Canadian operators move away from Huawei

Canadian operator Telus announced it has selected European vendors Ericsson and Nokia to support the deployment of its 5G network after the firm had suggested that it would use Huawei equipment earlier this year.

Darren Entwistle, President and CEO of Telus said: “Our team is committed to rolling out superior network technology from urban to rural communities, fueling our economy and driving innovation as we power Canadians into the 5G era through an unparalleled network experience. Our 5G deployment will support economic growth and diversity that will be essential for the virtualization of health, education, teleworking, and stimulating the economic growth and recovery given the impact of COVID-19”.

Telus said it has invested almost C$200 billion ($148 billion) in network infrastructure, spectrum, and operations to enhance the coverage and speed of its network across Canada.

Telus has committed to invest a further $40 billion over the next three years in critical technology components to support the roll out of 5G networks.

Telus CFO Doug French  told the Financial Post in February that Telus was expecting to launch a 5G network in Canada later this year using equipment from Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies. We’re going to launch 5G with Huawei out of the gate,” the executive had said. Telus is using gear from Huawei in its current 4G LTE network.

The Canadian government is still in process to define if it will apply any restrictions to the involvement of Huawei in the country’s 5G network rollouts due to security allegations.

The U.S. government had previously warned Canada, the U.K. and other key allies that it will limit intelligence sharing with countries that use Huawei equipment in their 5G networks

Rival operator Bell Canada has selected Ericsson 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) technology to support its nationwide 5G mobile and fixed wireless access deployment.

Ericsson Radio System products and solutions will be rolled out as Bell Canada expands its 5G coverage – including an expected boost following the auction 3.5 GHz spectrum by the Canadian government later this year.

Bell Canada started the construction of its 5G network this year, using equipment from Finnish vendor Nokia.

Meanwhile, Rogers Communications has recently begun rolling out 5G network in select cities around Canada using equipment from Ericsson.

Rogers’ initial 5G cities are Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. The telco said that it will eventually expand into over 20 more markets by the end of 2020.

In a recent conference call with investors, Rogers’ CEO Joe Natale said that the company expects to start deploying spectrum-sharing technology later this year. The executive said that the deployment of this technology will allow Rogers to use its current 4G spectrum for the provision of 5G.

In April last year, the Canadian government raised C$3.47 billion ($2.6 billion) in the sale of 104 licenses of 600 MHz spectrum. Rogers Communications dominated the auction, winning 52 licences in every province and territory.

Telus secured 12 licenses, while Bell, Canada’s largest telecommunications provider, did not win a single license. Bell said it decided not to buy any 600 MHz spectrum because it already has enough in other bands.


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