Shaw announces completion of first successful 5G trials

This marks the first time Shaw has made a major 5G announcement

An image showing the Shaw Communications logo

Shaw has announced the successful completion of its first 5G technical trials in Calgary.

The Freedom Mobile parent company conducted its test in partnership with Nokia, CableLabs and Rohde & Schwarz. The 5G test used 28GHz millimeter wave spectrum and 3.5GHz spectrum.

It was conducted using pre-commercial equipment at Shaw’s Barlow Campus Technology Centre.

“5G is set to completely transform the industry with faster wireless speeds that will help usher in the next industrial revolution and enable future technologies that we can only dream of today,” said Zoran Stakic, chief operating officer and chief technology officer at Shaw Communications.

“We are pleased that our first trials have been a resounding success, and through our partnerships with best-in-class industry leaders we will work to better understand 5G’s strengths and capabilities while continuing to invest in our network to offer Canadians a new era of strong and sustainable competition for the next generation of wireless technologies.”

Up until this point, the telecom has been relatively quiet on the subject of 5G testing.

The last major public indicator of its interest came in January with its joining of the 5G Americas board as the sole Canadian representative.

Shaw’s Freedom Mobile has been vocal about its 4G LTE enhancements, however, which is an ongoing process.

5G is the next-generation of wireless technology. Expected to begin arriving in Canada in 2019, it will deliver faster data (to the tune of multi-Gbps peak speeds) and lower, single-digit latencies. It’s expected to facilitate and support emerging technologies like self-driving cars and next generation IoT — i.e. the connection of nearly everything.

All of Canada’s major carriers are working on 5G trials. Telus is mainly working with equipment manufacturer Huawei, most recently announcing a 5G wireless-to-the-home trial.

Bell has also conducted 5G trials with Huawei, and made a series of recent announcements related fibre deployment — which will be key for 5G backhaul.

Rogers announced a multi-year 5G plan and partnership with Ericsson in April.

Shaw says it will continue to conduct technical trials in the coming months to test the 5G ecosystem as part of its “larger commitment to improving performance across its LTE-Advanced network.”

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