Xplornet launches first rural standlone 5G network

Regional network provider Xplornet launched its standalone 5G network in New Brunswick, an industry’s first in Canada.

According to the Sept. 22 announcement, the rural 5G standalone network will power Xplornet’s fixed wireless broadband services. Services over the new network are expected to offer speeds of up to 100Mbps, unlimited data, and should begin service in the next six months.

The company also announced plans to expand its 5G broadband network to 250 additional rural communities across Canada through 2022.

Standalone (SA) 5G networks have many advantages over non-standalone (NSA) 5G. SA 5G networks use advanced management technologies in both the radio access network and the core network, enabling more efficient data transfer for higher throughput and lower latency.

An Xplornet 5G mast standing in a clearning.
An Xplornet 5G radio masts. Credit: Xplornet

“This is a significant milestone for Xplornet and for rural Canadians. Everyone at Xplornet is proud to be making the investments that will bring the benefits of 5G technology into the homes of families who live outside Canada’s big cities,” said Allison Lenehan, chief executive officer of Xplornet in the announcement press release. “Our rural 5G broadband network will directly and immediately benefit customers. It will also help create employment, spur innovation and invigorate rural communities across rural Canada.”

Xplornet announced last year that it had selected Ericsson, a Swedish telecommunication hardware vendor, as its 5G equipment supplier.

The company owns 5G spectrum licenses in both the 600MHz and 3500MHz spectrum range. In the 2019 600MHz auction, Xplornet purchased four licenses for around CA$35.8 million. In the subsequent 3,500MHz spectrum auction in 2021, it purchased 263 licenses for around CA$244.4 million.

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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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