Government Launches 3.8 GHz Auction Consultation

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August 27, 2020 – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) has announced a consultation on repurposing portions of the 3800 MHz band for 5G services. The announcement comes after a decision to postpone Canada’s 3500 MHz auction until June 15, 2021. The Canadian government believes a flexible-use licensing model, similar to its 3.5 GHz framework, would “foster more efficient and intensive use of mid-band spectrum" to facilitate 5G connectivity. ISED has also committed to licensing 3800 MHz in a manner that will ensure the provision of high-quality services to urban and rural areas alike.

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Is 5G a Health Concern in Canada? CENGN Says 'No'

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August 24, 2020 – According to recent commentary by Canada's Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN), 5G will assist healthcare and emergency service professionals through applications such as telemedicine and real-time monitoring. At the same time, conspiracy theorists continue to portray 5G as a potential health risk. CENGN responds by noting that consumer microwaves use over 12 times more power than the average 5G tower. CENGN's analysis confirms that “Canadians should not be worried" and adds, "if anything, 5G will enhance our current Canadian healthcare technologies.”

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BlackBerry to Launch New 5G Smartphone in 2021

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August 19, 2020 – BlackBerry is partnering with startup company OnwardMobility to launch a 5G version of its smartphone that will be manufactured as much as possible in North America and target the North American and European markets in the first half of 2021. The Canadian tech firm had been licensing its BlackBerry name to other partners while stepping away from the hardware business in previous years. BlackBerry is a major supplier of security products to the U.S. government, and announced that it will end a licensing agreement with China-based manufacturer TCL Communication later this month.

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Bell Bringing 5G to 28 More Canadian Markets in 2020

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August 7, 2020 – Chief executive Mirko Bibic says Bell will expand its 5G network to 28 additional markets by the end of this year. The company initially launched its 5G network in five cities last June. Bell has reported growth in both the residential and enterprise aspects of its 5G operations. “Like when we upgraded from 2G to 3G, 3G to 4G... there is always a spike in penetration, smartphone adoption and especially usage,” Bibic said. The Canadian government postponed its 3.5 GHz auction until June 2021, and launched a consultation on a 3.8 GHz auction this week, with both bands being vital to 5G deployments.

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Global 5G

FCC 3.5 GHz Auction Raises $4.6 Billion in One Month

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August 26, 2020 – The Federal Communication Commission’s 3550-3650 MHz auction has raised over $4.58 billion. The availability of this spectrum will help boost 5G coverage throughout America. Results for Auction 105, including the names of winning bidders, will be posted at the FCC website. The auction began July 23 and finished August 25, with winning bidders taking over 91% of available licenses. Further mid-band will be distributed in the U.S. through auctioning 280 MHz of ‘C Band’ spectrum in December 2020.

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"Goodbye TV": UK Frees Up 700 MHz for 5G Auction

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August 24, 2020 – After three years, UK regulator Ofcom has finished clearing TV broadcasters from its 700 MHz band. The cleared spectrum will be auctioned in January 2021 to support 5G rollouts. Previously, 700 MHz was used for applications such as analog TV and TV production equipment. Although the European Commission had flagged 700 MHz as being central to 5G deployment, the Ofcom clearance project ran past a number of earlier deadlines, including an original completion date in 2019.

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"Goodbye 3G": How U.S. Carriers Will Shut It Down

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August 20, 2020 – U.S. operators are beginning to shut down 3G, the platform that emerged 18 years ago and is being succeeded by technologies like 5G. "To better support the high data usage on our network, we are sunsetting our 3G network to boost capacity for next generation technologies," explained AT&T, who intend to shutter their network by early 2022. Verizon will turn off their network by the end of 2020, while T-Mobile offered a more general timeline of "within a few years”. All three carriers have already begun the first phase of sunsetting 3G, which is ceasing to activate 3G devices.

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GM Plans More 5G Connected Vehicles, 2022 Launch

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August 20, 2020 – General Motors has announced it will introduce 5G to most of its Chevrolet and Buick vehicles by 2022, although this launch date currently only applies to China, where GM has been experiencing higher-than-usual sales. While GM’s connected vehicles presently use 4G LTE technology, 5G will enable faster remote updates and better communication with other vehicles and infrastructure on the road. GM is also developing a door-to-door intelligent driving system, called Super Cruise, that will facilitate driver-assist features such as adaptive cruise control, lane-centering and hands-free camera monitoring.

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