As we close off 2019, we’ve dedicated an entire week to remember the key moments in tech and predict future trends. For the first episode, we talk about 2019’s biggest telecommunication stories.
Firstly, the Canadian 600MHz spectrum auction marked a monumental moment for the 5G scene in Canada. Twelve telecom companies including Rogers, Telus, Freedom Mobile bid on 104 frequency licenses, raising CA$3.47 billion for Canada’s consolidated revenue fund. The 600 MHz spectrum will be used to transmit signals over long distances. In addition, the 3.5GHz mid-band auctions are expected to commence late next year. 3.5GHz, along with frequencies beyond 26GHz, will bring the ultra highspeed download speeds to urban areas. The 26GHz frequencies will be bid on starting 2021.
If you think you’re paying too much for the internet, well, so does the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission. In August of this year, the CRTC slashed internet wholesale prices for resellers by up to 77 per cent. Shortly after the announcement, several resellers including Teksavvy, Start.ca, and Distributel upgraded their customers’ plans for free. But after outcries from facility-based telcos, the Federal Court has temporarily suspended CRTC’s new pricing until further notice.
While Canada is still working on its 5G deployment, Huawei has become an increasingly large elephant in the room. That’s to no one’s surprise; Canada is caught in the tension between the U.S. and China. The U.S. has been urging the world to ban Huawei from its 5G networks, but a few of Canada’s largest telcos, including Telus and SaskTel, currently use Huawei network gear. We were expecting a decision after the federal election, but Ottawa has remained silent on the issue. We’ll have to wait until 2020 for the government to reach a verdict on Huawei.