As General Manager of ENCQOR 5G, I regularly observe 5G development initiatives elsewhere in the world. They are certainly improving in number and structure, many of which are similar to the ENCQOR model and approach.
I was recently able to participate in international conferences or forums, which have mainly been virtual due the pandemic, on topics directly related to 5G deployment. Interest in this technology is growing globally, leading to the mobilization of a growing number of players in many areas including big business, academia and governments.
Rather than dampening this trend, the pandemic has further stimulated interest in 5G, as people around the world have had to move quickly to virtual modes of operation to continue business in a ‘new normal’.
Initiatives that can help with exportation
More and more countries have initiatives with approaches similar to those utilized by ENCQOR. They have set up or are setting up innovation centres and testbeds, public and private, bringing together players from different sectors, including mainly large telecoms companies, major equipment manufacturers, large enterprises operating in sectors that can benefit from new 5G solutions, SMEs, academia and governments. Examples include UK5G (uk5g.org) in the UK, PAWR in the US (advancedwireless.org) and 5G IA in Europe (5g-ia.eu), all of which ENCQOR has signed a collaboration agreement with. These agreements lead to joint activities and events that can expose our SMEs with 5G products to foreign markets and vice versa.
Major challenges ahead
In light of these observations, I am pleased with the direction ENCQOR took four years ago. It has enabled Canada to become a world-class player in the pre-commercial development of 5G. But as we look at how quickly the world has moved to develop and adopt 5G in recent years, we will also need to multiply our efforts in Canada to build on our achievements and strengthen our position on the world stage. In other words, this is not the time to rest, but rather to continue and intensify our efforts.
Our main task over the next few years will be to accelerate the adoption of 5G in various high-value sectors, such as manufacturing, transport, smart cities, health and the environment. These are certainly major challenges, but I am sure we will be able to overcome them successfully thanks to the contribution and concerted effort of our many dedicated partners.