Archive for Telus

Witness Blanket Goes Digital To Share Truths And Memories Of Residential School Survivors 

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 21, 2022 by itnerd

Today, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), Indigenous artist Carey Newman (Hayalthkin’geme), and TELUS celebrated the launch of a new online platform which invites all Canadians to bear witness to the experiences of residential school Survivors. 

Witnessblanket.ca shares stories from the Witness Blanket, a powerful work of art made from over 800 items reclaimed from residential schools, churches, government buildings and other important cultural sites across Canada. The artwork was created by master carver and Indigenous artist, Carey Newman, as a national monument to recognize the atrocities of the residential school era, honour the children, Survivors, and symbolize ongoing reconciliation. 

Users can explore 10 original stories that weave together video testimony from Survivors with information about a piece of the artwork. These stories share the significance of items that carry a deep personal and cultural connection to the residential school era and its legacy such as braided hair, a mush hole bowl, Inuvik stone, and letters. Users can also explore the full artwork, including individual pieces, where they were located and who contributed them. Digitizing the Witness Blanket has made it accessible to audiences around the world. Through witnessblanket.ca, thousands more each year will recognize the atrocities of the era, remember the children who didn’t return home, and honour Survivors. 

The digital Witness Blanket project was created through a partnership between Newman, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Animikii Indigenous Technology, Media One Inc., and TELUS. It was made possible by a $1 million dollar commitment from TELUS and the TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, and an additional $100,000 from the Entwistle Family Foundation. Its development was guided by a Survivors Circle brought together through the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR). The launch of witnessblanket.ca represents the first phase of this partnership. Moving forward, it will leverage TELUS’ technological expertise to create augmented reality, virtual reality led by Camosun Innovates, and projection mapping experiences that will further expand the reach of the Witness Blanket.

A core feature of the platform is a new resource guide for teachers, created in consultation with an advisory group of teachers across Canada. The guide includes foundational teaching strategies, guidance on how to welcome Elders, Survivors and Indigenous community members into the classroom, and detailed lesson plans for teaching about residential schools to students of all ages.

In addition to digitizing the Witness Blanket, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights has launched an initiative by the Vancouver Public Library to create stations in two branches – including a children’s branch at the Central Library – where visitors can explore the Witness Blanket digitally.

Central to TELUS’ Reconciliation Commitment, TELUS is leveraging their world-leading technology to support the diverse needs of Indigenous Peoples, build relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses, help to grow the economy and enable prosperity for Indigenous Peoples. In 2021, TELUS committed $8 million to stand in solidarity with Survivors and their families by supporting Indigenous-led entrepreneurs, projects and initiatives. This commitment includes a $1 million gift to digitize, promote and distribute the Witness Blanket as well as investments from the TELUS Pollinator Fund in Indigenous-led businesses, and grants from the TELUS Community Boards and TELUS Friendly Future Foundation.

Raven Capital Launches Fund II With Investment From TELUS Pollinator Fund And $75M target

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 15, 2022 by itnerd

Raven Indigenous Capital Partners, North America’s only Indigenous-led and owned venture capital intermediary, launched its second fund today (Raven Fund II) with an initial close of $46M, and a target size of $75M. Raven Fund II invests in innovative, scalable Indigenous enterprises at the forefront of advancing the well-being of Indigenous Peoples. Investors include BDC CapitalFarm Credit Canada, the TELUS Pollinator Fund for GoodVancityBank of America, and others.

There are an estimated 325,000 Indigenous-owned companies in North America, including about 50,000 in Canadaaccording to the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Businesses. Most struggle to access the required capital, capacity building support and networks to fulfill their potential.  

Raven’s first fund, launched in 2019, set an initial goal of $5M and closed at $25M. To date, it has made 20 investments in 11 companies, including OneFeather, a company developing Indigenous banking solutions, who are in the process of raising a Series B.

Raven provides late seed and early-stage capital to innovative, scalable, purpose driven Indigenous enterprises.  Companies are screened through a unique, Indigenous impact framework that both expresses, and reflects, Indigenous ways of knowing and being.

Based on investor interest in Raven Fund II, Raven expects to reach its final closing target soon. The team is also continuing to build a strong pipeline of Indigenous enterprises as it works to revitalize the Indigenous economy.  

TELUS Offers Up Smart Security That Helps Keep Canadians’ Safe And Everyday Life Simple

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 12, 2022 by itnerd

As we settle into the busy fall season with many returning to the office and students heading back to school, more Canadians are looking for simple ways to help keep their home safe when away and added security when on the go. TELUS wants to help with that with the following offers:

  • TELUS SmartHome Security is an all in-one system so you can get all your home security devices, automation, and monitoring under one plan. With plans including TELUS Online Security, TELUS SHS is recognized by the 2022 BrandSpark Survey as Canada’s most trusted alarm service offering a range of features including but not limited to:
    • Smart Cameras & 24/7 monitoring: Keep an eye on what’s happening inside and outside your home with the peace of mind round the clock with professional monitoring
    • Control your home all from a touch of a button: With a click of a single button from your phone, you can lock and unlock your doors, turn your lights on and off and turn your thermostat up or down with one easy click.
    • Automation lights, heating and appliances: Set and forget devices to do basic tasks, so you can focus on what matters most.
    • Notifications & Alerts: Set up personalized notifications to prompt for unexpected activities, like floods, fires, break ins, doors/windows opening, etc. 
    • The full range of plans and devices can be found here. For some guidance on what set-up would best fit your home and lifestyle, here is a short quiz to help find what’s right for you.
  •  TELUS SmartWear Security, the latest in the TELUS Security product suite, is a line of discreet personal safety devices that are disguised as necklaces, bracelets and keychains – each one equipped with a hidden button that can instantly text the GPS location of the registered user to select contacts and/or emergency services. These devices offer more than just peace of mind – they are game-changing smart technology, empowering Canadians to take control of their personal safety. 

Both offerings can help you and your family to feel secure. Check them out today.

TELUS Waiving Long Distance Charges For Calls And Texts Made To Pakistan… And More

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 3, 2022 by itnerd

As a result of the monsoon flooding in Pakistan, I wanted mention what TELUS is doing to help their customers stay connected with loved ones.

Effective immediately, TELUS is waiving all roaming charges for calls, text and data overages for customers currently in Pakistan, as well as long distance home phone, mobile calls and SMS charges for those in Canada reaching out to friends and family in Pakistan.

In addition, TELUS is committing $50,000 to support the Canadian Red Cross Pakistan Floods Appeal.

Customers can also help support the relief efforts for those impacted by the monsoon rains through text-to-donate. To donate $10, customers can text PAKISTAN to 20222 from their personal mobile device.

For more information and new updates on this announcement, follow TELUS on Twitter and check out the TELUS website where they will continue to share the latest information. 

Tallcree Tribal Government Partnering With TELUS & The CRTC To Bring Wireless Connectivity To Residents For The First Time

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 1, 2022 by itnerd

Today, Tallcree Tribal Government, TELUS and the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) are celebrating the commitment to bring wireless connectivity to Tallcree First Nation in Northern Alberta for the very first time. With a wireless connection, small businesses can thrive and compete both locally and globally, families can stay connected to loved ones who live out of town, young people can stay in their hometowns longer and participate in distance education, and perhaps most critically, a wireless connection provides a lifeline to call for help in the event of an emergency. This commitment was achieved after the CRTC approved funding for TELUS to build two new cellular sites in Tallcree First Nation through the CRTC Broadband Fund. This project is currently underway and is expected to be complete by late 2024. 

This partnership builds upon TELUS’ commitment to bring world-class connectivity to communities across the province, providing the technological backbone for economic recovery and strength well into the future. Since 2000, TELUS has invested $220 billion nationally in network infrastructure, operations and spectrum, including more than $55 billion in technology and operations in Alberta.

TELUS has a longstanding commitment to strengthening relationships with Indigenous Peoples, including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities, acknowledging that our work spans many Traditional Territories and Treaty areas. To learn more about TELUS’ commitment to Reconciliation visit telus.com/reconciliation.

TELUS Completes $2.3 Billion Acquisition Of LifeWorks

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 1, 2022 by itnerd

TELUS Corporation today announced the completion of the previously disclosed acquisition by way of a plan of arrangement of LifeWorks Inc., a world leader in providing digital and in-person solutions that support the total wellbeing of individuals – mental, physical, financial and social, solidifying TELUS Health as one of the largest companies providing digital-first health and wellness services and solutions that empower individuals to live their healthiest lives. TELUS Health is now positioned to support corporate clients across more than 160 countries and covering more than 50 million lives and growing worldwide.

Benefits of the transaction:

  • Establishes a compelling offering for employers to provide the best wellness experience for their employees in order to enhance talent acquisition and retention, while improving their business performance 
  • Provides complementary end-to-end solutions supported by TELUS’ robust infrastructure of leading networks and best-in-class customer experience, including TELUS International’s proven expertise in digital transformation and client service excellence
  • Creates a global digital health and wellness leader, providing access to high quality, proactive healthcare and mental wellness for employees by unifying digital-first solutions across the care continuum
  • Enables continued innovation and market share growth through the solid financial backing of TELUS, along with significant cross selling synergies between our respective organizations, including TELUS International

TELUS Health’s Chief Operating Officer, Michael Dingle, will oversee the transition and lead the integration of LifeWorks into the TELUS Health family. Michael’s deep industry expertise and proven track record of creating team, client and shareholder value will ensure the smooth transition of LifeWorks team members and clients.

MATRIXX Software Selected By TELUS To Enable The Next Generation Of 5G Services 

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 31, 2022 by itnerd

MATRIXX Software, a global leader in 5G monetization solutions, announced today that world-leading communications technology company, TELUS, has selected the MATRIXX Digital Commerce Platform as its 5G monetization solution. This agreement will give TELUS the agility it needs to easily and seamlessly launch and develop new solutions covering mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), fixed and cloud services for its 17 million customer connections in Canada, through a single cloud native platform. As the Converged Charging System (CCS) of the TELUS 5G network, MATRIXX will enable new and emerging 5G monetization use cases and opportunities with improved scalability, agility and flexibility, while redefining TELUS’ customer experience with next-generation products and services.

The MATRIXX platform will enable TELUS to continue to advance its adoption of cloud-based solutions across its products and services. With its world-leading networks, TELUS will capitalize on MATRIXX’s simplicity and highly configurable solution to operate independently at the speed required to lead in Canada’s fast-moving telecom and digital market.

MATRIXX Software delivers a modern converged charging and commerce solution proven at scale. Its cloud native Digital Commerce Platform provides network-grade, mission critical software that unlocks new network monetization opportunities. With its no-code configuration capabilities, MATRIXX empowers service providers with the agility necessary to easily develop, deploy and monetize new products and services. MATRIXX is the platform of choice powering many of the world’s leading communications companies, IoT players and emerging network infrastructure providers. MATRIXX makes it possible to harness commercial innovation and on-demand customer experience to better compete and drive new revenue and growth opportunities across markets and verticals.

For more information, please visit them on the web at MATRIXX.com.

TELUS Wants To Charge You 1.5% If You Pay Your Bill Via Credit Card

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 15, 2022 by itnerd

Canadian telco TELUS has put in an application to the CRTC to allow them to charge a 1.5% fee to those who pay their bill by credit card. The CBC has the details:

For a theoretical customer in Alberta whose cellphone bill is $100, the charge would bring their bill to $106.66 — $100 for their basic bill, plus $5 for GST, a $1.58 surcharge for the new fee on top of that, plus another eight cents in GST on the surcharge.

“The company plans to provide advance notices of the fee to its existing customers starting in mid-August,” Telus said in its letter to the regulator.

And:

Telus’ rationale for the move stems from a development this summer, when credit card firms including Visa and MasterCard agreed to a settlement that will see them refund millions of dollars worth of credit card processing fees that merchants have paid them over the years. Crucially, that settlement also gives businesses permission to start charging customers those fees directly starting in October, which is what Telus is trying to do.

Previously, many merchants weren’t allowed to charge customers directly for the fees that credit companies charge them for processing sales. Such fees can range from less than one per cent of the sale, to more than three per cent for some premium cards.

Now, I get why TELUS is doing this. From my view, this seems like a targeted cost recovery exercise for TELUS. And consumers can avoid this fee by paying via their bank, which is what my wife and I do. And I don’t really have a problem with it because there’s an option to avoid this fee. But I think they’re going about it the wrong way. Instead of penalizing customers who use credit cards, how about incentivizing customers to use other payment methods? For example, my wife and I frequent a Chinese restaurant called Congee Queen, and they incentivize us to pay via cash by giving us a 10% discount whenever we do take out, which is frequently. That’s made my wife and I always have a stash of cash lying around so that if we want take out from them, we can save some money and not have to dash to the ATM. I think if TELUS did something like that, they wouldn’t be facing this sort of backlash:

Rosa Addario, a spokesperson for telecom watchdog OpenMedia, says the plan is just the latest way for the industry to extract more revenue from cash-strapped Canadian consumers.

“All three of our telecom providers … have reported increased profits, increased revenue and increased customers for 2021,” she told CBC News in an interview. “They are doing better than ever. This is just another way to raise our bills through shady practices and extra fees and adding things on top so that we are paying even more than we already are.”

That is a valid point. Telcos in Canada are making tons of money right now. So by TELUS charging this fee, they’ve created an optics issue for themselves as being perceived as greedy. The backlash continues though:

Suze Morrison, a former Ontario MPP, is urging the CRTC to reject the proposal, noting that it will disproportionately impact people who are already financially vulnerable.

“Working class people, low income people are really struggling to make ends meet right now,” she told CBC News in an interview. “The last thing anyone needs is an additional fee just because of how they pay their telephone bill to keep their phone lines connected.”

While credit card surcharges are creeping into many businesses, she says it’s different for a telecom utility to charge them because it is a necessity.

“A consumer has a choice to go to a mom and pop restaurant or to cook dinner at home or to go to a restaurant that’s not charging fees for credit card swipes,” she said.

“But we’ve allowed so much consolidation in our telecom industry and there’s such a monopoly in the sector that it’s not like folks can say, ‘OK, well, if you’re going to charge a fee, I’m going to take my business somewhere else.’ I have nowhere else to go.”

That is a valid point. Part of the problem with TELUS charging this fee is that they create the perception that they are just like Bell and Rogers at a time where a lot of people are not doing well because of the current economic climate. And this is a company that has spent years distancing itself from Bell and Rogers via their social advocacy among other things. This again creates an optics issue for TELUS. Though I will point out that Koodo and Public Mobile which are flanker brands of TELUS won’t have this fee (yet). And I will also point out that these sorts of fees are becoming common.

And I am certain that Bell and Rogers will be putting forth applications to the CRTC to do exactly the same thing. Because having watched this sector for years, if one Canadian telco does something, the other two follow.

There’s A Lot Of News Coming Out Of TELUS…. And I Do Mean A Lot

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 11, 2022 by itnerd

The announcements from TELUS continue to roll in. Today alone there are five announcements coming out of the Canadian Telco. Let’s start with the biggest one (in my opinion). TELUS is Canada’s most awarded network by Opensignal for the 11th consecutive time. TELUS has been named Canada’s best network for consistent mobile network quality, taking home six Mobile Network Experience Awards and three 5G Experience Awards which highlights the sort of investments that TELUS is making on their network.

And when it comes to investing in their network, that’s where the other four announcements come in:

That’s a lot of money that TELUS is spending. But seeing as they’re consistently winning awards for their network, it’s clearly money well spent.

TELUS Announces Investments In St. Albert And Fort McMurray

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 10, 2022 by itnerd

TELUS has had a number of announcements related to investments that they’re making in communities around the country. And today they have two more announcements to make:

  • TELUS announced today a $10 million investment across the City of St. Albert in 2022. This is part of TELUS’ $17 billion investment in operations, network infrastructure, and spectrum across the province now through 2026, creating 8,500 new jobs for Albertans and connecting more families and businesses to TELUS’ world-leading 5G and TELUS PureFibre networks. 
  • TELUS also announced today a $3 million investment across Fort McMurray in 2022 to continue bringing its blistering-fast 5G network speeds to the city, giving residents and businesses access to the fastest 5G network in Canada. This is part of TELUS’ $17 billion investment in operations, network infrastructure, and spectrum across the province now through 2026, creating 8,500 new jobs for Albertans and connecting more families and businesses to TELUS’ world-leading 5G and TELUS PureFibre networks. 

Clearly TELUS is making moves to ensure that communities across the country are connected. And I fully expect more announcements to be made in the days to come.