As one international tech company faces scrutiny from Canada for their involvement in the country’s installment of 5G networks, another is receiving a sizeable investment.
The Government of Canada today announced an investment of up to $40 million in Nokia Canada to help them maintain their workforce of 2,000-plus workers in the country, in addition to hiring 237 new workers. Beyond that, the new funding will “support Nokia’s projects, over a multi-year term valued at $214.6 million,” at their Kanata and Mississauga locations.
This new investment was announced at the World Economic Forum, along with another $35.66 million investment in a partnership between Siemens Canada and both New Brunswick Power and Nova Scotia Power. Both of these investments were made as part of the Strategic Innovation Fund.
“The work our government does on the world stage to deepen our relationships with world-leading companies like Nokia and Siemens is bearing fruit,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “The projects announced today will help make Canada a leader in the 21st-century digital economy. By developing new clean technologies and products, we are creating good middle-class jobs, boosting economic growth and shaping a better future for Canadians.”
Nokia will use the investment to establish a new Nokia Bell Labs presence in Canada that will research new ways to help telecom networks achieve the needs of 5G technology. Nokia Bell Labs has produced several Nobel Prize-winning research projects and when it comes to 5G, is working on providing a 5G platform-as-a-service model that can enable transformation across many different industries.
“We are pleased to stand as a strong partner to Canada’s innovation ecosystem by joining forces with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and creating a new Canadian presence for Nokia Bell Labs,” said Rajeev Suri, president and CEO of Nokia. “Together, we will enable a digital future powered by cutting-edge technologies such as 5G, IoT, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and machine learning, transforming Canada’s industries, cities and local communities.”
The adoption of a 5G network in Canada has been met with great scrutiny, mainly due to the partners involved in its research and rollout. Currently, one of the main partners is Huawei, a Chinese telecom giant that recently saw one of its top executives arrested in Canada for extradition to the U.S.
There are several other homegrown initiatives to scale a 5G network, including the $400 million public/private ENCQOR network, in addition to smaller partnerships like the one between Cisco and the University of Waterloo. A report from the middle of 2018 found that the widespread adoption of 5G could have a massive impact on Canada as a whole, creating 250,000 jobs and adding over $40 billion to the economy.