Canadian University Uses Small Cells to Launch “Smart” Campus


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Rogers Communications, with the University of British Columbia (UBC), yesterday turned on what it says is the country’s first 5G-powered smart campus. The smart campus includes 5G small cell towers throughout UBC’s Point Grey campus and an edge computing-enabled data center being used by university researchers to test 5G applications in a real-world setting.

“With 5G at our doorstep, we’re focused on bringing together Canada’s brightest minds to research, incubate and commercialize applications that will transform the way we live and work,” said Rogers Communications CTO Jorge Fernandes. 

“Our work with UBC is helping design and test Canada’s 5G blueprint and today’s announcement is a critical milestone as we prepare our national network for commercial deployment in 2020.”

Last year Rogers announced a multi-million dollar partnership with UBC to fund academic research in 5G applications and applied sciences that will benefit the country’s unique needs. Yesterday, the company said new research projects that are underway using the 5G network on campus, including:

  • Earthquake and tsunami detection technology that leverages the low latency of 5G sensors and machine learning to provide an early warning of an earthquake so people can take preventative steps to stay safe.
  • Digital mining technology that makes the operations of mines safer and improves sustainability through autonomous trucks and predictive truck maintenance.
  • 5G Mobility as a Service, a next generation mobile platform that brings together transit, bike rental, car sharing, car rental and other modes of transportation so consumers can easily get the best on-demand transportation options.

“Our government is committed to further strengthening B.C.’s tech and innovation sector and supporting the training needs of tomorrow’s workforce,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, Government of British Columbia. “5G brings enormous opportunity for our province and the students who experience this hands-on training. We are excited to see what applications they develop during their time at UBC.”

“Collaboration between universities and industry is critical to fully leverage the opportunities offered by 5G,” said Dr. Gail Murphy, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, UBC. “Our partnership with Rogers builds on the strength of UBC’s campus as a living lab – providing students with opportunities to build the skills for tomorrow and supporting faculty research on 5G-based solutions to significant local and global challenges.”

November 7, 2019

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