Videotron, a Montreal-based telecommunications and internet provider, today launched its 5G network.
Montreal is the first city with access to 5G. Service in other Quebec urban centres, according to the Videotron, will soon follow.
The company said it has been testing 5G technology under real-life conditions at the Open-Air Smart Living Lab founded in collaboration with École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) and others since 2016.
“This is a big day for Videotron,” said Jean-François Pruneau, Videotron chief executive officer. “5G technology is throwing the doors open to a world of marvels and Videotron is very enthusiastic about embarking on the path to this promising and exciting future, in which technology will truly serve the daily needs and wants of our families and businesses.”
Videotron’s 5G network runs on Samsung’s networking equipment. Videotron said it selected Samsung for its experience with establishing South Korea’s 5G network, which translated well into the deployment in Canada.
In a press release, Samsung explained that it provided 5G radio access network (RAN) equipment for Videotron, which covers 600MHz, 700MHz, 2.6GHz and AWS spectrums.
As with most other Canadian 5G networks, Videotron’s 5G network will be serviced on the existing 4G spectrum and the backend. The company has purchased 10 licenses in the 600MHz spectrum auction and is expected to participate in the 2021 mid-band spectrum auction as well.
To assuage public safety concerns, Videotron has an official statement about 5G’s impact on physical health, a rarely seen disclosure:
“Yes. Canada’s regulations are science-based and among the strictest in the world. Videotron complies with ISED and Health Canada standards and carefully follows all public authorities’ instructions. 5G will primarily use the same 4G frequency bands that have been used for many years. It operates the same as 4G in terms of privacy and information protection.”