THUNDER BAY — Tbaytel expects to begin work next year on its regional wireless network for 5G, the new global technology standard for broadband cellular service.
5G is much faster and is capable of handling more connected devices than existing 4G LTE networks, resulting in more reliable service.
Tbaytel's vice-president and chief technology & information officer, Kory MacLeod, says it will bring "unprecedented speeds, more capacity and transform possibilities for the people and businesses we serve."
MacLeod was not available for an interview, but in a statement to Tbnewswatch he said "Through successful spectrum auctions, strategic partnerships and robust investments in our network, Tbaytel is well positioned to build a world-class 5G network for Northern Ontario."
He said design, integration and site builds are expected to begin in 2021.
"Tbaytel will continue to work with our partners to develop network design and deployment strategies and looks forward to sharing more details in the future," MacLeod's statement concluded.
Tbaytel positioned itself for 5G by purchasing additional wireless spectrum in 2019.
The company has a long-term partnership agreement with Rogers Communications.
The Rogers 5G network currently covers 25 cities and towns in southern Ontario and (by end of year) more than 60 communities across Canada, after its initial rollout in downtown Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver earlier this year.
Rogers has stated that 5G "theoretically" drops the lag between sending a request and the network responding to one millisecond, 400 times faster than the blink of an eye.
"This will allow for a massive increase in the number of connected devices and a range of capabilities and applications that require quick responsiveness," according to a recent announcement from the company.
Ontario Finance Minister Rod Phillips said COVID-19 has highlighted the urgent need to grow the province's digital economy.
"Expanding 5G will benefit people across Ontario and help set up our province to succeed in the economy of the future," Phillips added.