Canadian Manufacturing

Two in three small businesses say 5G will benefit their business when it is rolled out

79% say mobile internet is essential for their business's success

May 19, 2021  by CM Staff

PHOTO: iStock

TORONTO — A new Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) report, in collaboration with TELUS, The small business vision of 5G connectivity in Canada found that most small businesses say fast and reliable mobile internet connectivity is essential to their success today (79%) and over the next three years (88%). Business owners also report that 5G will be beneficial to their business (63%) and will significantly advance the use of technology in small businesses across the country (72%).

“Over the last year, small businesses have been accelerating their digital strategies, in large part due to ongoing circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic and changing consumer behaviours. Enhanced connectivity is becoming more important,” said Mandy D’Autremont, CFIB’s senior director, member experience and strategy, in a prepared statement. “It is exciting to see how small businesses plan to leverage 5G. Many are telling us the ability to connect more things digitally, like wearable technology, and reaching more customers will improve their competitiveness.”

Small business owners will be looking for 5G to improve their productivity and efficiency through faster internet (76%), increase their digital access to rural customers (62%), and leverage new opportunities for growth and innovation enabled through enhanced connectivity (53%).

Some industries in particular feel 5G will benefit their business:

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Finance, real estate and leasing – 72%
Construction – 71%
Agriculture – 66%
Enterprise & administration management – 66%
Rural – 66%

Some of the ways these businesses say they would leverage the technology include using augmented reality through wearables to enhance service quality in cleaning businesses, real-time remote monitoring and Geotech reporting for piling and anchorage businesses, moving to cloud-based software for finance and insurance businesses, and introducing drone and other autonomous equipment for farms.

The federal government will be auctioning off spectrum in June, the highway on which 5G mobile data will travel. Currently, the government requires telecom operators to roll out 5G within 20 years of purchasing spectrum, but a majority (71%) of small business owners would like to see the government require telecom operators to use the spectrum they purchase within 5 years.

“TELUS is proud to support small business and champion the owners and teams who are driving innovation and growth in Canada. 5G is essential for economic growth and recovery and will inject up to $150 billion to Canada’s economy over the next 20 years,” said Navin Arora, President, TELUS Business Solutions. “Canadian business owners are eager to reap the benefits of 5G including improving efficiency and productivity, while attracting new customers, which is why we are pleased to be bringing 5G to 70% of Canadians by the end of the year, providing the world-leading infrastructure and technology that will give every business the ability to thrive in a digital world.”