Rogers “Beyond 4G” is Beyond Fast. My First Experience with LTE

by Jeff Wiener on October 13, 2011

Every once in awhile I have the distinct pleasure of experiencing a revolutionary technology; something that will decidedly change the future course of its particular market, forever alter how ‘success’ is measured, and set a new benchmark for everything that follows.

While there are very few things I would place in the “revolutionary” category—the smartphone and subsequently the iPhone, Nintendo’s Wii, the iPad tablet, just to name a few—I have had the opportunity over the past several weeks to test Roger’s new Sierra USB LTE mobile Internet stick and I’m quickly coming to realize that I may have a new candidate.

There was a time not so long ago that I considered 3G connection to be fast, but having tried Rogers new 4G LTE wireless stick, I think my entire concept of fast Internet connection has been blown to pieces. Simply put, Rogers LTE, in my mind at least, is clearly the first step towards an entirely post-wired world, and now that I’ve experienced it there’s simply no going back…well, at least until I have to return the promotional LTE stick to Rogers.

It was a few weeks ago that one of our writer’s wrote a sceptical piece entitled, “Rogers: Is ‘Beyond 4G’ Beyond Bogus?” The article explored the claim that Rogers advertising the speed of its LTE wireless as beyond 4G was misleading, and at the time I tended to agree. Whether or not the speeds delivered by Rogers lightning fast Sierra USB LTE mobile Internet stick are 4G or beyond 4G I really can’t say, all I can say is that it’s fast…really fast.

Upon receiving my the new 4G LTE Internet stick from Rogers, it took little more than a few minutes to set it up before I was experiencing the Internet in the express lane, with download speeds of 30MB and upload speeds of 6MB. By comparison, I’m getting 1MB down and upload speeds and 6MB down and 1MB upload speeds on my 3G and DSL connections respectively.

As a small test, I streamed a YouTube clip, listened to Q107, made a VoIP phone call, and surfed the Internet simultaneously, without any of the real time media missing a beat.

It’s certainly not a stretch to say that LTE will soon be the standard by which all other new wireless Internet speeds will be measured, especially as new smartphones and handheld devices adopt embedded LTE support over the next few months. Rogers LTE, to date, has simply outclassed every other wireless network I’ve ever tested…and most wired ones too!

That said, the LTE revolution is still in its infancy, as all three major Canadian wireless networks are still working on bringing increased network coverage and LTE compliant handheld devices to market, and we should see the first LTE smartphones before the end of the year (although some phones designated “4G” are currently available). Disappointingly, the newest release by Apple, the iPhone 4GS, will not support LTE, meaning we’ll have to wait for LTE on the iPhone 5 some time next year.

But that aside, if you’re looking for blazing fast wireless, perhaps to replace your wired network or to serve as a backup, Rogers LTE mobile Internet stick is here. Available on monthly or 1, 2, or 3 year contracts, the price of Rogers’ LTE ranges from $47.93 for 2GB of data transfer to $92.93 for 9GB at the high end.

If you’ve been waiting for wireless that delivers wired speeds, the wait is over, and the amazing thing is that this is only the beginning of the wireless revolution.

{ 1 trackback }

Rogers Marks 1st Anniversary of LTE Launch, Plans To Cover 28 More Cities By End of Year —
August 21, 2012 at 5:50 am


Robert Bailey October 13, 2011 at 4:48 pm

What’s the point when Canadian carriers have almost the worst caps in the world. Why go 30MB/s when u will eat your entire monthly cap within a day?

Ricardo October 14, 2011 at 8:46 am

Revolution from Rogers! Not a chance. Their packet shaping and throttling has shaped their LTE product to under 10 Megs on our tests. A call into Sierra Wireless tech support confirmed that that indeed Rogers is throttling down in a big way. The tech actually pointed us to a Verizon Youtube video that showed off 80 Meg. This isn’t really surprising that Rogers HSDPA only barely manages 3 Megs down and 1 Meg up while the exact test with Telus yielded 4 Meg bidirectional…which too is nowhere near the theoretical limits. This is in part to Telus/Bell infrastructure of dual antenna vs Roger’s single per tower. These guys are all throwing the “4G” brand around too much in their marketing and not delivering anything near what they promise in their press releases.

Michael McNamara October 16, 2011 at 9:45 am

Hi Jeff,

All the bandwidth shaping issues aside, LTE or 4G radios are extremely hard on any mobile phone’s battery. I know a few users who have the HTC Thunderbolt with Verizon’s 4G LTE network and it is amazingly fast as you mentioned above. The downside, the battery life is amazingly short. I don’t see 3G going anywhere anytime soon.


Guest October 17, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Looks like somebody is in cahoots with Rogers -_-

Guest October 24, 2011 at 11:49 am

This article sounds like it was written for McCleans. I’ve rarely heard such praise for anything Rogers brings to market that wasn’t written by an employee of theirs and this smells the same.

As mentioned above, Rogers will throttle this network the same way it has it’s previous offerings. You will not get 30mpbs speeds as an average customer but you will probably see some small speed increase. On average my 3G phone gets between 180Kpbs to 500Kpbs. Rogers advertises that I should be getting speeds up to 7mbps. Even the theoretical average suggests that I should be getting speeds of around 3mbps.

Rogers lies and obviously this article is a lying about everything accept the availability of their new wireless stick.

Jeff Wiener October 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Thanks for your comment. I have no reason to lie about the speeds which I experienced with the LTE device. I don’t work for Rogers, nor did Rogers pay me to write the article itself. Rogers does not advertise on this blog, nor have I ever received a single dollar from Rogers from article writing, advertising, or any fee of that sort.

It’s quite possible that over time speeds could change, or Rogers could decide to throttle the speed down, but over the course of my 10 day trial the speeds were consistently above 20 MB down and 6 MB up. I returned the LTE device about 10 days ago, and quite honestly, I miss it, and in fact have considered becoming an LTE customer.


Glen Williams November 7, 2011 at 9:42 am

I’ve known Jeff for 10+ years and one of the reasons I like him is that he tells it like it is. I’ve certainly never had him try to sell me anything from Rogers and to my knowledge has no association with them at all.

You can’t compare wireless links from different locations. I’ve done location testing of the original Rogers Rocket Stick and get anywhere from 1 to 7 Meg down. At my desk I get around 5 and I’m lucky to get 2 on the other side of my building. Its all about where you’re at. I think it is still a long way from being my wired replacement at home. My kids with kill the cap the day I get it, but the technology is certainly capable of of the performance I’d be looking for.

Perhaps Jeff is next door to a new tower, or his test device is unlocked…don’t know, but I’m pretty sure the results are honest and its not a BS sales pitch.

Henry February 2, 2012 at 5:15 pm

We just tried LTE…. at the Toronto Convention Centre…. and it’s fast… for ten minutes…. then disconnects… Has been up most of the day, but the signal is so weak… that a laptop or tablet cannot make a connection… between o.05 mb and 1.15 mb. Have tried moving all over the north hall and went outside to Front street with the same result. The network does not seem to maintain any strength beyond a few minutes.

Henry Chalice February 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm

We just purchased Rogers Sierra Wireless AirCard and tried to use it at the Toronto Convention Centre. It was fast for about a half hour… then basically would not connect after that. Last year we used Bell’s MiFi successfully throughout the day for a two day conference. Response time was acceptable… but we thought LTE would be even better.
We were using it to demo software… and Rogers leads one to believe that the high speeds would be maintained… and our contract allows us to pay more for different levels of bandwidth use. Not only did it not connect… our email messages to them about the problem remain unwanswered. Caveat emptor!

Jeff Wiener February 14, 2012 at 10:33 am

Excellent feedback Henry. Thanks for the heads up.


Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: