Canadian carrier Shaw Communications has completed its first 5G technical trials in Calgary, in partnership with Finnish vendor Nokia.
Other technical partners in this 5G trial were Rohde & Schwarz and CableLabs. The 5G trial used 28 GHz millimeter wave spectrum and 3.5 GHz spectrum.
The 5G trials were conducted using pre-commercial equipment at Shaw’s Barlow Campus Technology Centre in Calgary. As part of this trial, Shaw also conducted comparative testing between 28 GHz and 3.5 GHz spectrum to better understand the interoperability between two of the bands.
Rohde & Schwarz measured 5G and LTE signals in parallel with its scanner-based backpack prototype solution at 28 GHz and 3.5 GHz to assess coverage for both technologies.
“5G is set to completely transform the industry with faster wireless speeds that will help usher in the next industrial revolution and enable future technologies that we can only dream of today,” said Zoran Stakic, COO & CTO of Shaw Communications. “We are pleased that our first trials have been a resounding success, and through our partnerships with best-in-class industry leaders we will work to better understand 5G’s strengths and capabilities while continuing to invest in our network to offer Canadians a new era of strong and sustainable competition for the next generation of wireless technologies.”
Shaw said it will continue to conduct technical trials in the coming months to test the 5G ecosystem.
Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Shaw provides services mostly in British Columbia and Alberta, with smaller systems in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Northern Ontario.
Other Canadian carriers are also carrying out trials to pave the way for the future commercial launch of 5G technology.
Rogers Communications had recently announced a multi-year initiative through which it aims to deploy 5G technology in partnership with Ericsson. Rogers’ network plan includes the continued rollout of its gigabit LTE network with technology and equipment that is based on the latest global 3GPP standards, including 4×4 multiple-input-multiple-output, four-carrier aggregation and 256 QAM. The Canadian operator also plans to boost and densify its network with small cells and macro sites across the country.
Through the partnership with Ericsson, Rogers will trial 5G technology in Toronto and Ottawa, in addition to select cities over the next year.
In March this year, the governments of Canada, Québec and Ontario announced a $400 million initiative to develop a 5G corridor. Ericsson, Ciena, IBM, Thales and CGI are supporting the initiative, which joins previous public and private sector 5G-related projects in Canada.
The Canadian government said that key use cases for the next-generation network technology include smart cities, healthcare, education, connected and autonomous vehicles, entertainment and media and the internet of things.
Earlier this year, Huawei and Telus launched a 5G wireless-to-the-home (WttH) trial service using a specially-designed 5G customer premise equipment (CPE) unit. The vendor said the trial took place in downtown Vancouver’s “5G Living Lab,” a joint initiative between Huawei and Telus. Huawei said the use of new 5G CPE is a new step towards the launch of consumer-oriented, 5G-ready products to market.
In late 2017, the City of Ottawa set up a 5G test site at Ottawa City Hall in partnership with the Communications Research Centre, a Canadian government research lab. The project aims to allow technology companies and other collaborators to learn from the CRC’s work and showcase their own innovations.
Also last year, Bell carried 5G trial in partnership with Chinese vendor Huawei. – RCR Wireless