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Canada

Departments Address Broadband Connectivity Policy

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June 27, 2019 – Rural Economic Development Minister Bernadette Jordan has announced the rural development framework she was charged with developing in January 2019. In Nova Scotia this morning, Jordan unveiled two related strategies:
The Connectivity Strategy seeks to connect 100% of households to high-speed internet by 2030 by leveraging a 13-year $1.7B federal Universal Broadband Fund, the CRTC's $750M Broadband Fund, $500M through the Connect to Innovate program, as well as public and private investments facilitated through the Canada Infrastructure Bank and the government's Accelerated Investment Incentive.

On June 19, meanwhile, the House Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology
issued a report with recommendations for improving connectivity across Canada. It advised the government to collaborate with stakeholders to study increasing wireless availability and performance. The report also stressed the importance of rural spectrum access, identifying solutions such as decreasing the size of spectrum tiers and eliminating the distinction between 'fixed' and 'mobile' wireless access.

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Telecom Summit: 5G Evolution or Revolution (Video)

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June 25, 2019 – At the Canadian Telecom Summit earlier this month, Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Associations vice-president regulatory affairs Eric Smith moderated a panel entitled “5G: Evolution or Revolution?” The complete panel discussion can be viewed here.

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5G Smartphones Will Not Pose Canadian Health Risk

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June 20, 2019 – 5G cannot damage DNA directly, so critics who desire controversy have suggested its thermal effects may cause cancer. There is no example of such heat causing cancer in humans, however. People do not generally come close to 5G towers, and there is no evidence of 5G posing any such health hazard. According to Steve Milloy, 5G devices have fewer adverse effects than microwave ovens – with exposure levels being "very low and biologically insignificant." Laboratory research also shows that the absorption of radio waves decreases as the signal frequency increases. This means 4G technology poses a greater potential risk than 5G, and there is no such thing as a ‘4G scare’.

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Global 5G

5G Could Introduce a New Era of the "Mobile Cloud"

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June 21, 2019 – Entering new markets to generate revenue is one of the top incentives for 57% of communications service providers (CSPs) to deploy 5G, according to LightReading.com. Will CSPs be able to offer anything more than faster versions of 4G? They can if they use 5G to address quality demands on a per-customer basis. 5G will be a series of virtualized functions consisting of core data centres and mobile-edge processing nodes. Network slicing will then allow high performance 5G services to be provided on a per-customer basis. This means CSPs can deliver service level agreements (SLAs) targeting specific customer needs. They can then become mobile cloud providers (MCPs), competing with cloud providers by offering superior quality, reliability and service guarantees.

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FCC to Vote on Auctioning Key Parts of 2.5GHz for 5G

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June 18, 2019 – In July, the FCC will vote to auction a key band of 2.5GHz to facilitate 5G. In May 2018, it voted to consider releasing additional 2.5GHz spectrum now reserved for Educational Broadband Service. Chairman Ajit Pai said this would give existing users more flexibility and allow more efficient use of the airwaves. Sprint Corp uses leased 2.5GHz in its 4G and 5G networks. That spectrum is part of its proposed $26B merger with T-Mobile, and not directly affected by this auction. The FCC has yet to provide an auction timetable. Commissioner Brendan Carr noted that 2.5Hz is presently left unused in 50% of the United States, while over 90% of educational institutions are leasing their licenses to other entities.

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GSMA Debunks False Claims Threatening 5G's Future

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June 17, 2019 – The GSMA has struck back against false claims that 5G systems could harm other services, saying 5G can be used safely alongside other services, including commercial satellite, radar and applications using adjacent airwaves. It is confident that 5G and weather sensing services can co-exist. “It’s ludicrous to suggest otherwise,” said Brett Tarnutzer, Head of Spectrum at GSMA. “To suggest our 7-day forecast will go away with 5G is fake news.” Countries around the world are just now allocating spectrum for 5G. According to Tarnutzer, adopting technical limits that would make 50% of the spectrum unusable for 5G is not necessary to safeguard existing services. This would be poor spectrum management and restrict 5G deployments, he said, wasting a valuable public resource.

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UK Regulator May License Thousands of 5G Entrants

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June 17, 2019 – UK communications regulator Ofcom intends to license thousands of new 5G entrants. It announced plans this month to reserve 390MHz of 3.8GHz-4.2GHz spectrum for local coverage and campus use. Similar to initiatives in Germany (where 100MHz of mid-band was reserved for local industrial use), this would allow UK citizens to develop local networks in 50 mi² areas with a 5G license. They could do so in partnership with startups, equipment vendors or mobile network operators. According to Mansoor Hanif, chief technology officer at Ofcom, regulators "want to give low-cost access to local spectrum so anyone who thinks they need 5G coverage on an industrial campus, and feels it isn’t served by MNOs fast enough, should be able to build their own network.”

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Transatlantic 5G Differences – Why the U.S. Will Lead

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June 12, 2019 – Verizon EVP Ronan Dunne recently shared his views on the difference between U.S. and European 5G. According to Dunne, European operators are still increasing data plans,while customers offload data onto fixed networks through Wi-Fi. Demand for unlimited mobile in the U.S., on the other hand, and reliance on this data to fill fibre broadband gaps, will prompt faster U.S. deployment. “The timeline for 5G deployment, which was mid-to-late 2025 and beyond, was way too slow,” said Dunne. “We use spectrum in the ultra-high frequencies at 28 and 39GHz, which means we have 1,000MHz of contiguous bandwidth. Most carriers in Europe are lucky to have 2x20 paired in any part of their spectrum range.” “I’ll be back at some stage when everyone in Europe has unlimited plans,” he added. “The question about whether you can make any money is another discussion.”

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