Telus

Telus

Telus (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a national telecommunications company in Canada that provides a wide range of communications products and services including data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, entertainment and video. The company is based in Burnaby, British Columbia. Telus utilizes a CDMA 2000-based mobility phone network.

History

Telus Communications (Alberta) was created in 1990 by the government of Alberta as a holding company in order to facilitate the privatization of a crown corporation, the Alberta Government Telephones Commission (AGT). In 1995, it acquired Edmonton Telephones (Ed Tel) from the City of Edmonton making Telus the owner of all telephone service in the province. In 1996, Telus was introduced to the public as the consumer brand, replacing AGT and EdTel. In 1999, Telus Corporation was created by the merger of Telus (Alberta) and BCTel with the new entity retaining the Telus name. As a result of the merger Telus became Canada's second largest telcom with 22% of market share compared to Bell Canada's 42%.

In 2008, Telus discontinued its analog mobility phone network due to the lack of available parts for the equipment. A Telus spokesperson said they believed they were the last major mobility carrier to do so. Telus has offered a cost-sharing arrangement to bring landlines to customers who are effected by the analog network shutdown in rural areas as digital signals do not work as well as analog ones in such areas.

Advertising

Telus advertising has been noted for its use of nature-themed imagery and the slogan, 'The Future is Friendly'. Many ads feature animals including pot-bellied pigs, a tree frog, a monkey, a lizard, a duck, fishes and groundhogs. The themes originated with Clearnet Communications, a Canadian cellular telephone provider acquired by Telus in 2000.

2005 Christmas campaign



For the Christmas season in 2005, an ad campaign was launched involving a hippopotamus named Hazina from the Greater Vancouver Zoo, accompanied by the song "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas". On May 31, 2006, the zoo was formally charged with animal cruelty for their treatment of Hazina. Telus pledged $10,000 towards the building of a new habitat for Hazina and announced a plan to make available for 'adoption' plush hippopotamus toys through Telus dealers, with all proceeds from BC going towards Hazina and all proceeds from Alberta going towards the hippopotamus at the Calgary Zoo. The campaign raised an additional $20,000 for the Vancouver Zoo's hippopotamus enclosure.

Labour dispute

Telus' labour dispute with the Telecommunications Workers Union (TWU) began after the previous contract negotiated with BCTel before the two merged expired at the end of 2000. After Telus made its final offer to the TWU, it informed the union of its intention to bring an end to the dispute by unilaterally implementing its April offer to employees in Alberta and British Columbia. The union set up pickets the next day.

On July 25, 2005, Telus blocked its internet subscribers from accessing a website supporting striking union members, leading to allegations of censorship by TWU members. Telus expressed concerns over content on the site, saying it including images of employees crossing picket lines and encouraged disruptive behaviour. The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association issued an official objection to the unilateral blocking on July 26, stating "Telus is leveraging its power as a telecommunications service provider to censor a specific group, shut down debate and limit the messages conveyed about the current labour dispute".

On July 28, Telus issued a news release detailing an Alberta court injunction ordering the blocked website, Voices For Change, to remove postings of "Telus employee photos" and other "intimidating or threatening material"; the site owner agreed to comply and Telus unblocked its subscribers from the website.

Telus and the TWU reached and ratified a tentative agreement on November 18, 2005, ending the dispute.

Pornography sales controversy

In 2007, Telus became the first North American wireless company to offer in-house pay-per-download pornography sales via cellphone. Explicit pictures and videos of full and partially nude men and women were made available at prices ranging from $3 to $4 per download. Industry analysts described this as a landmark move, being the first such offering by a North American wireless company. Telus based its decision on research indicating that 20% of search terms entered by subscribers on their mobile browsers were intended to find adult content. As well, 13 of the top 25 sites being accessed were hard-core pornography sites.

On February 9, 2007, Catholic Archbishop Raymond Roussin, S.M. called on the 130 local parishes and schools in the Vancouver archdiocese to consider cancelling their Telus contracts to protest the adult content. Archbishop Roussin, a Telus customer himself, denounced Telus for selling pornography. Telus defended the service as "responsible" because users must first prove they're adults. An editorial in the Globe and Mail described Telus a "Purveyor of Porn. There were numerous print and broadcast stories about the company's decision to sell pornography, including one in the New York Times.

Shortly thereafter, Telus announced that it was discontinuing sales of adult content to subscribers. According to Janet Yale, Telus Executive Vice-President of Corporate Affairs, “We heard from a broad range of customers … who made it clear they were not supportive of this initiative. However, Telus did not rule out a future return to the business.

Mobility controversy

Telus, along with Bell Mobility, has attracted criticism over a new policy of charging 15¢ for incoming text messages to customers without a text messaging plan.

Telus has also been accused of forcing customers off of data plans which have been advertised as "unlimited" for vague terms of service violations and moving them to a capped 1GB of month plan with a high overage charge.

Sponsorship and naming

Since 2000, Telus and its team members have contributed more than $91 million to charitable and non-profit organizations and volunteered more than 1.7 million hours of service to local communities.

Telus sponsors a minor league baseball stadium in downtown Edmonton called the Telus Field. Built in 1995, it was home to the now-defunct Edmonton Trappers of the Pacific Coast League and is now home to the Edmonton Cracker-Cats of the independent Golden League. Telus also donated $9 million to Science World in Vancouver under the terms that it was to be renamed Telus World of Science, $9 million to the Calgary Science Centre, and $8.2 million to the Odyssium in Edmonton; all three science museums were subsequently renamed as Telus World of Science.

Telus is also the namesake tenant in several office buildings, including Tour Telus in Montreal and Telus Plaza in Edmonton.

Telus also sponsors the annual Kokanee Crankworx freeride mountain bike festival held in Whistler, BC.

Offshoring/Outsourcing

Telus has an estimated 7000 employees in the Philippines where it is known as Telus International (or TI) Formerly known as Ambergris Solutions Inc. Its Main office is located in Pasig City situated on the 31st fl of the Discovery Suites and has its largest site located at Market Market in Taguig. Telus International Philippines will be opening its new site loacted at Cubao Quezon City sometime in 2009 with there fully owned building which is now under construction. The majority of the workforce employed in the Philippines is used for North American call center support. Dell Financial Services Sales Assist, formerly known as SPOC (Single Point of Contact) has also been fully offshored to the Philippines as well as Dell Financial Services Customer Care. Telus' long term plan is to grow its offshore workforce in order to stay competitive in the marketplace. Call centre work will be exported to the Philippines, while development and quality assurance work will be offshored to India.

Wireless HSPA Upgrade

TELUS has signed an agreement with Nokia Siemens Networks create an overlay HSPA network that will run along side their existing CDMA network. The new network should be complete by the beginning of 2010.

See also

References

http://eon.businesswire.com/releases/telus/homepna/prweb1276784.htm TELUS Selects CopperGate's HomePNA for IPTV Service

External links

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