In brief

In brief

  • The estimated economic impact of 5G deployment in Canada will reach $40B of annual GDP uplift by 2026.
  • In addition to its significant economic benefits, 5G has the potential to bring quality-of-life benefits to Canadian cities and rural communities.
  • This report explores four main 5G use cases, with a focus on the estimated benefits their adoption will bring in select cities and rural settings.


5G is more than the next generation of mobile technology. It will bring entirely new ways of using mobile technology that do not exist today, serving as a platform for entirely new innovations. As 5G deployments scale, and Canada gets closer to national 5G coverage, the estimated economic impact of 5G deployment in Canada will reach $40B of annual GDP uplift by 2026, with 250K permanent jobs added to the economy in the same timeframe.

Enabling a shift towards smart cities and rural communities

In addition to its significant economic benefits, 5G has the potential to bring quality-of-life benefits to cities and rural communities. Cities are increasingly searching for ways to improve quality-of-life through enabling diverse economic activities, reducing environmental impacts, and providing enhanced services and amenities.

This report explores four main 5G use cases, with a focus on the estimated benefits their adoption will bring in select Canadian cities and rural settings. These four use cases represent solutions that are expected to be adopted within the next three to five years, as 5G becomes more widely deployed.

Chart shows what 5G will enable: Transportation, Agriculture, Energy and Rural Connectivity

Transportation and mobility

Research shows that implementing 5G technologies has the potential of reducing traffic congestion by 10 percent. 5G-enabled smart traffic management solutions in the cities of Montreal and Vancouver alone can be expected to further the prosperity of its citizens and businesses, with a potential annual increase in productivity of $535M and $267M respectively.

Precision agriculture

With lots of digital innovation in agriculture, 5G can support such improvement by enabling “precision agriculture.” For example, 5G can support the minimization of pesticide use by enabling farmers to diagnose and isolate problem areas on a large farm through massive penetration of large-scale IoT sensor networks, aerial scanning and detection, and autonomous, targeted (reduced) application of pesticides. In one example, the average Saskatchewan oilseed farmer can expect to see upwards of $40,000 in savings annually, once 5G networks are established and further regulations are put in place to allow for precision agriculture technologies to take off in Canada.

Estimated economic impact of 5G deployment in Canada will reach $40B of annual GDP uplift by 2026

Energy management

Smart grid technologies are considered an important enabler for dealing with the increasing demand for electricity, with 5G technologies unlocking further efficiencies. It is estimated that 5G-connected smart grids can enable a wide range of applications that can help reduce household energy consumption by up to 12 percent. Cities can also utilize 5G networks in the deployment of smart street lighting, with smart lighting systems consuming 50 percent to 60 percent less energy than traditional lamps, and 5G connectivity can unlock further cost savings of up to 80 percent by providing more visibility into maintenance operations.



Rural connectivity

The Canadian Government has set a target of achieving 95 percent broadband coverage for homes across the country by 2026 and is formulating coordinated plans to provide $5B to $6B in public and private sector investment to connect underserved communities over the next 10 years. 5G fixed wireless access technologies will provide a cost-efficient way to improve rural connectivity, at up to 40 percent less cost than Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) deployment. In addition, studies have shown that a 10 percent increase in broadband penetration can achieve a 0.9 percent to 1.5 percent increase in GDP growth—in Saskatchewan, for example, this can equate to a potential increase in GDP of up to $1.2B in a scenario where the province achieves 95 percent broadband service availability.

The path towards the future

Accelerating the deployment and adoption of 5G use cases in Canadian cities will rely on three key actions:

Encouraging innovation

Government programs to encourage innovation and adoption of advanced technologies necessary to realize the full potential of 5G

Encouraging investment

Creation of regulatory framework that encourages investments in advancing network infrastructure

Ecosystem enablement

Frameworks to enable ecosystem partners to collaborate in deploying innovative use cases

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About the Authors

Tejas Rao

Managing Director and Global 5G Offering Lead – Accenture Network


Peters Suh

Managing Director and North America Communications Industry and Network Practice Lead


Jefferson Wang

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, CMT, Communications Industry Strategy Lead


Hillol Roy

Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, CMT, 5g Offering Lead


Majed Al Amine

Managing Director – Accenture Network

Contributors

David Safer

Senior Manager – Accenture Strategy, Communications, Media and Technology


Mourad Soliman​

Senior Consultant – Accenture Strategy, Communications, Media and Technology


Alex Alexa

Manager – Accenture Strategy, Communications, Media and Technology​

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