The Canadian government unveiled a new $400 million collaboration with technology vendors to build a corridor of 5G test beds to allow businesses and researchers to develop next generation products and services.
Funding will go toward the creation of ENCQOR, a pre-commercial 5G platform enabling vendors, government officials, researchers and academics to jointly create and commercialise next generation products and services by plugging into test beds in the cities of Quebec and Ontario
The governments of Canada, Ontario and Quebec are each chipping in nearly $67 million to the project. Technology vendors including Ericsson, IBM Canada, CGI, Ciena Canada and Thales Canada will contribute the remaining $200 million.
Over the next five years, the project will target new use cases enabled by 5G, including smart cities, smart grid, e-health, e-education, connected and autonomous vehicles, on-demand entertainment and media, and the IoT, among others.
The Canadian Press reported Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm said the test beds will be operational by early next year.
Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, said in a statement: “Technology is changing the way we live, work and engage with one another, and we are in a global innovation race.”
“This investment in next-generation wireless technology will help make Canada a global innovation leader and secure 4,000 jobs.”
The initiative is separate from 5G testing being conducted by Canada’s top three mobile operators: Rogers, Bell Canada and Telus.