5G urban pilot project

Last updated May 25, 2021
Reading time: 2 min

The municipal administration is undertaking a pilot project to promote a concerted, optimal deployment of 5G infrastructure throughout the city.

The 5G network, or Fifth Generation, will allow ultra-reliable, very high-speed wireless communications. This will open the way to the development of new applications and innovative products and services. These will include connected objects, telehealth care, virtual reality, and many other things.

The technology will require the installation of new facilities in Montréal. While telecommunications fall under federal authority, the municipal administration is collaborating on this project to encourage the harmonious development of 5G infrastructure in Montréal. It is working to ensure that its concerns, and those of Montrealers, are taken into account.

A 24-to-36-month project

The pilot project will include the installation of small antennas, known as microcells, on traffic lights and lamp-posts in downtown Montréal. 

It will allow for:

  • Evaluation of the potential of this new technology, its installation method and its function on street furniture 
  • The structured and harmonious deployment of 5G within city limits in the future

Why is Montréal getting involved with 5G?

The city is aware of the important potential transformation that 5G will offer the municipality and its citizens. In the city of tomorrow, this technology will allow for the development of innovative services in several spheres, including:

  • Reduction of the digital divide
  • Efficient management of street infrastructure
  • Innovative public security services
  • Connected transportation, mobility and vehicles

Montréal is collaborating with Beanfield Metroconnect, Bell, Rogers, Telus and Vidéotron, by providing expertise and offering its street furniture.

A health committee

A health and social acceptability committee is supporting the municipal administration in the 5G urban pilot project. This committee benefits from the participation of the Direction régionale de santé publique de Montréal and support from the Institut national de santé publique du Québec.

Canadian regulations limit exposure to radio frequencies to a level greatly below the threshold that would pose a danger to health. Guidelines established by Health Canada for radiofrequency exposure, which are some of the strictest in the world, apply to all wireless telecommunication infrastructure. All installations part of the 5G pilot project emit radio frequencies much lower than the levels established by Health Canada.

For more information, please refer to the Institut national de la santé publique du Québec FAQ (in French), as well as Health Canada’s Web site.