TELUS  is investing $650 million across Alberta this year to further expand and enhance its wireless and wireline networks. This year’s network investment builds upon the $23 billion TELUS has invested in its operations and technology in the province in the last 10 years.
In 2011, TELUS will continue to invest in its Optik TV and high-speed Internet services as it lays thousands of kilometers of fibre optic lines to support growing demand in Alberta. The company will also deliver Albertans access to even better and faster wireless broadband services by installing 80 new cell sites and introducing HSPA+ Dual Cell technology, one of the most advanced wireless technologies in the world.
After a decade of focused investment in leading-edge technology TELUS has:
* Brought TELUS wireless service to 99 per cent of Alberta’s population. With the introduction of a world-leading 4G wireless network offering manufacturer rated peak download speeds of up to 21 megabits per second – and soon up to 42 megabits per second (Speed may vary due to the device being used, network congestion, distance from the cell site, local conditions and other factors.) – Albertans have access to extremely fast wireless high-speed Internet anywhere within TELUS’ vast network coverage area.
* Made wireline broadband available to 95 per cent of Alberta households, including a selection of Internet plans with speeds up to 25 megabits per second. The company also expanded availability of TELUS’ Optik TV to more than 1 million households across Alberta. By the end of last year, 314,000 customers had switched their TV service to TELUS.
* Enabled health care institutions to improve the flow of information across the continuum of care through electronic health records accessible on both wireless and wireline networks. Recently, 2000 TELUS team members and their families began a pilot of TELUS Health Space; paving the way for millions of Canadians to take control of their own health records with the ultimate goal of shifting the focus from remediation to prevention of disease.
“Our planned $650 million investment this year in advanced communications technology continues TELUS’ proud history of providing Albertans with access to telecommunications and entertainment services that are the envy of the world,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO. “This year, TELUS will continue to bring the innovations of Optik TV and faster Internet speeds to even more Albertans. We will continue to bring Albertans faster wireless broadband services as we introduce HSPA+ Dual Cell technology, one of the most advanced wireless technologies in the world, to more communities. TELUS is also committed to working with all levels of government in Alberta to advance the provision of life-changing healthcare and education services over our networks.”
By the end of 2010, TELUS had installed the infrastructure necessary to bring wireline broadband Internet speeds of up to 25 megabits per second and Optik TV to more than 1 million households in Alberta communities including Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Red Deer, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, to name a few. Optik TV runs over a high-speed Internet connection, providing customers with game-changing services and features as well as more than 480 channels, including 85 in High Definition (HD).
In 2011, TELUS will also continue to expand its 4G wireless network across Alberta. Already the most extensive network in the province reaching 99 per cent of the population, TELUS will install about 80 new cell sites to bring service to even more rural communities and highway corridors and strengthen its coverage in urban centres. Earlier this year, TELUS announced it will introduce the Dual Cell upgrade to its HSPA+ network, doubling the manufacturer rated peak wireless Internet speeds to up to 42 megabits per second.
Mr. Entwistle added TELUS’ commitment to Alberta communities extends beyond infrastructure and new services.
“Since 2000, TELUS has partnered with our 14,000 Alberta team members and retirees to contribute $82 million and 1.1 million volunteer hours to charitable and community organizations in all corners of Alberta,” Mr. Entwistle said. “Building on our heartfelt tradition of community giving, this year alone TELUS plans to contribute $12 million to charitable organizations and community initiatives in the province.”
TELUS was recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals as the 2010 Most Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation globally, the first time a Canadian company has ever received this international honour. TELUS has supported more than 1,000 Alberta charitable and non-profit organizations, including the TELUS World of Science in Calgary and Edmonton, the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta, the Calgary Humane Society, the Canadian Cancer Society (Alberta/North West Territories Division) and the Alberta Cancer Foundation. In addition, TELUS has donated $1.1 million to community organizations in Airdire, Ft. McMurray, Grand Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer, with its Optik TV campaigns. Moreover, the TELUS Edmonton and Calgary Community Boards supported their respective communities with $6.6 million in funding for Edmonton and Calgary charities since 2005. In total, TELUS has donated over $25 million in charitable funding in Alberta in 2010 and 2011.
The capital investment disclosed in this release is consistent with TELUS’ overall capital expenditure guidance for 2011.