Videotron to open up 5G trial project to proposals

Originally posted by The Wire Report

Author: Anja Karadeglija

MONTREAL — Quebecor Inc.’s Videotron gave an update on the progress of a partnership focused on testing 5G-related technology Wednesday, and announced the project will start accepting submissions from businesses, researchers and the public in the fall.

“There are a number of start-ups who have already deployed and are testing [projects] with us,” Videotron president and CEO Manon Brouillette said at a press conference, in French. “In the fall we will begin welcoming projects from the business community who can use the infrastructure we’ve deployed and test applications.”

Videotron announced last fall that it would create an “open-air smart living lab” together with Ericsson AB, Montreal’s École de technologie supérieure and the non-profit Quartier de l’innovation. Serge Legris, vice-president of technologies and projects at Videotron, said in an interview that the first few months of the project were dedicated to putting the infrastructure in place.

The lab is now testing technology including picocells — small LTE base stations — and a self-organizing WiFi network that “anticipates and manages the wireless connections of one or more users or things without human intervention in order to provide a seamless experience,” Videotron said in a press release.

The project also involves a connected student residence that has been outfitted with a “smart network” of WiFi, picocells, and long-range (LoRa) antennas. Videotron said in the press release those technologies will, along with various sensors, “create a ‘smart home’ experience for students, in which the entire environment is managed using analysis of data from the various everyday objects present in the building.” Other technology being tested includes LiFi, a wireless technology that transmits data using light.

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