Public Consultation on 5G for Faster Mobile Networks

Backgrounder

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is launching a public consultation on releasing large amounts of spectrum to support the development and deployment of fifth-generation (5G) wireless networks. 5G is an emerging technology that has the potential to meet the explosion in consumer and industrial demand for faster and high-capacity mobile networks.

This public consultation marks the first step in a process that, by 2020, aims to make more wireless spectrum available for 5G mobile networks. Other countries, such as the U.S., are also in the process of making more spectrum available for the same purpose.

All wireless communications require spectrum. These radio waves are responsible for everything from TV and radio broadcasting to wireless data and mobile phone service. Wireless spectrum is a finite public resource that is regulated by the federal government.

The demand for more spectrum is being driven by the massive number of connected devices and data-intensive software applications that are expected to accompany the adoption of 5G networks. Indeed, the merger of advanced machinery with networked sensors and software—known as the Internet of Things—will require consumers and businesses to have access to large amounts of spectrum in higher frequency bands that are currently not being used for mobile services.

The public consultation will focus on releasing millimetre wave (mmWave) spectrum in the 28 GHz, 37–40 GHz and 64–71 GHz frequency bands. This high-frequency spectrum will enable providers to increase the capacity of their networks to meet the higher traffic demands of 5G networks. That means Canadians will have access to faster, more reliable wireless networks, regardless of the traffic load.


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