Telus lowers fees, wins court decision over Mason; Rogers joins rivals in HD voice

16 Oct 2012

Canada’s Telus Communications announced yesterday that it will scrap a CAD35 (USD35.75) activation fee for new mobile customers as well as a CAD25 ‘equipment exchange fee’ for existing customers who buy a new device. However, as reported by The Globe & Mail, from 1 November Telus will introduce a CAD10 fee for issuing a new SIM card – a cost previously covered by activation and renewal fees. In emulating the fee policies of smaller, younger cellcos, Telus claims to have stolen a march on its two large nationwide rivals Rogers and Bell, with its announcement coming a week after the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) launched a public consultation on a draft retail code aimed at reducing complexity of contracts and charges for mobile network users, and stamping out misleading marketing.

In other Telus news, the Supreme Court of British Columbia yesterday rejected the operator’s largest individual stakeholder Mason Capital’s attempt to halt a planned 17 October shareholder meeting called by Telus, which aims to remove a legacy dual-class share ownership structure. The court found the voting thresholds pursuant to Telus’ proposal for a one-for-one share exchange are lawful and valid. Telus requires support from a simple majority of common shareholders and 66.67% of its non-voting share class for the equity restructuring proposal to succeed, whereupon it would apply to the Supreme Court for a final order approving the transaction. In the ruling, the court determined that the hearing for the final order to approve the transaction will take place the week of 5 November 2012.

Elsewhere in the Canadian mobile market this week, Rogers (including its alternative brand Fido) has finally launched high definition (HD) voice services, some time after main rivals Bell and Telus introduced similar services, and also way behind up-and-coming competitor Wind Mobile, which has provided HD voice since January 2011.