Canadian full-service telco Telus reported consolidated operating revenue of CAD3.8 billion (USD2.9 billion) for the fourth quarter of 2018, up by 6.3% compared to the same period of the previous year, driven by higher wireless network revenue and wireline data services sales growth, as well as higher wireless equipment revenue. Q4 EBITDA increased by 1.1% to CAD1.2 billion due to higher revenue growth and higher wireless equipment margins. In October-December 2018 Telus added 112,000 wireless post-paid subscribers, 28,000 fixed broadband subscribers and 24,000 pay-TV customers. The total wireless subscriber base of 9.2 million at end-2018 was up 3.6% year-on-year, reflecting a 4.2% increase in post-paid subscribers to 8.3 million, while the pre-paid base of 924,000 shrunk moderately. High speed fixed internet connections of 1.9 million were up 6.6% y-o-y at 31 December, while the ‘TELUS TV’ total subscriber base stood at 1.1 million.
In its discussion of its end-year results yesterday, Telus said that a potential Canadian government ban on using 5G network equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies might have ‘a material, non-recurring, incremental increase in the cost of Telus’ 5G network deployment and, potentially, the timing of such deployment’. Telus has previously used radio access network equipment from Huawei in 3G/4G rollouts. It has not yet finalised its technology providers for 5G deployment. Canadian rival Bell – which has similarly partnered Huawei – recently claimed that its 5G rollout plans would not be delayed by any new federal ban on the Chinese vendor.