Rogers to expand its 5G network across the entire Toronto subway system
Health & Safety Rogers Transit Safety TTC
Rogers Communications Inc. has announced it will expand its latest high-speed wireless network across Toronto’s entire subway system.
The company said this will include access to 911 for all riders.
Rogers said subway riders with any wireless provider can currently call 911 only where the cellular network exists — on station platforms, concourses and about 25 per cent of the tunnels.
The commitment comes as Rogers announced a deal to acquire BAI Communications’ Canadian operations, which has held the exclusive rights to build the Toronto Transit Commission’s wireless network since 2012.
However, Freedom Mobile is the only company that had signed on to provide coverage to its customers through BAI’s network.
“The agreement to acquire BAI Canada is a significant first step in modernizing and expanding the existing network to deliver enhanced 5G wireless service to millions of transit riders throughout the entire subway system in Canada’s largest city,” ?Ron McKenzie, Rogers’ chief technology and information officer, said in a statement.
Rogers said building its 5G network across the subway lines is expected to take about two years.
An increase in violent incidents on the TTC over the past year has brought the gap under fresh scrutiny, with some calling on the federal telecommunications regulator to force Rogers, Bell and Telus to use BAI’s network.
The completed 5G network will deliver wireless coverage in all 75 stations and almost 80 kilometres of the subway system, Rogers said.
Rogers completed its acquisition of Shaw Communications Inc. earlier this month in a deal that saw Quebecor Inc.’s Videotron buy Shaw’s Freedom Mobile wireless business.
As part of its commitments to win regulatory approval for the deal, Rogers promised to spend $5.5 billion to expand 5G coverage and additional network service.
In announcing its expansion of its network along the Toronto subway, Rogers said extensive upgrades are needed to modernize the network.
The company said it will work to quickly address gaps in the busiest and most critical sections of the subway.
It said it would work with the TTC on a phased deployment plan, including network design, architecture and rollout logistics, for both network improvements and expansion in the stations, concourses and in all of the subway tunnels.