The buzz around next-generation technology such as 5G which has potential to change the way we communicate and spend our life is gaining significant momentum not only in Silicon Valley, the software hub or Germany, an engineer hub but also countries like Canada are putting partnerships and required ecosystems to leverage 5G. Recently, Government of Canada, along with the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, announced the first public-private partnership aimed at 5G technology in which they will each contribute $66.7 million to ENCQOR project for a combined investment of $200 million. This will be matched dollar for dollar by the private sector, for a total of $400 million.
Canada is expecting that this $400 million project will generate over 4,000 good middle-class jobs, including 1,800 specialized 5G jobs, over the next five years and help local businesses create more valuable products. “As demand for all things connected increases, our wireless technology infrastructure needs to keep pace. That’s why we are about to see a shift from fourth-generation to fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology—a leap that will unlock massive innovation potential and create thousands of well-paying jobs across Canada,” said a government note.
“We are banking on such collaborations, like those also made possible by the Quebec Digital Strategy and the 2017–2022 Quebec Research and Innovation Strategy, to make Quebec a leader in innovation and the development of cutting-edge digital technologies. Boldness, creativity and an innovative spirit are the hallmarks of Quebec, and it will now have a strong presence in the new reality brought on by 5G,” said Dominique Anglade, Quebec Deputy Premier, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy.
Named as Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Quebec and Ontario for Research and Innovation, in short ENCQOR project, will be led by five global technology giants – Ericsson, Ciena, Thales, IBM and CGI. Today, together they employ about 40,000 Canadians and spend more than $1 billion annually on R&D in Canada. Along with government, these companies 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, silicon photonics, big data analysis and cloud computing to local companies.
Why this is key for Canada? Because in test 5G has proven that its download speed will be up to 100 times faster than current 4G technology. It means Canadians will have ability to test their products and services quickly on 5G equipment leading to shorter time to market. According to Canadian officials, 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, create new businesses and jobs.
“Technology is changing the way we live, work and engage with one another, and we are in a global innovation race. 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 job,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
Agreeing with Bains, Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research, Innovation and Science said, “This exciting 5G initiative will help our businesses here in Ontario—and across Canada—capitalize on the vast potential of high-speed communications technology to expand their horizons, accelerate their innovation, and transform the way we all live and do business.”