Rogers Plan to Install Huawei Antennas Approved by St. John’s City Council

St. John’s City Council has approved a plan by Rogers to install nine rooftop antennas—made by China’s Huawei.

According to CBC News, the Rogers application wanted to install nine Huawei antennas on top of a building located on Bonaventure Avenue. The antennas will be constructed two metres above the roof line.

Rogers said the nine antennas being installed are passive ones, “meaning they do not contain any technology that can modify radio signals or process data,” explains CBC News.

Councillor Maggie Burton said the Rogers application met “all of our requirements set out by the city for where they should go,” noting the city’s 2014 guidelines, which established what wireless hardware could be allowed.

“Someone asked if this is the new 5G network we are hearing so much about in other cities and it’s not; it’s a 4G network, to my understanding,” added Burton.

Rogers has committed to using 5G hardware from Sweden’s Ericsson for its next-generation networks. However, the use of Huawei 4G gear comes at a time when Canada’s allies such as the U.S., Australia and New Zealand have banned the Chinese company, alleging espionage by China’s Communist government.

Canada is undergoing a security review of 5G and Huawei, with a decision on whether or not to ban the Chinese company still undecided.

Burton said there were two letters of concerns from residents, however, the ultimate decision for wireless antennas is decided by Health Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).

“We asked a lot of questions — it took a few weeks,” said Burton. She says council took its time to look at protocol documents to ensure the application was in line, which it was.