Rogers and Ericsson Trial 5G Cloud RAN

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Canadian operator Rogers Communications has initiated a notable trial of 5G cloud-radio access network (cloud RAN) technology, partnering with Ericsson. This groundbreaking test occurred during a recent Toronto Blue Jays game on Canada Day. It marked the first deployment of cloud RAN over a commercial network at a live event in Canada, according to a company release.

Rogers emphasizes that this new tech builds on its national 5G SA core network, initially launched in 2021. “Cloud-native technology is a critical component in the next generation of wireless networks and we are proud to have completed Canada’s first deployment of 5G Cloud RAN technology at a major live event,” said Ron McKenzie, Chief Technology and Information Officer at Rogers.

This advancement sets Rogers in a favorable position to enhance technological capabilities and improve network reliability and resiliency. Additionally, the company claims it will boost energy efficiency, aligning with broader sustainability goals.

At present, Rogers’ 5G network covers over 2,300 communities across Canada. Recently, it tested 5G network slicing technology, heralding it as the first nationwide live test of its kind in Canada. This slicing test, conducted in partnership with Ericsson, initially took place in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

A key selling point of network slicing technology is its ability to offer a dedicated network slice for first responders, giving them priority on the network. Furthermore, Rogers plans to use this technology to separate fixed and mobile traffic on its national 5G network. This separation aims to accelerate 5G wireless home internet expansion to rural and remote communities, ensuring more reliable service for residential and mobile users alike.

Securing nationwide 5G spectrum solidifies Rogers’ commitment to leading in the telecommunication space. In November 2023, the company acquired 3.8 GHz spectrum in Canada’s third 5G spectrum auction. This acquisition complements the already held 3.5 GHz spectrum, which includes both urban and rural, as well as Indigenous communities.

The deployment of cloud RAN attracts considerable attention for its potential benefits and impacts. Cloud-native architecture promises to simplify network operations and lower costs through easier scalability and flexibility. However, these transitions also demand significant upfront investments and a shift in traditional network maintenance practices.

Overall, Rogers’ pioneering initiatives in 5G technology underscore its aim to provide robust, efficient, and reliable connectivity across Canada, striving to meet the increasing demands of both consumers and businesses.

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