Siya Zarrabi and Kristen Jacobsen kissing in a field.

Connecting Canadians

Hopscotch the globe: Oh Canada, 5G has arrived

Aug 11, 2020

(Above) Together, Siya Zarrabi and Kristen Jacobsen run Hopscotch the Globe, a travel/lifestyle blog and YouTube channel. The availability of 5G across Canada is a huge boost to the couple’s ability to create content on the road, while maximizing family time with their daughter, Kai, and pup, Atlas.

By Siya Zarrabi

I travel the world as a career, working in an industry that could not have existed a decade ago.

Together, my wife Kristen and I run a travel/lifestyle blog and YouTube channel – Hopscotch the Globe. The first videos we produced for YouTube back in 2010 were filmed on tape, took months to edit and 12 hours to upload. Think about that time and effort, for just a minute: incredible, isn’t it? Now, with better technology and internet speeds, we pump out content daily. Gaining traction in the digital travel industry early gave us a strong online presence. We now have employees, 500,000 followers worldwide and the ability to travel indefinitely -- as long as there’s a strong internet connection. Recent world travel bans in response to the coronavirus have kept us domestic, which means less time in the air and more time on the road.

This summer, we’ve set off on a family road trip throughout Canada in our 1976 airstream named Luna (@LivinginLuna). Luna is a high-tech tiny home on wheels, that gives us the freedom to explore and work on the road. We will be living in Luna with our daughter and puppy while continuing to create content. 

The timing is perfect. TELUS began rolling out their 5G network in June with peak internet speeds up to 1.7 gigabytes per second. Having these speeds available through a wireless network will be a huge boost to our productivity. This also means maximizing family time.


The collision of faster technology with mobile connectivity means this family of adventurers can do business from almost anywhere.

Kristen and I have the freedom to choose a life on the road, and millions of others around the world have done the same. The collision of faster technology with mobile connectivity produced a generation of nomadic entrepreneurs. Bloggers, vloggers, traders, writers, web developers, artists, musicians, digital assistants, and more -- untethered from cubicles and network cables -- became the norm. If we can earn the same income from a beach in Tofino as we can in a downtown urban setting, what’s stopping us? 

5G networks in Canada will transform our world into one of invention and opportunity. On a large scale, 5G will create smart cities with self-driving cars, virtual health care, agricultural technology, immersive education, and the ability to connect 1,000,000 devices per square kilometre. On a small scale, the most data-hungry among us can say goodbye to buffering and progress bars. In the future, 5G will be 20x faster than current 4G LTE speeds. How does a world feel with no loading time? Pretty darn good.

We had fibre connectivity in our last condo at 1.5 gigabytes per second, and it made work vastly easier and more enjoyable. However, we were limited to staying within our condo to access those speeds. It was a Catch 22: our “untethered” jobs become tied to home networks or internet cafés for big data transfers. TELUS has an award-winning, world-class 4G LTE network and even with all that speed, 5G is expected to eclipse today’s networks. The fastest 5G speeds will be available on TELUS’s network and are sure to enhance the online experience for both creators and users. The more data that can be transmitted at top speed, the more productive our systems will be. The faster we can complete tasks, the more time we can spend in exploring this great country.

A woman at her desk using a computer.

The fastest 5G speeds will be available on TELUS’s award-winning networks and are sure to enhance the online experience for both creators and users.

But, how will 5G help our online business?

The internet has been our biggest obstacle when it comes to life on the road. Sim card shopping, roaming charges, asking “what’s the WiFi password?” at every restaurant -- it gets cumbersome after a while. Patience shouldn’t be wasted on technology, it’s better spent waiting for a shooting star while camping with loved ones, don’t you agree? Our business relies heavily on mass amounts of digital data flowing up and down the web every single day. We are infinitely more productive when we have a strong and reliable internet connection. Weekly, we transfer 300+GB of files to our teams around the globe. 5G will turn hours of upload/download time into mere minutes, even seconds. We could finish our work while ordering a coffee rather than sitting in a café for hours. Having 5G speeds broadcast across a city will modify our workflow for hyper-efficiency. This generates faster turn-around time for our clients and the ability to work with higher quality files on the road. We can start to work with 4K and 8k video files without issue for the first time. Mass uploads and downloads will be commonplace. Live streaming in 360 to our audience will be seamless with sharp resolution and no freezing or pixelation. Hard drive space will be replaced by cloud storage with instant access so fast, we’ll wonder if it was on our devices. For the first time in our careers, we won’t be waiting for the internet to get the job done, the internet will be waiting for us to create more.

Government policies have made the digital divide in Canada worse, leaving some rural Canadians without optimal internet. You can help change that.

As TELUS rolls out with 5G in select cities across Canada this year, we can’t wait to put their network to the test. On our road trip in Luna, we’ll be documenting our adventures and sharing first-hand reviews of TELUS’s 5G network in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton – with more to come. 

A 1976 airstream named Luna, a high-tech tiny home on wheels.

This summer, the family has set off on a road trip across Canada in their 1976 airstream named Luna, a high-tech tiny home on wheels.

Having a home on wheels has many advantages, especially when it means we can escape quarantined city life and venture deep into this beautiful country. And when we need to be connected, we’ll find an area with a 5G signal that guarantees extra hustle.

How will 5G change the way you work?

Two men standing in a field smiling and looking at an tablet.

Help support rural Canadian connectivity

Better government policies are needed to help rural Canadians gain access to high speed internet.

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