The federal government is banning Chinese company Huawei Technologies from getting involved in Canada’s 5G wireless network. Here’s a look at what led to this decision and what you need to know about this next-gen wireless technology:
What is 5G?
5G technology provides Canadians with faster phone and internet connections and offers vast data capacity amid growing innovation and increasing demand.
The technology that supports the network has been redesigned compared to previous generations. 5G relies on multiple antennas to move signals around, bouncing them quickly between locations. Phone users won’t notice the increase in speed if they’re making a call, surfing the internet, or using an online app because the difference is about 100 milliseconds, but that difference is noticeable on a larger scale.
Antennas are also smaller and can be placed in multiple locations like buildings or streetlights. Rogers Communications Inc., the parent company of Bell Canada, BCE Inc., and Telus Corp. have expanded their 5G networks in recent years, starting in major cities.
How would 5G networks help the economy?
In a 2020 report, GMSA Intelligence, the research arm of a group that represents mobile operators around the world, estimated that 5G would add $150 billion to the Canadian economy through 2040.
In other words, he estimated that 5G would drive the same level of annual economic activity as the aerospace sector. The federal government estimated that in 2019, the aerospace industry contributed more than $20.3 billion to the country’s gross domestic product and supported 1,600,000 jobs.
Why is Huawei banned?
Privacy concerns are the main driver of the ban. Conservatives have pushed the Trudeau government to take action to block Huawei from building Canada’s 5G infrastructure, arguing that doing so would allow China to spy on Canadians.
Huawei and the Chinese government have strenuously denied the charges, saying the company poses no security threat.
What are other countries doing?
Three of Canada’s partners in the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance – the United States, Britain and Australia – have already taken decisive action to limit the use of Huawei equipment in 5G networks. respective to their countries.
New Zealand rejected an offer from a telecom company to use Huawei’s 5G technology, citing national security concerns, but said in 2020 it would not ban any providers outright.
How many Huawei technologies are already installed?
Although some of Canada’s wireless service providers originally planned to work with Huawei, they had already pulled out of the partnership in anticipation of the federal government’s decision. In 2020, BCE Inc. and Telus Corp. announced that they would work with Sweden’s Ericsson as a supplier for their 5G networks.
Rogers launched a standalone 5G network in March in partnership with Ericsson, and the company said Thursday that hasn’t changed. “Rogers is focused on continuing to roll out 5G across Canada with our partner Ericsson,” said media relations manager Chloe Luciani-Girouard. “Today’s decision has no impact on our plans and deployments.”