Rogers, Bell and Telus are ramping up testing 5G network technology

Canada’s largest wireless carriers are entering trial phases in preparation for the next generation of mobile networks, 5G.

In a recent article by The Toronto Star, Bell reported that its testing would begin shortly.

“Bell [has] built a reputation for broadband network leadership and we plan to be out front on 5G too,” Bell spokesperson Mark Langton told The Toronto Star. “We’ll begin 5G trials shortly and are involved in writing the 5G specs as a member of the Next Generation Mobile Networks consortium.”

The Next Generation Mobile Networks consortium (NGMN) is an international group of CTOs from over 20 large telecom operators. Its stated focus is delivering global and commercially-available 5G by 2020, while also accelerating the development of the LTE-Advanced ecosystem.

5G standard data rates are expected to measure in at 10gbps over the air, giving users a boost of up to 40 times today’s 4G/LTE network standards. In real world application, this means 5G users could download a 4K video in ten seconds, or stream two 4K connections simultaneously.

Telus is also hard at work attempting to bring 5G into reality. In November 2015, Telus announced it was working with Huawei, which is not only a widely known Chinese OEM but also the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer, to create a “5G Living Lab,” in downtown Vancouver. The lab was established to provide fibre-wireless internet speeds in downtown Vancouver.

“The opportunity to partner with Telus to deploy innovative new technologies is critical to our global 5G research and development process and positions Telus on the leading edge of next-generation telecommunications technology deployment,” said CEO Ken Hu in a statement at the time.

That was not the first time Huawei invested in Canada’s 5G technology, having been involved in development programs for the past several years, and it preceded an even larger announcement.

Huawei’s Canadian contribution

In March 2016, Huawei also announced it was investing $303 million over the next five years in Ontario’s 5G acceleration program, in which the provincial government also planned to invest $16 million.

“Ontario has a vibrant innovation ecosystem that we’ve been proud to be a part of for the past six years, so we’re incredibly excited about expanding our research and development facilities in the province. Our Canadian research team is helping to drive pioneering projects around the world, and this accelerated investment in the Province of Ontario reflects our confidence in Ontario, and the talent of Ontario’s skilled ICT workforce,” said Hu.

Rogers Communications, while quiet about its trials, also states that it is taking part in standards setting through the various industry bodies involved.

Related: Wind Mobile founder Tony Lacavera discusses Canada’s 5G future

[source]The Toronto Star[/source]