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Canada to forge up to $40 million research partnership with Nokia to deploy 5G

Canada currently has a frosty relationship with China-based telecommunications giant Huawei

The Canadian federal government is expected to announce an up to $40 million research partnership with Finnish telecommunications giant Nokia to further develop 5G wireless technology.

A January 24th, 2019 Canadian Press article said that Innovation Science and Economic Minister Navdeep Bains is in the middle of “finalizing the deal” with Nokia today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The article said that the deal is a way “to support more than 2,000 of the firm’s jobs in Canada and to create 237 new positions.”

A media advisory said that Bains was meeting with the Nokia representatives at 9:30 am local time in Switzerland.

The announcement comes at a time as Ottawa finalizes its national-security review regarding its involvement with the next iteration of mobile technology that is said to be good for smart homes, autonomous vehicles, and even fixed wireless internet connections in rural parts of Canada.

It also comes at a time as Canada deals with a frosty relationship with China and its telecommunications giant Huawei.

Huawei is currently working with Bell and Telus to deploy the new network, while Rogers is working with Ericsson. The two companies and Nokia are among the top firms in the world researching 5G technology.

It’s also important to note that three of the countries part of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing organization (U.S., Australia and New Zealand) have banned Huawei from supplying 5G equipment out of fear of potential cybersecurity threats.

Canada and the U.K., the other two members, are still working with Huawei.

Update 25/01/18 10:58 am: Bains finalized details with Nokia in Davos on January 25th, 2019 at the World Economic Forum.

A press release said the government also finalized a project with Siemens to facilitate research.

The release noted that the money would be split “over a multi-year term” totalling $214.6 million.

It added that Nokia will “improve how data is routed and how optical networks are managed.”

Nokia will also help develop “cybersecurity tools to protect telecommunications networks and establish a new Nokia Bell Labs presence in Canada to conduct research to help telecommunications networks meet the needs of 5G technology.”

For Siemens, Bains said the government is investing up to $35.66 million. The funding will help create 241 skilled jobs in Atlantic Canada.

Siemens will work to help “improve power delivery to underserved communities, better integrate renewable energy into the power grid and reduce future electricity costs for consumers.”

Source: The Canadian Press

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