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Monday, 2021-Feb-08 — Is Canada Behind on 5G?

Australia and Canada have a similar culture, population and economy. One difference, however, is 5G wireless, where Telstra & Optus, Australia's largest carriers, operate 4X more 5G sites on a more capacious 3,500MHz band.

But, does this put Canada at a disadvantage? Not really. As Huwaei's chairman said, there is currently "no material difference between 4G and 5G technology". Industry and government excitement around 5G is not a sign of its utility — there are few business cases for 5G that cannot be served by an optimized 4G network.

Where Canada's 4G networks are not optimized is not technological but plan capacity and cost. Australia's plans (see right) offer much higher caps at lower prices. Our wireless networks are like a tuned Ferrari — with a 1 liter fuel tank.

High Capacity Data + Voice Plans
Carrier CAD Capacity$ / GB
Optus $64 500 GB $0.13
Telstra $64 180 GB $0.36
Rogers $175100 GB $1.75
Telus $10050 GB $2.00
Bell $12550 GB $2.50
Videotron$75 32 GB $2.34
Freedom $90 30 GB $3.00
SaskTel $12035 GB $3.43

Thursday, 2021-Feb-04 — Rogers 5G @ 600MHz

Rogers operates 1,062 5G sites in the 600MHz band, and 575 5G sites in the 2500MHz band. This brings Rogers' total to 1,447 5G sites. (Some 5G sites use both 600 and 2500MHz bands.)

Rogers invested heavily in the 600MHz auction receiving licenses that can serve 35 of Canada's 38 million population. Freedom, Telus and Videotron invested less, receiving licenses that can serve 22, 20 and 10 million, respectively.

 # Rogers 5G Sites
Province600Mhz2500Mhz
Alberta241-
British Columbia304150
New Brunswick18-
Ontario321270
Quebec114155
Saskatchewan64-
TOTAL SITES1,062575

The 600MHz band has seven paired 5Mhz blocks, labeled A - G. (See band plan below, which is identical to that used by the FCC). Rogers uses blocks A through D allocated as follows:

Blocks (DownlinkBandwidth#
and Uplink)(MHz)Channels
A, B102,282
A, B, C, D20880
TOTAL CHANNELS3,162

Band plan for 600Mhz
Band plan for 600MHz cellular service

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