Ericsson has announced Rogers Communications as the first North American service provider to join its global Startup 5G program. Ericsson’s Startup 5G program is designed to help communications service providers (CSPs) accelerate the successful commercialization and monetization of 5G by introducing them to the right consumer innovation partners.
The program will also encourage 5G innovation transfer between start-ups and Rogers to create new business opportunities for both sides.
Jorge Fernandes, Chief Technology Officer, Rogers Communications says: “As the leader in building out the 5G ecosystem in Canada, we are always looking for new opportunities to work with top innovators, both within Canada and around the world. Through this collaboration with Ericsson Startup 5G, we can explore leading-edge offerings for our customers as we continue to provide a world-class 5G experience on Canada’s first, largest, and most reliable 5G network.”
The new collaboration further strengthens the partnership between Ericsson and Rogers, which goes back more than 30 years since the launch of wireless services in Canada. Rogers partnered with Ericsson in 2018 as its 5G vendor for its full network infrastructure, and the companies are working together to roll out Canada’s first 5G standalone core network building the foundation for true 5G experiences and use cases. The Startup 5G program has the companies working together to research and develop new 5G consumer offerings such as augmented and virtual reality, digital education, e-sports and other immersive media experiences.
Jeanette Irekvist, Vice President and Head of Customer Unit Canada, Ericsson North America, says: “We are excited to welcome Rogers as the first North American operator to join our Startup 5G program. Our global industry knowledge and expertise has positioned us to act as matchmakers in the 5G ecosystem, introducing service providers to products and services ready to launch on a mass scale. We are using our extensive consumer research to identify the start-ups with the highest potential for success, and we are glad to have Rogers with us on this journey so that Canadians can have access to the latest innovations happening across the globe.”
This program expands on Rogers already robust 5G ecosystem of innovative R&D partnerships across start-ups, academia, public sector, and enterprises and extends it to the consumer business. As part of the Startup 5G program, Rogers will receive access to an exclusive list of companies developing scalable services, devices, and applications over 5G. By bundling and offering innovative apps and digital services, Rogers can differentiate the 5G customer experience, ultimately changing the usage behavior and demand for mobile broadband services.
Jasmeet Sethi, Head of ConsumerLab, Ericsson Research says: “We are looking forward to expanding our relationship with Rogers to co-create and test applications enhanced by 5G. With access to 30 global start-ups, which is expected to grow to more than 40 by the end of the year, the program offers Rogers a unique opportunity to not only leverage actionable consumer insights but connect with innovation partners to keep the momentum as a leader in 5G.”
The Ericsson Startup 5G concept was first initiated in November 2019, in the same time-frame as the first commercial 5G network services were launched around the globe. The intention of the program was to show the potential of 5G as a platform for service innovation and value creation. Ericsson’s ConsumerLab recently released a 5G consumer survey of 1,600 Canadians – Five Ways to a Better 5G – revealing that 80 percent of Canadians say they want more innovation in 5G apps and services.