YOU ARE AT:5GRogers CTO says 600 MHz spectrum will be key to launch 5G

Rogers CTO says 600 MHz spectrum will be key to launch 5G

Canadian carrier Rogers Communications said its spectrum in the 600 MHz band will allow the firm to provide 5G technology in a wide area coverage without a huge cost, the company’s CTO Jorge Fernandes said during a conference call with investors.

“So for us, the 600 MHz spectrum is incredibly important and we’re very happy to have acquired as much as we did. As you know low-band spectrum is foundational for any network. We’ve seen that low band does in fact make a difference between a great network and an average network especially in providing a consistent quality across the board,” the executive said.

“If we think about Canada and if there was a country that benefits and justifies such spectrum, of course, it’s Canada with our very low population density (…) We are modernizing our infrastructure as we speak and so we will be able to get the 600 MHz out there very quickly off the mark as soon as 5G gets into place and the handsets become available.”

“As new use cases are developed for 5G, low band will work in tandem with the mid-band and high-band spectrum that will become available over time to provide let’s say contiguous layer of national coverage and then using the mid-band and the high band capacity where we need for both 4G and 5G,” Fernandes added.

The company’s CEO Joe Natale said the carrier had secured this key 5G spectrum in every province and every territory across Canada. “We’ve entered this auction with a very clear disciplined plan,” the executive said.

“As planned, we are in the process of upgrading our network equipment nationally with new radios, so we’re ready to deploy the spectrum when it is available next year. We continue to make great headway on our 5G plan,” Natale said. “Working with Ericsson, we completed our first 5G connection test in downtown Toronto on a 5G-enabled network.”

Earlier this month, the Canadian the Canadian government raised C$3.47 billion ($2.6 billion) in the sale of 104 licenses of 600 MHz spectrum. sale, with 43 percent set aside only for smaller players

Rogers Communications dominated the auction, winning 52 licences in every province and territory for $1.725 billion.

Telus Corp. spent $931 million to secure 12 licences, while BCE Inc (Bell)., Canada’s largest telecommunications provider, did not win a single licence.

In a news release, Bell said it decided not to buy any 600 MHz spectrum because it already has enough in other bands.

“Given the supply of other low-band spectrum that Bell already possesses, 600 MHz is not required for Bell to deliver broadband 4G and 5G services,” Bell said, adding its main peers in the U.S. also didn’t buy 600 MHz spectrum for the launch of 5G technology.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Juan Pedro Tomás
Juan Pedro covers Global Carriers and Global Enterprise IoT. Prior to RCR, Juan Pedro worked for Business News Americas, covering telecoms and IT news in the Latin American markets. He also worked for Telecompaper as their Regional Editor for Latin America and Asia/Pacific. Juan Pedro has also contributed to Latin Trade magazine as the publication's correspondent in Argentina and with political risk consultancy firm Exclusive Analysis, writing reports and providing political and economic information from certain Latin American markets. He has a degree in International Relations and a master in Journalism and is married with two kids.

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