Josh Blair Chief Corporate Officer; Executive Vice-President (EVP), TELUS Health and Business Solutions West; and Chair, TELUS International
We spoke with some members of our Executive Leadership Team to garner their thoughts on issues that are top of mind for investors, such as our generational investments in advanced broadband technologies, the competitive landscape and our growth strategies.
David Fuller EVP and President, TELUS Consumer and Small Business Solutions
Monique Mercier EVP, Corporate Affairs, and Chief Legal and Governance Officer
Eros Spadotto EVP, Technology Strategy
How will Canadians benefit from TELUS’ investments in broadband?
Our investments to evolve our broadband networks and our momentum in bringing state-of-the-art technologies to market are driving extraordinary benefits for Canadians. Through our TELUS PureFibre network, which now reaches 109 communities in B.C., Alberta and Quebec, we are delivering on Canadians’ demands for improved reliability and ultra-fast speeds, and future-proofing communities for generations. We are currently developing solutions with the capability to support residential speeds faster than 1 Gbps and the delivery of high-bandwidth augmented and virtual reality services. Likewise, our 4G LTE network was recognized for its superior performance among Canadian networks by four prominent independent sources in 2017, and brings greater reliability and faster speeds to 99 per cent of our population. Our investments in broadband provide Canadians with the most advanced solutions and promote economic development by enabling businesses to leverage world-leading networks to compete on a global scale. Our team remains focused on progressing our wireless leadership position, hastening the evolution of TELUS’ broadband networks and deploying 5G in the coming years.
What is TELUS doing to differentiate itself from the competition?
The landscape in which we operate is increasingly competitive and 2017 saw us extend our leadership in service excellence. Our customers enjoy the benefits of a superior network and a talented team that is focused on providing exceptional customer experiences. We constantly look for ways to make it easy for our customers and strive to give them the information they need at their fingertips. In 2017, we elevated our digital experience with investments in our My Account app, which has been downloaded over one million times. We have over 1,900 points of distribution, including 14 Connected Experience stores, enabling us to share our lineup of leading digital life solutions in a meaningful way. We significantly expanded our reach in Manitoba, where our customers now benefit from our $70 million investment in the province’s largest 4G LTE network. Our true differentiator remains our outstanding team members, who embody a culture of putting our customers first, strive to be as transparent as possible and commit to investing in our communities. Combining trust in our brand with our industry-leading TELUS PureFibre and award-winning LTE mobility networks continues to be a recipe for success for TELUS. Our team’s tireless emphasis on differentiating ourselves through innovation and service excellence will continue in 2018 and beyond.
"Our customers enjoy the benefits of a superior network and a talented team that is focused on providing exceptional customer experiences."
What’s the latest with telecom regulation?
We have a good relationship with government and regulators. Our industry has been top of mind for the government – particularly in terms of connectivity, affordability and competition. The government has stressed the importance of network builders such as TELUS and the need to sustain an attractive investment environment. We partnered with the Government of Canada through its Connect to Innovate program and, together with the Government of Quebec, committed nearly $45 million to bring our broadband networks to underserved communities and extend our world-class technology to more Canadians. In terms of wireless connectivity and affordability, we proactively worked with governments to demonstrate that our TELUS, Koodo and Public Mobile brands offer citizens a near-ubiquitous wireless experience, as well as choice, flexibility and a range of affordable price points. Our concerted effort to put customers first and respond to their requirements is the core of our business and will continue to be reflected in our submissions on spectrum auction rules, mandated roaming and wholesale access.
“Our investments in broadband provide Canadians with the most advanced solutions and promote economic development.”
How are broadband investments driving continuous innovation?
We are committed to innovation and enabling technologies that improve the lives of Canadians. We are working to build the latest broadband technologies and capitalize on the promise of convergent network technologies, in support of powering the smart homes, businesses, cities and healthcare apps of tomorrow. In 2017, we accelerated our TELUS PureFibre deployment, which now provides access to 1.44 million homes and businesses. We also broke new ground in advancing 5G wireless capabilities in our Living Lab, including successfully piloting 5G wireless-to-the-premises technology, as well as leveraging 3.5 GHz spectrum to achieve mobile download speeds eclipsing 2 Gbps. These advancements are placing Canada at the forefront of global 5G research and creating the foundation to provide next-generation services. We became the first carrier in Canada to deploy licensed assisted access technology to achieve record-breaking wireless speeds of nearly 1 Gbps. Our Network as a Service solution for businesses was recognized as Most Innovative Product/Service for Operators by Telecom Review and is enabling software-defined networking capabilities and the virtualized networks of the future.
“We proactively worked with governments to demonstrate that our brands offer citizens choice, flexibility and a range of affordable price points.”
How is TELUS positioned for success versus its peers in wireless?
Our success in mobility begins by leveraging our network’s superior reach, speed and quality. We continue by focusing on putting customers first and ensuring they have the best customer experience in the industry, as evidenced by TELUS having the fewest complaints among our national peers with the Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services. These same customers are staying with us longer, which is reflected in our industry-leading client loyalty. In fact, TELUS has earned a wireless postpaid churn rate of less than one percent for four full years. We achieve these levels of excellence by focusing on what matters most to our customers, including removing pain points and enhancing our self-serve options in an effort to make it easier for our customers to do business with us. Our mobile and home bundled offerings, as well as our family plans and suite of features that enable customers to better manage their data usage with real-time data notifications, are compelling incentives to join and stay with TELUS.
How will TELUS International maintain its path of growth?
TELUS International (TI), under the leadership of President and CEO, Jeffrey Puritt, remains focused on providing outstanding contact centre and business process and IT solutions to our global customers, offering service in over 35 languages by our talented team of 30,000 team members. We continue to partner with organizations that share our commitment to providing world-class client experiences by helping them to provide better service for their customers. TI continues to focus on growth and, in 2017, expanded with our acquisition of Voxpro, which has extended our U.S. footprint and added new capacity in Europe and Asia. Additionally, our acquisition of Xavient adds client diversity, next-generation IT solutions and operations in the U.S. and India that will help us sustain our double-digit growth trajectory. These strategic acquisitions will contribute to TI’s expansion across key capabilities, client verticals and geographic regions, and will have a positive impact on the strength of both TELUS and TI over the longer term. Importantly, TI continues to provide diversification to TELUS’ long-term growth profile and its growth supports our generational investments in broadband networks across Canada.
“Through TELUS Health, we continue to deliver on our vision to enable better health outcomes for Canadians through better health information for less money spent.”
How is TELUS Health contributing to TELUS’ growth?
Through TELUS Health, we continue to deliver on our vision to enable better health outcomes for Canadians through better health information for less money spent. We are investing to bring patient-centred solutions to market that improve the flow of patient information across the continuum of care. Notably, our recent acquisitions – such as Kroll, a complementary pharmacy management software company, and Practimax, an advanced electronic medical records solution – have expanded our suite of offerings. We also launched MedDialog, which enables doctors to communicate electronically and securely with each other regarding the care of their patients, allowing for seamless communication, greater efficiency and better patient care. As well, we are partnering with Canada Health Infoway to bring electronic prescribing to physicians, pharmacists and consumers across Canada, starting with Alberta and Ontario. These are just a few examples of how we are continuously striving to be the health IT partner of choice for Canadian physicians, pharmacists, extended healthcare providers, insurers and consumers.