Government of Canada to support EXFO in developing the next generation 5G centre of excellence using AI

News release

This project will support the development of one of the world’s first AI automated network solutions for 5G technology

October 31, 2022 – Montréal, Quebec 

Canadians rely on wireless and Internet services for virtually everything: working, studying, managing their finances, accessing health care and emergency services, and staying in touch with loved ones. That’s why the Government of Canada is investing in innovative solutions that will advance Canada’s digital infrastructure for generations to come. 

Today, Rachel Bendayan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced an investment of $15.9 million to support a $77 million project with EXFO to create a 5G centre of excellence in Montréal. As 5G networks develop, network providers are looking for solutions to automate their operations. Through this project, EXFO intends to develop one of the world’s first artificial intelligence (AI) based automated network solutions that will autonomously run 5G network testing and quality assurance centres in Canada and around the world. This centre of excellence will develop and commercialize four new AI-centric technology platforms to support the deployment and operation of the next generation 5G telecommunication networks.

This project highlights the success of AI talent development through the government’s Pan-Canadian AI Strategy. The project will drive growth and create 50 new high-skilled jobs in the Montréal region. At the same time, EXFO will foster the next generation of innovators, supporting as many as 40 co-op positions.

Quotes

“Canada’s world-class AI sector is getting even better thanks to the investment announced today. Our government will continue to promote and scale up innovative solutions that bring economic growth and jobs to all Canadians. That is why we are supporting projects like this one to develop one of the world’s first AI automated network solutions for 5G technology. We will always encourage and support made-in-Canada technology and ensure Canada remains a world leader in this field.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Quebec is the second-largest tech industry hub in Canada, and Canada is already a world leader in high value–added sectors, including AI. We are so glad that EXFO has decided to continue growing their business in Quebec and Montréal.”
– Rachel Bendayan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

“We are delighted to receive this funding from the federal government that will allow EXFO to leverage advanced cloud computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to accelerate solutions delivering better insights while automatically predicting and detecting issues and outages in 5G networks. Ultimately, our innovations will help service providers in Canada and beyond deploy 5G networks faster and more efficiently than ever before.”
– Philippe Morin, CEO, EXFO

Quick facts

  • EXFO is the parent company of 31 global subsidiaries and is headquartered in the City of Québec, Quebec. Founded in 1985, it employs 732 people in Canada (1,900 globally) and has become an established world leader in the design and manufacturing of test instruments and service assurance products for fixed and mobile telecom networks.

  • EXFO will invest $77 million in Quebec, securing long-terms contracts with Tier 1 global telecom partners.

  • The next generation of 5G wireless technology is expected to add $40 billion annually to Canada’s economy in the next four years.

  • Supporting the development of 5G networks is an important part of the government’s telecom strategy. Investing in 5G research and development, with projects such as ENCQOR and Nokia’s Bell Labs presence in Canada, as well as the new partnership with Nokia, will ensure Canadians benefit from the latest advanced technologies.

  • The investment is being made through the Strategic Innovation Fund. This program aims to accelerate economic growth, strengthen and expand the role of Canadian firms in regional and global supply chains, support economic strategies, and attract investment that creates well-paying jobs. 

Associated links

Contacts

Laurie Bouchard
Senior Manager, Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
laurie.bouchard@ised-isde.gc.ca

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
media@ised-isde.gc.ca

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