Mark Goldberg

Accelerating 5G in Canada

Earlier today, CWTA released a report developed by Accenture Strategy examining how the deployment of 5G wireless networks will benefit both cities and rural communities.

The report, “Accelerating 5G in Canada — Benefits for Cities and Rural Communities,” estimates the economic impact of 5G’s ultra-fast, ultra-reliable and higher-capacity wireless connectivity in Canada will reach $40 billion of annual GDP uplift by 2026, with 250,000 permanent jobs added to the economy.

5G is more than the next generation of mobile technology. It will bring entirely new ways of using mobile technology that do not exist today. Much as 4G’s speed and capacity propelled us into the app economy and expanded the use of mobile video, 5G will be a platform for entirely new innovations. Imagine what can be done with a 100x increase in traffic capacity and network efficiency, a 10x decrease in end-to-end latency, and speeds that are over 600 times faster than the typical 4G speeds on today’s mobile phones.

According to the report, many of these advancements won’t directly impact consumers in the near term. Instead, many of the initial deployments of 5G will advance technology adoption for specific industry and government use cases. For example:

  • Transportation: Traffic management, autonomous vehicles, rail/transit maintenance
  • Healthcare: Connected ambulance, remote care, wearables
  • Agriculture: Crop and soil management, autonomous vehicles
  • Energy Management: Smart grid, smart street lighting
  • Water/Waste Management: Smart metering
  • Municipal Services: Smart parking meters, garbage collection, snow removal
  • Public Safety: Smart policing, disaster management
  • Rural Connectivity: Fixed wireless access

The report explores four of these use cases in greater depth, solutions that are expected to be adopted in the next three to five years, as 5G becomes more widely deployed, examining the benefits estimated from adoption in Canadian cities and select rural settings: Transportation & Mobility; Precision Agriculture; Energy Management; and, Rural Connectivity.

The report argues that accelerating the deployment of 5G will rely on three key actions by government policy makers: encouraging innovation in advanced technologies, encouraging investments in wireless infrastructure, and enabling ecosystems to collaborate in deploying innovative use cases.

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