Rogers Communications Inc. announced on Monday a multi-year 5G network plan that includes working with Ericsson, a North American leader in 5G deployment, to test the high-speed network in Toronto, Ottawa and other select cities over the next year. The Financial Post is reporting that the testing of core 5G applications will begin after "more precise 5G industry standards come out," according to Rogers' Chief Technology Officer, Jorge Fernandes.
Fernandez told reporters the 5G network won't be ready for "prime-time" until about 2020 because hardware and software are still under development. He also said the new network will require the collaboration of many partners, including city governments and the business community.
Rogers plans on starting the Ottawa trial after Release 15 of the 5G standards comes out, sometime in June this year. Release 15 will dictate how 5G devices should talk to 4G devices. “There’s still a lot being done to develop the technology itself. And it’s important that we start explaining and bringing these partners along so that they can see the future and see the benefits they will bring,” Fernandes said.
"We are at the advent of the fifth generation of wireless networks. Similar to how 4G powered the proliferation of the smartphone and on-demand economy, 5G will make the mass communication of IoT a reality, changing how we live and work, Fernandez added.
Testing at the Rogers Centre
The Rogers Centre, home to the Toronto Blue jays, is being used today to test some of the different capabilities of 5G. The stadium is the perfect place to test the technology because of its dense concrete structure, which can be a challenge for testing wireless signals.
Participants in the testing wore virtual reality (VR) glasses to toss a baseball back and forth, virtually shopped in a retail store, and controlled robots with real-time responsiveness. Rogers also demonstrated Quad-band Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA) on Gigabit LTE to show how LAA provides high bandwidth, simultaneously across several devices.
"The future of our businesses, our industries, and our daily lives will be impacted by 5G, led by innovative service providers like Rogers. Rogers is taking a significant leap forward today and we are very excited about the opportunity to jointly develop innovative services and new customer experiences," said Niklas Heuveldop, Head of Market Area North America, Ericsson.
The Partners in the 5G Roll-out
Rogers Communications Inc. is a leading diversified Canadian communications and media company and Canada's largest provider of wireless voice and data communications services and one of Canada's leading providers of cable television, high-speed Internet and telephony services to consumers and businesses.
Rogers Communications is working with Ericsson, a Swedish multinational networking, and telecommunications company headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. Ericsson had a 35 percent market share in the 2G/3G/4G mobile network infrastructure market in 2012.
5G and the Future of the Network
The first generation of wireless networks brought consumers analog voice calls. Then 2G gave us SMS (Short Message Service), basically the ability to send text messages using our telephones. Consumers were given the ability to browse the World Wide Web with 3G, and high-speed data and video streaming with 4G.
With 5G networks, consumers will see a whole new world open up that moves beyond connecting people to connecting machines and mass connectivity through the Internet of Things (IoT). The new wireless technology will mean the network will give us "always-on reliability and real-time connectivity."
What does this mean for the consumer? The lag-time between sending a request and the network responding will drop to one millisecond, 400 times faster than the blink of an eye. Basically, this means we will see a massive increase in the number of devices as well as a huge range of applications coming into play that require that "blink-of-the-eye responsiveness.
Think of driverless cars, virtual-reality and the technical innovations needed for smart cities. Fernandes says a city with 5G-connected traffic monitoring would assist self-driving vehicles currently under development. “Autonomous vehicles today have sensors within the vehicle itself. But the vehicle can only see what it can see,” Fernandes said. - Digital Journal