Rogers, Canada: Innovation takes the lead
Rogers first in Canada to upgrade its network to LTE with an Evolved Packet Core, introducing faster mobile broadband speeds.
Rogers is a leading operator in Canada, where the market is extremely competitive. It maintains its strong position by pushing innovation and introducing new technology first.
Rogers saw great opportunity in the increased demand for smartphones from consumers. In response it acted first to upgrade its network to LTE-RAN with an Evolved Packet Core (EPC), to cater for the uptake in traffic. This has enabled it to introduce faster mobile broadband speeds that will satisfy users’ thirst for data-driven services and introduce newer, more capable devices into the market before the competition.
Arnold Abramowitz, Vice President, Wireless Access Networks, Rogers Canada explains what the operator was looking to achieve: “When we decided to introduce an LTE network with an Evolved Packet Core, we looked for increased efficiencies, reduced operating expenditures and to share both HSPA and LTE across the network.”
The introduction of LTE was carried out in partnership with Ericsson, who provided an end-to end solution, including services. The project was unique to Rogers and the Canadian market. In addition to an LTE dual band network and the upgrade of its current packet core nodes to an EPC, Ericsson also deployed Circuit-switched Fallback (CSFB). This enables Rogers to provide its customers with new and enhanced mobile broadband services over the LTE network, while re-using their installed base WCDMA network for voice services on LTE smartphones.
Rogers has also implemented Ericsson’s policy control solution, Service-Aware Charging and Control. This enables Rogers to manage traffic in an efficient way and generate additional revenues by providing a differentiated offering, addressing the needs and requirements of subscribers with new services in new segments.
Dragan Nerandzic, CTO, Ericsson Canada explains the process that led to the operator choosing Ericsson as its partner in the project: “Rogers made a very comprehensive evaluation in a trial of the Ericsson technology. The superiority of the Ericsson LTE Radio Access Network and Evolved Packet Core led to the operator choosing Ericsson to deliver the project and to provide the support needed.”
The upgrade provides many benefits for Rogers. Having a faster and more efficient network allows the operator to offer new innovative services at a lower cost than previous generations of wireless technology. It also allows Rogers to provide an enhanced experience to the consumer with services such as online gaming, video streaming and other broadband intensive applications.
Nikos Katinakis, VP Network amp; ITS, Strategy amp; Technology Development, Rogers Canada talks about the positive response from customers about their experience: “The feedback that we have been receiving from the LTE launch has been fantastic. As we read the blogs from what we perceive to be independent users, they seem to be ecstatic with the high speeds and low latency they see.”
Rogers and Ericsson have a strong relationship spanning over 20 years and a proven track record in successfully implementing large programs together.
Nikos Katinakis, VP Network amp; ITS, Strategy amp; Technology Development, Rogers Canada talks about the support that Ericsson provided throughout the project: “The biggest strength of Ericsson in this project has been their ability to manage the end-to-end deployment. We do rely a lot on Ericsson to help us with all aspects of the deployment, and once again Ericsson came through for us and we managed to meet the timelines.”
As one of the first operators in the world to deploy CSFB for its voice offering on LTE smartphones, Rogers is already looking at the next stage in the development of its LTE network. “We’re looking at VoLTE and we’re hoping to be early in the market with that,” says Nikos. “Rogers’ business goals for the future will continue to be being first to market and being an innovative brand. LTE is the first step to support that strategy. As we look to the future upgrades of technology with LTE advanced and beyond, we are looking to the technology to support that migration in an easy to implement and easy to deploy fashion.”
Rogers Communications Inc. is a diversified Canadian communications and media company engaged in three primary lines of business.
Rogers Wireless is Canada’s largest wireless voice and data communications services provider. It serves over 9 million subscribers and is the country’s only national carrier operating on the world standard GSM, HSPA and LTE technology platforms.
Rogers Cable is a leading Canadian cable services provider, offering cable television, high-speed internet access, and telephony products for residential and business customers.
Rogers Media is Canada’s premier group of category-leading broadcast, specialty, sports, print and online media assets with businesses in radio and television broadcasting.