There are many issues related to mobile wireless activities in Canada – complaints about customer service, higher pricing and lack of competition in certain areas – but one thing remains constant, Canada does not want to be left behind when it comes to wireless technology. Many larger cities or provinces are looking to the future and that future seems to include Huawei, one of the leading global providers of information and communications technology (ICT) solutions. Huawei Canada has had its Canada Research Centre in Kanata, Ontario since 2008, with promised expansion over the next few years and this new partnership with Vancouver will help propel them into their goal of being one of the worlds' greenest municipalities by the year 2020 through "smart city" internet-enabled technology.
The announcement was made because the Premier of British Columbia, Christy Clark, visited Huawei's headquarters in Shenzhen. The "5G Living Lab" is an innovative new project to test the best approach to delivering the next-generation of fiber-wireless network in downtown Vancouver with Huawei making a significant investment to design, test and deploy the new technologies. This follows a recent announcement by Telus that they intend on investing $1 billion to expand its fiber optic network in Vancouver. Ken Hu, Co-CEO, Huawei said, "TELUS is recognized globally as one of the world's most advanced telecommunications operators. The opportunity to partner with TELUS to deploy innovative new technologies is critical to our global 5G research and development process and positions TELUS on the leading edge of next-generation telecommunications technology deployment."
Eros Spadotto, Executive Vice President of Technology Strategy for TELUS said, "Working with Huawei, our efforts will lay the groundwork for delivering a converged fiber-wireless network with the potential to deliver dramatically faster wireless speeds, thereby improving citizens' lives and generating significant new social, educational and economic opportunities. In addition, it will help all levels of government to build a greener, more inclusive and globally competitive Vancouver." Premier Clark believes there is a "natural partnership between British Columbia and Shenzhen" because they both love and thrive in the tech and communications sectors.
Certainly 5G wireless communications is the future and with Huawei trying to make inroads in North America, this is the perfect marriage of sorts to help Canada become a power in the future of telecommunications. This is not the first time that Telus has worked with Vancouver in widening their wireless reach – it seems that both parties are interested in working together.