In Showdown With Regulator, Telus Threatens To Cut Spending And Jobs

Telus Corp. (TSX:T) is threatening to cut $1 billion in spending and 5,000 jobs over the next five years if Canada’s broadcast regulator mandates wireless companies to open their facilities to mobile virtual network operators, or MVNOs.

Telus chief executive Darren Entwistle made the threat during public hearings before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in Ottawa. The Telus position is that Canada's wireless market is already extremely competitive, prices are affordable, and the arrival of virtual network operators would limit the deployment of 5G networks.

Executives from some of Canada's largest national and regional wireless service providers been united in their rejection of mandated MVNOs, which would be given the right to tap into their facilities. Entwistle emphasized his position by volunteering to submit, confidentially, the Telus board's instructions for managers to start making plans for cutting spending and jobs if the CRTC chooses MVNOs over facilities-based carriers.

The CRTC is currently investigating Canada’s wireless networks and the plans offered to Canadian consumers, which the regulator contends are among the highest in the world.

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