Rogers claims Canada’s first 5G standalone network

Rogers Communications is touting a big first in Canada: the rollout of the country’s first national standalone 5G core, with Ericsson as its vendor.

On the handset front, Rogers also claims the first 5G standalone device certification in Canada – for the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. These two devices will be the first 5G standalone smartphone devices certified for use in Canada, according to Rogers.  

Over the next few months, eligible customers will automatically connect to Rogers’ 5G standalone network where it’s been rolled out. Rogers reports that it has completed its 5G standalone core network deployment nationally and is deploying its 5G standalone service coverage in major markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montréal.

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“Achieving Canada’s first 5G standalone device certification and completing our national 5G standalone core rollout underscore Rogers leading 5G network leadership and innovation,” said Luciano Ramos, SVP of Network Development and Core Engineering at Rogers. “In order for 5G innovation to reach users, compatible smartphones are needed to connect to 5G standalone service and we’re proud of our whole team to have reached this milestone with Google and our long-time partner Ericsson, helping to bring the best of 5G to our customers.”

According to Rogers, which is in the midst of a $16 billion deal with Shaw Communications, completing these milestones represents an important step forward in evolving 5G connectivity. Combined with network slicing and mobile edge computing, it will allow Rogers to tap into the power of 5G standalone service, ultra-low latency data transmission and higher data rates.

“These capabilities will open a world of possibilities and next-generation innovations from truly autonomous vehicles to early enhanced earthquake warning systems and beyond,” the operator stated in a press release.

Rogers noted that it recently invested $3.3 billion in 3500 MHz band spectrum, covering 99.4% of the Canadian population, to enhance and accelerate the expansion of 5G. That investment positions the company as the largest single investor in 5G spectrum in the country across rural, suburban and urban markets, beating rivals Telus and Bell Canada.

Management distractions

One might think Rogers is distracted by organizational problems within the company – a series of moves summed up by Fortune as akin to a real-life version of the HBO series “Succession.”

RELATED: Rogers CEO talks broadband roadmap as board spat rages

Last week, the operator’s earnings report was overshadowed by boardroom drama that included efforts by Edward Rogers, son of the late founder Ted Rogers, to replace CEO Joe Natale.

According to a Reuters report today, Edward Rogers intends to initiate legal proceedings in the British Columbia Supreme Court to confirm a shareholder resolution that created his reconstituted board.

Meanwhile, the company reported wireless postpaid net subscriber additions of 175,000 in the third quarter of 2021. Wireless service revenue grew 3%, and adjusted EBITDA was up 2%. Postpaid churn in the quarter was 0.95%, while blended ARPU was $51.31, up 4% sequentially.