The University of Waterloo welcomed Rogers Communications leadership to campus today to celebrate the renewal of the Rogers 5G partnership to advance 5G research and development in Canada.

This builds on the three-year agreement announced by Rogers in 2020 with the University to advance 5G research in the Toronto-Waterloo tech corridor. The partnership made Waterloo the first 5G smart campus in central Canada and provides research opportunities anchored in this next-generation network and develops talent to help fulfill the need for skilled employees to lead future innovations. This renewal will allow the University to continue this important research and training to advance 5G technologies.

“The University of Waterloo has a rich history of partnerships with Canadian technology leaders like Rogers,” said Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor of Waterloo. “Our Rogers 5G partnership has created interdisciplinary research and learning opportunities for our faculty and students and contributes to our innovative spirit and drive.”

Phase one of the partnership focused on 5G research in engineering, network design, applied mathematics and artificial intelligence. The 5G smart campus enables Waterloo researchers to build applications and use cases for real-world impact, including the creation of a smart city infrastructure monitoring and alerting system and Canada’s first driverless, autonomous 5G shuttle.

As part of the renewed commitment, Rogers will collaborate with industry and faculty at Waterloo on industry-driven research projects to enable applications in domains including sports, mining, and public safety. This work will explore how 5G can leverage next-generation networking to address emerging problems identified by industry partners.

“It was inspiring to be on campus and see the 5G applications and research being developed,” said Ron McKenzie, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Rogers. "As Canada’s largest and most reliable 5G network provider, we’re proud of our partnership with the University of Waterloo. Together, we are supporting world-class researchers to unlock full, scalable capabilities of 5G on our network to drive innovation that will transform industries.”

The Rogers visit to campus began with tours of 5G labs where McKenzie and others met with researchers to see their ongoing work and impact first-hand. The visit concluded with an armchair chat between Goel and McKenzie to discuss the current state of 5G and phase two of the Rogers 5G-UWaterloo partnership.

Ron McKenzie tours Watanobus lab

They discussed several advancements underway for the partnership, including the creation of the Ted Rogers Undergraduate Indigenous and Black Student Awards, upgrades to the 5G network and the creation of the Velocity 5G Hub to support student-led startups that use 5G technologies.

Throughout 2023 and beyond, researchers will continue developing 5G applications with potential commercialization opportunities and continuing to engage with students in design projects and hackathons such as the Velocity Innovation Challenge last month.

5G technology is set to boost Canada’s economy through investments in infrastructure and the positive downstream impacts for Canadian talent and business owners. Together, Rogers and Waterloo are committed to strengthening Canada’s leadership in 5G, championing digital innovation and nurturing entrepreneurial talent development while reflecting diverse and inclusive perspectives.