Rogers and the University of British Columbia (UBC) today announced a three year, multi-million dollar partnership deal to build a real-world 5G Hub on the UBC campus that will be a testbed and blueprint for 5G innovation in Canada.
Rogers will deploy 5G-ready network equipment and infrastructure at UBC starting in early 2019. The partnership will study 5G applications such as monitoring cars and traffic to develop smarter and safer cities. Other research interests 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, Rogers Communications. "Our partnership with UBC will ensure we bring our country and Canadians the very best 5G has to offer."
Experts predict 5G can connect 500 times the number of devices versus 4G, estimating one million connected devices for every square city kilometer. These devices will help parents arrive home faster for dinner by re-routing traffic, provide farmers with real-time data to save crops during droughts, and assist governments to manage natural disasters saving lives and businesses.
"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 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."
"It's very exciting that two Canadian institutions – Rogers Communications and the University of British Columbia – are working together to develop 5G that will be uniquely Canadian, with applications that will benefit both people and business," said Minister of Citizens' Services Jinny Sims. "This hub will help ensure we remain leaders in tech here in B.C., and can fully participate in the digital economy."
"Similar to how 4G brought us faster speeds and the on-demand economy, 5G will bring us the real-time economy with low latency and high capacity – two defining characteristics of 5G that will open up a whole new world of opportunities for Canadians and business. Today is about continuing to build the ecosystem with the right partners, spectrum, infrastructure and investments to make 5G a reality," adds Jorge Fernandes, Chief Technology Officer, Rogers Communications. "UBC is the ideal 5G partner with world renowned researchers and facilities where we can co-develop applications that will make our cities smarter, cleaner and safer."
This partnership is part of Rogers multi-year program to bring 5G to Canadians and to drive Canada's economic growth. The company announced a national infrastructure agreement with Ericsson, the 5G North American partner of choice, to boost and densify its fibre-powered network with 5G-ready technology. Earlier this year Rogers completed live 5G testing at Rogers Centre and is currently testing 5G global standards. Rogers also continues to upgrade its 4.5G network with the latest 5G-ready technology to be ready for 5G commercial deployment in 2020.
Today's announcement builds on Rogers commitment to B.C. Last year the company invested over $4 million in local community initiatives, and employed over 1,600 Canadians in the province. Rogers continues to enhance its wireless network for customers in B.C., most recently in Qualicum Beach, Tsawwassen Mills, Abbotsford, across Vancouver Island, Kelowna and across the SkyTrain.
Rogers is a leading diversified Canadian communications and media company. We are Canada's largest provider of wireless communications services and one of Canada's leading providers of cable television, high-speed Internet, information technology, and telephony services to consumers and businesses. Through Rogers Media, we are engaged in radio and television broadcasting, sports, televised and online shopping, magazines, and digital media. Our shares are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI).
The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. Since 1915, UBC's entrepreneurial spirit has embraced innovation and challenged the status quo. UBC encourages its students, staff and faculty to challenge convention, lead discovery and explore new ways of learning. At UBC, bold thinking is given a place to develop into ideas that can change the world