Tuesday, June 6, 2017

TELUS to invest C$4.2nn to upgrade network in Alberta

Canadian operator TELUS announced that it plans to invest C$4.2 billion in new communications infrastructure in Alberta over the period to 2020, including over C$900 million in 2017.

The network expansion program will include extending TELUS' gigabit-enabled PureFibre network directly to thousands more homes and businesses in rural and urban communities across the province, enhancing 4G LTE wireless service and continuing work to develop and test next-generation 5G wireless service, as well as improving support for key sectors such as healthcare and education.

TELUS noted that it recently launched a program to support vulnerable populations in Alberta with the introduction of broadband Internet service for low-income single-parent families receiving income or disability assistance from the provincial government for less than C$10 per month.

The TELUS investment in Alberta forms part of the company's national program to upgrade its network infrastructure. When announcing its financial results for the first quarter, TELUS stated it had invested C$724 billion in its networks in the first quarter and updated its consolidated financial targets for 2017, including revenue and EBITDA following closing of the agreement with Bell under which approximately 100,000 Bell MTS postpaid wireless customers and 15 dealer locations were acquired by TELUS.

In particular, TELUS raised its consolidated capex target to reflect the ongoing fibre network rollout and to support increased wireless network investments in Manitoba, as well as for its small-cell technology strategy designed to improve coverage and prepare for the introduction of 5G technology. TELUS now plans capex of approximately C$3.0 billion, up from the previous C$2.9 billion in 2017.

TELUS also announced it had reached a milestone ahead of Canada's 150th birthday, specifically that by the end of the year the company would have invested over C$150 billion in capital and operations to build and support network infrastructure across the country since 2000.

TELUS generates around C$12.9 billion in annual revenue and has 12.7 million subscriber connections, including 8.6 million wireless subscribers, 1.7 million high-speed Internet subscribers, 1.4 million residential network access lines and 1.1 million TELUS TV customers.