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Telus turns on first wave of Canadian 5G network

Operator announces latest part of its infrastructure evolution with 5G network designed to enhance the coverage, speed and reliability for customers across Canada

Canadian telco Telus has announced the first phase of the roll-out of its 5G network, committing to investing an additional $40bn over the next three years to support the next-generation network it says will enhance innovation and help drive digital development across Canada’s industries.

The 5G network is designed to bridge digital divides and drive innovation across businesses, government, healthcare, education and social pursuits, said Telus, while creating an estimated 250,000 jobs and contributing $40bn a year to Canada’s economy. It will be available initially in Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, and the Greater Toronto area.

Telus said that since 2000, it has invested nearly $200bn in wireless and fibre-optic network infrastructure, spectrum and operations to enhance the coverage, speed and reliability of its networks to connect customers across Canada, and the deployment of a 5G network is the latest part of this strategy.

Telus president and CEO Darren Entwistle said the operator understood the critical importance of connectivity for all Canadians, particularly given the new reality imposed by the Covid-19 emergency.

As the first phase of our 5G roll-out, we are pleased to offer citizens access to the next generation of wireless technology that will profoundly enhance the way we connect to information, resources and one another,” he said. “This critical development in our 5G ecosystem is a testament to our team’s skill, innovation and grit in building a world-leading 5G experience in Canada from coast to coast, and from urban to rural.”

The new network will be built on Canada’s existing 4G LTE infrastructure. It will support peak speeds reaching a current commercially available high of 1.7Gbps, enough to enable next-generation applications running on 5G-ready devices, including the Samsung Galaxy 5G S20 series, LG V60 ThinQ 5G Dual Screen and Motorola Edge+.

Technology partners for Telus on the project include Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung, which has now signed four new 5G contracts in the past seven months with operators in the US and New Zealand, and now Canada. Samsung said deploying a 5G network for Telus demonstrated its ongoing global commitment to advancing a new era in 5G expansion.

With this latest agreement, Samsung will play a large part in helping Telus build out its nationwide 5G network, laying the groundwork for Samsung’s presence as one of the primary telecom suppliers in Canada. Telus said it had selected Samsung as a network infrastructure partner with the goal of providing what it called “transformational” 5G mobile services.

“We are excited to have earned Telus’s trust to roll out next-generation 5G services together, leveraging our successful experiences in commercialising 5G across multiple leading markets,” said Paul Kyungwhoon Cheun, president and head of networks business at Samsung Electronics. “As a longstanding innovator in the 5G space, Samsung is looking forward to supporting Telus, and in playing a key role in expanding new 5G horizons in Canada.”

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