Canadian telco Telus’ 5G network already reaches 70% of the Canadian population, the company said in a release.
In a statement, the carrier said that the acceleration in 5G investments is part of its CAD54 billion ($43 billion) investment in infrastructure and operations through 2024.
Telus said it already connected 744 urban and rural communities to its 5G network, 129 more than initially planned for the full-year 2021.
Darren Entwistle, president and CEO at Telus said: “Now more than ever, Telus is committed to keeping Canadians connected, productive and healthy. Indeed, the ongoing expansion of our next-generation 5G technology is bridging time and distance, allowing residents to live and work in any community without compromising productivity or economic opportunity.”
Telus’ 5G network currently reaches 245 communities in British Columbia, 245 communities in Quebec, 151 communities in Alberta, 105 communities in Ontario, 27 communities in Atlantic Canada and 14 communities in Manitoba.
Telus had previously selected Samsung Electronics as its 5G network infrastructure supplier in June 2020. Telus also said that European vendors Ericsson and Nokia are also supporting the deployment of its 5G network.
Rival operator Rogers Communications had announced the launch of its Standalone 5G core network in October 2021. Rogers was the first Canadian operator to launch a nationwide Standalone 5G network.
Rogers built its Standalone 5G network using Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G core. The Canadian operator had partnered with Ericsson in 2018 as its exclusive 5G vendor for its full network infrastructure, including core and Radio Access Network. Ericsson, Rogers and Qualcomm Technologies have jointly completed Standalone 5G testing on the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform.
Rogers is using 2.5 GHz, AWS and 600 MHz spectrum to provide 5G coverage throughout the country.
Meanwhile, Canadian carrier Bell said it expected its 5G services to reach 70% coverage by the end of the year, the company’s CEO Mirko Bibic had said during a conference call with investors.
Bell announced the launch of its commercial 5G service in the country in June 2020. The carrier’s 5G service was initially available in Montréal, the Greater Toronto Area, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
In 2020, Bell Canada selected Ericsson 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) technology to support its nationwide 5G mobile and fixed wireless access deployment. The carrier started the construction of its 5G network last year, using equipment from Finnish vendor Nokia.
In July 2021, the government of Canada raised a total of CAD8.9 billion in its auction of 3.5 GHz spectrum, which will be used by local carrier to further expand 5G services in the country.
5G licenses in this key band were made available based on 172 localized service areas covering the entire country, allowing bidders to target geographic markets, including rural areas.
Local operators Rogers, Bell, Telus, Videotron, Xplornet and SaskTel have all secured 5G licenses in the spectrum auction. Bell spent CAD2.1 billion, Rogers CAD3.3 billion and Telus CAD1.9 billion. Vidéotron, owned by Quebecor, spent a total CAD830 million to expand its geographic footprint in Canada, buying licenses not just in Quebec but also in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.