more signal bars than a connection to a higher frequency on the LTE network.

 

  If you are having issues making/receiving calls or sending/receiving text messages (SMS and/or MMS) when connected to the LTE network, you might consider disabling voLTE or HD-calling on your device. Doing so would force calls and messages to be sent over the ‘3G’ networks, while still being able to connect to the LTE networks for data.

 

  I understand my comment that you may be too focused on signal strength is only my opinion. Everyone has their own primary concerns. My point, though, is that there are many factors related to signal strength which you did not appear to consider. Lower signal with potentially faster data is not necessarily worse than a greater signal with potentially slower data.  

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers


fiedospuppies
I'm a contributor level 2
I'm a contributor level 2

This is getting worse and worse. The issue started a few years ago and I know exactly the point when it happened, it was when Rogers cut off 3G towers in my area. I know that because I used to have a 3G watch that suddenly stopped working. The same time the reception on 4G got worse as well and it is getting worse every year. In fact, I believe, signing up for Fido now you will lose money compared to Rogers because of how bad reception is for Fido and your phone battery drains much much faster on weak reception. That means more frequent charging, more charging cycles, you end up with a diminished value of a phone that may cost you 1000 dollars and you end up with battery that gets worse after 2 years.

Where I live? 

1st floor, large windows, I am facing the street and I can see from my window Rogers towers, it's about 60-80 meter away.  I will not provide the address here for privacy reasons but the tech support may wish to contact me if they are interested.

There are no Fido specific towers in this area. (I don't know if there are anywhere) and I see on the Tower app, the nearest tower 60-80 meter away is Rogers and offers 1900 mhz, 2100 mhz and 2600 mhz bands, so all standard bands. 

Compared to that there is no Bell tower visible where I am, the next oner is about 800 meters away maybe with plenty of residential houses and uneven terrain, the other Bell tower is on the other side of the building (oposite site).

 

If I select Bell, I am getting full signal.

 

Rogers does skim Fido customers. I am fine with getting worse customer service with Fido. That's Okay. I am also okay with getting less choices, like no data sharing. That is also fine. I am also fine getting a bit slower speeds, as long as it's 4G. All that I am fine since I pay less than what I would pay with Rogers. 

 

But I am not fine with getting 1/3 of Rogers reception. 

 

So if Rogers and Fido are essentially same towers, the reception should be same. But it is NOT.

And no - this is not limited to a specific device, I had plenty over the years, plenty dual SIM phones, Android, iPhones etc, I tried switching SIM cards between slots etc... all that didn't help. 

 

You get what you pay for. 

 

Here is the screesnhot a this is on a typical day, Fido barely getting any reception, and never over 2 bars, while Rogers can be 4 bars.

 

Fido vs Rogers reception quality:

 

 

20240604_133239000_iOS.jpg

Hey @fiedospuppies,

 

Sorry to hear about the network issues you've been experiencing. 🙁

 

While we do share the same towers, it is possible that the network strength be different, there can also be other environmental structures impacting the strength of our network.

 

By all means, we can always look into the details of what's going on and even review this with our tech support team. You can contact us here and an agent can assist you further!



Confusedhere
I'm a contributor level 3
I'm a contributor level 3

Your experience isn't uncommon, but most people (probably) won't notice it. There's this thing called "network prioritization". Premium plan subscribers eg. Rogers have priority access over Fido customers. If you're in a congested (saturated) area than Fido gets the "lowest" priority. Don't let anyone gaslight and try to tell you otherwise. This has always been the case wtih provider flanker brands like Fido, Chatr, Phonebox, Koodo,  etc. and MVNOs. 

Hello Confusedhere,

 


@Confusedhere wrote:

...There's this thing called "network prioritization". ...


  Firstly, I am not denying network priortisation exists. I am also not suggesting whether Rogers customers have priority access over Fido customers or not. However, I'm not sure network prioritisation explains the OP's observations.

 

                Network prioritization is when an ISP assigns different levels of importance to different types of traffic using different techniques. ~taken from here.

 

  Network prioritisation refers to network traffic. A higher prioritised level might have access to faster data speeds than lower levels. If the OP noted they had slower speeds on Fido with the same cellular signal, that might suggest network prioritisation.

 

  However, the OP's observations refer to cellular signal strength, not data speeds (network traffic). I am not aware of any means a SIM card can selectively receive better (or worse) cellular signal from the same airwaves at a given location. As far as I am aware, the only way that might happen is connecting to different frequencies. To my knowledge, with the exception of 5G, Fido and Rogers share networks and bands/frequencies used.

 

  No one is trying to deny the OP's observations or even convince them it isn't happening. We're just trying to provide a possible explanation for their observations.

 

Cheers


Cawtau
Senior MVP Senior MVP
Senior MVP

Hello Fiedospuppies,

 

  In which type of setting do you live and regularly visit? As far as I am aware, Fido and Rogers share their networks and customers from each provider would have access to the same networks. The exception , however, would be the 5G networks. Currently, Fido does not offer any 5G services. Is it possible the difference you note is a result of your devices connecting to 5G when using the Rogers SIM card? Depending on your area, connecting to that network could account for the observations you note.

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers


fiedospuppies
I'm a contributor level 2
I'm a contributor level 2

My earlier response didn't show here but on top, that's weird. 

So I am now forcing connection via 3G only.  What a difference. It's been a few days.. So I have done enough testing. 

While LTE shows 1-2 bars, switching to 3G I am getting 3-4 bars, most of the time 4 bars.

Do I need a current phone, I could be fine using a 10 years old phone. Even if I was okay with 3G and sacrify using VOIP, I would get issues moving around in areas where LTE signal is strong and 3G signal may be weak. 

I have to check if there is a Shortcut to switch between 3G and LTE automatically if I leave the place.

 

It seems to me the battery lasts a bit longer between charges when signal is better. 

 

Hello again,

 

  Thank you again for the additional information. Your observations are in line with the frequency characteristics I mentioned above. The 850MHz used on the '3G' network would be better able to travel farther and penetrate deeper than 2600MHz (if that is indeed the frequency to which your device connected with Fido LTE). If that is the case, it is of no surprise your device shows more signal bars.

 


@fiedospuppies wrote:

...Do I need a current phone, I could be fine using a 10 years old phone. ...


  I do not know which phones you have tried with similar results. However, it does appear that the device has compatible bands/frequencies as evidenced by the device connecting to a different frequency with Rogers (assuming that is the reason for the different signal strengths).

 

  That said, the different cellular phone models can vary in their cellular reception ability (see here, here, here... etc). It's possible a different phone may improve your situation. It's also possible a different phone may better optimise battery usage under relatively lower signal environments. You would need to research whether that device is a most current phone model or a relatively recent phone model which might better suit your situation. 

 

**edit**


@fiedospuppies wrote:

My earlier response didn't show here but on top, that's weird. ...


  I think it has to do with which REPLY botton you used. Each post has its own REPLY button. Replies to a speific post would follow that post. Since your earlier response showed below your original post, it's likely you pressed the REPLY button provided in that post.**

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers

 


fiedospuppies
I'm a contributor level 2
I'm a contributor level 2

That still doesn't offer the excuse why Rogers offering 4 bars LTE Rogers connection in the same place offering 1 bar LTE Fido connection. 

What is 2100 band? Can it operate standalone if the 1700 band is not on the tower? I see the location shows here as 1900/2100/2600. So if 2100 is used for LTE, I suspect Rogers just reserves this for Rogers customers and leaves the 2600 band for Rogers/Fido customers which may explain this.

A few blocks east, I see Rogers tower 600/700/850/1900/2100/2600/3500.

The phone is obviously connected to the closest tower even though the other one may have better signal. 

The closer tower is in plain sight. I can look at it out of the window. Even standing at the window I get 2 bars for LTE.

There is another further tower same direction but furhter out, it also has all the spectrum of signals. But that doesn't help if the close tower here has 3 bands only.

 

 

Hello again,

 


@fiedospuppies wrote:

That still doesn't offer the excuse why Rogers offering 4 bars LTE Rogers connection in the same place offering 1 bar LTE Fido connection. ...


  To be honest, I don't know the reason why the device is connecting to different bands/frequencies. However, I did offer the explanation that Fido and Rogers might prioritise differently (ie data connection vs signal strength). I also provided evidence that a device might connect to different bands/frequencies with the same provider.

 


@fiedospuppies wrote:

....What is 2100 band? Can it operate standalone if the 1700 band is not on the tower? I see the location shows here as 1900/2100/2600. So if 2100 is used for LTE, I suspect Rogers just reserves this for Rogers customers and leaves the 2600 band for Rogers/Fido customers which may explain this...


  That question requires a bit more explantion... The 2100MHz can operation on its own. Though, in that case, it would be Band 1 (vs Bands 4 and 66; 1700MHz/2100MHz). However, Band 1 is not used in North America (see here). So, in Canada, 2100MHz does not operate without 1700MHz (Bands 4 and 66). Many of the cellular tower mapping sites or apps might only list 2100MHz because it is known to only operate with 1700MHz in North America. That said, some sources list only 1700MHz for Band 4 because that frequency is not used alone.

 

  I do understand it can be confusing when just frequencies are used. In fact, it was the Band 1 versus Band 4 issue which first brought me to these forums. Fido used to only list 2100MHz as a compatible frequency. They originally made no mention of 1700MHz or Band 4. There were many people with devices compatible with Band 1, but not Band 4 (purchased from abroad). They were confused why their devices would not connect to the LTE network when the available information listed 2100MHz as compatible. It took a little while, but Fido finally decided to include the band nomenclature as well as frequencies (see here). 

 

  So no, Rogers is not reserving that band for themselves. Band 4 is the backbone band/frequency of the LTE network (see Rogers Wireless link above). Fido has always had access to that band ever since LTE was introduced to Fido customers. The only bands/frequencies not available to Fido customers are those for 5G services.

 

  You assume your device is connected to the closest tower. I suspect it's connecting to the tower East of your location for both Fido and Rogers, though. I understand the closer tower may be in plain sight. However, there are factors which may prevent your location from receiving or utilising those signals. In fact, it is rather common for devices to not connect to the closest tower (see here, here, here, etc).

 

  In addition, you note you are getting better '3G' signal. That closest tower does not appear to have operate 850MHz.

 

Hope this helps 😀

 

Cheers


fiedospuppies
I'm a contributor level 2
I'm a contributor level 2

20240706_203041000_iOS.jpg20240706_203313000_iOS.jpg20240706_203350000_iOS.jpg20240706_203642000_iOS.jpg

20240706_214816000_iOS.jpg

 

The fact I am still able to connect to 3G is probably not going to work for long:

 

1900 MHz Shutdown on our 2G and 3G Wireless Networks. What change is Rogers making to its wireless network? We're phasing out older technologies (1900 MHz) on our 2G and 3G networks beginning June 7, 2021

 

I have now tested throughout day and night and I can confirm:

 

1. If I select 4G signal for Fido and 4G signal for Rogers, I get 1 bar for Fido, while the Rogers 4G signal remains at least 3 bars, sometimes 4 bards. 

 

2. If I select 3G signal for Fido and 4G sinal for Rogers, I get on both minimum 3 bars, sometimes 4 bars on one them.

 

Maybe because I am on Fido, I am forced to be connected to the tower with the weaker 4G signal, when Rogers, I can connect to the stronger Rogers signal and it may be a different band. 

I tried also to find out more about signal threnght by going to the Field Test menu. I remember checked it in the past and I was able to see there the signal loss. The only way to know for sure is to see how strong is the signal but I can't find it there anymore. Wondering how do I check it (other than some 3rd party downloaded tools) because without that I can't argue with Fido to look into this issue of the signal here. 

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/255062257

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello again,

 

  Thank you for providing the images. However, they only support the possibility of what I have been trying to explain.

 


@fiedospuppies wrote:

 

....The fact I am still able to connect to 3G is probably not going to work for long:

 

1900 MHz Shutdown on our 2G and 3G Wireless Networks. What change is Rogers making to its wireless network? We're phasing out older technologies (1900 MHz) on our 2G and 3G networks beginning June 7, 2021...


 

  While there may be some distant truth to regarding '3G' not necessarily working for long, you should note that the GSM and UMTS(WCDMA) 1900MHz has already been decomissioned for a while now. That frequency has now been fully re-farmed to to the LTE network (see links provided). I understand that closest cellular tower to your location mentions 1900MHz, however, they refer to LTE, not '3G'. That's why I continually referred to 850MHz when mentioning that network.

 

  When your device connects to the '3G' network, it is connecting to 850MHz. As mentioned, that is also one of the reasons I suspect it is not connecting to your closest tower. In addition, the lower frequency is likely the reason for slightly stronger signal (see graphic link provided above).

 

  That said, it is inevitable that the entire '3G' network will someday get decommissioned as well. The US mobile providers have already shut down their '3G' networks in 2022. While there are suggestions that the sunset will occur sometime after December 31, 2025 (see here), I am not aware of an actual end-date. Given the 2G sunset has been extended numerous times, the '3G' network could operate well into 2026... and possibly beyond??

 

  Unfortunately, I am not too familiar with iOS so I would not be able to direct to find the information you search. However, if what I have been trying to explain is correct, I'm not sure Fido will be able to make changes to their prioritisation protocol on an individual case basis. As mentioned, some people might prefer a potentially faster data connection over a possibly slower one with stronger signal. You still have not mentioned any service usage issues, only that you feel battery seems to last longer with stronger signal. You should note, though, connection to the '3G' network will consume less power (regardless of signal strength) than 4G. In addition, using a dual-SIM device will use more power than with a single-SIM. As well, if your device is older, it's possible the battery has degraded somewhat.

 

Cheers