Rogers lights up 5G smart campus in BC

Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.A), with the University of British Columbia (UBC), has turned on a 5G-powered smart campus as part of their strategic partnership to advance 5G wireless ...

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Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.A), with the University of British Columbia (UBC), has turned on a 5G-powered smart campus as part of their strategic partnership to advance 5G wireless research in Canada.

The smart campus, which includes 5G towers throughout UBC's Point Grey campus and an edge computing enabled data center, is being used by university researchers to test 5G applications in a real-world setting.

"With 5G at our doorstep, we're focused on bringing together Canada's brightest minds to research, incubate and commercialize applications that will transform the way we live and work," said Jorge Fernandes, chief technology officer, Rogers Communications. "Our work with UBC is helping design and test Canada's 5G blueprint, and today's announcement is a critical milestone as we prepare our national network for commercial deployment in 2020."

New research projects that are underway using the 5G network on the campus include:

  • Earthquake and tsunami detection technology that leverages the low latency of 5G sensors and machine learning to provide an early warning of an earthquake.
  • Digital mining technology to make the operations of mines safer and improve sustainability through autonomous trucks and predictive truck maintenance.
  • 5G Mobility as a Service (MaaS), a mobile platform that combines transit, bike rental, car sharing, car rental and other modes of transportations.
  • "Our government is committed to further strengthening B.C.'s tech and innovation sector and supporting the training needs of tomorrow's workforce," said Bruce Ralston, minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, Government of British Columbia. "5G brings enormous opportunity for our province and the students who experience this hands-on training. We are excited to see what applications they develop during their time at UBC."

"Collaboration between universities and industry is critical to fully leverage the opportunities offered by 5G," said Dr. Gail Murphy, vice president, Research and Innovation, UBC. "Our partnership with Rogers builds on the strength of UBC's campus as a living lab - providing students with opportunities to build the skills for tomorrow and supporting faculty research on 5G-based solutions to significant local and global challenges."

In October, UBC students were among the first Canadians to work with a live 5G network at a hackathon hosted by Rogers. Students spent two days using the Rogers 5G smart campus network to collaborate on how 5G will advance augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and gaming applications. During the event, students also used edge computing infrastructure provided by MobiledgeX to write code and test their application developments in real time. Edge computing can transform how consumers and machines interact with digital services, supporting faster response times by bringing computing power, content, and servers closer to IoT and consumer devices.        

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