Telus Mobility: Company Profile
As one of Canada's two major CDMA wireless service providers (Bell Mobility being the other), Telus Mobility is a dominating force in the land of the maple leaf when it comes to mobile phone technology, services, and handsets. The Telus family of companies offers a wide range of other services besides cellular phones, including home landline services (where, as BC Tel, it held a monopoly in British Columbia until only recently) and high-speed internet.
Currently, Telus Mobility's marketing campaign is easily recognizable, thanks to its use of bright white backgrounds offset by a variety of nifty animals, including colorful brids (especially lovebirds), cheeky lizards (particularly chameleons) and inquisitive monkeys. Other animals that have been featured in recent years include tree frogs, ducks, and hippos. This nature motif is an extension of Telus Mobility's acquisition of Clearnet Communications in 2000 for $6.6 million Canadian, but they have since taken a more "whimsical" approach, portraying real life animals in more comical, almost "cartoonish" ways. The company's tagline -- The Future is Friendly -- was also once used by Clearnet.
CDMA and EV-DO, plus WiDEN
In addition to standard CDMA service (including 3G EV-DO networks), Telus Mobility also offers business-oriented WiDEN services, which is based on the iDEN propriety technology by Motorola. Dubbed "Mike", the same name that the Push-To-Talk oriented service was known as while under Clearnet, this service is similar to the PTT segment of Nextel's portfolio.
A Crippling Controversy
Like Verizon Wireless to the south, Telus Mobility also has a reputation for "crippling" its handsets, particularly their Bluetooth capabilities. Several of their phones can only be paired to handsfree headsets, unable to use the OBEX (object push) profile for short-range wireless transfers. The phones are typically also modified to force subscribers to purchase MP3 ringtones directly from Telus Mobility because they feature DRM (digital rights management) technology. In other words, you cannot use ringtones obtained from other sources.
One of the latest innovations coming out of Telus Mobility is the introduction of what they call "Spark". Based on the EV-DO 3G network standard, subscribers can access high speed data on their compatible cell phones at a rate never before experienced on Telus' wireless network. Among the services that they feature through "Spark" are faster downloads for ringtones, wallpapers, games, and other content.
In addition to faster multimedia messaging (picture, video, and text messages), Spark also allows for mobile music, mobile web (WAP), and -- most notably -- mobile TV. At this time, mobile web (which goes for about $5 a month, or is bundled with certain rate plans) comes with access to about 100 different websites, offering updates in the world of news, sports, entertainment, and more. Mobile TV is only just getting started, and as such, comes at a significant premium of about $15 a month.
Some of the more popular cell phones currently offered through Telus Mobility include the following (Telus has a company policy of not activating any non-Telus CDMA handsets to work on their network, so you are typically restricted to the phones that they offer):
- Motorola RAZR V3c: The world's most popular slim flip phone takes on a CDMA spin for Telus. This EV-DO capable handset features a 1.3 megapixel camera, integrated Bluetooth wireless technology, and a built-in speakerphone. The RAZR V3c is available in black or pink.
- Nokia 6265i: One of the most recent additions to the Telus family of websites is this sleek black slider from Nokia. Sporting a beefy 2.0 megapixel camera and a large color display, this spiffy handset is clearly designed with digital imaging in mind. Other features on this super affordable cell phone include a built-in MP3 player, external music controls, and video recording capabilities.
- LG 8100: This slightly chunky clamshell is perfect for all your SPARK related needs, including mobile TV, mobile music, and all the latest mobile games. The 1.3 megapixel camera can also record video, and the stereo speakers are great for sharing the tunes playing off of the integrated MP3 player. And yes, it'll do EV-DO.
- Motorola Q: Shortly after Verizon Wireless started providing Americans with the world's slimmest smartphone, Telus Mobility jumped on the skinny productivity tool bandwagon and did the same for Canadians, complete with high-speed EV-DO. Likes its Verizon equivalent, the Telus version of the Motorola Q runs on Windows Mobile 5.0, features Pocket Outlook and Pocket Internet Explorer, and comes packed with a QWERTY keyboard, MP3/video player, built-in Bluetooth, and a 1.3 megapixel camera with 6x digital zoom.