Videotron announced the launch of its first commercial 5G mobile network section in Montreal yesterday (15 December 2020), with rollout to continue gradually across the city and Quebec’s other urban centres, in collaboration with the operator’s 5G network technology partner Samsung. A press release declared: ‘This is an important first step in the deployment of a technology with infinite potential that will bring Quebecers closer to each another, enhance the competitiveness of Quebec businesses and support Quebec’s economic development.’ Videotron has been testing 5G technology under real-life conditions at the Open-Air Laboratory for Smart Living since 2019, in collaboration with the Ecole de technologie superieure (ETS) and the Quartier de l’innovation, among others. It highlights that once fully implemented, 5G will make it possible to transmit data up to 20 times faster than existing networks, seamlessly connect approximately a million devices per square kilometre and bring latency to almost nil.
As announced a year ago when Videotron selected Samsung as its lead 5G vendor, the new technology will be rolled out across its entire network in Quebec and Ottawa ‘over the next few years’ in collaboration with the South Korean firm. TeleGeography notes that Canadian operators including Videotron are awaiting a 3500MHz frequency licence auction scheduled for June 2021 which will support further 5G expansion.