Rogers has announced that it has started to roll out its 5G standalone core network in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.
“Considered the brain of the network, our 5G standalone core propels us forward on our path to bring the full potential of 5G to Canadians,” Rogers’ chief technology and information officer, Jorge Fernandes, said in a news release.
The Toronto-based national carrier says the network, which is powered by Ericsson, will support future devices and chipsets as they become available.
Canadian carriers are currently offering 5G service by adding 5G channels on top of their existing LTE core. With this latest move, Rogers is beginning to launch its 5G standalone core network in these four cities, which means that the network isn’t relying on an LTE core.
Rogers says that standalone 5G will maximize radio spectrum capabilities to bring more 5G coverage in the future while also allowing for ultra-low latency and mobile edge computing.
“Standalone 5G marks the next important step in evolving 5G connectivity. It will enable ultra-low latency and support future capabilities that will provide industries and businesses with dedicated networks through network slicing,” the carrier notes.
For context, network slicing overlays multiple virtual networks on top of a shared network. Rogers notes that with network slicing, a command centre could support firefighters equipped with AR headsets that provide real-time visuals and communications as they navigate through thick smoke.
Rogers has completed standalone 5G testing on the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform, which will power the next generation of 5G smartphones.
The carrier also announced that it has expanded its 5G network to 26 cities and towns in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec. Its 5G network now reaches 160 communities across the country.
It’s worth noting that Canadians likely won’t see the blazing-fast speeds that 5G promises until the 3.5GHz spectrum is auctioned off in June 2021 and then deployed in the next few years.