Telus Mobility

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Telus Mobility Inc.
Industry Mobile network operator
Founded Edmonton, Alberta (1984)
Headquarters Vancouver, British Columbia
Products Feature phones, mobile broadband modems, smartphones (Android, BlackBerry OS, iOS, Windows Phone), tablet computers
Services CDMA2000, HSPA (including HSPA+), LTE, mobile broadband, SMS, telephony
Parent Telus

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 2014, TELUS is Canada's second largest cellphone provider with a subscriber base of over 8.30 million.[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 8.3 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.



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 became available to the general public in 1986.


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 central provinces. All these acquisitions, along with a tower-sharing agreement with then-primarily Eastern Canada based Bell Mobility, allowed TELUS Mobility offer its CDMA network in all Canadian provinces.[4] Bell and TELUS continued their partnership for future network construction.


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


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.

Telus shut down its pager network on March 31, 2015.[6]

Telus has started notifying its customers that the Mike iDEN network will be shut down on January 29, 2016.[7]


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.


Since the late 1990s, TELUS Mobility has operated a CDMA network, which included 3G Evolution-Data Optimized (Ev-DO) enhancements until it was shut down on Telus' cell phone towers in 2014. Telus Mobilicty ceased expanding the CDMA network towards the late 2000s. This is due to its limited worldwide popularity and roaming possibilities, and to TELUS' increased focus on HSPA+ and LTE technologies.[8] Since launching its LTE network, TELUS has discontinued selling CDMA devices. The CDMA network remains available for customers with legacy devices.

Telus lost CDMA network coverage in most of Northern Ontario on October 1, 2014, when CDMA service was discontinued by its partner, Tbaytel.[9]

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.[10]

In 2014, Telus shut down its Ev-DO network throughout British Columbia and Alberta.[11][12] In January 2015, a Telus representative in Quebec was quoted as saying that its CDMA network would no longer exist in 2016.[13]

As of January 31, 2015, Telus ceased offering roaming on CDMA outside of Canada and the United States.[14]

Public Mobile, which Telus purchased in 2013, operated 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.[15] The last day of service on Public Mobile's CDMA network was August 8, 2014.[16]


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.[17]

In January 2015, Telus started notifying its customers that the Mike network will be shut down on January 29, 2016.[7]


On November 5, 2009, TELUS launched HSPA+ services the day after Bell launched its such network; much of the 3G infrastructure is shared between the two carriers.[18] 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. 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.[19]

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 and Ontario.[20]


LTE service for TELUS launched on February 10, 2012 through a partnership with Bell.[21] 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.[22]

As of August 2015, LTE coverage is primarily in mid to large sized cities, and is a fraction of the coverage area of TELUS' HSPA+ network. Steinbach, MB (population 13,500) 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.

Bell Mobility, which shares towers and coverage with Telus, intends of expanding LTE coverage to 98% of the Canadian population by the end of 2015.[23] As a consequence, Telus' coverage will similarly expand. In April 2015, Telus announced that all of its wireless sites in British Columbia and Alberta will be upgraded to LTE.[24][25] According to Telus, as of June 30, 2015, it had LTE coverage to 95% of the Canadian population.[26]

As of October 2015, Telus has not launched voice over LTE (VoLTE). Consequently, all voice calls take place via its HSPA+ network. In December 2013, it was announced that Telus was using technology made by Ericsson, which can be used to allow VoLTE.[27]


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.



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.[28]


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[29] 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.[30] 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.[31] 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.[32] Industry analysts described the action, the first by a North American wireless company, as a landmark move.[33] However, the company later discontinued sales of such content in response to objections from religious groups.[34][35]

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.[36] Both companies have been sued by frustrated consumers and subscribers, as they demand change in text charges.[37] Many customers were frustrated because this fee also applies to existing customers with ongoing contracts.[38] 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.[39][40] All monthly rate plans include at least unlimited domestic messaging.[41] 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.[42][43]


From 2008 to 2011 inclusively, TELUS Mobility sold pink BlackBerry phones. This included the BlackBerry Curve and the BlackBerry Pearl consumer models.[44] 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.[45]

Retail presence[edit]

Prepaid TELUS phones

TELUS Mobility has its own corporate retail stores and also allows third parties to become exclusive dealers. Best Buy/Future Shop, Walmart and selected Loblaws stores in Canada provide TELUS products, prepaid and/or postpaid services.

The Loblaws PC Telecom mobile virtual network operator repackages a mix of Bell prepaid and Telus postpaid services;[46] some stores also offer handsets and prepaid minutes under the original network banners.

See also[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". 2008-08-29. Archived from the original on June 1, 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  6. ^ TELUS discontinuing pager service March 31st
  7. ^ a b Important Service Notice: Mike is retiring
  8. ^ [2], CBC announcement.
  9. ^ CDMA Mobility Network Decommissioning
  10. ^ Telus weighs mothballing legacy wireless network to cut costs
  11. ^ TELUS aims to shut down its CDMA network in 2015
  12. ^ CDMA Network Changes in Canada
  13. ^ Cellulaire: le réseau 2G en voie de disparaître au pays
  14. ^ Coverage maps & service availability
  15. ^ Telus’s decision to shut Public Mobile angers consumers
  16. ^ Our new 4G network is ready
  17. ^ TELUS launches Link, the LTE-powered push-to-talk network
  18. ^ Bell, TELUS Prepare for 3G HSPA Network Launch
  19. ^ 3G+ network
  20. ^ Coverage within Canada | Travel | Plans | TELUS Mobility
  21. ^ Trichur, Rita (2012-02-09). "Telus launches LTE wireless in 14 cities". Toronto: Globe and Mail. 
  22. ^ Hardy, Ian. "TELUS is not introducing a premium 4G LTE-only rate plan". Mobile Syrup. Retrieved 2012-01-30. 
  23. ^ Bell's 4G LTE wireless network now faster than ever
  24. ^ TELUS will invest $4.2 billion across Alberta through 2018
  25. ^ TELUS will invest $4 billion across British Columbia through 2018
  26. ^ [file:///C:/Users/Andrew/AppData/Local/Temp/Q2%202015%20Quarterly%20report,%20EN,%20Final.pdf TELUS reports strong results for second quarter 2015]
  27. ^ Telus Preps for VoLTE, RCS
  28. ^ Rdio | TELUS Mobility
  29. ^
  30. ^ Michael Geist (2006-11-24). "Project Cleanfeed Canada". Michael Geist. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  31. ^ Michael Geist (2006-12-04). "Child porn plan a risk worth taking". Toronto: Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  32. ^ Naked ambitions put Telus on the spot
  33. ^ Unnati Gandhi (2007-02-13). "Is Telus willing to accept the scorn with its porn?". Toronto: The Globe and Mail. 
  34. ^ Chris Fournier (2007-02-21). "Telus Stops Selling Porn After Protests From Catholic Church". Bloomberg. 
  35. ^ World Business Briefing | Americas: Canada: Pornography Service Halted
  36. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  37. ^
  38. ^
  39. ^ Telus Mobility. [3] Retrieved March 29, 2014
  40. ^ Bell Mobility. [4] Retrieved March 29, 2014
  41. ^ Telus Mobility. [5] Retrieved March 29, 2014
  42. ^ Canada Classic Edition. [6] Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  43. ^ Telus. [7] Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  44. ^ "Go Pink". Telus Communications. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  45. ^ "$25 for Free The Children". Telus Communications. Retrieved 2012-10-12. 
  46. ^

External links[edit]