Rogers LTE-Advanced rolls out to boost video streaming

Rogers says it's boosting the speed of its wireless network using new technology called LTE-Advanced to allow smartphones and tablets to stream video more smoothly.

Technology combines bands of different frequencies into single 'superhighway'

Rogers says the company has seen 700 per cent growth in the amount of video being streamed over its wireless network using mobile devices over the past two years. (Eric Risberg/Associated Press)

Rogers is boosting the speed of its wireless network by combining different bands of wireless frequencies, a technology called LTE-Advanced.

"It's like putting the highways in a major city together to make a superhighway, allowing more traffic at faster speeds," said Guy Laurence, president and CEO, in a statement announcing the launch of the new technology.

Raj Doshi, executive vice-president of wireless services at Rogers, said data such as streaming video will flow more smoothly.

"Smoother means increased speeds eventually as well as consistency," he said. "And over the course of time, we will be able to combine more highways."

He added that there has been huge growth in the amount of video being streamed over wireless networks using mobile devices over the past two years.

Currently, Rogers's high-speed LTE network runs on three separate bands:

  • 700 MHz
  • AWS
  • 2600 MHz

Some phones and tablets can use any of the three bands, but only one at a time.

Starting today, Rogers is combining the 700 MHz and AWS bands so that devices that have both the right hardware and software will be able to use both at the same time.

Devices need software upgrade

So far, no devices in Canada are able to take advantage of that capability. But the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will all be able to once they get a software update, Doshi said.

He added that the software is being tested now and will be coming "soon."

When asked what increase in speed can be expected with LTE-Advanced, Doshi wouldn't specify, saying only that it depends on many factors, including the device being used, the number of other users in that area at a given time, and the user's location. The two bands that are being combined are not available simultaneously everywhere.

Rogers is launching LTE-Advanced today in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Windsor, London, Hamilton, Toronto, Kingston, Moncton, Fredericton, Halifax and Saint John. It said more markets will follow.

Rogers says it is the first carrier in Canada to roll out the technology. However, in an email to CBC News Friday, Bell spokesperson Jason Laszlo wrote that Bell already has LTE-Advanced in its network.

"The issue is that few phones can take advantage of it now," he added.

Telus would not say whether it plans to roll out LTE-Advanced,

LTE-Advanced is already available in regions of some other countries, such as the U.S., South Korea, and the U.K.


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