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Part 5: Bridging the Urban Digital Divide: Downtown Vancouver and Whalley Surrey (Canada)

The analysis performed in this study was performed using Crowd SiteIntel. Click here to request a demo.

According to the ITU, there are 2.9 Billion unconnected or under-connected people across the world. At M2Catalyst, our aim is to identify exactly where they are in urban, rural, and remote areas.

Access to mobile broadband is viewed by governments, the telecom industry, corporations, educational entities, and citizens alike as critical for the progress of humanity. Can children excel academically without adequate access to mobile broadband? Can adults work remotely and maintain their jobs without it? Can citizens take advantage of the many health services that are offered via the web without it? The answer in each case is a resounding “No, they cannot.” Hence, the necessity (and urgency) to bridge the digital divide.

In the previous M2Catalyst Digital Divide Studies, we analyzed the rural and agricultural regions of the world and identified tens of millions of locations (down to 1 square KM areas) where people are unconnected or under-connected. In this new Urban Digital Divide study, we will focus on city centers around the world where disadvantaged citizens have either no access or very limited access to mobile broadband.

The Urban Digital Divide: Downtown Vancouver

and Whalley Surrey, British Columbia

This M2Catalyst Urban Digital Divide Global Study provides a comparison of mobile network performance between two areas within the Canadian Province of British Columbia. Downtown Vancouver is quite affluent and very popular with young professionals, while Whalley Surrey has historically been a low-income neighborhood. Focusing solely on 4G and 5G signal strength, we found, as demonstrated in the screenshots below, a great disparity between the Quality of Service for the economic haves (3, 4 or 5 bars) and the economic have-nots (one bar or no service).

British Columbia, Canada

The Whalley Surrey chart and map indicate a high need for network

improvements while Downtown Vancouver shows a low need for them.


Thus, even though mobile network operators have invested enormous amounts of money and have done an admirable job in rolling out 4G and 5G, much work still needs to be done to achieve Quality of Service parity between the rich and poor within Brazil's urban environments.


To request a demo of our Crowd SiteIntel platform,

please click the button below and fill out our enterprise contact form.


More About The Network Cell Info Community

Millions of app users globally have contributed trillions of network performance measurements.

How does the Network Cell Info community help bridge the digital divide? We provide the No Signal Data back to Mobile Network Operators for free.

Download the free M2Catalyst app, Network Cell Info Lite, to submit network performance data in your area.

M2Catalyst reports the no-signal readings (dead zones) to MNOs for free. If you work for an MNO, please contact via our form at


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1 Comment

Jan 13, 2023

I was going through all the reports (different cities in different countries) and I was finding them interesting in the fact that we must break the divide. But then I got on the one done in Vancouver.

In Canada, Bell and Telus share the infrastructure for their network. I invite you to check out the app Tower Locator which shows all towers. This app gets it's data from a government website.

In light of this information, it's hard to understand why the coverage would not be great in that neighborhood. Maybe they simply have older devices, of your sample is limited.

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