Rogers has become the first mobile service provider to launch 5G service using the mid-band 3,500Mhz spectrum.
The service was first deployed in Nanaimo, British Columbia, with Canada’s major cities to follow. In its press release, the company said it aims to blanket more regions according to the ISED timetable laid out in item 336 of its auction framework.
In Canada’s mid-band spectrum auction, Rogers paid a whopping C$3.3 billion to acquire 3,500MHz licenses in 169 Canadian regions, covering 99.4 per cent of Canada’s total population.
Rogers was also the first carrier to deploy the first 5G core, the data backend of its 5G service, in October 2021. With the rollout, Rogers became the first carrier to offer standalone 5G service, meaning that it no longer needed to rely on the less efficient 4G backhaul to manage data. Having a fully 5G-enabled service system unlocks benefits including more advanced network slicing and faster edge computing.
What this means for Canadians
The most immediate benefit is download speed for compatible devices. The 5G network operates on three bands: low band, mid-band, and high-band (mmWave). The general rule of thumb is that the higher the frequency, the higher capacity to carry data and therefore the higher the bandwidth. Before the 3,500 MHz launch, Rogers chiefly provided 5G service on 2,500MHz and 600 MHz spectrum bands.
Additionally, the deployment of the new service inches closer to realizing some long-promised use cases and enhancing existing ones. Virtual reality/augmented reality applications, remote work, telehealth, and critical services can all take advantage of the new service to develop new use cases and adopt new technologies like IoT sensors. Mid-band 5G also goes a long way in supporting research, private wireless networks, and industrial operations, as well as providing more reliable fixed wireless and home internet services to rural areas.
Rogers says it has tested a hockey Augmented Reality Immersive in-venue fan experience in partnership with AWS Outpost Mobile Edge Computing (MEC), Ericsson, and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) to showcase expected benefits to fans.
The company also recently announced a partnership with Microsoft to modernize Rogers’ operations and optimize its networks using Azure Cloud.