Canada, Private Firms Announce Research Project for 5G Technology
Monday, March 19, 2018 | Comments

The government of Canada, along with the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, announced the first public-private partnership aimed at increasing economic growth driven by 5G technology. The $400 million ($306.1 million) project will secure more than 4,000 jobs, including 1,800 specialized 5G jobs, during the next five years, leading to new innovations in wireless telecommunications, a statement said.

In addition, the project is expected to create jobs across Ontario and Quebec. The Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Quebec and Ontario for Research and Innovation (ENCQOR) project will be led by global digital technology companies Ericsson, Ciena Canada, Thales Canada, IBM Canada and CGI.

The governments, small and medium-sized businesses, and academics will collaborate on 5G technology development through linked research facilities and laboratories located in Ontario and Quebec. This network will provide access to advanced technologies such as programmable broadband networks, the internet of things (IoT), silicon photonics, big-data analysis and cloud computing.

5G has download speeds up to 100 times faster than current 4G technology. ENCQOR will provide Canadians with the ability to test their products and services on 5G equipment. The capabilities developed through ENCQOR will enable businesses to compete in the global marketplace. An estimated 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses will be able to plug into the 5G platform to access the research and technology that will help them innovate and create jobs.

"Technology is changing the way we live, work and engage with one another, and we are in a global innovation race,” said Navdeep Bains, Canada minister of innovation, science and economic development. “To prepare for the future, we must be bold, visionary and decisive. That's why our government is investing in 5G technology. This investment in next-generation wireless technology will help make Canada a global innovation leader and secure 4,000 jobs."

Mobile data traffic is expected to increase sevenfold between 2016 and 2021, and 5G will enable widespread adoption of new technologies such as autonomous vehicles and smart applications based on IoT. The information and communications technologies (ICT) sector is an important part of Canada's economy, contributing $76 billion (US$58.2 billion) to the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017.

The five companies involved employ about 40,000 Canadians and spend more than $1 billion (US$765.4 million) annually on research and development (R&D) in Canada.

ENCQOR is one of the first projects to be funded under the government of Canada's $1.26-billion (US$964.5 million) Strategic Innovation Fund. The governments of Canada, Ontario and Quebec will each contribute $66.7 million (US$51 million) to ENCQOR for a combined investment of $200 million (US$153 million). This will be matched dollar for dollar by the private sector, for a total of $400 million (US$305.9 million).

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