5G Business Internet Guide for Canadians

What is 5G Business Internet?

When we talk about 5G business internet, we’re referring to a wireless connection that utilizes 5G technology to connect businesses directly. Unlike traditional broadband that relies on cables, 5G business internet connects a business modem to a nearby cell tower, harnessing the power of the 5G network.

A simple way to understand it is if your business ran off your cell phone as a hotspot.  The difference is that your phone was not designed to be a hotspot all day, but the 5G wireless receiver was.

  • Wireless Connection: The absence of cables means easier installation and potentially more comprehensive coverage, especially when laying cables is challenging.
  • Modem to Tower: The modem within the business premises communicates with a 5G cell tower connected to the internet.
  • Improved Performance: The result is a significant reduction in latency and a boost in bandwidth, allowing for more robust and real-time data transmission.

This leap forward is crucial for businesses in various sectors, from those that require the immediate transfer of large datasets, like design and engineering firms, to those providing real-time services, such as telemedicine in healthcare.

However, while 5G business internet sounds promising, it’s essential to consider the current infrastructure in Canada. Not all areas may have the same level of 5G coverage, and businesses may need to evaluate their specific location’s compatibility with 5G services.

Understanding 5G Technology

5G is the fifth generation of the mobility wireless network. Since 2019, the technology has been tested and deployed across the world. 

  • Speed and Bandwidth: 5G networks can deliver data rates 10 to 100 times faster than current 4G networks, reaching up to 10 gigabits per second. This means that high-definition videos that took minutes can now be downloaded in seconds.
  • Latency: 5G dramatically reduces latency, the time it takes for devices to communicate with each other, to just a few milliseconds. This is a game-changer for services that require real-time feedback.
  • Capacity: 5G can support a million devices per square kilometer, a significant jump from the capability of 4G networks, making it ideal for densely populated areas.
Feature4G LTE5G
SpeedUp to 1 GbpsUp to 10 Gbps
Latency~30-50 milliseconds~1-10 milliseconds
Device Capacity100,000 devices/sq km1 million devices/sq km

The underpinning technology of 5G is its use of higher-frequency bands in the radio spectrum, allowing it to carry more data. However, these frequencies have a shorter range and are more susceptible to interference from buildings and other obstacles.

But is this technology right for a business Internet Service?

In this article, we will dig deeper into 5G technology and specifically what you should consider when buying it for business Internet.


Why Is 5G Internet Better Than 4G for Wireless Internet?

5G wireless technology is better because the “speed” is faster.  When we talk about speed, we mean lower latency and higher bandwidth. Compared to 4G networks, where some providers offer a mobility-based Internet service, the 5G services will be better suited for a business but are less widely available. 

Advantages of 5G Over 4G

  1. Increased Speed: 5G is significantly faster than 4G, potentially up to 100 times faster. This speed boost means that activities that took minutes can now be completed in seconds.
  2. Reduced Latency: The latency, or response time, of 5G is much lower than 4G, with the potential to reach as low as 1 millisecond. This is crucial for businesses that rely on real-time data transmission, like remote surgery, autonomous vehicles, and more interactive online services.
  3. Greater Capacity: 5G networks can handle more connected devices per square kilometer than 4G. This means less congestion and better performance, particularly in densely populated areas.
  4. Enhanced Connectivity: 5G provides more consistent and reliable internet connections, which is vital for businesses that cannot afford interruptions in service.
  5. Network Slicing: This feature allows the creation of multiple virtual networks within a single physical 5G network. It enables businesses to customize networks to meet specific requirements, such as higher security or capacity.

Table: Comparing 5G and 4G

SpeedUp to 20 GbpsUp to 1 Gbps
LatencyAs low as 1 ms20-30 ms
RangeShorter, requires more infrastructureLonger, fewer towers needed
PenetrationLower through solid objectsBetter through buildings
AvailabilityUrban areasWidespread, including rural

The Business Case for 5G Internet in Canada

5G’s Suitability for Businesses

Despite its advantages, the suitability of 5G for businesses in Canada may be influenced by its availability. While major Canadian cities are rolling out 5G networks, coverage is not yet nationwide. Businesses in rural or remote areas may still need to rely on 4G or other internet solutions.

5G’s Limited Availability in Canada

Compared to the United States, where carriers have aggressively expanded 5G services, Canadian businesses may find that 5G coverage is still in its infancy. However, as infrastructure expands, the advantages of 5G for businesses will become increasingly accessible.

Why Canadian Businesses Should Embrace 5G

5G is a game-changer for Canadian businesses because it can handle massive data at unprecedented speeds. Here are some compelling reasons for businesses to adopt 5G:

  • Enhanced Efficiency and Productivity: With faster internet comes the ability to perform tasks more quickly and efficiently, from cloud computing to real-time data analysis.
  • Innovation in Products and Services: 5G opens doors to new business models and services, particularly in tech-driven sectors.
  • Competitive Edge: Early adopters of 5G can gain a significant advantage over competitors who are slower to integrate this technology.
5G Business Internet Canada

Digital Transformation in Canada Enabled by 5G

5G acts as a catalyst for digital transformation, enabling businesses to leverage advanced technologies such as:

  • IoT Integration: Facilitating a network of interconnected devices, from smart sensors to autonomous vehicles.
  • AI and Machine Learning: Providing the necessary speed and data processing capabilities for AI algorithms.
  • Remote Operations: Enhancing the capacity for remote work and virtual collaboration.

List of Benefits:

  1. Improved Customer Experience: Leveraging 5G for enhanced online services and customer interactions.
  2. Operational Agility: Quick adaptation to market changes with faster data-driven decisions.
  3. Sustainable Practices: Enabling intelligent solutions that reduce environmental impact.

“You need to think about the impact and how to harness the new capabilities of speed and low latency of 5G,” said Chris Pearson, president of 5G Americas, an industry trade organization composed of telecommunications providers and manufacturers. “If you don’t start thinking about 5G and how it could affect or help your business, you’re going to have a competitor who will”​​.


Canadian Case Study

A relevant case study demonstrating the impact of 5G in the Canadian business context involves Rogers Communications. In January 2021, Rogers became the first operator to roll out a national 5G standalone (SA) network in Canada. This deployment was part of Rogers’ commitment to investing in technologies and infrastructure to serve their large and small business customers. In collaboration with Ericsson, the implementation resulted in a highly capable, reliable, fully cloud-native, standalone 5G Core network. This network is equipped to harness the full potential of 5G and transform industries and organizations​​.

Luciano Ramos, SVP of Network Development, Planning & Engineering at Rogers Communications, emphasized the significance of their collaboration with Ericsson, stating, “In collaboration with Ericsson, we were able to achieve our goal to be the first in the market”​​. Rogers’ position as Canada’s largest wireless carrier and the only 5G national network highlights its crucial role in developing Canada’s digital infrastructure. The drivers for this transformation included the desire to be the first to launch 5G SA services in Canada, building a cloud-native foundation for all of Rogers’ next-generation core network functions, and setting the base for network slicing deployments to offer real-time, on-demand highways of 5G for entire industries and organizations​​.

The transformation led by Rogers with their 5G SA network is believed to be crucial for realizing the boldest new ideas of today, including smart cities, fully automated cars, and real-time robotics. This network deployment has expanded Rogers’ portfolio of services, reinforcing its position as a key player in Canada’s digitalization and enabling it to provide its enterprise customers with the tools to develop new use cases that significantly enhance production efficiency. It has also allowed developers to create applications and accelerate technologies that will profoundly impact the economy and society​​. https://www.ericsson.com/en/cases/2022/rogers-and-ericsson

How 5G is Revolutionizing Various Industries in Canada

Manufacturing and IoT in the Canadian 5G Era:

  • 5G enables real-time monitoring and control of manufacturing processes, increasing efficiency and reducing downtime.
  • IoT devices integrated with 5G can facilitate predictive maintenance, optimizing operational costs.

Retail Innovations and Enhanced Customer Experiences with 5G:

  • 5G technology allows for the creating immersive retail experiences through augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
  • Enhanced data processing capabilities enable personalized customer interactions and improved inventory management.

Healthcare Advancements and Remote Services through 5G:

  • Telemedicine and remote patient monitoring significantly improve with 5G, offering better healthcare accessibility.
  • High-speed and reliable connections enable remote surgeries and real-time data analysis for critical patient care.

5G and the Development of Smart Cities in Canada:

  • 5G facilitates the integration of various smart city applications such as traffic management, public safety monitoring, and environmental monitoring.
  • Enhanced connectivity supports the deployment of smart grids, improving energy efficiency and sustainability.

A relevant quote from a Canadian business leader on the impact of 5G is from Claire Gillies, the president of Bell Mobility. She stated on the Disruptors podcast, “5G presents an opportunity to re-think businesses and organizations in entirely new ways, and explore ‘the art of the possible.’ How do we use AR and VR in training circumstances? How do we use it to enable remote medicine and surgeries? Anything is possible, but we all have to put our minds and our investments around making these things happen in the Canadian market”​​​​.


Challenges and Considerations for Canadian Businesses

Addressing 5G Implementation Challenges in Canada

  • Infrastructure Requirements: Implementing 5G requires a significant overhaul of existing network infrastructure, which can be costly and time-consuming.
  • Skill Gap: There is a need for skilled professionals to manage and optimize 5G networks and applications.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Businesses must navigate the regulatory landscape, ensuring compliance with Canadian telecommunications standards and policies.

What are the disadvantages of 5G?

5G is simply the fifth generation of wireless technology, and it does have some downsides. 

  1. Signal Range and Penetration: 5G uses higher frequency bands, which have a shorter range and are less effective at penetrating obstacles like buildings. This might necessitate a denser infrastructure of cell towers and repeaters, especially in urban areas.
  2. Weather Interference: Higher frequency signals used by 5G can be more susceptible to interference from rain and other atmospheric conditions, potentially impacting reliability.
  3. Initial Costs: Upgrading to 5G can involve significant initial costs. Businesses may need new 5G-compatible equipment and face higher data plan prices due to the increased speed and capacity of 5G.
  4. Limited Rural Coverage: Currently, 5G is primarily available in urban areas, with rural regions lagging. Businesses outside significant cities might not yet benefit from 5G technology.
  5. Security Concerns: With any new technology comes new security challenges. The increased number of connected devices on 5G networks could potentially increase the attack surface for cyber threats.

If your business can get 5G Internet, you’re likely still on a “best-effort” business plan. This means if there is a problem, it’ll get fixed when it gets fixed. 

As mentioned earlier, with 5G technology being reasonably new, I recommend using it as part of your Internet solution, not your only one. 

Paired with cable Internet or a low earth orbit (LEO) provider like Starlink, you will have a reliable Internet solution. Check out our full article, “Is Starlink Internet good for a Business?” to learn how the two might work well together.

  • Data Security: With increased connectivity, businesses must strengthen cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive data.
  • Privacy Regulations: Adherence to privacy laws, such as PIPEDA, is critical as 5G enables the collection of vast amounts of consumer data.

To address these risks, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security recommends several cybersecurity measures for organizations preparing for 5G technology:

  • Protect Networks and Devices: Implementing measures such as patching vulnerabilities, installing anti-malware software, firewalls, network segmentation, and protective DNS.
  • System Protection: Utilizing multi-factor authentication (MFA), incident response plans, and robust backup plans to manage risks associated with increased data processing.
  • User Education: Providing up-to-date cybersecurity and privacy awareness training, and employing preventative measures like MFA and VPNs to protect user data​​.

These steps are essential for Canadian businesses to safely leverage the benefits of 5G while mitigating associated security and privacy risks.


I hope this article has helped you learn the basics of 5G business Internet and what you might want to explore further before talking to your local carriers.

For more reading on 5G – a great place to go next is Wikipedia. As always in the telecom space, we found that most 5G articles are written by carriers simply telling you how great it is… and theirs is the best.

Here’s the link to Wikipedia:


Thanks. If you want more, check out our article Understanding Internet Diversity vs Redundancy.

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Michael is the main author and Editor on the InternetAdvice blog. With a decade of experience under his belt, Michael stands at the forefront of the telecommunications industry. As a Senior Telecom Strategist, Michael has witnessed firsthand the rapid advancements in technology and has been an integral part of pioneering efforts in the adoption of cutting-edge telecom solutions across Canada.

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