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The wireless network quality study, conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, measured how often Canadian customers suffered service interruptions.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

A new survey that asked Canadians to rate their wireless networks has revealed not only the most reliable network by region, but also the breaking point at which frustrated subscribers will angrily dump their carriers for another provider.

The wireless network quality study, conducted by J.D. Power and Associates, measured how often Canadian customers suffered service interruptions.

According to the results, SaskTel earned the highest marks for the best connection in Western Canada, while BCE Inc.'s wireless arm Bell and Telus Corp. were graded as the best in Ontario. (BCE owns 15 per cent of The Globe and Mail.) Customers gave Vidéotron Télécom Ltée top marks in the Atlantic provinces and Quebec, while Rogers was rated worst in both Western and Eastern Canada.

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The study ranked the providers on the metric of problems per 100 network connections (PP100) for data, calls and messaging. Over all, data and calls experienced the most problems – 14 and 13 PP100, respectively. Regular messaging was most dependable, with only five PP100.

The findings are based on the responses of 13,000 wireless customers in October-November, 2014, and March, 2015.

The survey showed that customers will accept some connection issues, but they have a breaking point when they become frustrated enough to actually switch carriers. Customers indicated they "definitely will not" switch carriers if they experienced only five PP100, but "definitely will" switch after 17, though who's counting after 10?

In terms of smartphones, LG devices performed best, with 13 per cent of users indicating that their data speeds are faster than expected. Nine per cent of Samsung owners and 8 per cent of iPhone owners indicated the same.

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