Montreal, Septembre 13th 2021 – The ENCQOR 5G program was created to achieve very specific objectives: primarily, to create an innovative 5G ecosystem in Canada and to contribute to the digital transformation of Canadian businesses. More than four years after the launch of ENCQOR, we can be proud of the work accomplished, with 735 SMEs from Quebec and Ontario, and more than 15 Canadian universities and colleges committed to the program. We were able to succeed with the support of our five anchor partners, CGI, Ciena, Ericsson, IBM and Thales, as well as the governments of Canada, Quebec and Ontario, and our mobilization partners OCI, Prompt and ADRIQ.
ENCQOR’s success is based on some unique and distinctive program features. ENCQOR’s 5G testbed offers open access at no cost to users and does not require any form of subscription. Having access to state-of-the-art 5G equipment allows companies to discover, at a pre-commercial stage, the potential of 5G technology.
Access to the entire 5G spectrum
ENCQOR 5G is a testbed that offers all three 5G frequency ranges in a pre-commercial environment. Most recently, the federal government auctioned off spectrum in the 3500 MHz band, which companies could already access through the ENCQOR testbed. Following this auction, ENCQOR plans to continue offering test capabilities in bands in this frequency range that remain pre-commercial. This will allow companies to anticipate future market needs by exploring and testing 5G capabilities, even though some portions will be available for commercial use in the near future.
ENCQOR’s 5G testbed is also unique in its scope, as it links our innovation hubs located in Quebec City (Intelligence and Data Institute), Montreal (Centech), Ottawa (Invest Ottawa), Toronto (MaRS) and Kitchener (Communitech).
Important 5G R&D work
The R&D work carried out by the five anchor partners in the development of new 5G solutions is another fundamental dimension of the ENCQOR program. With several hundred researchers, students and developers engaged in this work in Quebec and Ontario, we can count on a critical mass of expertise and know-how capable of significantly advancing our mastery and use of 5G in Canada in a wide variety of sectors.
ENCQOR also provides companies with a range of equipment and devices, including platforms for censors, 5G devices and routers, as well as VR goggles for testing augmented virtual reality technologies.
While ENCQOR’s technological capabilities are impressive, I still believe it is the philosophy and vision behind this program that makes it a unique and far-reaching initiative. It is an open, engaging and unifying program that can drive the development of 5G in Canada and allow our companies from all sectors of life to remain competitive, both domestically and internationally.