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Michael Geist's Blog

How Telus Once Supported a Spectrum Set-Aside To Create Competition and Attract Strong Players

Telus is currently engaged in a full-court lobbying press aimed at killing the government's plans for a spectrum set-aside for new entrants in the forthcoming spectrum auction with Telus CEO Darren Entwistle warning ominously of a "bloodbath" should the government move ahead with its strategy. Entwistle notes that the company has invested more than $100 billion in the Canada and that the industry as a whole has invested $420 billion. Yet only a fraction of those figures are actually linked to wireless investment in the way that most would conceive of it. A Telus spokesperson said yesterday that spending on technology and infrastructure was actually $30 billion, leaving $70 billion for operational expenses, such as paying salaries, office supplies, and rent. Last year the CWTA said the entire Canadian wireless industry has invested $25 billion on spectrum and wireless infrastructure. That is a far cry from Entwistle's $420 billion figure, which is apparently based on such a broad notion of investment that my lunch at Subways and coffee at the Second Cup is also an investment. More on the Telus numbers in a must-read post from Peter Nowak.


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