Canada’s Path To 5G – Lessons Learned from the 2019 5G Canada Conference

Ottawa, February 7, 2019 – CWTA’s 5G Canada Council recently concluded another successful 5G conference in Ottawa. It was the Council’s largest 5G event yet – accommodating more than three-hundred delegates across numerous and varied sectors. Panelists touched on a number of topics, ranging from the status of 5G trials and deployment around the world, how Canadian wireless providers are getting ready for 5G, what spectrum is needed for 5G, updates on infrastructure-building, and recent regulatory developments in Canada, the United States and around the world.

Kicking off the conference, CWTA President & CEO Robert Ghiz observed that Canada is already positioned as an LTE powerhouse, backed by $50 billion of investment by Canada’s facilities-based operators. This global leadership position is critical as Canada moves toward 5G. There are very few sectors of the Canadian economy that will not be transformed by the introduction of 5G wireless networks, Ghiz confirmed.

Canada will depend on 5G networks to successfully compete in the data-driven and innovation-based global economy of the future. As panelists and guests contemplated Canada’s positioning in the pivotal race to the next generation of wireless technology, several important themes emerged at this year’s Conference:

  • The advanced state of Canada’s current wireless infrastructure well-positions it for the arrival of 5G.

  • Canada’s facilities-based operators are continuing to work in partnership with key stakeholders on 5G technology trials that build off of existing 4G/LTE networks.

  • The role of passive infrastructure (such as lamp posts and electrical utility poles) provides opportunities for carriers, communities, and different levels of government to work together to keep Canadians connected in the evolution of 5G.

  • Challenges remain in Canada and in the rest of the world, particularly related to access to passive infrastructure for the installation of telecommunications equipment.

  • Ongoing dialogue between all stakeholders – including all levels of government, facilities-based operators and other key industry participants, such as network equipment and handset manufacturers – will be essential to ensuring the successful arrival of 5G in Canada.

Through the 5G Canada Council, CWTA is committed to building a supportive and dynamic 5G ecosystem in Canada. Through research, cross-sector collaboration, and at events such as last week’s conference, all can pull together, to maintain and build Canada’s global leadership in advanced wireless networks and make the most of the tremendous potential 5G networks will hold for Canada’s future.

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