Edmonton may be getting 5G, new wireless technology that could enhance the city’s current and future ‘smart’ projects.
What is 5G?
- 5G (Fifth Generation) is the newest wireless internet technology, supporting more data, and much faster speeds than currently available wireless technology.
5G in Edmonton
- City Council approved a digital action plan centered around getting 5G technology in Edmonton on October 28, 2019.
- 5G could lead to an expansion of Open City Wi-Fi locations, improve internet connection across the city, and would be a key development for furthering the city’s goals of becoming a ‘smart city’.
TELUS ‘Smart City Living Lab’ on Whyte Avenue
- TELUS, one of the major internet providers being considered to implement 5G technology in Canada, proposed setting up a ‘Smart City Living Lab’ on Whyte Avenue.
- The lab would test 5G in a small area of Edmonton, utilizing the technology along with sensors and cameras to monitor people and vehicles in the area, in an effort detect, and prevent crime.
- This project would fit well within existing data-driven crime prevention and safety projects in Edmonton including SafeCityYEG.
- Monitoring crime with high speed internet and sensor technologies have sparked concerns for privacy and profiling, which have been highlighted by two city councillors.
Even with 5G as a clear next step in Edmonton’s smart city journey, leading to the advancement of many projects in the city, there are key questions of privacy, private company interests and data use that should be considered.