Industry UpdatesInnovation

What’s the Big Deal with 5G for Canadian Manufacturing? 

By June 8, 2023 No Comments

5G, the fifth generation of connectivity, is here. Faster mobile internet connections and increased bandwidths have the potential to connect billions of people and devices, handle and react quicker to real-time data, and fundamentally change our current perception of telecommunications. 5G will have a significant impact on manufacturing in Canada and hopefully will help bridge the digital divide that exists in this sector. 1

But 5G’s potential for manufacturing extends far beyond the smartphone and telecommunications.

“5G connectivity drives huge value by enabling enterprises to better support a remote workforce, supply chain resilience and next-generation manufacturing capabilities. It also enhances collaboration, flexibility, and access to information across the organization,” says Yasir Hussain, chief technology officer at Ericsson Canada.2

Canada aims to be a global leader in the 5G community with the government committing 30 billion to new 5G infrastructure and Ottawa positioned as one of the largest 5G research and development regions in North America.3 As of today, 80% of Canadians have access to 5G and 5G private network capabilities are available in remote areas for applications such as remote medicine and mining. As the device ecosystem catches up to the infrastructure, we can expect to see even more 5G access in remote areas and greater commercial adoption of 5G across Canadian manufacturing spaces.3

5G offers unique opportunities to increase employee safety, manufacturing efficiencies, company security, machine and human learning, and manufacturing productivity. Real time data with quicker processing speed means more accurate and timely movement of information3, wireless connected robotics and fully automated assembly lines that have the potential to transform the manufacturing processes by reducing error, tragedy, and the need for human operators in high-risk environments.4

5G network solutions give you absolute control on connectivity, speed, reliability, and operating costs,” says Mr. Hussain. 2

While the integration of 5G into manufacturing includes many benefits, careful consideration of its risks is also warranted. Companies adopting 5G will collect and store vast quantities of data with the increased connectivity of unlimited devices raising the threat to data security and cyber-attacks. Protecting the 5G perimeter, building consumer brand trust, and encrypting user data with policies, regulations and best practices will be essential to the success of 5G in manufacturing.3

One of the exciting things about 5G in manufacturing is that it stimulates innovation. 3 The data collected in these pioneering stages of 5G will help us increasingly optimize and perfect manufacturing solutions. Manufacturers today are constantly looking for opportunities to innovate and reduce costs while improving workplace safety, efficiency, and productivity. 5G communication offers the bridge between these domains, says Hussain. 5G, “is providing these communications capabilities and transforming the world as we know it.”2 As it matures, 5G will not only be a key technology for manufacturing success but will also enable other technologies and trends in manufacturing in the long run.4

  3. Globe and Mail Events.” 5G Transformation: Risks and opportunities in a connected world”. Vimeo, 27th April 2023,