June 5, 2019 / 9:53 PM / 3 months ago

Canada outlines spectrum plans ahead of ultra-fast 5G internet rollout

A newly installed 5G antenna system made by Ericsson for AT&T's 5G wireless network is shown high atop a building in downtown San Diego, California, U.S., April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada on Wednesday said it was preparing for the arrival of ultra-fast 5G internet service as it outlined plans to make more 5G spectrum available starting next year.

The federal Innovation Ministry released a paper outlining changes to an auction expected next year, a decision on a higher frequency millimeter wave spectrum in 2021, and a proposal for a new frequency in 2022.

“The next steps in our plan will continue to improve rural Internet access and allow for the timely deployment of 5G connectivity while increasing the level of competition to lower prices for Canadians,” Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said in a statement.

The government estimates that 5G wireless technologies could be a C$40 billion ($29.8 billion) industry in Canada by 2026, and it is investing C$199million over five years to modernize spectrum equipment.

Canada has not yet said whether or not it will use 5G equipment provided by China-based Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.

The United States has accused Huawei of being tied to China’s government, and has effectively banned U.S. firms from doing business with the company for national security reasons.

Reporting by Steve Scherer; Editing by Tom Brown

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