Ericsson, Ciena, IBM, Thales and CGI involved in 5G project

ENCQOR, Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Québec and Ontario for Research and Innovation, is the public-private partnership focused on 5G technology and use case development backed to the tune of $400 million by the governments of Canada, Québec and Ontario. Key use cases for the next-generation network technology include smart cities, healthcare, education, connected and autonomous vehicles, entertainment and media and the internet of things.

Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains called the investment “bold, visionary and decisive. Technology is changing the way we live, work and engage with one another, and we are in a global innovation race. That’s why our government is investing in 5G technology.” Bains noted the investment would create 4,000 new jobs, as well as lead to job creation in the small- to medium-sized enterprise sector.

On the tech side, Ericsson, Ciena, IBM, Thales and CGI are supporting the initiative, which joins previous public and private sector 5G-related projects in Canada. Earlier this year, Huawei and Telus launched a 5G wireless-to-the-home (WttH) trial service using a specially-designed 5G customer premise equipment (CPE) unit. The vendor said the trial is taking place in downtown Vancouver’s ‘5G Living Lab,’ a joint initiative between Huawei and Telus. Huawei said the use of a new 5G CPE is a new step towards the launch of consumer-oriented 5G-ready products to market.

Canada’s Communications Research Centre (CRC) and the City of Ottawa have set up a 5G test site at Ottawa City Hall with the aim of allowing technology companies and other collaborators to learn from the CRC’s work and showcase their own innovations. The new test site at Ottawa City Hall is a collaboration between the Government of Canada and the City of Ottawa. Researchers can demonstrate advancements at the site. The CRC and the City of Ottawa are working together with technology companies and experts to help make Canada a leader in next generation networks, the partners said.

Last year Bell confirmed it is currently conducting further trials of 5G mobile technology in the 28 GHz and 3.5 GHz ranges. In a release to announce the telco’s quarterly financial results, Bell said it was carrying out the new trials in partnership with Chinese telecoms equipment provider Huawei. Bell previously demonstrated capabilities in the 73 GHz range in collaboration with Nokia.

The corridor project is part of the “R&D work done here in Canada [that]has been a large contributor to Ericsson’s global leadership in 5G already,” Head of Ericsson Canada Graham Osborne said, noting the potential for “new services, new ecosystems and new revenue streams for operators across Canada.” Ciena’s SVP Scott McFeely said the investment “will enable a significant step in the evolution and commercialization of 5G, and we look forward to working with these partners to drive forward this next generation of mobile networks.”


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