TELUS secures critically important 3500 MHz spectrum licences

·5 min read

16.4 MHz of premium-band spectrum purchased in the auction for $1.95B, bringing combined national holdings to 25 MHz, averaging 40 MHz in our key markets

3500 MHz spectrum will enable TELUS to unleash the full potential of 5G technology for Canadians

Canada’s policy objectives must ensure a fair auction framework for the upcoming 3800 MHz spectrum auction

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 29, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TELUS today announced the acquisition of new 3500 MHz spectrum licences in B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec at a cost of $1.95 billion. Combined with the spectrum it acquired privately in January 2021, TELUS now holds licences to an average of 25 MHz of 3500 spectrum nationally and 40 MHz in our key markets, at an average price of $2.53 per MHz-pop. These licences will enable TELUS to deliver enhanced mobile 5G broadband connectivity to its customers nationwide. The 3500 MHz band is mid-band spectrum that has become the critical global band for 5G innovation, as it offers the best combination of speed, capacity -- due to its wide channels and improved latency performance -- and coverage.

“TELUS is proud of our storied history of building and operating the world’s best networks, enabled by our talented engineers and technology innovators, complemented by our award winning service that reflects our team’s passion for putting customers first,” said Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO. “Indeed, by securing spectrum critical to bring transformational, next-generation, 5G connectivity to Canadians, TELUS is able to continue to offer the globally leading network speed, coverage and reliability our fellow citizens need to realise improved outcomes in our digital world. Importantly, TELUS’ wireless network being the fastest on a global basis truly matters as it drives the innovation that enables the diversity and competitiveness of our country’s private sector, supporting economic growth and job creation for our nation. It also matters because it helps us answer society’s most pressing social challenges in health, education, food security and climate change, while improving economic equality for the benefit of all Canadians.”

Canada’s 3500 MHz clock auction format drove $8.91 billion in revenue for the Canadian government. In the U.S., carriers paid on average $1.19 per MHz-pop in the Federal Communication Commission’s most recent 5G spectrum auction, which concluded in January. By contrast, Canadian national carriers paid more than 2.8 times as much, at $3.28 per MHz-pop. The results of 5G spectrum auctions around the globe show that international carriers pay much less for this resource than their Canadian counterparts. As a result, the impact of 5G on the Canadian economy will not transpire at the same level as other OECD countries, given our regulatory conditions and spectrum policies.

“Canada’s position as a global leader in broadband networks is vulnerable to burdensome regulations governing access to spectrum. Going forward, if we are to truly benefit all Canadians, accelerate the government’s innovation and affordability agendas, and transition successfully into a 5G digital world, we need responsible, forward looking and predictable regulatory policy that ensures affordable, fair and expeditious access to this national asset so we can continue building our world-leading networks,” said Mr. Entwistle.

In fact, GSMA estimates that the telecom industry will generate over $200 billion in GDP. Notwithstanding, Canada could create, at minimum, an additional $30 billion of GDP if our spectrum policy was aligned with OECD best practices1.

Forward-Looking Statements

This media release contains statements about future events, including with respect to spectrum deployment and network build-out plans. 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. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a number of factors (such as regulatory and government decisions, the competitive environment, our earnings and free cash flow, and capital expenditures and spectrum licence purchases) could cause actual future performance and events to differ materially from that expressed in the forward-looking statements. Accordingly, this news release is subject to the disclaimer and qualified by the assumptions, qualifications and risk factors referred to in our Management’s discussion and analysis in our 2018 Annual Report, and in other TELUS public disclosure documents and filings with securities commissions in Canada (on SEDAR at sedar.com) and in the United States (the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system, administered by the US Securities and Exchange Commission at sec.gov). The forward-looking statements contained in this news release describe our expectations at the date of this news release and, accordingly, are subject to change after such date. Except as required by law, TELUS disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements.

About TELUS
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is a dynamic, world-leading communications technology company with $16 billion in annual revenue and 16 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video, and security. We leverage our global-leading technology and compassion to enable remarkable human outcomes. Our longstanding commitment to putting our customers first fuels every aspect of our business, making us a distinct leader in customer service excellence and loyalty. In 2020, TELUS was recognized as having the fastest wireless network in the world, reinforcing our commitment to provide Canadians with access to superior technology that connects us to the people, resources and information that make our lives better. TELUS Health is Canada’s leader in digital health technology, improving access to health and wellness services and revolutionizing the flow of health information across the continuum of care. TELUS Agriculture provides innovative digital solutions throughout the agriculture value chain, supporting better food outcomes from improved agri-business data insights and processes. TELUS International (TSX and NYSE: TIXT) is a leading digital customer experience innovator that delivers next-generation AI and content management solutions for global brands across the technology and games, ecommerce and FinTech, communications and media, healthcare, travel and hospitality sectors. TELUS and TELUS International operate in 25+ countries around the world. Together, let’s make the future friendly.

Driven by our passionate social purpose to connect all citizens for good, our deeply meaningful and enduring philosophy to give where we live has inspired TELUS, our team members and retirees to contribute more than $820 million and 1.6 million days of service since 2000. This unprecedented generosity and unparalleled volunteerism have made TELUS the most giving company in the world.

For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com, follow us @TELUSNews on Twitter and @Darren_Entwistle on Instagram.

For more information, please contact:

Kalene DeBaeremaeker
TELUS Public Relations
613-857-1758
Kalene.DeBaeremaeker@telus.com

1https://data.gsmaintelligence.com/api-web/v2/research-file-download?id=54165916&file=051120-5G-in-Canada.pdf


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