Rogers has expanded its service to 130 regions in Canada, including more rural areas in Alberta, Ontario, and British Columbia.
“Digital infrastructure is crucial to fuelling productivity and innovation and driving our economy forward,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation and MPP for York—Simcoe, in an Oct. 13 press release. “5G will provide new and exciting opportunities for Georgina and communities across Ontario, such as optimizing traffic and transportation systems making the commute safer, quicker and easier. The expansion of Rogers 5G network will further revolutionize the way we live, work, learn, and play.”
Rogers purchased 52 of the 64 open 600MHz spectrum licenses on a 20-year term in April 2019 for $1.7 billion. Telus picked up the rest of the 12 open licenses for $931 million. The 600MHz frequency band is a low band frequency used to deliver data over long distances. Bell did not win any 600MHz licenses — it was more interested in the higher frequency ranges, which can deliver higher bandwidth at shorter ranges.
Kye Prigg, senior vice-president of Rogers network and operations, said this is only the start initial rollout. He noted that the more remote regions will see 600MHz 5G more than the higher frequency 5G bands. But even so, Priggs said communities being served on lower spectrum 5G can still benefit from signal aggregation.
“The 600MHz [spectrum] is going to give you a better propagation,” said Prigg. “But the beauty of 5G in the first iteration is it aggregates with 4G as well. The way the system works is that you’re going to get those 4G speeds that you would expect to have, which are actually reasonably good, and then on top of the 4G speeds, you will get the 5G added to it.”
Kye also noted that Ericsson’s 5G radio hardware features Dynamic Spectrum Sharing that allows the carrier to launch 5G on bands currently used for 4G. The two bands can operate simultaneously and the upgrade can be enabled via software, which can speed up 5G deployment.
All of the 5G services in Canada are delivered on signals between the 600MHz to 2.5GHz frequency. Although the fabled gigabit speeds are still a few years out, 5G today are still faster than 4G and have lower latency.
Rogers last week reversed its plan to charge extra to access its 5G network.