According to a new report from Opensignal, Canada has one of the fastest average 4G download speeds, rivaling European markets such as Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway. But when it comes to 5G download speeds, Canada lags behind.
Specifically, Canada has 47.1 MHz of 5G spectrum capacity, resulting in 5G download speeds of 146.4 Mbps. This is significantly lower than the average 5G download speeds seen in markets such as South Korea, Denmark and Israel.
Speaking at the Canadian Telecommunications Summit, Ceri Howes, vice-president of government and foreign policy at Opensignal, explained that Canada has some of the best availability and fastest speeds in the world when it comes to 4G, which she said is due to the politics and the amount of it spectrum made available for these deployments.
But Canada still has a long way to go when it comes to 5G, particularly when it comes to spectrum, she argued.
The report notes that the use of smaller bandwidths of the 5G spectrum could be responsible, as well as a relatively small portion of the mid-3.5 GHz band used for 5G connections.
The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) auctioned off the 3.5 GHz band in 2021, with Bell, Rogers and Telus paying billions to win the majority of the licenses.
However, in this auction, the government allocated a small amount of spectrum (200 MHz) in the 3.45-3.65 GHz band and reserved up to 50 MHz for small regional operators, it said. Opensignal. This limited access to 3.5GHz spectrum resources for larger players such as Bell, Rogers and Telus.
Canadian operators are therefore forced to reuse existing 4G spectrum for 5G services. In fact, only 27.7% of Opensignal’s 5G replays in Canada are in the 3.5GHz band, which is one of the lowest documented results in any country.
Additionally, in Canada, only 1.8 percent of Opensignal’s 5G measurements used more than 100 MHz, while more than half of 5G measurements showed use of 50 MHz or less of spectral bandwidth.
This is crucial as the use of over 50MHz and up to 100MHz contributes to 34.5% faster 5G download speeds, Opensignal claimed.
“Canada is at a critical juncture here. I hope it will be better with 3.8 GHz. But of course, if you look at a spectrum auction on a global scale as a cash cow, that tends to trickle down to consumers,” Ms. Howes said. “That’s why I urge the Canadian government to look at spectrum as a means to actually enable accessibility, and not just as a means to an end in terms of the financial aspect. »
The CRTC is currently conducting the third 5G-focused auction for the 3.8 GHz mid-band spectrum.
Adaptation and French translation by Renaud Larue-Langlois.
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