VANCOUVER, Oct. 29 /CNW/ - TELUS is pleased the CRTC made the correct decision that Globalive is not compliant with the Telecommunications Act in respect of foreign ownership restrictions. We commend the CRTC for holding an open and transparent public process to deal with this critical decision.
"We don't think the CRTC had any choice or latitude under the laws of Canada to make any other decision," said Michael Hennessy, TELUS senior vice-president of Regulatory and Government Affairs. "It is important to note that this decision does not prevent Globalive or any other new wireless company from competing in Canada or accessing capital, as several are successfully doing. It merely means they must abide by Canada's laws."
Globalive had proposed an ownership and debt structure with more than 80 per cent of its capital owned by an Egyptian company, with global interests in wireless operations from Pakistan to North Korea. This ownership structure represented a far higher participation by foreign investors than had ever been approved by Canadian regulators. Globalive attempted to enter the Canadian market after purchasing wireless spectrum in an auction that concluded almost fifteen months ago.
"TELUS will again recommend to the government that in order to avoid similar situations arising in the future, all bidders in future spectrum auctions should be pre-qualified as legitimate Canadian owned and controlled entities," Hennessy said.
TELUS has never been opposed to foreign ownership restrictions being lifted, but has asked simply that all wireless carriers in Canada operate under the same rules without an artificial and unfair advantage being handed to any one company by the government or the CRTC.
"Canada's wireless industry is a home-grown success story we should all be proud of," Hennessy said. "Despite challenging geography and sparse population well over 90 per cent of Canadians have access to TELUS wireless services at rates competitive with most places in the world."
TELUS is investing $2 billion in Capex in 2009 alone, up 10 per cent from 2008. A significant portion of that investment is driving TELUS' November 5 launch of Canada's largest 3G+ network, which will reach 93 per cent of Canadians across 1.1 million square kilometres of our country. This next generation network will also offer customers the technology for wireless data download speeds of up to 21 megabits per second. TELUS will offer a number of exciting new devices from HTC, Huawei, LG, Nokia, RIM, Samsung, and Sierra Wireless in time for the holidays.
TELUS (TSX: T, T.A; NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $9.7 billion of annual revenue and 11.8 million customer connections including 6.3 million wireless subscribers, 4.1 million wireline network access lines and 1.2 million Internet subscribers and more than 100,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services including data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, entertainment and video. In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed $137 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered more than 2.6 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Nine TELUS Community Boards across Canada lead our local philanthropic initiatives. For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.
SOURCE TELUS Corporation
For further information: For further information: Shawn Hall, TELUS Media Relations, (604) 697-8176, firstname.lastname@example.org