|By Marketwired .||
|February 19, 2014 05:46 PM EST||
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 02/19/14 -- (TSX: T)(NYSE: TU) - TELUS today announced it has secured spectrum licences equating to a national average of 16.6 MHz in Canada's recently concluded 700 MHz spectrum auction. These licences, which were acquired for $1.14 billion, will enable TELUS to deliver enhanced mobile broadband connectivity to its consumer and business customers nationwide, building on its existing national 4G LTE network, already one of the fastest and most reliable wireless networks in the world. The highly competitive auction marks the first time 700 MHz spectrum has been made available to Canadian wireless carriers. This band of spectrum is prized for its ability to penetrate into buildings and propagate over long distances.
"The acquisition of this spectrum will ensure TELUS continues to deliver world-class speed, coverage and reliability," said TELUS President and CEO Darren Entwistle. "Canadians lead the world in wireless data consumption, and the deployment of next generation technology is critical to ensuring that we continue to provide advanced services to our customers. Today we deliver 4G LTE to 80 per cent of Canada's population. The addition of this 700 MHz spectrum will enable us to expand our LTE coverage into rural areas, extending TELUS' national 4G LTE network to 97 per cent of the population well in advance of the auction's build requirements. Moreover, the spectrum will enable us to further enhance our coverage in urban areas, adding much needed capacity for our more than 7.8 million customers. Indeed, we have already begun to prepare our wireless cell sites to deploy 700 MHz spectrum, and plan to begin operationalizing the spectrum for the benefit of our customers as soon as it is made available to us later this year. Given our strong balance sheet, TELUS is able to make this and other investments in our networks and services while continuing to return significant amounts of cash to shareholders through our multi-year share purchase and dividend growth programs, which will continue unabated."
Mr. Entwistle added, "Canada has the highest private sector investment per access path in telecom networks in the world. Indeed, according to OECD data, Canadian carriers invest three times the world average in infrastructure per subscriber. This investment in world-leading networks has resulted in Canada having wireless data speeds that are the second fastest in the world, with Canadian subscribers experiencing speeds more than twice the typical speeds in Germany and Italy, three times the average speeds offered in the U.S. and France, and nine times faster than the U.K. Clearly, this has underpinned Canada having the third-highest rate of smartphone penetration in the world."
Mr. Entwistle continued, "TELUS alone has invested more than $2.4 billion in spectrum-related costs since the 2008 AWS auction, and has invested more than $30 billion in technology across the country since 2000. Likewise, Canadian carriers have invested approximately $10.5 billion in spectrum-related costs since 2008, equating to $381 for each Canadian wireless subscriber. At the end of the day, it is not technology in and of itself that matters, but rather the service quality through which it is delivered and the commercial and social outcomes it realizes for customers. In this regard, TELUS has been recognized as standing apart from the competition by our industry's complaints commissioner, analysts including J.D. Power and Associates, and our customers themselves."
Mr. Entwistle concluded, "The significant cost of spectrum is competing with the higher levels of investment required for Canada's digital economy. Our industry's ability to invest in Canadian innovation that drives economic growth for small businesses, as well as better educational opportunities and healthcare outcomes, is fundamental to Canada's competitiveness and the well-being and prosperity of its citizens. Going forward, Canada's policy objectives need to take these factors into explicit consideration."
TELUS' national average of 16.6 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band is comprised of the following licences:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Region Frequency Spectrum Blocks Acquisition ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Southern Ontario, Northern Ontario, Northern C2 10 MHz Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia & PEI, Newfoundland & Labrador ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yukon, Northwest Territories & Nunavut C 10 MHz ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- British Columbia, Alberta, Eastern Ontario, C, D, E 20 MHz Southern Quebec, Eastern Quebec ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Saskatchewan, Manitoba A, B, D, E 30 MHz ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Forward Looking Statements
This media release contains statements about future events, including with respect to spectrum deployment and network build-out plans, and our multi-year dividend growth and normal course issuer bid programs that are forward-looking. By their nature, forward-looking statements require the company to make assumptions and predictions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. There is significant risk that the forward-looking statements will not prove to be accurate and there can be no assurances that TELUS will complete these plans or maintain these programs. Future dividend payments and share purchases through TELUS' normal course issuer bid are subject to ongoing Board assessment and approval. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a number of factors (such as regulatory and government decisions, competitive environment, our earnings and free cash flow, and capital expenditures and spectrum licence purchases, and a change in our intention to purchase shares or increase dividends) could cause actual future performance and events to differ materially from that expressed in the forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, TELUS disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements.
TELUS (TSX: T)(NYSE: TU) is Canada's fastest-growing national telecommunications company, with $11.4 billion of annual revenue and 13.3 million customer connections, including 7.8 million wireless subscribers, 3.3 million wireline network access lines, 1.4 million Internet subscribers and 815,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video.
In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed more than $350 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 5.4 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.
For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.
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