Tech industry representatives weigh in on Canada’s 5G future

Virtual and augmented reality, connected cars and precision agriculture all stand to benefit from 5G investment

5G canada Conference

According to members of Canada’s tech industry, the country’s 5G future is bright — so long as investment and education continues.

A panel at the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association’s (CWTA) 5G Canada Council conference on Wednesday highlighted the way that three distinct technologies could stand to benefit from increased 5G investment.

Alan Smithson, co-founder and CEO of virtual and augmented reality company MetaVRse; Brian Boychuk, senior vice president of sales and marketing at asset tracking company BeWhere; and Grant Courville, head of product management, automotive and embedded at BlackBerry QNX all took the 5G Canada Council stage to inform attendees of their industry’s needs for faster data speeds.

For Smithson and Courville, the issue was a matter of calculating and transmitting the sheer quantity of data gathered by virtual and augmented reality sensors, as well as connected car systems.

“VR and AR are going to revolutionize how we communicate as humans,” said Smithson. “This is the next computing [system] for how humankind does computing.”

However, Smithson noted that as much as VR and AR are going to contribute to an estimated $108 billion industry by 2020, current wireless network speeds simply aren’t enough.

Courville highlighted that connected and autonomous vehicle research is currently heading towards full autonomy.

An additional hurdle is simply making sure that autonomous vehicles of any level are able to transmit the sheer quantity of data calculated every second.

In spite of these hurdles, however, all three representatives were optimistic.

“I think we’re on the right track,” said Boychuk.

They also emphasized that the partnerships that are developing in the space are foundational for what comes next.

“The partnerships we’re seeing are… approaching from an open mindset,” said Boychuk.