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“The Government will continue to reach out to telecommunications service providers — and to the private sector more broadly — to understand their challenges and support them to ensure that Canadians have access to high-quality networks and broad coverage at low prices.”
Canada’s large telecom networks run by BCE Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., and Telus Corp. have already started building preliminary 5G networks, with Rogers already announcing it has activated its network in four cities — Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver? and Ottawa.
However, the much faster fifth-generation wireless standard relies on blending low- mid- and high-frequency signals in the radio spectrum, and in Canada much of that spectrum has yet to be auctioned off for licensing.
Earlier this week BCE and Telus announced plans to move ahead with their wireless network by sourcing equipment from European suppliers Nokia and Ericsson. The telecom companies have been waiting for word on whether they will be allowed to use Huawei Technologies gear in their networks; the Chinese company’s equipment is significantly less expensive, but national security experts have raised concerns about potential for Chinese government interference in critical communications infrastructure.
The Bains announcement Friday did not give any update on the Huawei situation.
Telecommunications networks have remained stable, but the major shifts in traffic caused by COVID-19 social distancing requirements have caused strain on network infrastructure, and forced the big three telecom companies to work to maintain connectivity.