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Proactively check voice coverage in Winnipeg and Brandon before March 16th

Mayor / Maire


Telus will be migrating customers in Winnipeg and Brandon away from the Bell/Rogers Radio Access Network (RAN / towers) to Telus RAN. Main impact is on the 3G network, which is the only way to currently make voice calls on Public Mobile. 3G 850 and 3G 1900 are both available on Bell/Rogers, but Telus only has licenses for 3G 1900. That means voice calls may not work, possibly in indoor locations, even if you have a few bars of LTE signal.


There is away to check in advance, very easy on a Samsung phone. Dial *#2263# and go to WCDMA Band Preference. Disable WCDMA 850 by clicking on it (it will remove the star), then use the "3 dots" menu button at the top right to select "back", then Apply band configuration. Do not use the regular back button on your phone! Now your phone will not use 3G 850, and you are simulating the coverage post-March 16th. Try making voice calls in areas that you normally go to, and see if you are impacted.


Remember to restore the settings once you are done testing. Just repeat the above steps, and re-enable WCDMA 850. Make sure to apply the changes correctly.


There is another way to test, but instead of disabling 3G 850, you would just check what 3G frequency is being used during an active phone call. If the frequency is an 3G 850 channel, you are going to be impacted.

  1. Samsung phones: dial *#0011# during an active phone call and look for UARFCN.
  2. Other Android phones: install CellMapper, and during an active phone call, look for UARFCN.
  3. Apple phones: dial *3001#12345#* while there is an active call. Hopefully this is possible. I don't have an iPhone so I can't check. If dialer won't let you dial during an active call, see if you can open the secret menu first, then call yourself from another number to initiate an incoming call. I don't know the exact navigation of the menus, but try to find UARFCN. If someone knows the steps, please let me know and I will update it here.

I don't recall the exact UARFCN range for Manitoba, but there are online calculators like this one:

Just type in the UARFCN that your phone reports to see which band it is. Band 5 = 850 MHz, which will not be available to you in Winnipeg and Brandon after March 16th.


Shoutout to zivan for developing the awesome CellMapper app!


Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

Same exact results for me too, pdunk.  I’m in Brandon

@Nezgar good catch, I've fixed the typo. @pdunk you are probably not going to be impacted since you can still use 1900 (band 2) at your location.

Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

downloaded Cellmapper and plugged UARFCN into calculator:



Network TypeUMTS (FDD)
Band NamePCS blocks A-F
Uplink Frequency
(phone to base station)
1887.5 MHz
Downlink Frequency
(base station to phone)
1967.5 MHz
Band Number2
Possible Bandwidths5 MHz

Mayor / Maire

@sheytoon wrote:
  1. Samsung phones: dial #*0011# during an active phone call and look for UARFCN.

On my Samsung Galaxy S4, I found *#0011# brings up the ServiceMode menu. Maybe just a typo.

@PMinfo do it just to find out how it is. disable volte

Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

@gpixel ... Already did a Koodo migration and family member is on VoLTE in MB, now.

@pdunk you're right there is no voice. that's good, that would've been to good of a deal 👍


can you and @PMinfo do sheytoons test and see how it affects your voice calls indoors. and then update the thread

Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

@sheytoon ...

"What is the impact?

Only customers in Winnipeg and Brandon will be impacted. Only certain Hz bands will be changing, which will impact the quality of voice calling and service. Data speeds will remain unchanged."


Mods are saying Voice calling possible impacts and no data speed impacts.  Not sure if this means Data will simply be throttled on the LTE network to 3G speeds.  Voice relegated to 1900 "3G"

Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen



The $15 Fido plan I see online is 250MB/UnlimitedSMS with no voice included.


Where did you see the plan you're referring to?

@totalUser there are currently no plans for other markets to be impacted.

@PMinfo fair point about Bell/Rogers 1900 coverage not being the same as Telus 1900.


I don't think the additional users will affect 1900 voice capacity, although they will certainly impact 3G data speeds.

Good Citizen / Bon Citoyen

@sheytoon ...  Good additional info, sheytoon...

The unknown is the effect of band congestion once ALL PM users in Brandon & Winnipeg are forced to (Telus only)1900, POST March 16.


The current test will indicate 1900 (shared) signal strength now but using current system shared towers with Rogers and Bell.


The information is that only Telus 1900 will be available to ALL PM users in Brandon & Winnipeg post-March 16.

@totalUser 2025


fido has a really good $15/250mb unlimited calls/text build your own plan. I'm not sure if it's a limited promo or not. looks like they're getting ready for Rogers 1900mhz decommissioning

@totalUser wrote:

If i was in affected area i would be forwarding to my TextNow when unavailable.

Will they enable VoLTE?

Is it going to spread to other provinces?

Network adjustments are constantly being made. While there has nothign been announced, I supsect that this will be a trend. Maybe in about 5 years, I would expect the HSPA network to be gone completely.

Mayor / Maire

If i was in affected area i would be forwarding to my TextNow when unavailable.

Will they enable VoLTE?

Is it going to spread to other provinces?