Multi-million dollar partnership to create made-in-Canada 5G technology

SOURCE: Alex/Unsplash
The partnership will serve as one of many initiatives to advance 5G technology in Canada.

By U2B Staff 

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The University of Waterloo is partnering with Rogers Communications in a three-year, multimillion-dollar deal to advance 5G technology research in the Toronto-Waterloo region and build central Canada’s first smart campus.   

The partnership involves building a 5G network on campus that will test network infrastructure and its capabilities as well as its applications in a real-world Canadian environment. 

Research on 5G will be carried out in areas of engineering, network design, applied mathematics, and artificial intelligence (AI).

“We are incredibly proud to partner with the University of Waterloo to bring the very best in 5G research and innovation to Canada and Canadians,” said Rogers Communications President and CEO Joe Natale.

 “5G is at our doorstep and these investments are critical to developing the ideas and solutions that will fuel industries and drive Canada’s digital economy for decades to come.” 


Construction of the smart campus 5G network will commence along with the first wave of research projects in early 2020. 

The partnership also involves the Gateway for Enterprises to Discover Innovation at the University of Waterloo (GEDI) in which Rogers is a founding partner. 

The gateway will serve as a collaborative space linking industry with academia as companies will be able to access the full potential of Waterloo’s research, talent and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“We are pleased to partner with Rogers and to further explore this transformative technology,” said the University of Waterloo President and Vice-Chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur.

“Combining the experience of Rogers with the research and entrepreneurial talent at the University of Waterloo will empower faculty and students to make discoveries and build new companies that will help us further contribute to the economies of our region and the country as a whole.”

5G Technology
Businesses in the region will be able to discover the potential of 5G. Source: Robin Worrall/Unsplash.

This partnership with the University of Waterloo is part of Rogers’ series of initiatives to bring 5G technology to Canada and North America. 

The company also announced that it is the first wireless provider to work with the Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Québec and Ontario for Research and Innovation (ENCQOR) 5G, a CA$400-million partnership led by the governments of Canada, Ontario and Quebec. 

ENCQOR has established the first pre-commercial 5G telecommunications corridor in Canada to serve as a collaborative space for a vast network of companies, organisations and researchers to partake in innovative research and development activities by using the full potential of 5G. 

Rogers will play a prominent role here in supporting small and medium-sized enterprises as they discover the potential of 5G technology.

“5G technology will transform the way we live and work, helping address issues we face every day like traffic congestion and access to health services,” said Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains. 

“Through the ENCQOR 5G project, our government is partnering with Canadian innovators – in universities and business – to position Canada as a world leader in 5G technology. The collaboration between Rogers and the University of Waterloo will create made in Canada innovations using this leading-edge technology.”

“Ontario is committed to creating the conditions companies need to innovate and thrive,” said Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade Vic Fedeli. 

“Our government supports the ENCQOR 5G project, which is helping Ontario companies develop the technologies that will give them a competitive advantage.”


These announcements are part of Rogers’ multi-year programme to bring 5G to Canada through network investments and strategic partnerships to develop and commercialise made-in-Canada 5G technology. 

To foster this commercial development in the Toronto-Waterloo region, the company has launched Rogers Create, a 5G Lab located at public-private innovation hub, Communitech, focused on accelerating and launching 5G applications.

This partnership with the University of Waterloo is part of a national investment of nearly CA$20 million in research and development and strategic partnerships at leading Canadian institutions such as the University of British Columbia, Ryerson University and Communitech.