Canada Welcomes Freedom Mobile’s 5G Network

Freedom Mobile, a key player in Canada’s mobile operator landscape, has officially launched its 5G network. The service, initially available to select customers, marks a significant milestone for the company, now owned by Quebecor.

Early Access for Monthly Plan Subscribers

Starting immediately, existing Freedom Mobile customers subscribed to monthly plans of CAD 45 and above are granted early access to the 5G network. This strategic rollout targets a broad customer base, offering enhanced connectivity.

Expanding Geographic Reach

Currently, Freedom Mobile’s 5G service is accessible in major urban areas including Greater Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Hamilton, London, and Windsor. The company plans to extend its 5G coverage to additional locations in the near future.

Quebecor’s Acquisition and Commitment

Following Quebecor’s acquisition of Freedom Mobile from Shaw — a move that facilitated regulatory approval of Rogers’ purchase of Shaw — Quebecor committed to launching a 5G network within two years. This launch signifies the fulfillment of that promise.

New National Coverage Plan

In May, after its acquisition by Quebecor’s Videotron subsidiary, Freedom Mobile introduced its inaugural wireless plan with national coverage. Priced at CAD 50, the plan offers unlimited calls and texts, along with 40 GB of data across Canada and the U.S.

Spectrum Acquisitions for 5G Expansion

Quebecor and Videotron invested CAD 10 million in acquiring new 5G wireless spectrum licenses, both in Manitoba’s 600 MHz band and Quebec’s 3,500 MHz band. These purchases, part of a residual spectrum license auction, support Videotron’s expansion efforts outside Québec and increase its wireless service capacity.

Videotron’s 2021 Spectrum Acquisitions

In 2021, Videotron strategically acquired 294 blocks of 3.5 GHz spectrum in several Canadian regions, including Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec, at a cost of CAD 830 million. This move bolstered Videotron’s infrastructure for potential wireless expansion.

Bell and Rogers: Competing 5G Initiatives

Competitor Bell aims to cover 85% of Canada’s population with 5G by the end of 2023, as stated by President and CEO Mirko Bibic. Bell’s “5G+” service, leveraging 3.5 GHz spectrum, currently reaches over 40% of the population, boasting peak download speeds of 3 Gbps in select areas.

Rogers and Shaw’s Completed Merger

April saw Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications finalize their merger, having received the Canadian government’s approval. Rogers committed to significant investments in Western Canada’s 5G network and additional network service expansion projects, aligning with the transaction’s approval conditions.