Rogers is starting to roll out Canada’s first 5G network in downtown Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, gearing up for the launch of several 5G devices that are set to become available this year.

The Rogers 5G network will expand to over 20 more markets by the end of the year. The company also announced that it is the exclusive Canadian member of the global 5G Future Forum, a 5G and mobile edge computing forum that includes Verizon, Vodafone, Telstra, KT, and América Móvil.

“5G is the biggest technological evolution since the launch of wireless in Canada,” says Joe Natale, President, and CEO, Rogers Communications. “We are making the right investments, building the right partnerships and deploying the right technology to bring Canadians the very best of 5G. 5G will not only power businesses, but it will also fuel entire industries and drive Canada’s digital future. We were the first with wireless services 35 years ago, and we are once again first to bring this innovative technology to consumers and businesses on Canada’s only national network.”

The Rogers 5G network initially uses a 2.5GHz spectrum in the downtown cores of Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal and will expand to use a 600MHz 5G spectrum later this year. The latter spectrum, says Rogers, is best suited to carry wireless data across long distances and through dense urban buildings, creating more consistent and higher quality coverage in both remote areas and smart cities. In the future, Rogers will also start deploying the 3.5GHz spectrum and dynamic spectrum sharing, which will allow the 4G spectrum to be used for 5G. Rogers will also turn on 5G in the Rogers Centre, Scotiabank Arena, and Rogers Arena to enhance how fans watch the game in the future as innovation and applications development.

While 1G let customers make mobile phone calls, 2G enabled text messaging, 3G powered e-mail and internet browsing, and 4G delivered faster speeds and the on-demand economy, over the next several years, 5G will transform businesses and industries with increased speed and capacity, more efficient use of spectrum, improved battery life, and lower latency. 5G will also support a massive increase in the number of connected devices that require near-instantaneous access for applications like augmented and virtual reality, smart communities, remote patient health care, robotics, and driverless vehicles.

Rogers is joining forces with its long-time partner Ericsson to boost and densify its network with 4.5G and 5G technology. Rogers 5G services will be available exclusively on Rogers Infinite plans with unlimited data and no overage fees.

“5G is not just another G,” adds Jorge Fernandes, CTO, Rogers Communications. “It is a global technology that requires local development to deliver the best social and economic benefits to Canadians. Through our multi-year program, we will invest in our wireless network and partner with leaders to drive innovative use cases for Canadian consumers and businesses.”

Rogers has established key strategic Canadian partnerships to research, incubate, and commercialize made-in-Canada 5G technology and applications. This includes R&D partnerships with the University of British Columbia, the University of Waterloo, and an incubator at Communitech. Rogers is also collaborating with government and industry through Ryerson University Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst and ENCQOR 5G. Internationally, Rogers is a founding member of the new 5G Future Forum, which will create a common framework for 5G applications enabled by mobile edge computing across the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.

Last month, Rogers opened a state-of-the-art flagship retail experience, Rogers 302, at Yonge and Dundas Square, right in the heart of downtown Toronto. The retail space measures 9,000 square feet in size and focuses on promoting 5G technology.