Rogers Communications Inc. has announced plans to offer full 5G connections to Toronto’s subway system, including 911 access for all users. The telecom corporation has agreed to buy BAI Canada. BAI has had exclusive rights to establish the Toronto Transit Commission wireless network since 2012. Rogers will now be able to make the investments needed to develop a comprehensive and reliable 5G network for the entire TTC subway system as a result of this transaction.


5G network construction is projected to take about two years. Rogers will collaborate with the TTC on a phased deployment strategy, including network design, architecture, and rollout logistics, for both network enhancements and growth in stations, concourses, and all subway tunnels. Extensive fiber network and radio equipment improvements are required to update the network and boost the cellular capacity of the present 3G and 4G networks. In addition, they are required to improve service quality, while providing enhanced 5G mobile services for millions of additional consumers.


TTC riders with any cell phone provider can still contact 911 only where there is a cellular network, which is on station platforms, concourses, and about 25% of tunnels. Rogers will seek to address gaps in the subway system’s busiest and most critical parts as soon as possible. Riders will gradually see 5G coverage expansion for all cellular services other than 911.


Ron McKenzie, Rogers’ Chief Technology and Information Officer, said: “We know safety is top of mind for Torontonians. Residents and visitors expect wireless connectivity when they’re traveling on the TTC’s subway system. The agreement to acquire BAI Canada is a significant first step in modernizing and expanding the existing network to deliver enhanced 5G wireless service to millions of transit riders throughout the entire subway system in Canada’s largest city.”


The finished 5G network will provide seamless wireless coverage with mobile voice and data services across Toronto’s subway system’s 75 stops and over 80 kilometers. This significant commitment expands on Rogers’ previous efforts to provide improved mobile access for underground transportation users around the country. Subject to closing conditions, Rogers anticipates its acquisition of BAI Canada to close within the next two weeks.