Questions and answers

Growing communication

Q

What is TELUS doing to ensure its networks are keeping up with customer growth and the surge in data traffic and demand?

Eros Spadotto

Eros Spadotto

Executive Vice-President, Technology Strategy and Operations

For TELUS, technology is a key enabler to serve our growing customer base. We are diligent in focusing our short and long-term technology strategy to optimize the selection and timing of technology upgrades to deliver innovative solutions for the benefit of our customers, while driving growth and earning an attractive return for our investors.

Wireless access network

The tremendous growth of wireless data use on our networks, which took centre stage in 2010 with the proliferation of smartphone devices, is projected to accelerate even more in the years ahead. This growth is further accentuated by the ongoing enhancements of wireless device capabilities, and by the affordability of smartphones and high-usage data devices, such as mobile Internet keys and tablets.

For TELUS, technology is a key enabler to serve our growing customer base.

In 2009, TELUS built and launched an extensive 4G wireless network based on HSPA+ technologies offering service to 97 per cent of the Canadian population. In 2011, we upgraded three-quarters of this network to faster HSPA+ dual-cell technology, delivering superior data capabilities and higher network capacity to support more traffic and deliver higher mobile data speeds.

The HSPA+ infrastructure, including cell-site backhaul over fibre and software-upgradeable radio networks, facilitated the upgrade to long-term evolution (LTE) technology, which further increased network capacity and speed. TELUS launched LTE services commercially in major urban markets in February 2012. To expand the LTE network into rural Canada, we intend to participate in the upcoming spectrum auction to obtain a share of the 700 MHz spectrum.

The tremendous growth of wireless data use on our networks, which took centre stage in 2010 with the proliferation of smartphone devices, is projected to accelerate even more in the years ahead.

TELUS' 4G LTE network offers some of the fastest wireless download speeds in Canada, while at the same time introducing significant improvements in performance. As this network continues to evolve to LTE-advanced over the next several years, we expect an increase in network capacity, enhanced performance, reduced delivery costs per megabyte of data, and the enablement of richer multimedia applications and services for customers.

In parallel, and complementary to the evolution and growth of HSPA+ and LTE networks, TELUS is developing a comprehensive capacity toolkit, which includes multi-layer radio access (macro cells with embedded small cells and Wi-Fi) and traffic optimization solutions to address traffic growth and enhance performance.

The following table shows the tremendous reduction in time required to download a full CD music album (600 megabytes) as our network has evolved to 4G LTE.

4G NETWORK AVERAGE EXPECTED SPEED1
(megabits per second)
EXPECTED CD DOWNLOAD TIME2
(minutes)
HSPA+ 4 to 6 10 to 20
Dual-cell HSPA+ 7 to 14 6 to 12
LTE 12 to 25 3.5 to 7
  • 1 Actual speed may vary by device being used, topography and environmental conditions, network congestion, signal strength and other factors.
  • 2 Example of downloading a 600 MB file (e.g. a full CD album).

Wireline access network

We continue to evolve our wireline access network to deliver higher broadband access speeds by deploying fibre further out from the central office, thus shortening the copper loop portion of the access network and using faster modem technologies on the shortened loops. The evolution is driven by our customers' appetite for faster connectivity and our desire to offer enhanced services, such as Optik TV, that require greater bandwidth.

Over the past two years, as part of our multi-year broadband build program, TELUS has been upgrading existing ADSL2+ infrastructure in urban areas in our Western Canada and Eastern Quebec regions to VDSL2 to increase the available bandwidth to homes. VDSL2 technology permits typical down-link rates of up to 30 megabits per second (Mbps) for the majority of our customers, enabling us to offer enhanced Optik High-Speed Internet service and high-definition TV viewing as part of our home service bundle.

TELUS' enhanced broadband footprint now covers close to 2.3 million homes in B.C., Alberta and Eastern Quebec.

In November 2011, TELUS became the first Canadian operator to deploy VDSL2 bonding technology when we launched service in Rimouski and Eastern Quebec, achieving speeds of 50 Mbps and even faster speeds with shorter loop lengths. The results achieved in Quebec will help TELUS evaluate technology options for Alberta and B.C. In addition, TELUS continues to deploy fibre-to-the-home access using gigabit passive optical network (GPON) technology to connect new residential, condo and apartment developments.

TELUS' enhanced broadband footprint now covers close to 2.3 million homes in B.C., Alberta and Eastern Quebec.

Converged core network

Over the past decade we have successfully future-proofed our infrastructure by converging to one large IP core network, which has enabled us to meet the rapid TV, Internet and wireless data traffic growth.

We are well positioned to integrate our robust converged core network with the new next generation wireless and wireline access technologies as they evolve to deliver access network convergence, and to meet our customers' evolving voice, data and video services and traffic needs – at home, at work and on the go. This should allow TELUS to maintain high service levels for our customers, further enhance the customer experience and strengthen our competitive position.

$21,400,000,000

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Investments fuel growth

Since 2000, TELUS' capital expenditures and spectrum acquisitions have totalled more than $21 billion. This commitment to investing enables us to support our growing customer base and their everincreasing appetite for data, continue evolving our networks with the latest technology and innovative services, and ensure the reliability of our robust networks. As a result, Canadians now enjoy some of the most advanced wireless and wireline broadband networks in the world.