Telus to gain from smartphone, Internet TV growth

Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:41pm EST
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(Reuters) - Telus Corp, Canada's third-largest wireless operator, forecast 2012 to be better than this year, as it expects to win more smartphone customers and Internet-based television subscribers.

The company, which provides phone, Internet and television services, expects its wireless and data services to boost revenue by up to 6.5 percent to C$11 billion ($10.62 billion) next year.

"They certainly are best in class in terms of data growth and we expect it to be positive ARPU (average revenue per user) in 2012," BMO Capital Markets analyst Peter Rhamey said.

Telus likes to be very conservative in guidance, Rhamey added.

Telus, which competes with Canada's Rogers Communications and BCE Inc and operates in the residential market in western Canada, said 2012 earnings could rise up to 12 percent to C$4.15 a share.

"We are more exposed to western Canada and certainly the western provinces are in a healthy state in growing," Chief Financial Officer Robert McFarlane told Reuters.

The Vancouver-based telecom services provider plans to spend about C$1.85 billion next year, 3 percent higher than 2011, as it upgrades wireless capacity and deploys a new long-term evolution (LTE) wireless network in urban markets.

Telus, which has been the most modest in upgrading its network to LTE technology among the three wireless majors in the country, said in November that the upgrade was on track for an early 2012 launch.

"This growth is being generated by continued healthy additions of wireless smartphones along with Optik TV and high-speed Internet service subscriptions," the CFO said.   Continued...