Xplornet to invest $500m on 5G wireless mission

18 March 2019 | Jason McGee-Abe

Cover

Xplornet Communications plans to spend $500 million over the next five years to update its network to provide 5G wireless services and faster internet in rural parts of Canada. 

The national carrier announced last year that it would install and enable the latest wireless technology that will enable future 5G services, and bring speeds of 100Mbps to rural communities in New Brunswick.

Xplornet uses a combination of fibre-optics and wireless to provide voice and internet service, usually just outside city limits, as well as satellite service to more remote parts of Canada. The hybrid fibre wireless network will use 3,500MHz spectrum, which is the same spectrum being used for Xplornet’s 5G trials.

“At Xplornet our mission is to enable rural Canadians to live where they want to live, and connect to what matters,” Allison Lenehan, president and CEO of Xplornet, said last year. “5G technology is not just about cities – it is about all of the unique services it can enable wherever you are in Canada. We are proud to be able to use the power of new technology and innovation to enrich people’s lives, especially in our home Province.”

Company spokesman James Maunder added that Xplornet's current maximum residential internet speed is 25Mbps but that will double to 50Mbps by the end of 2019 and double again to 100Mbps by 2020.

Xplornet says a tax provision in the federal government's 2018 fall economic update will help it make the investments. The federal government has said its new "accelerated investment incentive" was designed to make it more attractive for businesses of all sizes and all sectors of the economy to buy assets that will drive their growth.