Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is ENCQOR 5G?

ENCQOR 5G is a transformational $400-million partnership to ramp up technology-driven business growth and brings together the governments of Canada, Québec, and Ontario while being led by five global digital technology leaders — Ericsson, Ciena, Thales, IBM Canada, and CGI.

Initially a five-year initiative, ENCQOR 5G will establish the first Canadian pre-commercial corridor of 5G digital infrastructure – the next generation of digital communication technology and the key to unlocking the massive potential of smart cities, e-health, e-education, connected and autonomous vehicles, on-demand entertainment and media, and the Internet of Things (IoT), among others.

A public-private partnership in ultra-high-speed communications infrastructure, ENCQOR 5G will focus on research and innovation in the field of 5G disruptive technologies, on adoption initiatives, and system uses. With download times up to 100 times faster than current 4G technology, 5G and ENCQOR 5G will transform the capabilities of Québec and Ontario SMEs to create and compete in the global marketplace.

ENCQOR 5G is an open collaborative platform for research, innovation, and application demonstration that is accessible through innovation centres spanning the Ontario-Québec corridor, enabling small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Québec, Ontario and broader Canadian ecosystems to develop new products and services for the next stage of the 5G digital revolution.


What are the benefits of ENCQOR 5G for SMEs?

SMEs will benefit from ENCQOR 5G in several ways, including:

  • Access to 5G Innovation Platform as a Service (iPaas) test beds to develop next-generation technology solutions
  • Technical expertise, training, physical space, and support to help SMEs unlock the power of 5G networks to drive technological solutions
  • Talent development: students and recent graduates with real-world industry experience in the digital economy can apply their expertise, leading-edge knowledge and tools to solving industry problems, while SMEs gain vital access to up-and-coming talent
  • Support for customer development and engagement activities


What is 5G and how will it affect me?

5G is an emerging technology that has the potential to meet the explosion in consumer and industrial demand for faster and high-capacity mobile networks. With download speeds up to 100 times faster and latency (the delay between sending information and it being executed) reduced from 10 to 50 times, 5G has the capability to enable businesses to deliver an entirely new generation of products and services.

All wireless communications require spectrum. These radio waves are responsible for everything from TV and radio broadcasting to wireless data and mobile phone service. Wireless spectrum is a finite public resource that is regulated by the federal government.

The demand for more spectrum is being driven by the massive number of connected devices and data-intensive software applications that are expected to accompany the adoption of 5G networks. The merger of advanced machinery with networked sensors and software — known as the Internet of Things (IoT) — will require consumers and businesses to have access to large amounts of spectrum in higher frequency bands that are currently not being used for mobile services.


What are some other countries doing to deploy 5G technology?

In the United States, “The next generation of wireless connectivity — the fifth generation, or 5G — is a virtual cornerstone for critical 21st century opportunities related to economic growth, education, employment, transportation, and more,” according to the Federal Communications Commission. “These new networks and technologies will enable new high-speed, low-latency wireless broadband services, the Internet of Things, and innovations not yet imagined. Future 5G networks will rely on three key elements: Spectrum, Infrastructure, and Backhaul. The FCC is taking steps in all of these areas to ensure that the U.S. will lead the world in the deployment of next-generation wireless technologies.” Learn more about the United States’ 5G plan.

In Europe, “the European Commission is striving to make 5G a reality for all citizens and businesses in Member States by the end of this decade. To realize 5G application in EU states everywhere, the European Commission created a 5G for Europe Action Plan. The Action Plan is a roadmap for public and private investment on 5G infrastructure in the EU. The roadmap sets out several measures to guarantee a coordinated approach among all EU Member States to make 5G accessible to all by the end of 2020.” Learn more about the 5G for Europe Action Plan.


What makes ENCQOR 5G different than other 5G partnerships that are out there?

ENCQOR 5G establishes the first Canadian pre-commercial corridor of 5G digital infrastructure — the key to unlocking the massive potential of smart cities, e-health, e-education, connected and autonomous vehicles, on-demand entertainment and media, and the Internet of Things (IoT), among others. ENCQOR 5G’s five-year strategy and unique focus on providing access to 5G networks to SMEs, researchers, and academia means it is purpose-built not just for realizing the technological promise of 5G in the near term, but for driving long-term economic growth in Québec and Ontario and in the broader Canadian innovation ecosystem.


Who is co-ordinating ENCQOR and delivering the programs?

In Québec, ENCQOR 5G is being co-ordinated by Innovation ENCQOR, ADRIQ and Prompt. In Ontario, ENCQOR 5G is being co-ordinated by Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI).

How long will the ENCQOR 5G program run for and what is the breakdown of investments by the government and private sectors?

ENCQOR 5G was initially a five-year initiative and is made possible by private and public investments totaling $400 million. The financing plan foresees equal investments from the project’s private and public partners: $200 million from private partners, and a budget of $66.7 million each from the Canadian, Québec, and Ontario governments.