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5G Connectivity: GM Canada Partnering Up with Telus

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We received an interesting joint announcement yesterday by Telus and General Motors (GM) and it is of particular interest to Canadian consumers. One of Canada's leading telecommunications companies, Telus, will provide 5G connectivity to the next generation of GM models.

The agreement is historic, as it is the first time the American giant has turned to a Canadian firm to provide this type of service. Until now, it was American giant AT&T that filled the role; it will of course continue to play that role south of our border.

The problem with AT&T for Canadian consumers is that its network often required roaming through other networks. With its new partner, GM says it will be able to streamline the customer experience and drive technology development and innovation in Canada.

Telus and GM will work together to build high-performance wireless network capabilities that “will meet the unique needs of an all-electric and autonomous vehicle future”. Several facets are to be developed, such as providing better coverage on the road, offering faster and higher quality music and video downloads, ensuring faster and more secure online updates and offering faster and more efficient connected services, such as navigation.

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Telus HQ
Photo: Telus
Telus HQ

That covers a lot of ground, needless to say, and the partnership will be a busy one. Explained GM Canada president Scott Bell,

“As we move to 5G, GM will introduce a range of new convenience and entertainment features as well as new driver-assistance technologies on our journey to zero crashes and zero congestion. Working with TELUS, we can develop and foster much of that innovation right here in Canada.”

- Scott Bell, president of GM Canada

However, it will be a while before we see the fruits of this collaboration take shape; the first GM models to benefit from it are expected to be launched in 2025. Interestingly, current models equipped with 4G LTE technology from 2019 and later will be updatable to migrate to the Telus network.

This is the kind of deal that, on the surface, is nothing but good news for consumers here. And for GM, it allows it to offer more targeted and better adapted services to its customers.