Telus Mobility

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Telus Mobility Inc.
Type Subsidiary
Industry Mobile network operator
Founded Alberta (1984)
Headquarters Alberta, Canada
Products Feature phones, mobile broadband modems, smartphones (Android, BlackBerry OS, iOS, Windows Phone), tablet computers
Services CDMA2000 (including EV-DO), HSPA (including HSPA+), LTE, mobile broadband, SMS, telephony
Parent Telus
Website www.telusmobility.com/en/

Telus Mobility is a division of Telus which sells wireless services in Canada on its numerous networks. It currently has three different networks based on four different technologies: CDMA, HSPA+, and LTE on its mainstream networks, plus iDEN via its Mike division. As of Q4 2013, TELUS is Canada's second largest cellphone provider with a subscriber base of over 7.8 million of which 86% on postpaid plans and 14% are on prepaid plans.[1]

As of 2014, TELUS Mobility has completed the purchase of Public Mobile. Public Mobile operates as a MVNO on the Telus 4G network. The purchase of Public Mobile increased TELUS' subcriber base to 8.0 million.

Since 2008, TELUS has operated a MVNO named Koodo Mobile. Koodo is targeted at high school, college and university students, much like the now-defunct Amp'd Mobile Canada that preceded it in 2007.

History[edit]

1980s[edit]

TELUS Mobility (AGT Mobility)was formed in 1982 to provide an analog mobile network for Alberta's natural resources industries. It was the first mobile phone network in Canada. Analog services were available to the general public since 1986.

1990s[edit]

In 1992, TELUS launched North America's first digital mobile network. After being acquired by BC Telecom in 1998, TELUS Mobility expanded its coverage to British Columbia.[2] The company's website went online on October 14, 1999.[3] The following year it acquired Clearnet Communications and QuébecTel to expand its coverage to the eastern provinces. All these acquisitions, along with a tower sharing agreement with then-primarily Eastern Canada based Bell Mobility, allowed TELUS Mobility to serve a coast to coast CDMA network in all Canadian provinces.[4] Bell and TELUS continued their partnership for future network construction.

2000s[edit]

TELUS Mobility discontinued its AMPS analog network in February 2008, and launched its HSPA+ network in November 2009. Following both events, TELUS began a slow phasing out of CDMA devices, especially those that support both AMPS and CDMA technologies.

2010s[edit]

TELUS Mobility launched its LTE network in February 2012, and it stopped selling CDMA devices, except those on clearance.

In 2013, TELUS was approved by the Canadian government to purchase Public Mobile.

On March 27, 2014, Telus' Public Mobile customers were notified that Public Mobile's existing CDMA network would be shut down, by August 2014, and that customers wishing to continue service would need to buy phones compatible with Telus' 4G network. The last day of service on Public Mobile's CDMA network was August 8, 2014.

Networks[edit]

TELUS Mobility partners with Bell Mobility to operate three different kinds of nationwide networks in Canada. Both companies offer a legacy CDMA network from coast to coast in Canada's provinces, as well as an HSPA+ network with newer technology but slightly less coverage, and an LTE network which is only available in certain cities. TELUS Mobility also sells services on an Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN) via its Mike brand, which is exclusive to TELUS and not offered by any Bell brands.

AMPS (discontinued)[edit]

Due to the age and security problems of this technology, TELUS Mobility discontinued its AMPS analog mobile network in 2008. TELUS offered landlines to customers affected by this network's shutdown in rural areas, as digital signals are less reliable than analog ones in such areas.[5]

CDMA[edit]

Since the late 1990s, TELUS Mobility has operated a proprietary CDMA network with 3G Evolution-Data Optimized (Ev-DO) enhancements, but ceased expanding it towards the late 2000s. This is due to its limited worldwide popularity and roaming possibilities, and TELUS' increased focus on HSPA+ and LTE technologies.[6] Since launching its LTE network, TELUS has discontinued selling CDMA devices. The CDMA network remains available for customers with legacy devices.

Most of rural Manitoba, some of Northern Ontario, and a few other rural regions are only available to Telus customer on the CDMA network.[7] Telus will lose CDMA network coverage in Northern Ontario on October 1, 2014, when CDMA service it discontinued by its CDMA roaming partner, Tbaytel.[8]

On September 18, 2013, at a conference with investors, TELUS' Chief Financial Officer stated that he expected that TELUS' CDMA network would shut down within two years.[9]

On October 17, 2013, an internal memo from Telus revealed that TELUS' CDMA Ev-DO network in British Columbia and Alberta (except Calgary and Edmonton) would be shut down on March 31, 2014.[10] The shut down of Ev-DO was extended to Calgary and Edmonton on November 3, 2014.[11] The internal memo also noted that the Telus' CDMA network would shut down in 2015. An internal memo from Bell Mobility, Telus' largest roaming partner, suggests that Telus' CDMA network will shut down on July 1, 2015.[12]

Public Mobile, which Telus purchased in 2013, operates a CDMA network. On March 27, 2014, Public Mobile customers were notified that this network would be shut down by August 2014, and that customers wishing to continue service would need to buy phones compatible with Telus' 4G network.[13] The last day of service on Public Mobile's CDMA network was August 8, 2014.[14]

iDEN[edit]

When TELUS Communications acquired Clearnet Communications in 1999, this included an Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN) branded as Mike by Clearnet. TELUS Mobility continues to maintain the network to this day, with the same logo and branding. The only difference is that any references to Clearnet have been changed to TELUS.

In October 2013, launched TELUS Link, a push-to-talk service over HSPA+, LTE, and wifi. This service runs on iOS, Android, and Blackberry devices, and is intended to replace the iDEN network. According to Telus, the iDEN network would remain active for at least two years after the launch of TELUS Link.[15]

On February 13, 2014, TELUS released its fourth quarter 2013 results. TELUS noted that, "Effective with the fourth quarter of 2013, and on a prospective basis, we have adjusted postpaid wireless subscribers to remove Mike subscriptions, as we have ceased marketing the Mike product and started to turn down the iDEN network. Cumulative subscriber connections include an October 1, 2013 adjustment to remove from the postpaid wireless subscriber base approximately 94,000 Mike subscribers representing those who, in our judgment, are unlikely to migrate to our new services."[16]

HSPA+[edit]

On November 5, 2009, TELUS launched HSPA+ services the day after Bell launched its such network.[17] This newer technology eliminates many of the limitations found with CDMA technology. The launch of this additional network allowed TELUS to become the third Canadian carrier to offer iPhone products. The HSPA+ network meant that TELUS saved money by avoiding the purchase of expensive CDMA-based devices while obtaining the more popular HSPA devices at a lower cost.

The combined single-channel HSPA+ network is available to 97% of the Canadian population, but there are cases where CDMA service is available where HSPA+ service is not. It provides download speeds of up to 21 Mbit/s, with typical speeds ranging between 4 and 6 Mbit/s. About 70% of the Canadian population are located in TELUS' dual-channel coverage areas, which doubles the maximum throughput to 42 Mbit/s with typical speeds of 7 to 14 Mbit/s.[18]

This network operates on the frequencies of 850/1900 MHz. Although Rogers Wireless and its brand Fido operate HSPA+ networks separate from TELUS and Bell, they transmit using the same frequencies. While TELUS and Bell use the HSPA+ standard as established by the GSM group, neither company operates a basic 2G GSM network.

TELUS' HSPA+ network coverage is in all Canadian provinces and two territories, but it is not possible to drive in Canada between the Pacific coast and the Atlantic coast without going through areas without any cellular coverage, as there are gaps in cellular coverage in British Columbia, Manitoba, and Ontario.[19]

LTE[edit]

LTE service for TELUS launched on February 10, 2012 through a partnership with Bell.[20] It provides download speeds of up to 75 Mbit/s, with typical speeds ranging between 12 and 25 Mbit/s. TELUS charges the same price for its HSPA+ and LTE services.[21]

As of October 2014, LTE coverage is primarily in mid to large sized cities, and is a fraction of the coverage area of TELUS' HSPA+ network. Thetford Mines, QC (population 27,968) is the largest Canadian community without LTE coverage from TELUS. Except near Canada's largest metropolitan areas, contiguous LTE coverage does not exist between communities.

Products[edit]

Telus' product lineup mainly consists of smartphones but also includes a few feature phones. Smartphones are currently sold with one of four operating systems preloaded: Android, BlackBerry OS, iOS or Windows Phone.

TELUS also sells several mobile broadband modems for use with its mobile broadband service. All modems currently sold support HSPA+ and LTE, and can connect to a personal computer via an Universal Serial Bus (USB) port, while some also provide Internet access to multiple devices via Wi-Fi and thus do not require a wired connection.

Services[edit]

Voice[edit]

TELUS Mobility sells a variety of voice plans. These include a fixed amount of minutes plus unlimited calling on weeknights, weekends and with up to four other TELUS lines on the same account. Caller ID and a basic voicemail for up to three messages are also included as calling features, although airtime is charged for accessing the latter. All voice plans except for the least expensive one also allow the choice of one additional feature: double minutes, five favourite numbers or unlimited Canada-wide SMS/MMS messaging. For the five favourite numbers, unlimited calling is available in either local or Canada-wide options while messaging to these numbers is Canada-wide.

Partners Skype and Telehop offer long distance services for TELUS Mobility customers. The first service uses Voice over IP (VoIP) and requires a mobile broadband connection, while the latter uses traditional telephony through the dialing code #100. The Telehop service, which deducts minutes when used during weekdays, cannot be use for calls terminating in Canada or the United States.

Mobile Internet[edit]

TELUS offers several Internet-only and smartphone plans and add-ons for customers wishing to access mobile broadband. Only one plan can be added per device, and certain plans are only available for certain devices.

Some grandfathered customers have an unlimited mobile Internet plan or add-on. These are usually limited to older and slower CDMA devices and normally cannot be used for tethering unless the device is a mobile broadband modem.

Mobile payment[edit]

See also: Mobile payment

TELUS Mobility postpaid customers with a compatible smartphone can subscribe to Rdio or Skype and be billed for the service on their monthly bill. Use of either service on the TELUS Mobility network requires a subscription to one of the provider's data plans or add-ons.[22]

Controversy[edit]

Project Cleanfeed Canada[edit]

In November 2006, supposedly to prevent access to child pornography sites, TELUS and many other Internet service providers agreed to partner with Cybertip.ca[23] with the latter organization's Project Cleanfeed Canada. This project is an initiative which backers claim is designed to block access to child pornography on the Internet via an encrypted blacklist of known sites that host images of prepubescent children.[24] TELUS Mobility customers using mobile Internet services cannot access the sites blocked by the project.

The initiative has been denounced, as it is fundamentally a censorship system applied to public communications.[25] Critics point out, that, among other problems common to censorship systems, it could easily later be re-purposed, perhaps quietly or too quickly to stop, for whatever desired object, that may have nothing whatsoever to do with the reasons backers claimed to have built/to be building it for. See Project Cleanfeed: Censorship in Canada.

Sale of pornography[edit]

In 2007, TELUS Mobility began selling in-house pay-per-download pornographic entertainment, including explicit pictures and videos, via its phones.[26] Industry analysts described the action, the first by a North American wireless company, as a landmark move.[27] However, the company later discontinued sales of such content in response to objections from religious groups.[28][29]

Incoming text message fee[edit]

In July 2008, TELUS Mobility and Bell Mobility simultaneously introduced charges of 15¢ for every incoming text message received by all customers not subscribed to a text messaging plan. Critics were quick to point out that there is no way of blocking incoming message fees and suggested TELUS and Bell were price fixing as both had announced the fees simultaneously.[30] Both companies have been sued by frustrated consumers and subscribers, as they demand change in text charges.[31] Many customers were frustrated because this fee also applies to existing customers with ongoing contracts.[32] Note that as of 2014, the only plans in which Telus and Bell charge per message (either outgoing or incoming) are pay-per-use prepaid plans.[33][34] All monthly rate plans include at least unlimited domestic messaging.[35] Additionally, Telus Media Inquiries agent Shawn Hall explained in a press release that charges elicited from unwanted message spam can be waived at the customer's request.[36][37]

Philanthropy[edit]

From 2008 to 2011 inclusively, TELUS Mobility sold pink BlackBerry phones. This included the BlackBerry Curve and the BlackBerry Pearl consumer models.[38] In 2012, TELUS introduced a new campaign entitled "$25 for Free the Children" to replace the breast cancer campaign. For every purchase of the Samsung Galaxy S III or the Samsung Galaxy Ace Q, TELUS will donate $25 to Free the Children, up to a maximum of $650,000. Both phones include a We Day-themed gel skin to fit the respective phone purchased.[39]

Retail presence[edit]

Prepaid TELUS Mobility phones and vouchers are sold at Zellers.

TELUS Mobility has its own corporate retail stores and also allows third parties to become exclusive dealers. Best Buy, Future Shop, Loblaw Companies and Walmart stores in Canada provide TELUS products along with prepaid and postpaid services, although some Loblaw-branded stores do not sell prepaid phones or any phones at all. Additionally, Zellers stores sold prepaid feature phones and top-up vouchers. Loblaw stores have a special booth, called The Mobile Shop, where the phones are displayed.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ TELUS History
  3. ^ TELUS Mobility 1999
  4. ^ Clearnet coverage map in 1998
  5. ^ "CBC News - British Columbia - Telus upgrade could hurt rural B.C. cell customers". Cbc.ca. 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2010-03-16. [dead link]
  6. ^ [2], CBC announcement.
  7. ^ "Network coverage". Telus Communications. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  8. ^ CDMA Mobility Network Decommissioning
  9. ^ Telus weighs mothballing legacy wireless network to cut costs
  10. ^ TELUS aims to shut down its CDMA network in 2015
  11. ^ CDMA Network Changes in Canada
  12. ^ Bell lays out plan to shutter its CDMA network by January 1st, 2017
  13. ^ Telus’s decision to shut Public Mobile angers consumers
  14. ^ Our new 4G network is ready
  15. ^ TELUS launches Link, the LTE-powered push-to-talk network
  16. ^ | TELUS Reports Fourth Quarter 2013 Results and Announces 2014 Financial Targets
  17. ^ Bell, TELUS Prepare for 3G HSPA Network Launch
  18. ^ 3G+ network
  19. ^ Coverage within Canada | Travel | Plans | TELUS Mobility
  20. ^ Trichur, Rita (2012-02-09). "Telus launches LTE wireless in 14 cities". Toronto: Globe and Mail. 
  21. ^ Hardy, Ian. "TELUS is not introducing a premium 4G LTE-only rate plan". Mobile Syrup. Retrieved 2012-01-30. 
  22. ^ Rdio | TELUS Mobility
  23. ^ Cybertip.ca
  24. ^ Michael Geist (2006-11-24). "Project Cleanfeed Canada". Michael Geist. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  25. ^ Michael Geist (2006-12-04). "Child porn plan a risk worth taking". Toronto: TheStar.com. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  26. ^ Naked ambitions put Telus on the spot
  27. ^ Unnati Gandhi (2007-02-13). "Is Telus willing to accept the scorn with its porn?". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. 
  28. ^ Chris Fournier (2007-02-21). "Telus Stops Selling Porn After Protests From Catholic Church". Bloomberg. 
  29. ^ World Business Briefing | Americas: Canada: Pornography Service Halted
  30. ^ http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2008/07/08/text-messages.htm.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  31. ^ http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/news/business/story.html?id=037f5454-2f18-4c3f-808c-f6240c5191b2
  32. ^ http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080728/text_message_fees_080728/20080728?hub=Canada
  33. ^ Telus Mobility. [3] Retrieved March 29 2014
  34. ^ Bell Mobility. [4] Retrieved March 29 2014
  35. ^ Telus Mobility. [5] Retrieved March 29 2014
  36. ^ Canada Classic Edition. [6] Retrieved March 29 2014.
  37. ^ Telus. [7] Retrieved March 29 2014.
  38. ^ "Go Pink". Telus Communications. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  39. ^ "$25 for Free The Children". Telus Communications. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 

External links[edit]