Rogers Communications launches LTE-Advanced in Canada

Canadian operator, Rogers Communications, has announced the launch of its nationwide LTE-Advanced services. The operator has stated the service, which launched over the weekend, will roll out across 12 cities and claims its customers will be the first in Canada to benefit from LTE-A.

Rogers secured two blocks of contiguous 700MHz spectrum earlier this year, which is combined with its advanced wireless services (AWS) spectrum in the LTE network to enable greater bandwidth. AWS spectrum operates at a higher frequency of uplink and downlink spectrum, thus allowing for advanced pervasion in dense urban areas.

The operator hasn’t confirmed the specific download speeds of which the LTE-A service will be capable. However, according to Canadian mobile tech site Mobilesyrup, Rogers’ aggregation of the 700MHz and AWS spectrum could allow for download speed of up to 150mbps (18.75 MBps), making it Category 4 LTE-A.

The site also claims that handsets with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chip or newer will be capable of receiving LTE-A signal, meaning the iPhone 6, Samsung S5, HTC One M8 and the LG G3 are compatible.

Guy Laurence, President and CEO of Rogers, likens the use of LTE-A to creating a traffic superhighway. “This new network technology allows us to combine our 700MHz beachfront spectrum with AWS, the backbone of our LTE network, to give our customers an even better and faster video experience,” he said. “It’s like putting the highways in a major city together to make a superhighway, allowing more traffic at faster speeds.”

Rogers cites the exponential rise in data consumption, demonstrated by statistics of live ice hockey streaming, as a key motivator for the roll-out of the network. In the first two weeks of this year’s NHL season, Rogers claims hockey fans have streamed more than 650 terabytes (650 million megabytes) of data on the dedicated NHL GameCentre stream.

On average, 80,000 fans are using mobile devices to watch every match, and Laurence says that the LTE-A rollout is just the beginning for mobile entertainment. “In the future, we’ll be able to combine even more spectrum to further enhance the video experience for our customers,” he said. “We are the only network focussed on bringing customers the ultimate video experience on mobile.”

October has been a busy month for LTE-A and carrier aggregation commercialisation, following announcements by EE, Vodafone and SingTel on intentions to trial and launch LTE-A services in the coming weeks and months.

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