Ontario loses the signal on wireless connectivity

Though Ontario’s wireless and mobile sector is one of the few still-growing areas while the province roils in the grips of a recession, a new white paper released by the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre points to some serious roadblocks to future progress. 

One of the key recommendations of the white paper is that Ontario ramp up its education to adequately prepare students to work in the mobile and wireless sector, which as of the present is not the case. A mobile partnership consortium should also be established, targeting business development, alliances, and tying together academics and funders.

The provincial and federal governments should also fund R&D initiatives and provide tax incentives, the report said.

“Mobile and wireless devices are revolutionizing the way we think, work, play and live in the same way the Internet did almost two decades ago,” said Sara Diamond, Chair of the MEIC and President of the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD). “Unfortunately, our research shows that we’re falling behind other jurisdictions in terms of our ability to play a leading role in driving this mobile revolution.”

Given Canada’s lethargic pace of innovation in the wireless sector, as well as the cartel-like structure of our largest wireless providers, I don’t hold out much hope, even if all the white paper’s recommendations are adopted. Without competition, Canada will never move at the necessary speed to tae our place amongst other developed countries, and we’ll end up the same wireless backwater we already are.