Canadian fixed and mobile operator Telus reported consolidated revenue of CAD3.9 billion (USD2.9 billion) for the fourth quarter of 2019, up 2.5% year-on-year, driven by wireless and fixed broadband services turnover growth. Q4 EBITDA increased by 10.8% y-o-y to CAD1.4 billion, helped by a growing subscriber base, growth in wireline data service margins and the effects of implementing IFRS16 accounting standards, partly offset by continued declines in wireline legacy voice and legacy data/B2B services. Q4 CAPEX of CAD742 million increased by 4.4% over the same period a year ago, primarily driven by investments to expand and improve network/IT infrastructure, increased 5G investment, as well as business acquisition-related expenditures. At the end of 2019 the Telus ‘PureFibre’ network covered approximately 2.22 million premises, or 70% of Telus’ high speed broadband footprint, up by roughly 330,000 premises in twelve months.
Telus is meanwhile preparing to begin rolling out a commercial 5G mobile network based on technology from Chinese vendor Huawei, Telus’ CFO Doug French said on Thursday, quoted by Reuters. ‘It’s important for us to launch our network when the time is right,’ French said in a statement, adding that the operator will continue to collaborate with the Canadian government in building the ecosystem. The government is currently reviewing the security implications of 5G networks, including a pending decision on whether to ban Huawei from supplying certain equipment or software. Telus says such a ban would raise the cost of deploying its 5G network.