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With 5G-enabled devices, the new technology can reach internet speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps. To use a 5G network, people must be in a 5G coverage area.

Battlefords MLA Jeremy Cockrill, minister of the Saskatchewan Highways and Water Safety Agency, said the expansion of 5G in the Battlefords will be a much-needed boost to the community.

The job includes: installing new equipment on towers around Battlefords.

“It’s part of $1.5 billion in capital spending in the province,” Cockrill said. “The introduction of 5G, especially in the province, is close $525 million. In the Battlefords area, it’s about $3 million to upgrade towers in the area to support 5G wireless.”

He said many people are demanding higher speed internet these days, so the technology will help meet the demand and improve efficiency.

“More and more of what we do every day, whether it’s at home or at work, requires Internet, and increasingly it requires fast Internet,” Cockrill said. “I think about all the video calls I make on a weekly basis. It requires a high level of internet service.”

He said 5G technology will provide more capacity. It will also help reduce the lag that people can sometimes experience on the network.

“I think it’s going to benefit people at home, whether you’re taking classes at home or watching streaming services,” Cockrill said. “And obviously the businesses in the community [as well]. Frankly, it would benefit a number of businesses, if not all businesses in the community. So they can continue their work as uninterrupted as possible.”

The agricultural sector also relies on fast and reliable Internet access for its operations. So a 5G network in the Battlefords area should be able to make their jobs easier as well.

“Farmers are incredibly innovative … Some of the technology around tracking what’s in your bin and the quality of it, that requires a connection to the Internet, a wireless network,” Cockrill said. “The better that network is, the better connected the manufacturers will be in our area and connected to the world.”

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