Federal gov’t, provinces collaborate to build 5G test bed for SMEs

Veronica Silva
March 20, 2018

Investments amounting to $400 million over five years will go to building a series of linked laboratories for 5G technology along the Ontario-Quebec corridor. Under the Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Quebec and Ontario for Research and Innovation (ENCQOR) project, the federal and provincial governments and private sector partners have committed funds to help speed up innovations on the next-gen wireless networks and create up to 4,000 jobs. The federal government, Ontario and Quebec are contributing $66.7 million each for a total of $200 million to be matched dollar-for-dollar by the private sector that includes Ericsson, Ciena Canada, CGI, IBM Canada and Thales Canada. The investment will allow governments, some 1,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and academics to collaborate and gain access to advanced technologies such as programmable broadband networks, the Internet of Things, silicon photonics, big-data analysis and cloud computing. The goal is to help SMEs become more competitive with the help of advanced capabilities. 5G has download speeds of up to 100 times faster than today’s 4G technology. This capability will enable widespread adoption of new technologies, such as autonomous vehicles and smart applications. ENCQOR is an initiative arising from the Memorandum of Understanding between Ontario and Quebec. Aside from this collaboration on 5G, the two provinces also have ongoing projects in artificial intelligence.

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