Telus Consolidates Wireless and Wireline

Well, in the wake of all of Bell's recent news and moves, Telus has made a public statement of how they're going to cope without George Cope (pardon the bad pun).

Simply put - they're not going to replace him. Instead, they're going to merge their wireline and wireless operations - I guess that's their own version of FMC. The press release talks about how this move is consistent with their national "growth strategy to provide integrated solutions". Fair enough - it's all part of being a one-stop shop for communications, as per the path Rogers and Bell are following.

I sense they would prefer to have kept George Cope and continue building Telus Mobility into a strong, growth machine. Today's news is Plan B, so to speak, and the market has no doubt been waiting to see how Telus plans to move forward.

In principle, putting wireless and wireline together makes sense, but the realities are somewhat different. Telus Mobility is certainly a strong national service. However, the same cannot really be said on the wireline side, especially residential, where they are essentially a regional carrier operating primarily in 2 provinces. Of course, they have wireline presence elsewhere, but not nearly to the extent of Telus Mobility.

On top of that, Telus has only brought VoIP to the enterprise market, where they really do have a strong portfolio, namely IP One and CallCentreAnywhere. But nothing yet for consumers. This is also largely true for television/video as well.

No doubt, the financial community was happy to hear that the integration will be on the business side only. Telus Mobility will continue to report their performance separately - this is the growth driver, and Telus wouldn't be doing itself any favors by blending this in with their wireline performance, which is on the decline, as it would be for any major ILEC.

Of course, now that the strike is over, they can focus 100% on becoming a truly integrated service provider, and I for one, can't wait until they can offer the full package to compete against Bell, and of course, Shaw in their back yard. Today's news is a step in that direction, but it's a long road ahead.