2020 not the year of 5G for Canada; COVID-19 and Huawei gear at issue

While AT&T plans to have U.S. nationwide 5G coverage in place by this summer, Canada’s 5G plans have been dashed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bell Canada had announced that its initial 5G network was ready to be switched on, but it now says the ongoing pandemic is the wrong time to do so.

Bell Canada’s CEO Mirko Bibic said during a conference call with investors:  “We are ready with our initial 5G network, but frankly we don’t think that it’s the right time right now to officially launch it for marketing purposes. I just don’t think that customers are paying attention to this right now and that’s not what is top of mind for our customer base. They have other priorities, understandably,” Bibic said.

“As the economy opens up, we’ll have more news on when we will launch our initial 5G services,” he added.

Bell Canada started the construction of its 5G network this year, using equipment from Nokia.

The CEO said that Bell Canada is still waiting for the Canadian government’s decision on the security review of 5G networks. Officials had received pressure from the U.S. government to ban Chinese carrier Huawei from the deployment of 5G networks in the country, over security allegations.

“We are waiting for the (Canadian) government’s decision and we will follow all government rules with respect to usage of equipment in our 5G network and as you know, we work with multiple suppliers in our supply chain,” he said.

Mr. Bibic has previously said that Bell will continue to enhance 5G access speeds, capacity and coverage as additional 5G wireless spectrum, including in the 3.5 GHz band, becomes available this year through the federal government’s spectrum auction process. Bibic said that the award of that spectrum will allow Canadian carriers to launch more 5G technology in 2021.

Bell Canada 5G

Picking up the pieces of the 5G jigsaw puzzle!

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Bell Canada’s rival Telus seems to be having similar problems when it comes to launching 5G. The company announced it would be “rolling out its 5G network shortly” in February. However, this network will use Huawei infrastructure, which could prove a big problem if Canada finally decides to ban or limit the use of this equipment.

The Canadian government has been reviewing Huawei’s role in their national 5G infrastructure since last year, and the lack of decision is likely the cause for Telus’ 5G delay.

That leaves Rogers as the only Canadian operator to have launched 5G so far, doing so in handful of cities back in March using Ericsson equipment.

 

……………………………………………………………………………………..

The Canadian government is expected to auction 3.5 GHz spectrum in Q4 of this year, which will likely see all of the country’s major operators jump at the chance to expand their spectrum holdings. Many similar auctions around the world have been delayed due to uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, but so far the Canadian auction is scheduled to continue as planned.

References:

https://www.totaltele.com/505921/Canadas-5G-stalls-in-face-of-pandemic

Bell Canada puts 5G launch on hold due to COVID-19: CEO

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*

 
 

 

Recent Posts