Rogers Communications and the University of Waterloo today announced a three-year, multimillion dollar partnership agreement to advance 5G research in the Toronto-Waterloo tech corridor. Together they will create the first 5G smart campus in central Canada.
“We are incredibly proud to partner with the University of Waterloo to bring the very best in 5G research and innovation to Canada and Canadians,” said Joe Natale, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rogers Communications. “5G is at our doorstep and these investments are critical to developing the ideas and solutions that will fuel industries and drive Canada’s digital economy for decades to come.”
The partnership will focus on 5G research in the areas of engineering, network design, applied mathematics and artificial intelligence. Rogers and the University will also build a 5G network on campus that will test network infrastructure, frequencies and applications in a real world Canadian environment. Establishing the first wave of research projects and construction of the smart campus will begin in early 2020. As part of the partnership, Rogers is a founding partner of the Gateway for Enterprises to Discover Innovation at the University of Waterloo (GEDI), a central place for companies to access the full potential of Waterloo’s research, talent and entrepreneurial ecosystem.
"We are pleased to partner with Rogers and to further explore this transformative technology," said Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Waterloo. “Combining the experience of Rogers with the research and entrepreneurial talent at the University of Waterloo will empower faculty and students to make discoveries and build new companies that will help us further contribute to the economies of our region and the country as a whole."
Rogers also announced it is the first wireless provider to work with ENCQOR 5G, a $400-million partnership led by the governments of Canada, Ontario and Quebec. ENCQOR has established the first pre-commercial 5G telecommunications corridor in Canada and brings together a vast network of companies, organizations and researchers who want to innovate by using the full potential of 5G. Through ENCQOR, Rogers will support small- and medium-sized enterprises as they work toward unlocking the technological promise of 5G.
“5G technology will transform the way we live and work, helping address issues we face every day like traffic congestion and access to health services,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Government of Canada. “Through the ENCQOR 5G project, our government is partnering with Canadian innovators – in universities and business – to position Canada as a world leader in 5G technology. The collaboration between Rogers and the University of Waterloo will create made in Canada innovations using this leading-edge technology.”
“Ontario is committed to creating the conditions companies need to innovate and thrive,” said Vic Fedeli, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Our government supports the ENCQOR 5G project, which is helping Ontario companies develop the technologies that will give them a competitive advantage.”
These announcements are part of Rogers multi-year program to bring 5G to Canadians through network investments and strategic partnerships to research, incubate and commercialize made-in-Canada 5G technology. Recently, Rogers turned on North America’s first 5G powered campus at the University of British Columbia to facilitate academic research and testing. To foster commercial 5G development in the Toronto Waterloo Region Corridor, the company has officially opened Rogers Create: a 5G Lab at Communitech, focused on accelerating and launching 5G applications. Rogers has also partnered with Ericsson, the North American 5G partner of choice, to boost and densify its fibre-powered network with 5G-ready technology. As it prepares for commercial deployment of 5G in 2020, Rogers continues to test 5G in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, and upgrade its national 4.5G network with the latest 5G-ready technology.
The University of Waterloo partnership is part of the nearly $20 million national investment in R&D and strategic partnerships at leading Canadian institutions including the University of British Columbia, Ryerson University and Communitech.