Rogers, Ericsson turn Ottawa into an LTE trial playground

Rogers is breaking LTE out of the confines of its labs for the first time with the announcement today that it's flipping the switch on a trial network in Ottawa -- a place where infrastructure partner Ericsson conveniently just happens to have some facilities. The 4G network won't be open to customers yet, but it seems like that'll be a relatively small step -- in the Ottawa area, anyway -- once all the technical issues have been ironed out. Step one will be a deployment in Rogers' AWS spectrum portfolio, but they've already filed a request with the gub'mint to roll out on 700MHz as well -- a critical step if these guys want any semblance of interoperability with the first LTE deployments in the US. So, Canadians, tell us: excited? Follow the break for the full press release.

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TORONTO, Oct 6 /CNW/ - Rogers Communications Inc. today announced the launch of a comprehensive Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless network technical trial with Ericsson Canada in the Ottawa area.

LTE is a fourth generation (4G) wireless technology that enables lightning-fast HD video streaming, gaming, communications, transactions and other connected experiences through mobile Internet. LTE allows significantly more data to pass through a network at speeds of up to 150 Mbps and it will become the foundation in a world defined by connected experiences.

"Our customers increasingly want anywhere, anytime access to information, communications, entertainment and transactional experiences on their device of choice," said Nadir Mohamed, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rogers Communications Inc. "LTE is the next generation platform delivering superior mobile speed and functionality similar to what Canadians currently experience at home and at work. This technical trial is significant because it builds on our industry-leading networks and it sets the groundwork for our customers to do even more in the future."

Ericsson, in co-operation with Rogers, has been conducting LTE lab testing at its Ottawa Research and Development facility comparing speeds and performance of LTE technology in multiple frequency bands. Rogers will expand on this testing and move to a comprehensive technical trial of LTE on both low and high band frequencies across the Ottawa area.

"Through this trial we will validate how LTE technology will perform in real world situations across a variety of spectrum frequencies in urban, suburban, and rural environments," said Bob Berner, EVP, Network and Chief Technology Officer, Rogers Communications Inc. "Furthermore, we will verify LTE data throughput speeds, performance quality, and interoperability of LTE with our existing advanced HSPA+ network ensuring that future commercial deployment enables the best customer experience.

The technical trial will initially use recently auctioned AWS spectrum. Rogers is also working with Industry Canada to secure a development license to use 700 MHz spectrum for the trial.

"We are proud that our LTE competence and unique expertise in Canada is empowering some of the largest LTE deployments around the world," said Hans Vestberg, President & CEO, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson.

"Having operated in Canada for nearly 60 years and as one of the country's top R&D investors employing more than 2400 engineers/developers, Ericsson is leading LTE development at our Ottawa lab, bringing the most advanced mobile broadband technologies to Canadians and global markets," said Mark Henderson, President & CEO, Ericsson Canada Inc.

About Rogers Communications:

Rogers Communications is a diversified Canadian communications and media company. We are Canada's largest provider of wireless voice and data communications services and one of Canada's leading providers of cable television, high-speed Internet and telephony services. Through Rogers Media we are engaged in radio and television broadcasting, televised shopping, magazines and trade publications, and sports entertainment. We are publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RCI.A and RCI.B and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RCI). For further information about the Rogers group of companies, please visit