Press Releases

ORION supports ENCQOR 5G, Canada’s first 5G wireless network for open innovation

Testbeds in Ottawa, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Montreal and Quebec City now operational

TORONTO, August 27, 2019 – ORION is now enabling Ontarians to develop new products and services on Canada’s first pre-commercial 5G testbed through ENCQOR 5G (Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Québec and Ontario for Research and Innovation) network.

ORION is providing connectivity across Ontario to enable small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to connect and participate in the ENCQOR 5G platform, which has recently established the first pre-commercial fifth-generation platform for open innovation in Canada. Funded by five world-class digital technology companies (Ericsson, Ciena, Thales, IBM Canada, and CGI) and the governments of Canada, Ontario, and Quebec, ENCQOR 5G brings together SMEs, industry, government, researchers, and academia in both Quebec and Ontario to collaborate on the commercialization of disruptive products, processes, and services, providing a first-to-market advantage and to improve the ability of SMEs to scale.

ORION is working with Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and ENCQOR 5G program partners to make the testbed accessible to Ontario SMEs, research, and academia through 100Gbps connections at hub locations including MaRS in Toronto, Invest Ottawa in Ottawa, and Communitech in Waterloo. It will help firms to capitalize on new opportunities in fields such as autonomous vehicles (AV), aerospace, public safety, cybersecurity, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), mining, eHealth, and smart agriculture.

ENCQOR 5G is a transformational Ontario- Québec partnership focused on research and innovation in the field of 5G disruptive technologies, on adoption initiatives and system uses. ORION is proud to help ENCQOR 5G provide network connectivity to the first Canadian pre-commercial corridor of 5G digital infrastructure — the key to empowering the digital economy in Canada.

Read more about ENCQOR 5G at

Applications are now being accepted from entrepreneurs to help accelerate the development and adoption of digital technologies.


Alfonso Licata, CEO & President, ORION: “Through this partnership, ORION has further improved our essential collective of infrastructure, tools, and people that bolsters Ontario’s leadership in the digital economy and supports long-term economic growth through the broader Canadian innovation ecosystem.”

Quick Facts about ORION:

  • ORION is a not-for-profit organization supporting Ontario’s progress with essential digital infrastructure. Since 2001, we’ve facilitated new discoveries by connecting research and education institutions, regions, and people across the province, enabling collaboration, learning, forging partnerships, and providing our community with the digital tools and expertise they need to make the world a better place.
  • ORION’s private network spans 6,000 kilometres connecting over a hundred research, education and innovation institutions across the province from Thunder Bay to Timmins and Ottawa to Windsor at speeds of up to 100Gbps.
  • More than two million people in the research and education industry rely on ORION to share and communicate with each other and to connect to a global grid of similar networks across Canada and around the world.
  • ORION is part of Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN), an essential collective of infrastructure, tools, and people that bolsters Canadian leadership in research, education and innovation. CANARIE and twelve provincial and territorial partners form Canada’s NREN. We connect Canada’s researchers, educators, and innovators to each other and to data, technology and colleagues around the world.
  • Research-related activities on the ORION network directly contribute $4.4 billion to Ontario’s GDP.

Read more about ORION at | @ORIONNetwork

For media inquiries, contact:

Cathy Bogaart
Director, Marketing and Communications
Office: 416.507.9860 ext. 250