Communitech, Rogers to launch 5G innovation lab in Kitchener-Waterloo


Communitech and Rogers have announced a three-year partnership that will see the organizations open a 5G innovation lab in Kitchener-Waterloo.

“We’re excited to work with Rogers to bring this leading technology to Waterloo Region and beyond.”

With the lab, Rogers and Communitech are hoping to advance 5G technology in Canada, and bring 5G use cases to market. As part of the new partnership, the lab, opening in September, will be developing and launching technology for smart city, Internet of Things (IoT), and enterprise 5G applications.

“Canada needs a strong 5G ecosystem to thrive and grow in our increasingly connected world,” said Jorge Fernandes, chief technology officer at Rogers Communications. “Our partnership with Communitech is part of our work to bring together experts from universities, businesses, start-ups and government so our country can lead in the digital economy. This new lab will help bridge the gap between concept and testing to commercialization and market launch for Canadian applications.”

Communitech was recently named one of the recipients of the federal government’s investment of $52.4 million in its Scale-Up Platform, receiving $18 million to help the hub develop programs providing coaching, advisory services, and talent programs to help firms attract and retain talent.

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The partnership announced Wednesday is part of Rogers’ multi-year 5G-focused program. At the end of last year, the telecommunications giant announced a partnership with the University of British Columbia to build a 5G hub on the university’s campus. The company also came to a national infrastructure agreement with Ericsson that will boost the company’s fibre-powered network with “5G-ready” technology. Rogers said it is gearing up for 5G commercial deployment in 2020, and recently completed 5G test calls in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Last year, Rogers launched its LTE Cat M1 network (LTE-M), which it said will help businesses connect and track their assets in real-time using solutions such as logistics tracking, alarm monitoring, and smart metering.

“It’s phenomenal to have Rogers, a leading national brand, invest time and resources in building and bringing the future of technology to Canadians with the new lab,” said Iain Klugman, CEO of Communitech. “We’re excited to work with Rogers to bring this leading technology to Waterloo Region and beyond.”

Image courtesy Communitech

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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