Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.A) announced a three-year partnership with Communitech to open a new 5G innovation lab to advance made-in-Canada 5G wireless technology and commercialize 5G use cases. As part of the partnership, the new lab, scheduled to open in September, is intended to accelerate and launch smart city, Internet of Things (IoT) and enterprise 5G applications.
"Canada needs a strong 5G ecosystem to thrive and grow in our increasingly connected world," said Jorge Fernandes, chief technology officer, Rogers Communications. "Our partnership with Communitech is part of our work to bring together experts from universities, businesses, startups and government so our country can lead in the digital economy. This new lab will help bridge the gap between concept and testing to commercialization and market launch for Canadian applications."
Located in Waterloo, Communitech is a public-private hub that supports more than 1,400 companies with the goal of helping them grow in the digital economy.
"It's phenomenal to have Rogers, a leading national brand, invest time and resources in building and bringing the future of technology to Canadians with the new lab," said Iain Klugman, CEO, Communitech. "We're excited to work with Rogers to bring this leading technology to Waterloo region and beyond."
The announcement is part of Rogers' multi-year 5G development program, including other strategic partnerships. Last year, Rogers announced a multi-year partnerships with the University of British Columbia to build a real-world 5G hub on the university's campus. The company also announced a national infrastructure agreement with Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) to boost and densify its fiber network with 5G-ready technology.
Rogers is preparing for 5G commercial deployment in 2020 and just completed 5G test calls in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.