Rogers expands 5G service to two-dozen more B.C. communities

Cell dish in downtown Vancouver | Chung Chow, BIV

What happened: Rogers deploys 5G tech to more B.C. towns and cities

Why it matters: The telecom giant appears well ahead of schedule in terms of its West Coast rollout

Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.B) is ramping up its deployment of 5G services across B.C., adding 24 more West Coast communities to the list of those tapping the next-generation wireless technology.

The Tuesday (October 13) rollout, which includes Squamish, Whistler and Hope, brings the total number of West Coast communities getting Rogers’ 5G coverage to 51.

The Canadian telecom giant appears to be ahead of schedule with its deployment after initially announcing in early September it planned to have 5G offerings available to 26 B.C. communities by the end of the year.

Vancouver-based Telus Corp. (TSX:T) announced last week it planned to have its 5G network deployed across 50 B.C. communities by the end of the year.

5G wireless technology offers significantly faster speeds capable of handling greater amounts of data as more devices eat up bandwidth in the coming years.

But users must have a device, such as a smartphone, capable of supporting 5G if they are to tap into those speeds.

Tech giant Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) only unveiled its first 5G-capable device on Tuesday, meaning it will be some time before adoption of the technology becomes widespread among consumers.

Rogers for its part began rolling out 5G in Vancouver in January, ahead of Telus and Bell Canada [BCE Inc. (TSX:BCE)].

Those competitors began their rollout in June.

Telus and Bell had been counting on using 5G equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., while Rogers had previously been attached to the pricier 5G equipment from Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (Nasdaq:ERIC).

But the federal government continues to mull whether to allow Huawei’s 5G equipment into Canada amid ongoing espionage concerns and pressure from intelligence allies.

This put Telus and Bell into a tricky wait-and-see situation before the telecom companies both revealed in June they were tapping Ericsson and fellow European vendor Nokia Corp. (HEL:NOKIA) to build out their respective 5G networks.

Telus has since confirmed it’s also tapping Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to help deploy its 5G products.

Full list of B.C. communities with access to Rogers’ 5G network:

Abbotsford-Mission 

Burnaby 

Chilliwack 

Central Saanich 

Colwood 

Comox 

Coquitlam 

Courtenay 

Creston 

Delta 

Duncan 

Esquimalt 

Fernie 

Hope 

Kamloops 

Kelowna 

Kent 

Ladysmith 

Lake Country 

Langford 

Langley 

Maple Ridge 

Merritt 

Nanaimo 

New Westminster 

North Saanich 

North Vancouver 

Oliver 

Osoyoos 

Peachland 

Penticton 

Pitt Meadows 

Port Coquitlam 

Richmond 

Salmon Arm 

Saanich 

Sechelt 

Sidney 

Sooke 

Squamish 

Summerland 

Surrey 

Vancouver 

Vernon 

Victoria 

View Royal 

West Kelowna 

West Vancouver 

Whistler 

White Rock  

torton@biv.com

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