The Government of Canada, along with the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, have announced the first public-private partnership aimed at increasing economic growth driven by 5G technology. This $400-million project will secure over 4,000 jobs, including 1,800 specialized 5G jobs, over the next five years, leading to new innovations in wireless telecommunications.
The ENCQOR project will be led by five global digital technology companies: Ericsson, Ciena Canada, Thales Canada, IBM Canada and CGI.
“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,” said Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research, Innovation. and Science.
The governments, small and medium-sized businesses, and academics will collaborate on 5G technology development through linked research facilities and laboratories located in Ontario and Quebec. This network will provide access to advanced technologies such as programmable broadband networks, the Internet of Things, silicon photonics, big-data analysis, and cloud computing.
5G has download speeds up to 100 times faster than current 4G technology. ENCQOR will provide Canadians with the ability to innovate by testing their products and services on 5G equipment. The capabilities developed through ENCQOR will enable businesses to compete in the global marketplace. An estimated 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses will be able to plug into the 5G platform to access the research and technology that will help them innovate and create jobs.
“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,” said Dominique Anglade, Quebec Minister of Economy, Science, and Innovation.
The governments of Canada, Ontario and Quebec will each contribute $66.7 million to ENCQOR for a combined investment of $200 million. This will be matched dollar for dollar by the private sector, for a total of $400 million.
ENCQOR is one of the first projects to be funded under the Government of Canada’s $1.26-billion Strategic Innovation Fund.