Telus Mobility

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Telus Mobility Inc.
AGT Mobility
Industry Mobile network operator
Founded Edmonton, Alberta (1983)
Headquarters Vancouver, British Columbia
Products Feature phones, mobile broadband modems, smartphones (Android, BlackBerry OS, iOS, Windows Phone), tablet computers
Services 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 operates networks using HSPA+, and LTE on its mainstream networks. As of Q3 2018, Telus Mobility is Canada's third-largest cellphone provider with a subscriber base of 9.2 million[1] .

Since 2008, Telus has operated a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) named Koodo Mobile, which is targeted at high school, college and university students.



In 1983, AGT Mobility was formed by Alberta Government Telephones (the predecessor to Telus) to provide a 1G analogue mobile network for Alberta's natural resources industries. It was the first mobile phone network in Canada. Analogue services became available to the general public in 1986.


In 1992, AGT launched North America's first digital mobile network. Following the merger of Telus with BC Tel in 1999, Telus Mobility expanded its coverage to British Columbia.[2] The company's website went online on October 14, 1999.[3] The following year, Telus 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.


In 2007, Telus Mobility launched mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Amp'd Mobile Canada, but replaced it in 2008 with Koodo Mobile

In February 2008, Telus Mobility discontinued its AMPS analog network, and launched its HSPA+ network in November 2009. Telus offered landlines to customers affected by the AMPS 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.


In February 2012, Telus launched its LTE network and it stopped selling CDMA devices, except those on clearance.

In 2013, Telus was approved by the Canadian government to purchase independent wireless carrier Public Mobile.

On August 8, 2014, Telus shut down Public Mobile's CDMA network after informing customers that they would need to buy phones compatible with Telus' network.

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

On January 29, 2016, Telus shut down its Mike iDEN network.[7]

On May 31, 2017, Telus shut down its CDMA network.[8]


Telus Mobility partners with Bell Mobility to operate three different kinds of nationwide networks in Canada. These networks include an HSPA+ network and an LTE network.


On November 5, 2009, Telus launched HSPA+ services the day after Bell launched the services on their network; much of the 3G infrastructure is shared between the two carriers.[9] This network operates on the frequencies of 850/1900 MHz.

Telus' single-channel 21 Mbit/s HSPA+ network is available to 97% of the Canadian population. About 70% of the Canadian population are located in Telus' 42 Mbit/s dual-channel coverage areas.[10]

Telus' HSPA+ network coverage is in portions of all Canadian provinces and 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.[11]


LTE service for Telus launched on February 10, 2012 through a partnership with Bell.[12] Telus advertises this network as having download speeds of up to 110 Mbit/s and its LTE Advanced network as having download speeds up to 225 Mbit/s.[13]

As of August 2016, LTE coverage reaches most of Canada's population, but there are gaps in coverage in smaller communities and between communities, where TELUS' HSPA+ network is available, but its LTE network is not available. 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 to expand LTE coverage to 98% of the Canadian population by the end of 2016.[14] 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.[15][16] According to Telus, as of March 31, 2016, it had LTE coverage available 97% of the Canadian population and LTE Advance coverage available to 50% of the Canadian population.[17]

In May 2016, Telus announced that by the end of the year, it would expand its coverage to 99% of British Columbians and expand its LTE coverage to 98% of British Columbians, expand its LTE coverage to 99% of Albertans, and expand its LTE coverage to 99% of Ontarians.[18][19][20]

On April 18, 2016, Telus launched Voice over LTE (VoLTE). VoLTE is supported throughout Canada, except in Saskatchewan and parts of Manitoba.[21]

Radio frequency summary[edit]

Frequencies used on the Telus Mobility Network
Frequency range Band number Protocol Class Status Note(s)
850 MHz CLR 5 UMTS/HSDPA/HSPA+/DC-HSPA+ 3G/"4G" Active Fallback for calls.
1,900 MHz PCS 2 UMTS/HSDPA/HSPA+/DC-HSPA+ 3G/"4G" Active Fallback for calls.
850 MHz CLR 5 LTE 4G Active / Being deployed Used for extra bandwidth within cities and rural coverage.
1,900 MHz PCS 2 LTE / LTE Advanced 4G Active / Being deployed Secondary LTE Band being deployed and used for LTE / LTE Advanced coverage.
700 MHz A/B/C/E 12/13/17/29 LTE / LTE Advanced 4G Active / Being deployed Mainly used in rural areas / rural coverage.
1,700/2,100 MHz AWS 4 LTE / LTE Advanced 4G Active Main LTE Band used across the country. Also being used to provide LTE Advanced coverage.
2,600 MHz IMT-E 7 LTE / LTE Advanced 4G Active / Being deployed Found in select markets, but being developed slowly in new markets alongside to provide LTE Advanced coverage.


Telus' product lineup mainly consists of smartphones but also includes a few feature phones. As of July 2017, smartphones are currently sold with one of operating systems preloaded: Android or iOS.

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.

In many areas of Alberta and British Columbia, Telus offers an LTE/HSPA+ internet service for stationary use in homes or businesses in rural areas where wired service is unavailable. This service uses an LTE router which provides WIFI and LAN connectivity. The router can be purchased outright, or it can be paid for with 24 equal payments added to the bill over two years. The payments which would be over $11.00 are rounded down to $10 per month.



Telus Mobility sells a variety of voice plans. These include a fixed number 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 No. 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.

Mobile payment[edit]

Telus Mobility postpaid customers with a compatible smartphone can subscribe to Skype (and formerly also Rdio) 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.[22]


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.[23] Industry analysts described the action, the first by a North American wireless company, as a landmark move.[24] However, the company later discontinued sales of such content in response to objections from religious groups.[25][26]

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.[27] Both companies have been sued by frustrated consumers and subscribers, as they demand change in text charges.[28] Many customers were frustrated because this fee also applies to existing customers with ongoing contracts.[29] As of 2014, the only plans in which Telus and Bell charge per message (either outgoing or incoming) are pay-per-use prepaid plans.[30][31] All monthly rate plans include at least unlimited text messaging to numbers within Canada.[32] Additionally, in a 2014 press release Telus stated that charges elicited from unwanted spam text messages can be waived at the customer's request.[33][34]


From 2008 to 2011 inclusively, Telus Mobility sold pink BlackBerry phones where a portion of each sale would support breast cancer research. This included the BlackBerry Curve and the BlackBerry Pearl consumer models.[35] 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 willTemplate:Update inline donate $25 to Free the Children, up toTemplate:Update inline a maximum of $650,000. Both phones include a We Day-themed gel skin to fit the respective phone purchased.[36]

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, 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;[37] some stores also offer handsets and prepaid minutes under the original network banners.

See also[edit]


  1. "Telus Investors Relations" (PDF). Telus Investor Relations. 
  2. TELUS History Archived April 24, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. TELUS Mobility 1999
  4. Clearnet coverage map in 1998
  5. "CBC News – British Columbia – Telus upgrade could hurt rural B.C. cell customers". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. August 29, 2008. Archived from the original on June 1, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2010. 
  6. TELUS discontinuing pager service March 31st Archived May 2, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. Important Service Notice: Mike is retiring Archived January 11, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. "Telus pushes back CDMA network shutdown to May 31st, 2017". Archived from the original on February 11, 2017. Retrieved February 9, 2017. 
  9. Bell, TELUS Prepare for 3G HSPA Network Launch
  10. 3G+ network
  11. Coverage within Canada | Travel | Plans | TELUS Mobility
  12. Trichur, Rita (February 9, 2012). "Telus launches LTE wireless in 14 cities". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Archived from the original on February 14, 2012. Retrieved September 15, 2017. 
  13. Coverage map Archived November 6, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. BCE reports 2015 Q4 and full – year results, announces 2016 financial targets Common share dividend increased 5.0% to $2.73 per year
  15. TELUS will invest $4.2 billion across Alberta through 2018 Archived September 15, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. TELUS will invest $4 billion across British Columbia through 2018 Archived September 15, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. TELUS reports results for first quarter 2016 Archived September 15, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  18. TELUS investing $370 million in Vancouver in 2016 Archived August 8, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  19. TELUS investing $275 million in Edmonton in 2016 Archived August 8, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  20. TELUS investing $62 million in the Greater Toronto Area in 2016 Archived August 8, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  21. "VoLTE explained". Archived from the original on November 8, 2017. Retrieved November 8, 2017. 
  22. Rdio | TELUS Mobility
  23. Naked ambitions put Telus on the spot Archived April 2, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. Unnati Gandhi (February 13, 2007). "Is Telus willing to accept the scorn with its porn?". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2017. 
  25. Chris Fournier (February 21, 2007). "Telus Stops Selling Porn After Protests From Catholic Church". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 
  26. World Business Briefing | Americas: Canada: Pornography Service Halted Archived March 31, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
  27. [1][permanent dead link]
  28. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved August 15, 2008. 
  29. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 10, 2008. Retrieved May 29, 2009. 
  30. Telus Mobility. [2] Retrieved March 29, 2014
  31. Bell Mobility. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 29, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2014.  Retrieved March 29, 2014
  32. Telus Mobility. [3]. Retrieved March 29, 2014
  33. Canada Classic Edition. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 3, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2014.  Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  34. Telus. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 2, 2016. Retrieved March 29, 2014.  Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  35. "Go Pink". Telus Communications. Retrieved October 12, 2012. 
  36. "$25 for Free The Children". Telus Communications. Archived from the original on September 12, 2012. Retrieved October 12, 2012. 
  37. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2013. 

External links[edit]