In Ottawa, an exciting new initiative has been launched that will lay the groundwork for the first 5G, pre-commercial network platform in Canada with ENCQOR (Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Québec and Ontario for Research and Innovation).
ENCQOR is a transformational $400 million partnership that brings together five global digital technology leaders (Ericsson, Ciena Canada Inc., Thales Canada Inc., IBM Canada, and CGI) and provincial coordinators Prompt, CEFRIO, and Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). This partnership is made possible in part by funding from the Canadian government and the provincial governments of Quebec and Ontario.
Over the next five years, ENCQOR is establishing the first Canadian pre-commercial corridor of 5G wireless communication technologies — the next generation of digital communication and the key to unlocking the massive potential of smart cities, smart grid, e-health, e-education, connected and autonomous vehicles, on-demand entertainment and media, and the Internet of Things (IoT), among others.
It will also secure over 4,000 good middle-class jobs, including 1,800 specialized 5G jobs, over the next five years leading to new innovations in wireless telecommunications. In addition, the project is expected to create jobs at SMEs across Ontario and Quebec.
This initiative will develop a world-class collaborative platform for accelerating the transition to game-changing 5G technology in Quebec, Ontario, and Canada by bringing together a wide network of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), industry, government, researchers and academia in both provinces to collaborate on the creation and commercialization of new and disruptive products, processes, and services.
“Technology is changing the way we live, work and engage with one another, and we are in a global innovation race,” says the Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “To prepare for the future, we must be bold, visionary and decisive. That’s why our government is investing in 5G technology. This investment in next-generation wireless technology will help make Canada a global innovation leader and secure 4,000 jobs.”
A public-private partnership in the field of ultra-high-speed communications, ENCQOR will focus on research and innovation in the field of 5G disruptive technologies, on adoption initiatives and system uses. With download speeds up to 100 times faster than current 4G technology, 5G and ENCQOR will transform the capabilities of SMEs to create and compete in the global marketplace.
“The Government of Quebec is proud to contribute to the success of the ENCQOR project, which will create an important synergy between businesses—particularly businesses in the information and communications technologies sector—and the research and innovation community,” says Dominique Anglade, Quebec Deputy Premier, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy. “We are banking on such collaborations, like those also made possible by the Quebec Digital Strategy and the 2017–2022 Quebec Research and Innovation Strategy, to make Quebec a leader in innovation and the development of cutting-edge digital technologies. Boldness, creativity and an innovative spirit are the hallmarks of Quebec, and it will now have a strong presence in the new reality brought on by 5G.”
“This exciting 5G initiative will help our businesses here in Ontario—and across Canada—capitalize on the vast potential of high-speed communications technology to expand their horizons, accelerate their innovation, and transform the way we all live and do business,” says Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research, Innovation and Science.
Using a collaborative approach, ENCQOR will see SMEs engaged in calls for projects and other streams together with industry partners in order to accelerate the development and adoption of transformative technologies that allow Central Canada to build the backbone of the next generation of digital infrastructure.