Rogers plans to invest over $80 million in wireless network

Rogers Communications has announced plans to invest $81.7 million (CAD $80 million) in its wireless network in the Maritime region on the east coast of Canada.

The investment will increase coverage of the area by 130% by providing 4G HSPA+ to almost one million more customers across the region. Once completed, Rogers’ 4G HSPA+ network will cover 94% of the Maritime population.

Rogers’ president for Atlantic Canada, Ken Marshall, explained that the company was responding to customer demand: "Maritimers told us they wanted better coverage, faster speeds and a greater selection of mobile devices."

The project will take two years and marks another major investment in the area by Rogers which includes Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Rogers has already made significant investments this year to update its networks across the whole of Canada. In April, the company announced a multi-year deployment of LTE technology with plans to connect customers in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa by the end of this year and an additional 25 cities by the end of 2012.

Rogers will begin work on the Maritime wireless network this month and will continue through 2012.

"Typically eastern Canada is treated second so the fact Rogers is donating millions to cover the bulk of the maritime provinces at the same time it is beginning the roll out 4G in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa is good," said Lawrence Surtees, analyst at IDC Canada. "For the last number of years, Rogers Wireless has been really aggressive with wireless data and new networks and has continuously been trying to steal the lead over the incumbent phone companies Bell and Telus, so I think that is what also partly behind this."

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