The development of a smart city rests on the implementation of large scale communications and data collection infrastructures. “Fifth generation” or 5G networks represent the next generation of wireless mobility norms and technologies. 5G networks will be able to transmit data more quickly and handle a larger number of connected objects and devices in order to support a multitude of usage scenarios.
The deployment of sensors in the public space, known as the Internet of Things (IoT), is a key factor in enabling a better management of the city’s assets or in optimizing the mobility of its citizens. This deployment raises numerous questions, however. Chief among these are social questions: what data can be collected in the public space and for what kinds of decision-making purposes? Given this context, the city has undertaken an issues analysis whose preliminary results are now available in a publicly-accessible report. The next phase of work will allow the city to continue its reflection on the ethics and social acceptability of these technologies, while analyzing opportunities for infrastructure development and accompanying telcos in their testing and deployment strategy.
The city is actively planning the deployment of new 5G telecommunications technology on its territory. The very high rates of speed offered by this technology will allow for the market introduction of a whole new generation of products and services, including connected and automated vehicles, remote health care, virtual reality, smart cities and new IoT applications. The city of Montréal wishes to create, in collaboration with all 5G ecosystem partners, an environment which is favourable to the development of this technology, and which results in a network that is rapidly operational and respects the highest aesthetic, security and urban planning standards. In order to accomplish this, the city of Montréal has worked with community stakeholders to define a 2.5 km2 downtown block for the deployment of 5G microcells on urban property by telecommunications companies.
Bordered by Sherbrooke Street to the north, Notre-Dame Street to the south, Guy Street to the west and Saint Laurent Boulevard to the east, this space constitutes the 5G Urban Lab. It is offered to all telecommunications operators for the purpose of validating deployment and governance models for 5G technology in conjunction with the city of Montréal. Moreover, as this is an open test bed, anyone wishing to contribute to the advancement of 5G products, services and applications on the territory of Montréal is welcome.
The city of Montréal intends to create a coordination committee of key stakeholders whose mission will be to guide the 5G Urban Lab’s activities. The Lab accompanies both the Information Technology and the Urbanism and Mobility services within the city of Montréal through an approach that is both systemic and inclusive. This allows collaboration from stakeholders interested in the development of new 5G technology products and solutions. Though 5G, the city of Montréal seeks to stimulate economic development as well as the creation of new areas of activity in high tech.