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New Canadian partnership in next-generation wireless technology

New Canadian partnership in next-generation wireless technology

Industry-led partnership with the governments of Canada, Ontario and Quebec to develop 5G-enabled technologies

March 19, 2018 – Ottawa ON

Imagine a world where you start off the day right because your refrigerator has tracked how much food you have and ordered replacement items for you. Your commute is safer and more productive because you are in a self-driving car. You can easily navigate traffic in a smart city, tolls are automatically collected and it’s easier to find a good parking spot.

As demand for all things connected increases, our wireless technology infrastructure needs to keep pace. That’s why we are about to see a shift from fourth-generation to fifth-generation (5G) wireless technology—a leap that will unlock massive innovation potential and create thousands of well-paying jobs across Canada.

The Government of Canada, along with the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, today announced the first public-private partnership aimed at increasing economic growth driven by 5G technology. This $400-million project will secure over 4,000 good middle-class jobs, including 1,800 specialized 5G jobs, over the next five years, leading to new innovations in wireless telecommunications. In addition, the project is expected to create jobs at SMEs across Ontario and Quebec.

The ENCQOR project will be led by five global digital technology heavyweights (EricssonCiena CanadaThales CanadaIBM Canada and CGI).

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.



“Technology is changing the way we live, work and engage with one another, and we are in a global innovation race. To prepare for the future, we must be bold, visionary and decisive. That’s why our government is investing in 5G technology. This investment in next-generation wireless technology will help make Canada a global innovation leader and secure 4,000 jobs.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“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.”

– The Honourable Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research, Innovation and Science

“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. We are banking on such collaborations, like those also made possible by the Quebec Digital Strategy and the 2017–2022 Quebec Research and Innovation Strategy, to make Quebec a leader in innovation and the development of cutting-edge digital technologies. Boldness, creativity and an innovative spirit are the hallmarks of Quebec, and it will now have a strong presence in the new reality brought on by 5G.”

– Dominique Anglade, Quebec Deputy Premier, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy

Quick facts

  • Mobile data traffic is expected to increase seven-fold between 2016 and 2021, and 5G will enable widespread adoption of new technologies such as autonomous vehicles and smart applications based on the Internet of Things.
  • The information and communications technologies (ICT) sector is an important part of Canada’s economy, contributing $76 billion to the GDP in 2017.
  • EricssonCiena CanadaThales CanadaIBM Canada and CGI employ about 40,000 Canadians and spend more than $1 billion annually on R&D in Canada.
  • ENCQOR stands for Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Quebec and Ontario for Research 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.


Piotr Mieczkowski

Helping innovation & digital to grow. TMT expert & advisor.