Telus to use ADT acquisition for cybersecurity protection when 5G arrives

CEO Darren Entwistle says ADT acquisition 'sets us up for cybersecurity at Telus, which will be relevant in a 5G world'

Telus sign

Telus intends to leverage its $700 million CAD ADT Securities Services acquisition to support cybersecurity for customers when 5G arrives in the Canadian market.

The Vancouver-based carrier completed the acquisition on November 6th, a day before it announced its Q3 2019 earnings results. Telus will now welcome ADT team members, which includes 1,000 employees, and new ADT customers, which total about 500,000.

Telus CEO Darren Entwistle said during the earnings conference call that the acquisition “sets us up for cybersecurity at Telus, which will be relevant in a 5G world.”

“It’s not just cybersecurity in 5G, it’s also what our security practice will do in smart buildings and smart cities that will be relevant,” Entwistle said. “We intend to significantly expand the addressable market for security solutions.”

Telus offers a slew of security solutions, including its Telus SmartHome Security and Secure Business.

It’s important to note that Telus has still not selected a 5G vendor as it still waits to hear the fate regarding Huawei’s ability to participate in developing 5G network infrastructure in Canada. The federal government has indicated that it would make a decision shortly after the federal election.

5G in Canada isn’t expected to fully roll out until the end of 2021 as specific spectrum is still unavailable. Auctions for spectrum have been set for 2021 and 2022.

During its Q4 2018 earnings conference call, the company indicated that it could face a “material, non-recurring, incremental increase” in the cost of deploying 5G if Huawei is banned that could potentially affect the timing of its plans.

Zainul Mawji, president of Telus’ Home Solutions, said in an interview with MobileSyrup that the acquisition will strategically place Telus in a good position for 5G’s arrival.

“If you look at the 5G world we’re entering into, it’s not just about having a network, it’s about the privacy, security and reliability of that network, and that’s what we put so much pride into,” Mawji said.

In terms of the monetary value, this is one of the largest acquisitions Telus has made since it acquired AlarmForce. AlarmForce was purchased by Bell for $166 million in 2017, and sold part of the business to Telus for $66.5 million.

“It was priced at a value that was lower on a subscriber basis than the AlarmForce acquisition that happened a while back,” Mawji said. “This is probably one of the largest we’ve done in Canada and in some time. The price of the deal is quite fair, recognizing that we are purchasing the largest security player in Canada and we saw a lot of opportunities to drive some immediate scale.”

Mawji added that as of now ADT will be called ADT by Telus, but that could change in the future.

“Our number one priority right now is to make sure that we are extending an incredibly warm welcome to the ADT team and to our new customers and that their needs are supported. As we continue to grow the business we will keep our options open from a branding standpoint,” she said.