Canada’s Communications Research Centre (CRC) and the City of Ottawa have teamed up to launch a 5G test site at Ottawa City Hall. Navdeep Bains, minister of innovation, science and economic development, and Jim Watson, mayor of Ottawa, both celebrated the test site’s launch on November 24th, 2017 through a joint press release. “This is the future! 5G will impact every aspect of society,” stated Bains. “It will allow billions of devices to connect better and faster. This will lead to new, innovative applications of wireless technologies.”

The 5G tests at the site are running on 28GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum. MmWave is a high-frequency spectrum that allows for large data throughputs, but can’t travel very far and is easily blocked by obstacles. The CRC says it has found ways around the delicate nature of mmWave spectrum.
For instance, to extend coverage, the CRC and its partners — the National Research Council of Canada and GGI Solutions — developed engineered surfaces that help mmWave spectrum reach farther. The surfaces — thin sheets of plastic printed with metallic ink — carry printed patterns that redirect wireless signals. The CRC notes that it’s a low-cost solution to increasing 5G coverage. Additionally, the CRC reports that the equipment it’s using at the test site is cutting edge in its compact size. “The CRC’s research base station and custom-equipped backpack are among the most compact to achieve 5G mobile communications to date, allowing for trials both outdoors and indoors,” reads the site’s web page.

The CRC has been developing 5G technology since 2014. In the government’s press statement, it urged technology companies and other 5G collaborators to learn from the CRC’s leading work on 5G in order to showcase their own innovations at the site. Update 28/11/17: This article originally referred to 28MHz millimeter wave spectrum in error, it has been corrected to 28GHz.

Source: Government of Canada