Rogers Expands 5G in the West and Ontario, Powers 5G Drone Flight

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Rogers Communications is expanding Canada’s largest and most reliable 5G network to now reach residents and businesses in Selkirk and Steinbach, Manitoba and St. Catharines, Ontario. Rogers 5G, powered exclusively by Ericsson, reaches 173 cities and towns nationwide offering 5G access to nearly half of Canada.

As Rogers launches 5G across the country, it continues to prove the strength of its wireless and broadband networks, based on the latest network benchmarking report released today by Ookla®.

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Also announced today, Rogers for Business worked with InDro Robotics and the University of British Columbia’s MéridaLabs to complete Canada’s first remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) flight over a 5G network at the UBC campus in Vancouver, BC. 5G will enable the ability to fly drones on autonomous missions from remote command centres connected over a 5G network. The 5G infrastructure Rogers has installed at UBC is enabling researchers and partners to explore future innovations, including parcel tracking, scheduling, and delivery by drone. 5G drones are expected to provide untapped services for a number of industries including agriculture, natural resources, infrastructure and utilities, construction, first responders and more².

Today’s announcement with InDro Robotics and UBC is supported by Rogers multiyear partnership with the university to research, incubate and commercialize 5G applications in Canada. Rogers continues to make network and innovation investments throughout Western Canada. As part of the company’s future plans, Rogers will continue to invest in the West through the agreement to combine Rogers Communications with Shaw Communications, enabling the combined company to build critically needed 5G networks, bridge the digital divide, and connect underserved rural and Indigenous communities.

“We’re focused on bringing 5G connectivity to even more Canadian residents and businesses to help drive economic prosperity in our communities,” said Jorge Fernandes, Chief Technology Officer at Rogers Communications. “As we continue investing in our award-winning networks and Canada’s 5G ecosystem, we’ll begin to see more 5G use-cases come to life that will play a critical role in transforming and evolving entire industries across the country.”

“Over the last 12 months, wireless connectivity has become an even bigger part of critical infrastructure – helping our residents work, study and socialize online at unprecedented levels. Investments into more robust technology like this are critical for individuals and businesses alike, and we’re pleased to see St. Catharines included in Rogers’ map of 5G communities.” – Mayor Walter Sendzik, City of St. Catharines

“By being a regional hub, tourist destination and gateway to the lakes, people and businesses in Selkirk need top notch mobile service that matches the other top notch services our city provides. The 5G network is an enhancement that will help support long-term success for a strong and stable local economy. We are excited to be a part of this expansion that brings faster download speeds, more capacity and lower latency,” commented, Mayor Larry Johannson, City of Selkirk.

“Access to 5G for drones is the step we needed to unleash the potential for drones to become far more productive,” said Philip Reece, President and CEO of InDro Robotics. “The amount of data that can be exchanged at near zero latency means we can now separate the pilot and crew from being on scene with the drone, engineers can carry out critical infrastructure inspection from their office increasing speed of response and safety. First responders will be able to gain great situational awareness before they arrive at an accident and share valuable information back to incident command live from the scene.”

“This RPAS research is just one example of how 5G opens up new applications with significant societal benefit. 5G drones can be routinely used in the near future to monitor wildfires or assist in medical supplies delivery. They can be enlisted to provide security services and deployed during times of crisis and natural disasters. 5G enables us to explore many of the challenges and opportunities that will emerge as transportation and civil infrastructures become smart and interconnected,” said, Walter Mérida, UBC professor in the faculty of applied science and lead, MéridaLabs.