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The beginning of the 5G era is almost upon us, promising a new age of hyper-connectivity that will change our lives — both in ways we understand and ways we have yet to imagine.

Defined by lightning-fast speeds (at least 10 times faster than those we experience today), higher bandwidth, more reliable connections, and incredible responsiveness, 5G will eventually become the backbone of smart cities and autonomous vehicles, as well as next-generation virtual health care, immersive education, agriculture technology, and next-level gaming, among a forecasted 75 billion connected devices worldwide expected to become mainstream over the next few years. 

It’s a future that’s eagerly anticipated by many Canadians. We’re already highly connected on one of the world’s fastest 4G LTE networks and have embraced everything from smart fridges, TVs, thermostats, and door locks to parking meters, environmental sensors, health-focused watches, and virtual health care apps.

Even so, experts say the move to 5G represents a transformative change unlike anything we’ve seen in the evolution of wireless technology to date — it will comprehensively reshape how we interact with our devices and the world around us.

“Wireless will become even more seamless, natural, and much more omnipresent,” says Dr. Xavier Fernando, engineering professor at Ryerson University and an expert in wireless communication systems.

The promise of increased speeds, reliability, and capacity that 5G brings will change the way we live and work by fostering the development of Canadian innovation and technology while enabling growth across all verticals of our economy.

Eros Spadotto, Executive Vice President of Technology Strategy and Business Transformation at TELUS

In Canada, the next generation of wireless networks is set for a gradual rollout this year. Leading the effort, TELUS has launched its first-wave 5G network in Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, and the Greater Toronto Area, and will continue to expand to an additional 26 markets across Canada throughout 2020, the company announced on June 19. 

Businesses, consumers, and students with access to the TELUS 5G network will experience peak speeds reaching up to a blistering 1.7 Gbps to support remote work, virtual health, and distance education, while inspiring technological innovations that will drive the Canadian economy into the future. 

Critically, the benefits of 5G extend well beyond consumer applications. Next-generation networks will fuel Canadian innovation across industries, with new applications and emerging technologies — like augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR), digital health care and robotics — vastly improving productivity and boosting efficiencies across industries. 

“The promise of increased speeds, reliability, and capacity that 5G brings will change the way we live and work by fostering the development of Canadian innovation and technology while enabling growth across all verticals of our economy,” says Eros Spadotto, Executive Vice President of Technology Strategy and Business Transformation at TELUS.

Over the next few years, new 5G wireless networks are expected (PDF, 3.7 MB) to create more than 250,000 permanent jobs and contribute an estimated $40 billion annually to Canada’s economy.

TELUS has selected Samsung as a network infrastructure partner, with the goal to provide transformational 5G mobile services for Canadians. The company has been supporting 5G commercial services in leading markets, including Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, and the U.S. TELUS previously announced that it’s also working with Ericsson and Nokia as partners in building its 5G network.

Since 2000, TELUS has invested nearly $200 billion in wireless and fibre optic network infrastructure, spectrum, and operations to enhance the coverage, speed, and reliability of its networks to connect customers across Canada. TELUS has committed to investing an additional $40 billion over the next three years to support the rollout of its 5G network.

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