5G Goes Live In Four Cities Of Canada
You no longer have to head to the US if you want to experience 5G in North America. After beginning its rollout in January, Rogers has turned on Canada’s first live 5G network in the downtown areas of Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver. You’ll predictably have to pick up one of Samsung’s Galaxy S20 phones and subscribe to an infinite data plan if you want to try the service straight away, but Rogers’ use of the 2.5GHz mid-range band proposes you’ll have an simpler time finding speedier service than you would with high-band 5G on networks like Verizon in the US. It’s closer to Sprint and AT&T in that manner. With Rogers financing, customers can buy a new Samsung 5G smartphone for $0 down and 0% interest and pay off their device in equal monthly payments over a 24-month period.
You can expect 20 other markets to get 5G this year, Rogers said. At the same time, it’ll start using low-band 600MHz access that should both broaden coverage and help you stay connected to 5G indoors. It’ll ultimately start using 3.5GHz service as well as spectrum sharing that permits it use LTE airwaves for 5G.
There is a gotcha, though: 5G will ultimately carry a premium. Rogers is only proposing 5G at no additional charge until March 6th, 2021. You’ll have to pay a $15 surcharge after the date. Although this practice isn’t completely new (Verizon has talked about charging a premium, but abandoned it for early adopters), it’s unlikely to please Canadians who are already whining about paying high prices for cell service compared to other countries.
The judgement to charge a premium might even lead to a political conflict. Canada’s Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains lately warned that the country’s big three carriers – Bell, Rogers and Telus-will have to slash the prices of mid-range plans by 25 percent as part of a bigger bid to reduce phone costs. While that won’t affect Rogers’ 5G (at least not at the beginning), it’s not likely to please regulators and politicians trying to make wireless data more affordable.
In the upcoming several years, as more 5G spectrum, applications and devices become available, 5G will introduce advanced new skills that will change businesses and industries with increased capacity and speed, more efficient use of spectrum, lower latency and improved battery life.