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
“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
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