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5G Leadership

2017-02-23

Ensuring Canada’s Leadership in 5G Innovation

5G networks and supporting advanced communications technology represents the ability to transmit process and apply information and data with tremendous speed and efficiency.  Current estimates suggest that 5G networks will increase capacity by 100x current LTE networks, and that speed of transmission has the potential to be faster by a factor of 1000. 

Currently network performance is greatly limited due to network latency.  Latency is the time it takes for a packet of data to get from one designated point to another, and one of the areas of focus for Huawei’s research in Canada.  This includes a wide spectrum of research - from better understanding how information can be transmitted along a radio wave, to developing photonic chips that can route data at light speed.  More importantly, these new technology is the critical enablers for concepts long envisioned but not possible. With the theoretical speeds and latency reductions, 5G will allow for innovations such as automated vehicles and roads, real-time medical monitoring, fully integrated and connected manufacturing, and connected homes and businesses. 

To realize the full potential of IoT applications, technologies will need to evolve.  All forward looking companies recognize and are investing in research related to “Big Data”, “Cloud Computing” and the “Internet of Things”.   These backbone technologies are critical when speeds realized by 5G trigger what Huawei refers to as the “Data Tsunami”. 

The shear amount of data that will be created in an IoT ecosystem is stunning.  For the concept of automated vehicles and highways alone, the amount of shared vehicle and traffic data alone could be almost unlimited.  Current practices and computing power that exist are largely designed to detect anomalies.  Technology is now at the early stages of both understanding and utilizing these data transmission and processing powers. 

With a strong heritage in wireless communications technology, and a deep talent pool, Huawei started building a Canadian-based R&D team focused on 5G in 2009.   Since opening the Canada Research Centre in Ottawa, Huawei has now expanded research capabilities to additional labs in Markham and Waterloo, with future plans to expand research operations beyond the Province of Ontario.  

Huawei believes the true value of the investment in 5G and advanced communications research in Canada lies in supporting and nurturing the development of Canada’s ICT Ecosystem, and the critical IoT-based economy Ecosystem we believe will fuel economic growth in the years ahead.

In support of this vision, Huawei is committing 10% of annual R&D investment to advanced communications partnerships with Universities across Canada.   This includes the creation of the Future Wireless Communications Chair at Ecole Polytechnique as part of NSERC’s Industry Research Chair program, and the establishment of strategic research partnership agreements with the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo.

Looking forward, as 5G and the Internet of Things disrupt all sectors of the economy a 5G & IoT Ecosystem is the fundamental element in order to realize the benefits of 5G across all sectors of the economy (along with the accompanying health and socio-economic benefits).  The investment in 5G research by anchor companies like Huawei, the leadership of Canadian Universities focused on studying new communications technologies, and engagement of Government to support the research efforts of these institutions, will help to ensure Canada’s ICT sector – from larger operators to small start ups, and industries undergoing transformation, are all in position to benefit from Canada’s leadership in 5G.

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