Rogers Communications has connected more than 250 communities in British Columbia to Canada’s most trusted and reliable 5G network.
This $16-million investment includes nine new cell towers that Rogers installed last year in the Okanagan, bringing Canada’s largest 5G wireless network to Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland, Penticton, Lake Country and Osoyoos.
Last year, Rogers launched Canada’s first 5G pilot of smart city transportation technology in partnership with the University of British Columbia and the City of Kelowna. With Kelowna’s population steadily growing, there has been an uptick in vehicle and pedestrian traffic in the city.
As part of the 5G smart city pilot, safe sensor technology powered by Rogers 5G network, was installed at busy intersections and the Queensway Bus Loop to deliver real-time data on vehicle, cyclist, and pedestrian traffic. This data is provided to the City of Kelowna and UBC researchers to help find ways to improve safety and develop technology that will instantly deploy emergency vehicles when a collision is detected by the sensors.
“We can use the information immediately to see near misses between vehicles and pedestrians, we can make a decision to stop allowing right turns on red lights at certain intersections or put up more signage for pedestrians,” said Intelligent Cities Manager Andreas Boehm.
In the future, this data will allow real-time responses including switching traffic lights to green to allow first responders to quickly access emergency situations or clear traffic after a hockey game at Prospera Place. The pilot is part of Rogers nearly $20 million national investment in R&D and strategic partnerships at leading Canadian institutions, including UBC, the University of Waterloo, Communitech and Ryerson University to incubate and commercialize 5G use cases and applications.
Invested in the community
In 2020, Rogers announced the virtual opening of its new B.C. customer solution centre in the Landmark 4 building in downtown Kelowna. With COVID-19 precautions in place, all team members hired have been working remotely. Rogers is proudly committed to employment opportunities with local communities in which we operate including Kelowna with active recruitment and hiring from nearby Indigenous communities, including Westbank First Nation.
The Landmark 4 space also includes the Downie Wenjack Legacy Space, a unique meeting space designed by local Indigenous artists from the Okanagan region and is dedicated to raising awareness and understanding of Indigenous art, history and culture with teams, customers and community members.
“Throughout this experience, I was impressed and enlightened that Rogers placed high value in the recognition and the importance of promoting a greater representation of our Okanagan Indigenous communities in the workplace,” said Westbank First Nation employment coordinator Janice Money.