Rogers aims to start deploying 5G-ready network equipment and infrastructure at UBC starting in early 2019

Canadian telecom group Rogers and the University of British Columbia (UBC) have inked a three-year, multi-million dollar partnership deal to build a real-world 5G hub on the UBC campus in Vancouver.

The 5G Hub will act as a testbed for 5G innovation in Canada, Rogers said.

Under the deal, Rogers will deploy 5G-ready network equipment and infrastructure at UBC starting in early 2019. Rogers and UBC will study 5G applications such as monitoring cars and traffic to develop smart city projects. Other potential areas of research include autonomous vehicles, machine learning, artificial intelligence and network slicing technology for use in robotics, farming and medical applications. The partnership will also develop skills in computer science, applied mathematics, machine learning and software development.

“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,” said Joe Natale, president and CEO of Rogers Communications. “Our partnership with UBC will ensure we bring our country and Canadians the very best 5G has to offer.”

“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,” said Professor Santa Ono, UBC president. “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.”

In April, Rogers Communications announced a multi-year initiative through which it aims to deploy 5G technology in partnership with Swedish vendor Ericsson.

Rogers’ network plan includes the continued rollout of its gigabit LTE network with technology and equipment that is based on the latest global 3GPP standards, including 4×4 multiple-input-multiple-output, four-carrier aggregation and 256 QAM. Through the partnership with Ericsson, Rogers will trial 5G technology in Toronto and Ottawa, in addition to select cities over the next year.

In July, Rogers Communications’ president and CEO Joe Natale said the telco aims to deploy thousands of small cells as part of its 5G efforts.

“With respect to network evolution, we continue to make steady progress on our 5G deployment plan. We assigned key strategic agreements with more to come and plans are underway to deploy thousands of small cells,” Natale said. “We are working with Ericsson, the 5G North American partner of choice, to densify our network with small and macro cells,” the executive said during a conference call with investors.

Natale also highlighted that the carrier continues to upgrade its 4.5G network with 5G-ready technology.



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