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Telus expects its 5G development to ramp up by the second half of 2019-2020 fiscal year

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Telus CEO and president Darren Entwistle fielded questions on his company’s plans for 5G at length during the company’s most recent earnings call.

Entwistle said developments are already taking place in terms of preparation but that activity will be heightened by the second half of the 2019-2020 fiscal year. He further noted that the carrier plans to deploy all manner of spectrum in support of the new wireless generation, from 600MHz spectrum to 3.5GHz to mmWave spectrum.

The CEO also noted he was excited about the “synergistic nature” of the fibre and 5G combination.

“For me, it really made the economics work,” he said. “Now we’re going to get great scope economies across wireline and wireless.”

He added that Telus investment in fibre will aid not just with 5G, but also LTE, which is maturing towards gigabit-per-second speeds that will bridge the gap between 4G and 5G.

“Whether it’s LTE or 5G, you still need to have fibre deployed deep deep into your access network,” said Entwistle. “I couldn’t picture us being better positioned in that regard.”

Entwistle believes Telus’ investment in 5G will pay off, stating: “If you’ve got the fastest speeds and the best coverage and lead the way on realiability, if you can nail that up, I think it’s going to make a difference.”

He says it’ll drive value for the company both through greater usage and therefore higher average revenue per user (ARPU) and by drawing new customers to the network.

Bell and Rogers’ respective CEOs did not speak at length on 5G plans during their most recent quarterly financial calls.

Telus’ recent 5G trials have been in partnership with telecom infrastructure company (and handset manufacturer) Huawei. In July 2017, Telus and Huawei debuted their first multi-point deployment of 5G wireless tech.

The telecom reported 8.9 million wireless subscribers in its fourth quarter 2017 financial results, an increase of 3.8 percent from the same period last year.

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