Canada’s Rogers Communications has teamed up with the University of British Columbia to create a 5G hub on the college’s Vancouver campus, which will facilitate testing of 5G applications and help create a blueprint for 5G services in the country.
As part of the three-year, multi-million dollar partnership, Rogers will deploy 5G-ready network equipment and infrastructure at UBC beginning early next year.
“5G represents a massive technological transformation that will connect everything in our world from people and machines, to homes and cities. The global race to unlock its potential is underway,” says Joe Natale, president and CEO of Rogers Communications, in a statement. “Our partnership with UBC will ensure we bring our country and Canadians the very best 5G has to offer.”
Applications up for study include traffic monitoring to develop smarter and safer cities as well as autonomous vehicles, machine learning, AI, and network slicing applied to robotics, farming, and medical endeavors.
“UBC has significant expertise in leveraging its own infrastructure to create a unique ‘living lab’ environment that fosters creative problem-solving in a real-world setting,” says Professor Santa Ono, UBC president and vice-chancellor. “This partnership with Rogers opens exciting research and learning opportunities for our faculty and students in wireless technology. It is a great example of how universities and industry can work together to develop new knowledge and provide our students with the skills that are vital in building the digital economy.”
Earlier this year, Rogers announced an infrastructure agreement with Ericsson that involves the continued rollout of the operator’s Gigabit LTE network with 3GPP standards-based tech and equipment, utilizing 4×4 MIMO, four-carrier aggregation, and 256 QAM. The Canadian operator is densifying its network across the country with small cells and macro sites. The pair also revealed plans to trial 5G in Toronto and Ottawa over the coming year.
Compared to U.S. carriers, Rogers’ 5G deployments are moving at a slower pace. Rogers said it’s upgrading its 4.5 G network with 5G-ready technology, and anticipates 5G commercial deployments in 2020.