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Nokia and Area X.O accelerate 5G mission-critical van on cross-Canada tour

  • Touring Mission Critical Van, equipped with Nokia 4.9G/LTE and 5G private wireless solutions, Nokia Drone Networks and Nokia’s Integrated Operations Center
  • Demonstrate how reliable and secure wireless connectivity can support emergency responders during critical situations and disasters  
  • The 5G van will visit at least 10 locations over the next 12 months
  • With funding from the Government of Canada through FedDev Ontario, Nokia, Area X.O established and led by Invest Ottawa, and InDro Robotics are working together to enable companies to grow their business with private wireless for industrial and public safety applications

13 October 2020

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – Nokia today announced that as part of its continued partnership with Area X.O (formerly known as the Ottawa L5) led by Invest Ottawa, it will deploy 4.9G/LTE and 5G private wireless solutions and Nokia Drone Networks via the Area X.O 5G Mobile Command Centre. The van will tour Canada to demonstrate to emergency responders and industry verticals how they can use private wireless for increased situational awareness to aid in unsafe conditions and help prevent disasters.

Using high-performance, reliable, low-latency private wireless connectivity between the van and Nokia drones, emergency responders can understand what’s happening in critical situations in real-time. The securely connected drones can be equipped with HD and thermal cameras, and rapidly deployed to specific locations providing aerial insight from live video streams, as well as sensors and data, without putting responders in harm’s way. The thermal technology can be used to detect people, steam, gas and smoke, as well as leakages and heat variation. This makes it an effective tool for prevention, incident monitoring and support, and inspection across multiple use cases.

Complementing the drones, the van will also showcase how the use of 5G standalone private wireless “deployables” both in cmW and mmW spectrum, can help first responders to be more efficient and easily gain situational awareness with a range of environment sensors, applicable also for Industry 4.0 use cases.

Nokia's Integrated Operations Center (IOC) offers a unified real-time view into all assets, bringing efficiency with analytics integration, while facilitating rapid response based on automated workflows across multiple applications.

Area X.O and Nokia will send the van on a road trip to visit 10 sites in Canada and it will showcase live 5G demonstrations for public safety, mining, rural broadband, and hydroelectric.  

  • At a remote mine that covers several kilometers, the Nokia Drone Networks solution can be used to conduct perimeter patrols or to detect gas leaks or thermal fluctuations in pipes
  • At a hydro-electric plant, rather than using helicopters, drones can be sent in to survey hydro lines to keep employees away from high voltage power lines
  • In rural regions, fixed networks can be deployed to the most economical point, and 5G can be deployed to provide last-mile connectivity, bringing the benefits of high-speed broadband to everyone  

Michael Tremblay, President and CEO, Area X.O, Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards said: “As a leader in 5G and with a long-established presence in Canada, Nokia is the ideal partner as we take 5G on the road. We hope to inspire the first responders, industry verticals, and businesses of all sizes to discover what 5G can do to keep them safe and thrive.”  

Shawn Sparling, Vice President of Enterprise and Public Sector, Nokia Canada, said: “We have been long-term partners with the team at Area X.O and Invest Ottawa more broadly. We continue to support their mission to drive growth for Ottawa businesses. With our shared philosophy on leveraging technology to expand opportunities in Canada, we look forward to this next step. The combination of our unmatched expertise in private wireless deployments and the Nokia Drone Networks will bring 5G to life for people and organizations across the country.”

Philip Reece, Founder and CEO, InDro Robotics said: “Having recently expanded to a full-time base in Ottawa we are proud to be working so closely with the leaders in 5G. Area X.O enabled InDro Robotics to bring together the best across the industry to build a mobile command centre capable of increasing abilities for first responders and providing frontline workers with cutting-edge technology, Nokia Drone Networks, communications, 5G networks, AI and so much more. This is how Ottawa stays at the forefront of innovation and supports growth.” 


About Nokia
We create the technology to connect the world. Only Nokia offers a comprehensive portfolio of network equipment, software, services and licensing opportunities across the globe. With our commitment to innovation, driven by the award-winning Nokia Bell Labs, we are a leader in the development and deployment of 5G networks.

Our communications service provider customers support more than 6.4 billion subscriptions with our radio networks, and our enterprise customers have deployed over 1,300 industrial networks worldwide. Adhering to the highest ethical standards, we transform how people live, work and communicate. For our latest updates, please visit us online and follow us on Twitter @nokia and @NokiaNAM.

About Area X.O
Area X.O is the futureplex of innovation and collaboration in Canada’s Capital that enables and accelerates the safe and secure development, testing and application of next generation technologies. Combining diverse expertise with Ottawa’s telecom and cybersecurity strengths as a tech hub, Area X.O helps local, national and global startups, SMEs, multinationals and governments address grand challenges and opportunities.  It fuels the creation, commercialization and adoption of breakthrough innovations in mobility, autonomy and connectivity that benefit our community, economy and environment. These applications span telecom; smart agriculture; defence, security and public safety; unmanned aerial vehicles; and smart cities. Established and led by Invest Ottawa and evolving from the Ottawa L5 Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Test Facility, Area X.O leverages critical support from world-class founding partners. These include: The Governments of Ontario and Canada, the City of Ottawa; Accenture, BlackBerry QNX, Ericsson, Microsoft, Nokia, and Ottawa’s post-secondary institutions. For additional information, please visit:

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Area X.O
Sonya Shorey
Vice President, Strategy, Marketing and Communications
Cell: 613 851 9416