The country’s number three wireless carrier is pushing its LTE network deeper into Ontario and promising to hire 900 people over the next three years to support the network.
Telus Communications Co. said Friday it will spend more than $650 million in the province, which includes moneies to expand its latest generation Long Term Evolution network to cover more than 95 per cent of Ontario’s population.
This year LTE coverage will come to the Ottawa/Hull area, the cities of Barrie, Windsor and Kingston, the Niagara area and the Muskoka cottage country. Of the spending, $210 million will go for broadening LTE coverage in the National Capital Region.
The $650 million will also cover improvements to Telus’ drug claims processing service under a contract with the Ontario ministry of health. The project allows pharmacies to submit drug claims electronically to the ministry.
Telus [TSX:T] recently won a two-year extension to its contract for the project.
“These investments will help support growth across our wireline and wireless services, meeting the exponential demand for advanced communications technology that we see across the province, and indeed across the country,” said Joe Natale, Telus’ chief commercial officer.
“They’ll improve the reach and capacity of our network for existing business customers, and consumers. And, of particular importance, they will help to connect additional rural and small communities. At the same time, hiring 900 people will help us support the future economic prosperity of Ontario.”
LTE is the latest wireless technology which at the moment promises average download speeds of up to 25 Mbps under ideal conditions.
The announcement is one of a series Telus has been making over several months highlighting its captial spending in each province. Rather than make one big statement, it has a history of making these in separate announcements after its annual general meeting. For example, on May 3 it announced it will be spending over $2 billion in Alberta over the next three years. That spending will including hiring 750 people for wireless and fibre optic expansion.
This year LTE coverage will be added this year to Red Deer, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Lloydminster and Brooks.
Broadband Internet will be extended to a number of small communities including Bear Canyon, Blue Ridge, Brocket, Bruce, Donalda, Ferintosh, Hays, Holden, Hussar, Jarvie, Keephills, Marlboro, Pickardville, Walsh, Waterton Park, Mulhurst, Seba Beach and Wildwood. By 2014 we will connect another 37 communities will be added.