Rogers Communications Inc. and the University of British Columbia are joining forces on a multi-million dollar venture to build out a 5G hub on the university’s campus over the next three years. The telecom said in a Thursday press release that it will begin deploying 5G network equipment and infrastructure at the university early next year. The hub is intended to “study” 5G applications, including autonomous cars, artificial intelligence and technology used in robotics, farming and medicine. “UBC has significant expertise in leveraging its own infrastructure to create a unique ‘living lab’ environment that fosters creative problem-solving in a real-world setting,” UBC president and vice-chancellor Santa Ono said in the release. Earlier this year, Rogers announced that it could hit gigabit speeds on its LTE network later this year or early next year. Rogers is setting up the hub where Telus Corp., a dominant player in that region, has established its own with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in Vancouver. Telus has used the hub to test small cells used for 5G and has shown LTE reaching near gigabit speeds. Quebecor Inc.’s Videotron also has a planned 5G lab with Ericsson AB. Earlier this year, Shaw Communications Inc. had its first successful 5G trial with Nokia Corp. in Calgary. BCE Inc. had its first 5G test with Nokia in 2016.