Today Telus announced its fourth quarter earnings ended December 31, 2019, while also the company also announced more details on its 5G network plans.
In an interview with The Financial Post, Telus Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice-President, Doug French, said the company is going to launch its 5G network with Chinese partner Huawei, by the end of 2020.
“We’re going to launch 5G with Huawei out of the gate,” said French, adding “We will continue to work with the government to make sure we meet all their standards, but we don’t see anything slowing us down at the moment.”
Rogers has partnered with Sweden-based Ericsson for 5G, while Bell recently announced its first 5G partner would be Finland’s Nokia. Chinese hardware maker Huawei has come under scrutiny over 5G and fears of potential espionage.
The federal government has yet to decide on whether to allow Huawei 5G equipment to be part of Canadian networks. Canadian allies and the military have opposed any partnership with Huawei for 5G over security concerns.
“We’ll continue to assess, and we will look at opportunities if that arises, but at the moment we’re going to continue to build our networks as we lead in the world on our 4G network,” explained French.
According to the Telus CFO, the company will “comply with whatever government rule comes out in the timeframe.”
The Telus CFO explained they plan to use Huawei hardware for the radio access network (RAN), which are antennas that send signals to phones. Huawei gear will not be part of the core Telus 5G network, for now.
The federal government has yet to auction off vital 3.5 GHz wireless spectrum for 5G, set to take place this year. French says a full 5G rollout would most likely take place in 2021.
He believes the Telus LTE-A network “will be as fast or faster than any preliminary 5G launches until 3.5 is awarded.”
Telus Q4 Revenue Sees 2.5% Increase Year-Over-Year
As for its fourth quarter earnings, Telus reported revenue of $3.86 billion (up 2.5% YoY) and net income of $379 million (up 3% YoY).
The company added 130,000 new wireless customers in the fourth quarter, and now has a wireless subscriber base of over 10 million.