BUSINESS

Telus to spend $650M in Ontario on wireless technology creating 900 new jobs

06/01/2012 12:00 EDT | Updated 08/01/2012 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - Telecom company Telus will spend $650 million on advanced technology in Ontario over three years to support its wireless growth, resulting in 900 new jobs.

Telus said Friday that it will expand its next-generation wireless network to more than 95 per cent of Ontario's population, extending the 4G Long-Term Evolution technology to the Ottawa, Barrie, Windsor, Muskoka, Kingston and Niagara areas.

Chief commercial officer Joe Natale said the expenditure will improve the reach and capacity of its network for consumers and business customers.

"And of particular importance, they will help to connect additional rural and small communities," Natale said in a news release.

"At the same time, hiring 900 people will help us support the future economic prosperity of Ontario," Natale said, adding the expenditure will be spread over three years.

The advanced wireless network gives smartphone users and mobile laptop and tablet users the equivalent of a home Internet experience on the go.

The capital expenditure will also be used for Telus's health-care technology, which allows the online processing of drug claims.

Telus said it has received a two-year contract extension with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for the operation of the health network system, which enables pharmacies to submit drug benefit claims electronically.

Some of the money also will be used for community fundraising projects in the province.

Telus said it has invested more than $22 billion in Ontario since 2000.

Vancouver-based Telus (TSX:T) is a leading telecom player in Canada with 7.4 million wireless subscribers and $10.5 billion in annual revenues from its various services.