The rollout of 5G networks will generate hundreds of thousands if not millions of revenue for the country and is expected to advance agriculture, transportation, energy management and rural connectivity.
A new report from the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), in collaboration with Accenture, said that 5G deployment will “benefit local industries, governments and government services, whether it be to meet a government’s smart city agenda, to provide coverage for its citizens, or to address use cases for local businesses.”
The report noted that the “estimated economic impact” of deploying the next iteration of wireless networks in Canada will reach $40 billion CAD of annual GDP uplift by 2026.
The new networks will also bring in 250,000 new jobs in that same time frame, the report said.
Agriculture, energy, transportation sectors will benefit most
The report detailed that specific provinces will benefit in major ways, like for example, Saskatchewan will see up to $40,000 annual savings in costs for pesticides and costs of oilseed farmers from precision agriculture.
The province will also see up to $1.2 billion potential GDP increase because of rural broadband penetration, it noted.
In Vancouver, Okanagan, specifically, there will be growth in precision and smart agriculture.
Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador both will benefit from an expected increase in GDP because of broadband penetration as well — the former could see $520 million, while the latter could see $430 million.
In Quebec, Montreal, to be more specific, there could be a $535 million increase in productivity because of reduced traffic congestion. The report reflected that 5G technologies will enable a city to manage traffic better and reduce congestion “with capabilities that were not available when using previous wireless network technologies.”
Implementing 5G networks, the report said, can reduce traffic by 10 percent, and while this may seem like a small percentage, it is “a step towards improving the quality of life.” It noted that smart cities “can expect significant environmental benefits as a result of reduced idle time for vehicles on the road.”
Both Calgary and Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories could also see the benefits of energy-saving because of 5G. In Yellow Knife, there could be a $150,000 annual cost reduction for better visibility for northern lights with smart street lighting. Calgary could see up to $87 million in annual savings with households that use 5G-enabled smart technologies in their homes.
Overall, the report noted that rolling out 5G in Canada will encourage more innovation in the country that will bring in advanced technologies, which in turn, will encourage more investments in wireless infrastructure.
It is worth noting though that Canada does not yet have all the spectrum necessary for full 5G rollout. It is expected to fully be available to Canadians in 2021.
At the same time, the federal government is still in the process of making a decision regarding whether or not Huawei can participate in providing its equipment for carriers. The U.S. has accused the company of using backdoors in its technology to spy on citizens on behalf of China. Huawei denies these allegations and they have yet to be proven in court.