The Trek to 5G: An Opportunity for Innovation

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Anyone who’s needed ultrasound, MRI or other medical imaging knows that getting an appointment — and then the results — can take weeks as healthcare providers work to catch up to an ever-growing backlog.

If only there was a way to take the more important scans and review them at lightning speed.

Maybe, thanks to 5G wireless connectivity, which can process data and information much faster than today. For the medical technology industry, it all paves the way for speed and efficiency. life saving innovation, For example, the creation of an algorithm that uses wireless technology to assess thousands of data points from millions of anonymous ultrasound scans stored in the cloud to identify patterns in tumors and enhance the diagnostic process.

Juan Ranuárez, director of spectrum and device technologies at TELUS, says, “The best way to think about 5G isn’t just as a network for faster data or better video—think of it as a platform for innovation. “

Today’s Wireless Spectrum Auction

Over the past few years, everyone – from wireless industry executives to Canadians across the country – has been talking about 5G, and while some networks are now offering 5G capabilities, the innovative features provided by 5G The vast majority of offerings have not yet hit the market. ,
what’s the hold up? In part, what is called spectrum, the constraints of the radio frequencies through which wireless signals travel.

Balancing speed and coverage requires different frequencies or bands of the spectrum; However the spectrum itself is finite, so the distribution of these waves is regulated by the union. The government auctions the licenses that telcos must buy in order to use them for their networks. 4G, which has been used around the world for the past 10 years, uses certain bands of spectrum, while 5G uses additional frequencies to provide more opportunities.

The government began auctioning 5G spectrum bands in 2019, and it still has a ways to go before all bands are auctioned. Moving swiftly and efficiently along that process, experts say, is key to cementing Canada’s position as an innovation superpower.

“Spectrum is the currency of wireless connections,” says Jean-Charles Fahmy, president and CEO of Canada’s Center of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN), where Canadian startups are building their new technologies, “We need to allocate the remaining spectrum to enable 5G capacity, and we need to provide technology-innovation companies an environment where new 5G use cases can be tested and validated so they can deploy capacity. Take full advantage. ,

Promise of 5G spectrum

A major challenge with the 5G rollout stems from current government policies that allow telcos to buy allocations of spectrum and then not use it.

companies like telus is lobbying for, among other policy changes, stricter deployment conditions that mandate carriers to use the spectrum licenses they have bought, or have the government cancel them. TELUS believes that policies need to reflect the greatest deployment of social, economic and environmental opportunities that digital technologies have to offer. For Canada to fully realize the benefits of 5G, the network needs to be available everywhere, and that means rapidly deploying spectrum for industry and consumers to use.

“To get 5G right, everyone needs enough spectrum to serve their customers. If carriers can’t get or use the spectrum they need, Canada will miss out on the opportunity to offer 5G,” says Ranuárez.

Conceptually, many people have a vague understanding that 5G is this futuristic network that will permeate our lives and make things better. In fact, 5G is 10 times faster than 4G; There is more capacity for equipment; And latency, which results in a delay in video or data transfer, can be reduced to as little as five milliseconds. It also makes huge technology innovations possible and allows companies to scale larger than ever before.

Ben Morris, vice president of corporate development and technology strategies at Wesley Clover, a private global investment management firm and holding company, says, “I’m not saying 5G solves our healthcare problems, but it’s the next generation enabler.” ” “It can solve some of these challenges with connected devices, more efficient use of workforce, and asset tracking and management. All of these things can take advantage of 5G.”

The possibilities of 5G go beyond healthcare solutions. One Accenture The study found that 5G connectivity, which would enhance the use of climate data-tracking smart sensor technology, could reduce US carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2025.

“There is a clear value in 5G with respect to meeting net-zero goals, which can be applied across a range of sectors, including resource industries and smart cities,” says Fahmy. To monitor, predict and adjust a wide range of resource and energy inputs and uses, for example agricultural inputs, water use, waste generation and building energy efficiency.

more innovation ahead

When the first smartphones were introduced, no one could have imagined that one day they would be used to deposit checks into a bank account, video chat with friends on another continent, or even get groceries delivered within a day. Many of the mobile-enabled activities we now take for granted are possible thanks to 4G, which should give people an idea of ​​the transformative technologies that can be developed with 5G. “In fact, as the country’s capacity for 5G grows, so does its capacity for innovation,” Morris says.

But time is of the essence. Without the supporting framework and necessary elements, one of which is a substantial spectrum, Morris says companies will hit a wall and that innovation void will be filled by someone else. “This is a story about being open, moving fast, building and providing the most innovation-friendly platform possible so that we, as Canadians, can build on that and go truly global.”

To learn more about TELUS 5G, visit

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