According to a report by CBC News, Edmonton city councillors have approved a digital action plan at an executive committee meeting held at city hall yesterday, which is based on implementing the cutting edge 5G wireless technology for improved wireless speeds, connectivity, and stability.
The fifth generation of wireless technology is currently not supported in Canada although it is available in a limited number of countries. The technology is expected to arrive in Canada by the end of 2020 and will enable faster speeds with higher volumes of data for video calling, instant messaging, streaming, and more.
“I think this is exciting,” said Coun. Ben Henderson at the meeting, while adding that the technology will give the city momentum. “If we don’t do this kind of thing, we will regret it later,” he added.
Edmonton is working with the private sector to develop the infrastructure. Henderson noted Shaw and Telus have installed fibre optic lines that will support a 5G network.
Ryan Walker, a design specialist with Telus, told the committee that 5G can be used in conjunction with other technology, like artificial intelligence, to detect things like the number of pedestrians waiting at an intersection and potentially affect the timing of lights.
Algorithms are being developed to anticipate behaviour and could be used to help curb crime, Walker said.
The city is also aiming to extend cellular connectivity through LRT tunnels and expand free public Wi-Fi to more facilities and locations.