The small yellow circle in the lower half of the aerial image shows the site of a 60-meter tower proposed in 2018 off 20th Avenue SE near the Shuswap Memorial Cemetery by Rogers Communications. The tower has not yet been built. (City of Salmon Arm image)

Salmon Arm gets 5G technology, no word yet on cell service at industrial park

Rogers Communications announces city is one of 26 in B.C. to receive 5G wireless technology

Rogers Communications has announced 5G wireless technology is now available in Salmon Arm on its network.

In a Sept. 2 news release, Rogers stated it has launched 5G in 26 new cities and towns across British Columbia.

“Building on the company’s January roll out of 5G in downtown Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, Rogers 5G network is now the largest in Canada and available in the following cities and towns in British Columbia, bringing consumers and businesses the very best in wireless technology to their own neighbourhoods and business parks,” stated the news release.

The 26 communities listed include Salmon Arm, Oliver, Osoyoos, Vernon, Kamloops, Penticton and Kelowna in the B.C. Interior.

“5G represents a massive technological transformation that will change the way British Columbians live and work,” said Rick Sellers, president of Rogers Communications’ B.C. region. “We are proud that 5G is now available in 27 cities and towns in British Columbia. Strong digital infrastructure and this next-generation technology are critical to fuel productivity and innovation as we power out of the pandemic, and in the future as we reset the competitive landscape in B.C. and for Canada, globally.”

Rogers 5G is currently accessible to customers on Rogers Infinite plans and unlimited business wireless plans with select 5G-ready devices.

Read more: 2013 – Residents protest cell tower

Read more: 2018 – Salmon Arm council supports site for 200-foot cell tower

Read more: Six cellular antennae proposed for downtown Salmon Arm building

Read more: Protesters push public notification on harms of cell tower radiation

Read more: Solution wanted for poor cellular service in Salmon Arm Industrial Park

On a related topic, in 2018, Rogers, through its agent Cypress Land Services, consulted with the City of Salmon Arm about the proposed installation of a 60-meter cellular tower and associated facilities such as fencing, a generator and an equipment shelter at 2200 20th Avenue SE, near the Shuswap Memorial Cemetery.

The tower did not proceed, however, despite the city’s support.

Earlier this month, the City of Salmon Arm was asked to support a push from the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society to improve cellular services in the city’s industrial park. The society was compiling a package for major cellular carriers asking for a solution to the lack of service.

Kevin Pearson, the city’s director of development services, said the city received the news release regarding 5G. It has not been apprised of any other plans of telecommunications companies nor was it told why the tower did not proceed.

He said the city’s policy asks only for companies to consult with the city regarding towers and obtain council’s endorsement. Health Canada and Industry Canada regulate the industry, so the technology is not a concern for the city from a policy or regulatory perspective.

Pearson said the city has conveyed to Rogers and Telus that the industrial park lacks good cellular service.

In its Sept. 2 news release, Rogers stated that it continues to invest in wireless enhancements and technology throughout B.C., including launching Canada’s first 5G smart city pilot earlier this year with the City of Kelowna and the University of British Columbia.

The news release stated the company also launched network sites in 2020 in West Kelowna and Osoyoos, a partnership with the Nisg̱a’a Nation that connects communities in northwestern B.C., and a collaboration with the B.C. government that brings wireless coverage to residents and businesses of the Witset First Nation.

Earlier this year, Rogers announced that it will bring 350 new jobs into the local economy by 2021 through its B.C. customer solution centre in Kelowna.
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