Rogers Communications announced on Monday its plan to introduce full 5G connectivity services to the entire subway system of Toronto, including access to 911 for all riders. The announcement comes after the telecommunications company agreed to acquire BAI Communications' Canadian operations, which held exclusive rights to build the Toronto Transit Commission's wireless network since 2012. The acquisition will enable Rogers to invest in building a comprehensive and reliable 5G network across the entire TTC subway system.
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Move Ensures Access to 911 Services
This move is particularly significant in ensuring access to 911 services across the entire subway system. Currently, TTC users with any mobile provider can only call 911 where the cellular network exists, which is limited to station platforms, concourses, and approximately 25% of the tunnels. Rogers has promised to address the gaps in the busiest and most critical sections of the subway system as quickly as possible.
In a statement, Rogers said, "We know safety is top of mind for Torontonians. Residents and visitors expect wireless connectivity when they're travelling on the TTC's subway system. The acquisition of BAI Canada was a significant first step in modernizing and expanding the existing network to provide improved 5G wireless services to millions of transit riders throughout the entire subway system in Canada's largest city. As the country's biggest investor in 5G with Canada's largest 5G network, Rogers is proud to be making these investments to deliver world-class connectivity for Torontonians."
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Two-Year Build Expected to Modernize and Expand Network
The 5G network rollout for all wireless services beyond 911 is expected to take about two years to complete, mainly because of the limited overnight construction windows available to complete network installations, ensuring the subway remains operational for riders.
Rogers will work together with the TTC on a phased deployment plan, which includes network design, architecture, and rollout logistics, for both network improvements and expansion in the stations, concourses, and all subway tunnels.
Extensive Fibre Network and Radio Upgrades Needed
To modernize the network and increase cellular capacity, extensive fiber network and radio equipment upgrades are required for the current 3G and 4G network, adding new 5G mobile services for millions of additional users.
Seamless Coverage in All 75 Stations of Toronto's Subway System
The completed 5G network will offer seamless wireless coverage with mobile voice and data services across all 75 stations and nearly 80 kilometers of Toronto's subway system, part of Rogers' commitment to expanding connectivity for Torontonians.
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BAI Canada Acquisition to be completed in two weeks
Rogers' acquisition of BAI Canada is expected to be completed in the next two weeks, subject to closing conditions. The investment builds on Rogers' existing initiatives to provide advanced mobile connectivity to underground transit riders across the country, including agreements with TransLink to bring wireless connectivity across the full SkyTrain system in the Greater Vancouver Area and the Societe de transport de Montreal with other Canadian carriers to bring connectivity in all 68 metro stations and over 70 kms of tunnel in Montreal.