Rogers and Communitech to Open Waterloo 5G Lab

July 17, 2019 – Rogers and Communitech will launch an innovation lab in Waterloo this September to prepare for the roll out of 5G networks next year. The three-year partnership is based on Communitech's role as a catalyst for startups and larger technology players in Waterloo Region – North America’s second-biggest technology cluster. The public-private hub currently supports over 1,400 companies. Rogers has said the Waterloo innovation lab will complement its ongoing 5G research with UBC in Vancouver. The lab is meant to help bridge the gap between the "conceptual potential" of 5G and its ultimate commercialization in the marketplace.

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Encqor Testbed Open for Collaboration in Five Cities

July 3, 2019 – A public-private partnership supporting Canadian 5G research, Encqor, is ready to open its testbed for business collaborators. Operating in the Ontario-Quebec corridor, testing will involve applications such as smart cities and connected and self-driving vehicles. It will facilitate innovation across five hubs in Toronto, Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo, Montreal and Quebec City. The Encqor network will create up to 4,000 jobs and draw on $400M in funding assigned in spring 2018. Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains has remarked on the project, "5G technology will change the way we live, work and engage with one another. To prepare for the future we must be bold, visionary and decisive.".

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Global 5G

Will Latest Small Cell Rules Impact U.S. Deployment?

July 15, 2019 – Last September, the FCC passed an order helping operators to deploy small cells by bypassing certain state and municipal infrastructure regulations. The goal was to speed up 5G investment so the U.S. could take a leadership position. According to SQUAN EVP Keith Pennachio, "there’s a higher concentration of utility companies that own those poles than there are municipalities or MSOs or ISPs, but we do see it loosening." As a vendor, Ericsson’s Roger Galuban said "there are additional players other than just the municipalities that must come to the table." "I think part of the challenge, as well, for municipalities is figuring out if there are any challenges from a financing perspective," Galuban added.

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Cell Tower Owners May Lose Stock Market Advantage

July 12, 2019 – The principal U.S. cell phone tower owners – SBA Communications, American Tower and Crown Castle – enjoyed a significant stock market run over the past three years, with shares rising 93% as they outperformed the S&P by 46%. Such companies own many of the towers where AT&T and Verizon plan to install their 5G antennas. Consequently, they can charge high fees for their "vertical" real estate. Going forward, however, some Wall Street analysts warn that the party may be ending for the tower sector. Along with the impact of 5G technology, analysts say that tax code changes and changes to investment funds could increasingly hinder the sector in the years ahead.

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How Yesterday's Bad Science Stokes 5G Fear Today

July 4, 2019 – Almost 20 years ago, Florida's Broward County school district asked physicist Bill Curry to study whether laptops and wireless networks could endanger its students. Dr. Curry depicted a "serious health hazard” using a graph that showed brain radiation increasing due to computer networking frequencies. In many ways, today's 5G scare can be traced back to this graph. Unfortunately, Dr. Curry was wrong. Experts now agree that radio waves become safer at higher frequencies and that skin acts as a barrier, shielding organs from exposure. Still, Curry's reports went on to inform Russian outlets that spread false news about 5G, making his graph a cautionary example of how bad science can mislead the public mind.

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90 New 5G Devices Announced by 39 Vendors: Report

July 8, 2019 – The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) says 5G devices have more than doubled in the last three months, with 26 devices announced in June alone. New 5G form factors include drones, laptops and robots. The GSA’s tracking report tabulates global launches in the 5G ecosystem as it moves from trials and prototypes to commercially-available services and devices. By the end of June, 39 vendors had confirmed forthcoming 5G devices. Including regional variants, 90 devices have been announced in total, up from 64 in May. 13 new form factors were also announced, compared to only nine in May. "The 5G vendor ecosystem is racing to fulfil a need in the market for an ever-increasing range of connected devices," said GSA president Joe Barrett.

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Over 30% of Americans Think They 'Already Have' 5G

July 2, 2019 – Last May, U.S. phone refurbishment service, Decluttr, surveyed 2,000 smartphone users and found that a third already believed they had a 5G device. 40% were iPhone owners (even though Apple's 5G phone hasn't been released yet) and 31% were Samsung users (even though Samsung's 5G phone only went on sale recently for $1,300). Americans may be overestimating the level of technology in their phones. 46% of AT&T customers, 40% of T-Mobile customers, and 27% of Verizon customers said they had a "5G capable" device. Among those respondents, 62% went on to say they had noticed "improved mobile service." According to a statement from Decluttr, "Whilst 5G may be the word on everyone's lips, many Americans don't truly understand this upgrade to the mobile network."

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