London, Ontario might sign a two-year pilot project with Rogers to install 5G network devices

The City of London could sign onto a two-year pilot project that would involve Rogers installing 5G network devices at three locations throughout the city.

Mat Daley, the city director of IT services, said his department is pushing the city’s politicians to “give the green light” on the project because it would see devices installed on 31 traffic light posts and traffic signals, allowing residents with 4G-plus or 5G-compatible devices to access 5G connectivity, according to the London Free Press.

“What’s so exciting about this is that this creates the capacity for the next generation of really exciting technologies such as autonomous vehicles, IoT or the Internet of Things technology, augmented reality and virtual reality,” Daley said. “All of those new, exciting technologies require high-speed, high connectivity, all characteristics of 4G-plus and 5G networks.”

The three locations would be the commercial plaza at Fanshawe Park and Hyde Park roads, Western University’s campus and the downtown area around the Budweiser Gardens and Dundas Place.

The LFP reported that Rogers would be in charge of financing the project.

By moving forward with the project, the city will be able to begin its work towards adopting more 5G infrastructure, LFP reported. The city’s smart city strategy includes having a map that would have places to park and address transportation issues, crime data, and smart lighting technology increase safety.

Daley said the city didn’t want to limit the project to just Rogers and said the city hall agreement would also allow other carriers to be involved and approach the city with respective proposals.

If the council approves the project on June 25th, then construction on the project could begin later this year.

It is worth noting that Canadian carriers have yet to launch their 5G networks because the federal government has yet to auction off the necessary spectrum. Innovation, Science and Economic Minister Navdeep Bains announced changes to the 3500Mhz spectrum auction that is to take place next year and gave more detail on the millimetre wave auction the year after.

Carriers more recently acquired the 600Mhz spectrum band, which partly helps in the deployment of 5G.

Rogers is the only carrier that has finalized a partnership with Ericsson as its vendor to deploy 5G.

Source: The London Free Press