TELUS on BlackBerry 10 – Will one of Canada’s largest carriers be behind the all-new BlackBerry?

TELUS Toronto Tower
By Zach Gilbert on 28 Aug 2012 03:07 pm EDT

It’s no question that BlackBerry is pushing ahead with the launch of BlackBerry 10. It’s evident in the employee morale, the developer support and even the carrier support. While Kevin was in Waterloo at RIM headquarters, he discussed the carrier support of BlackBerry 10 with Frank Boulben. Mr. Boulben was quite adamant that carriers shared a similar enthusiasm for the new product. Recently I had the chance to visit the TELUS Toronto office during an event and got to talk shop with James Bishop who is Manager of Product Marketing at TELUS, and Brent Johnston who is VP Mobility Solutions at TELUS. Keep reading as we answer the question: Is TELUS behind the all-new BlackBerry and the BlackBerry 10 OS?

The short answer, is yes, TELUS will be behind BlackBerry 10 as they feel that their customers should have choices. Choices in rate plans, contracts and handsets. As for a longer answer, Brent Johnston also went on to discuss marketing efforts behind various products and stated that in the history of the Canadian wireless sector that individual carrier marketing efforts for devices were needed. The reason Mr. Johnston said that marketing efforts from a carrier standpoint were needed is because before each carrier had exclusive devices, and they needed to differentiate against the competition. As we move closer to 2013 carriers no longer get the exclusive handset treatment as they once did, carriers now need to market their network and service to compete against their competition. In my discussions, Mr. Johnston was adamant that the manufacturers needed to up their marketing efforts to ensure customers understand why product A is better that product B.

Mr. Johnston wouldn’t exactly say what TELUS was going to do with the launch of BlackBerry 10. What he did tell me was that people using RIM products make up for a large portion of their customers base, and they are always looking to please their customers.

Knowing that TELUS would be giving BlackBerry 10 the treatment it deserved, I quickly shifted gears into an issue that would hurt current and future sales of BlackBerry devices if not fixed. The issue you ask? That is the employee outlook on BlackBerry products and services. A pressing issue that has been on my mind with TELUS and other carriers around the world. Mr. Johnston agreed that with any new product launch they would need to ensure that their front line staff have the knowledge needed in order to properly position new products, BlackBerry 10 in this case. Mr. Johnston also continued on to say that TELUS doesn’t commission their staff in a way that favors certain manufactures, each TELUS employee is to sell based on their individual customer needs.

I went on the ask Mr. Johnston about what he thought of BlackBerry 10 and he said that he couldn’t comment yet as he hasn’t seen the new product. All of which will change as RIM continues on their carrier roadshow in the coming weeks.

So there you have it CrackBerry Nation, while Brent Johnston of TELUS Mobility hasn’t seen the final iteration of BlackBerry 10 he still seems optimistic and knows that BlackBerry products and services are important to TELUS customers.

From my discussions my take away was, if RIM can deliver with BlackBerry 10 they will receive the support they deserve from TELUS.

*Please note that when CrackBerry visited TELUS head office, carrier discussions with RIM were limited. At the time of writing this RIM has been working with Canadian carriers and showing the true power of BlackBerry 10.

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Reader comments

TELUS on BlackBerry 10 – Will one of Canada’s largest carriers be behind the all-new BlackBerry?


Telus,rodgers,bell. The big 3 will all carry BB10. They cant afford to give anyone any type of edge given the nature of the business.

canuck_67, if you do not know the correct names of all THREE wireless carriers in Canada, please return your Bob & Doug Mackenzie membership card. For the record the three wireless carriers, of any significance in Canada, in alphabetical order are Bell Mobility (Bell), Rogers Communications Inc (Rogers), and Telus Communications Company (Telus). Nowhere in Canada is there a Rodgers named company in the wireless communications business.

wow so they spelt Rogers wrong, a simple typo. Why don't you troll somewhere else please, you're a waste of time to this site

+1 -- why are people so quick to jump on others for small errors? The negativity of some people on this site is really getting out of hand.

Good article. I find the ignorance of sales staff with AT&T unacceptable. With the many stories of sales reps both domestically in the US and internationally telling consumers, "BlackBerry is going broke. We don't sell BlackBerry SmartPhones (Blackberries as they would write)", it's an absolute must to train employees on the ins and outs of every OS, not just BB10.

Loving Jesus!

Well what did you expect him to say? He said what he had to say regardless of bb10 is super or if it's shit.

Good article of hot air.

I wonder how RIM is going to deal with this worldwide... Will we see this kinda of roadshow so they can convince carrier, say, in Brasil to push BB10 devices?

From what I've read (here on CrackBerry I believe), yes, RIM will be taking their BB10 presentation roadshow worldwide to deal with European, Asian, ME and South American carriers... as well as the North American carriers of course ;)


As any company, RIM has a strategy defined with country/operator priorities. I would say that brazil would fit well, due to market size and growing economy.

Lets hope Telus (and the rest of the oligopoly) give some good incentives for us loyal blackberry users to upgrade to bb10!

I would love to see that but it is quite doubtful. The carriers know that us loyal Blackberry fans are waiting out for BB 10, like me with a Bold 9700 (running OS6) and will get one as soon as it hits the market. Therefore, it's in their best interest to not offer an incentive as they'll get more money. However, what I'd like to see is an incentive for people with other phones (Ijunk, Android, HTC) to trade in for a BB10. I think that would be rocking!

I'm glad to hear that I won't have to switch from Telus to get my new BB10 phone once released. Although I do agree their front sales staff are quite useless as everything in life.

Glad to see someone supporting BB10, because in America, it will still lag behind the other two options whether it's better or not.

Only one big huge glaring problem with this entire article. TELUS does not run any stores. They are ALL 3rd party resellers. While TELUS may not give the resellers different amounts depending on the phones, internally it may be different in those resellers.

This is the big problem in Canada. In the US, while there are resellers, ATT, VZW, Sprint, and T-Mobile all operate their own stores as well. Not so in Canada. This is why it is such a poort environment to get marketing efforts off the ground. They have to tell their resellers to use materials, and then have no control over if they use them effectively.

Sorry, just a rant of a Canadian consumer.

Sorry, but the comment about "all" TELUS stores being owned by a reseller is incorrect. TELUS runs a business model that allows for both, corporate and franchise stores just like the other carriers in Canada. You can ask the location you go to if they are a corporate store or not, they will tell you.

True, but have you ever tried to find a corperate telus store? I have. They are very hard to find. I had an issue years ago in the Vancouver area with an Audiovox. The phone was purchased at Futureshop, but they said for the warantee I needed to go to telus & not them as they are only a reseller. The only corporate store in the lowermainland (population 2+ million) was in Burnaby. Unfortunately, at that time there was a strike going on at telus so it was closed. Once the strike/lockout ended the store remained closed & I was advised to go to Calgary (over 1,000km away)

Needless to say I never did get my warantee repair/replacement

Your statement is bullshit, there's a telus store in every major mall in my city, and there owned by tells not a 3rd party reseller.

bbpandy, as you said, it was years ago (the last strike happened in 2005). TELUS has since acquired Black's Photos chain and a major dealer chain in BC and Alberta. Now at least in BC and Alberta, TELUS stores in most if not all major malls and retail locations (e.g. Metrotown) are actually run by TELUS.

Also, in downtown and Westend Vancouver, there are TELUS stores called CAYA (come as you are) that run by TELUS that cater to the LGBT community.

This is a forum for narrow-minded opinions about smartphones. Please leave all other narrow-minded opinions at the door

Please stop using BB. You are a disgrace of a human being.
Take your bigotry and go have sex with yourself where no one should witness.

Sorry, calling you out on this.

a) Tell me a way other than asking EVERY SINGLE STORE how to find a corporate owned one.
b) Specifically, where in Vancouver (and surrounding area) do you find one other than the TELUS head office (which really does not and should not count)
c) Is there more than 1 in a province owned corporately? That is not a mixed model, that is a stunt so that comments like this can be made.

Let's compare and contrast a little. Verizon Wireless uses a mixed model. There are approximately 4 resellers to each regular store. In Washington State there are corporately owned locations in Bellingham, Mt. Vernon, Smokey Point, about 30 around Seattle... and that is just the northwestern area.

Here is the trick. That locator shows resellers too and doesn't differentiate.

Try going into one of those stores and asking them if they are corporately owned or not.

Or, just look and see if they have any signage which says "Partner", "Authorized Dealer", or "Authorized Retailer". All point to it being actually a reseller, not corporately owned.

Tenkawa,in Vancouver, you just need to go into any TELUS store in major malls such as Metrotown, Coquitlam Centre, etc. You can also visit the Black's Photos stores (they do sell cellphones) or the CAYA stores (on Denman, Davie, Grenville and water Street). They are all run by TELUS.

I'm curious what your search results are when you do a Google search for "Telus stores Vancouver, BC". I have a Telus store five minutes from my crib so I'm not sure what you mean when you say Telus doesn't run any stores.

Not correct. They have many corporate stores including the one in the TELUS house building seen in the photo a above. Don't ask how I know :)

this is awesome but being a canadian company i expect rogers telus bell and maybe even fido if rogers permits to get the bb10 handhelds will be a perfect shot for canadian support for the carriers to get it. I also hope the small times like wind mobile get it as well just to spread the love.

my biggest problem being US carriers they have always downpalyed BlackBerry in all my time with RIM it was the biggest complaint of even the big BlackBerry fans which did sort of hurt when new good stuff was out.

I'm sure they'll have it. They would alienate too many customers (like me) if they didn't. It will be interesting to see how much they go out of their way to promote it, but they'll definitely have it.

I work for Technical solutions for Bell, we support Bellmobility, Solo Mobile, PC Mobile. One of the thing i notice was all most all current bb users are waiting for BB10 so most likely most of the current bb customers will upgrade to bb10 as soon as its available. and many people i spoke with says they always buy bb just because its Canadian product. so i am confident that RIM will be able to regain its market share in Canada for sure.

I am truly disgusted at some of the Telus stores and their ignorance of BlackBerry and blind pushing of ios and Android. Every time I walk into one particular store they always put it down and try to convince me otherwise.

Train your people Telus!!!

I have stores in switzerland, and remeber a bad sale stuff sale what customer whants its more easy for them... good sale stuff give to the client more option

Telus will definitely have BB10. They cannot miss out on the opportunity.
I am a Telus customer, no contract so as soon as BB10 is out at Telus I will be there looking to play with the phone. If I like the all touch then I will buy it (I am a physical keyboard type of girl but we will see if their new keyboard can change my mind!!!).

Come on BB10!!! Cannot wait!!!

I'm with Telus. I have 2 bbs. One contract ending soon and one in 2014. I'm getting 2 bb10s at launch... I can't wait!

Did you ask him when they are going to offer an unlimited plan like t-mobile? If they did that I would drop Rogers today and sign up.

Anyways, it isn't just Telus trying to push out the iphone or androids. The source asked my ex why she wanted a blackberry when you can get this sg2 and convinced her to get it. She hated not having a physical keyboard and took it back but that's beside the point. Carriers always tend to push out the newest devices. Hopefully this will happen with BB10 too.

AT&T shares the same ignorance. The few times I've walked into the store to either buy a new phone or get a replacement, the reps immediately begin down playing Blackberry phones in favor or others (mainly iphone or latest Android device), attempting to get me to switch. Then I open my mouth and begin to speak of things of which they have no clue. Educate I do but they aren't interested.

Additionally, twice I've allowed them to swap my sim card because I had no option at the time. Then I spend the next several hours getting my new or replaced phone back to full BB greatness. All because I didn't switch the device properly via desktop manager. Yet another EXCELLENT feature that's not marketed well, that saves unnecessary trips to useless carrier stores.

Also a proud owner of a Blackberry Playbook, Torch and Shares

Good to see TELUS supporting it. Even though I am no longer a customer, I'll be happy to see customers enjoying the blackberry 10 smartphones. :D

Telus is buying out some (all?) of the reseller stores. At least, that's what they told me when I walked into the brand new one on 4th and Balsam in Vancouver. This new store is a corporate store. The other one on 4th and Yew will be a Koodoo (?) store.

As the TELUS VP indicated in the interview, RIM cannot rely on carriers to market and promote BB10. They will carry the phones but since they are not exclusives so there is no value in spending marketing $$ on them.

The only way carriers will push the phones is if they get better margin or need lower subsidy for these phones.

RIM needs to go big on direct marketing to customers such as TV spots and public celebrity promotion events (J Lo, I Bolt, etc.) to leap over any bashing / misinformation from the media or tech blogs. RIM must create this buzz for BB10, and only then will carriers feel the need to give BB10 its love. When enough customers come in the stores and ask about BB10, the sales reps will feel the pressure to educate themselves about the products.

RIM is probably targeting the launch at enterprise market first, but as the BYOD trend has shown, they need to market to the consumers and let them bring their wishes back to the CIO's and not the other way around.

I've been lucky with TELUS, I guess. The staff I've dealt with were knowledgeable about BlackBerry phones, and when I upgraded from Torch 9800 to 9810, the sales rep talked me into buying "the sexy white one". And their BB tech support is very good as well.

Our entire company uses BlackBerry. We will not change to another brand.
If Telus does not support The BlackBerry brand, we have no choice but to switch to another carrier. Bottom line.

When bb10 comes out go into whatever store you want, be EXTREMELY clear about exactly what you want, and the millisecond they try to sell you something else you ask for the manager, tell the manager that their staff person doesn't seem to want to sell you what you want, and then WALK OUT ( even if they try to sell you a bb10 as you leave). Repeat as many times as necessary until you find a store that just sells you a bb10 without any efforts at redirection.

+1. No question all Canadian carriers will be BB10 supporters and I must admit that Brent is right, its too early to formally commit.

Has anyone heard whether Wind Mobile will be getting the new BB10 devices?!?!?!?!?!?! Desperately waiting for the qwerty version.

Telus is just barely one of the Canadian big 3. They've always struck me as an also-ran that uses inferior networks and service to the bigger boys.